Innocence Lost, Dental Knowledge Gained

June 1st, 2013

In June of my 17th year I went to Germany on a summer exchange program. I lived with a family in a large house on Lake Constance, a picturesque body of water that borders Germany, Switzerland and Austria. My German father was a former movie director turned naturopath, my temporary mother an ex-movie star. The children slept in a separate wing of the house, connected by a kitchen that was the realm of a full-time cook who showered us with cakes and tortes, three-course lunches and late night snacks.

There was a pool and a sauna, as well as a patio and a garden that backed onto a French army barracks. It was a relic from World War II when the Allies divided the conquered country into zones. I loved waking to the sound of soldiers singing as they passed by on their morning run.

My German family usually gathered in the sauna after dinner and I joined them… once, excited and eager in my one-piece bathing suit. They were there waiting, as promised, but had forgotten to dress for the occasion. To say I was shocked by their naked bodies would be an understatement. After all I was a quiet, somewhat conservative girl from Texas who had never sat around naked with anyone before, much less my own family. It’s just not something we did. I remember looking at the ceiling as we discussed who killed JR. They assumed, as a Texan, I had all the answers.


garlic at market

I can’t show you my naked German family, so here’s some fresh garlic at a market in Provence instead.

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