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Patricia Struntz

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Member Since: Apr, 2010

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Happy Birthday Switzerland!
By Patricia Struntz   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, August 01, 2010
Posted: Sunday, August 01, 2010

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Join in celebrating independence from oppression and tyranny!

The year I was nine my family traveled to Switzerland, my father’s homeland, where we lived for six months with my aunt Liseli in the lovely hamlet of Brienz.

The garden in back of our family’s 300-year-old chalet opened directly onto the lakeshore promenade with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Across the lake glistened lovely Giessbach Falls, and ten miles away in Interlaken we got our first breathtaking view of the Jungfrau, the region’s most prominent peak.

Being there felt like I had come home. And though I am only “half Swiss”, to this day I insist that my Swiss cells easily outnumber the remaining mixture of English, French and Scotch/Irish, so it is alpine blood that makes music in my veins!

Since 1891, the people of Switzerland have celebrated their independence from Austrian rulers in 1291 on August 1st. Bonfires blaze and fireworks ignite from mountain peaks. Starting in 1920, the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen have lit up with glorious outdoor displays in honor of this national holiday.

How wonderful! Born in Seattle and totally American, but with alpine blood singing in my veins, I have an opportunity two days every year to join in celebrating independence from oppression and tyranny. Any survivor of child abuse and/or domestic violence will understand the pleasure I feel at such good fortune.

Happy Birthday, dear Alpine Family!

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Reviewed by John St. John 8/6/2010
Today, five days late, I happily join your celebration. My family and I lived in Geneva from 1980 to 1984, and for all five of us it was by far the best of our Foreign Service postings. Your brief "Birthday Card" to the Confederation Helvetique brought back many happy memories.
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 8/3/2010
lovely article, enjoyed the read