A bounty

We spent the summer gently encouraging a local grapevine to wind its way along our balcony. It's grown almost three feet since we've moved in and the other day, I discovered a few small bunches hanging right next to the rail.

As soon as they were off the vine we started eating them over the sink and the flavor is incredible. It's been decades since I last tasted a wine grape– the sweet, rich flavor and chewy skin are worlds apart from the crunchy, sugary table grapes that we usually buy. As Anthony put it– it's the flavor that grape flavored things are trying to be. 

I think this will be the entirety of our harvest for this year but hopefully next summer we'll be able to coax a few more feet and a little more fruit out of this guy..

New View


After the last box had been unpacked in our Lausanne apartment, I flopped myself on the couch and announced to Anthony that short of the place burning down, there was no situation in which I could see myself moving again. Ever. I punctuated this declaration with dramatic exclamations and vigorous hand gestures to drive home my seriousness, Anthony ignored me.

We've lived in Lausanne for two-and-a-half years. Long enough that when I think about the day we moved in, it seems like an event that happened in the fuzzy-not-too-distant-but-distant-enough past. Long enough that the memory of unpacking and reconfiguring our things is a little faded and less exhausting. Long enough that when, last spring, Anthony mentioned that he'd begun casually looking for a new apartment for us, instead of dramatically tying myself to the radiator and refusing to leave, I dramatically sighed and said "Okay. You can look. If you can find us the perfect place, I will entertain the idea of leaving."

And look we did. But after every visit, we'd return home saying to ourselves "this still feels like where we need to be." Knowing how the apartment game works here, we settled in for at least a year of searching, possibly applying, and dealing with the potential disappointment of not being accepted (Lausanne has a 99% occupancy rate. Prices are high, competition is fierce and there is no guarantee of anything). 

Then, on the first spring-like day of the year, we took a walk in the Lavaux. After wandering through the tiny vineyard towns, we stopped for water at one of the public fountains- and, turning around to enjoy the lovely little houses, we saw, hanging from the windows of one of the buildings, a sign. A Louer. For Rent.

Until that point, we'd not thought of leaving Lausanne. We've walked to work every day for the past five years and a non-foot commute was not an idea we'd entertained. But at that moment, we thought, this might be a possibility. 

The apartment was new, with a lot more space and all the things we wanted that our current place didn't have. But it was removed from Lausanne and didn't have the beautiful vintage details the we adored about our home. My fear of change bubbled up and I started protesting that it was just too...too…different. Later, however, after looking at the photos again, I started seeing some potential in this new space. It wouldn't be the same sort of experience we'd had living in the city, sure. But it could potentially be a wonderful, new experience. 

So we applied. This was back in April and nearly every day since has been a flurry of nail biting, excitement, paperwork, more paperwork, anxiety, scrubbing floors and windows, planning, packing, and finally, finally moving. Even as we stacked all the moving detritus outside this morning to be carted away, I still can't believe that we did it. I tend to cling to the past so this transition has been difficult. But as we acclimate ourselves to this new life of vines and grapes and differentness, I can start to see our future here. It will not have the bustle of life in Lausanne but it will be exciting nonetheless.


We visited Mürren last year for the first time and were unprepared (emotionally) for the epic views and (logistically) for the near vertical hikes. After reading that recount, fueled by images of her firstborn plummeting down the side of a mountain due to a lethal mix of stubbornness and frugality (both genetic by the way) my mom immediately ordered me a pair of proper hiking boots. Which meant that we had no choice but to return and finish what we started last fall.

This time we stayed in the town of Mürren which is filled with small chalets. The morning we set off, an intense fog blanketed the town and surrounding mountains. We decided to forgo the longer hike we'd planned and instead headed out on a lower trail.

While the peaks were not in view, seeing bits of them peek out between breaks in the clouds was just as breathtaking.

The fogged in path added a mysterious element to the whole hike. Everything was hushed, waiting.

Just as we were beginning to feel a bit nibbly, we came across a local farm selling homemade alpine cheese and venison sausage. Later, when we'd returned to Lausanne and all that were left of these delights were crumbs I strongly campaigned to get back in the car, drive for 2 1/2 hours and hike a few kilometers back to resupply. But, as with happens with many ideas dreamed up on a Friday night, comfy on the couch, it did not come to fruition.

We did actually return the following weekend but to hike down a much steeper trail, sans fog. 

Instead of cheese, we returned with these adorable little wooden cows which we gave a place of honor on our wedding "cake."