“Hi, I’m Didi, and this is my husband Bob. We’re your neighbors!”
I stood at the door to our Vermont ski rental and stared at the older couple in front of me. She had her hair in two tight braids on either side of her head like Heidi of the Mountain. He was wearing lederhosen.
I was speechless.
“We’re on our way to a yodeling competition, but we wanted to say hi and welcome you to the neighborhood,” explained Didi. I gaped at the lederhosen. I wasn’t sure if I was more shocked about the yodeling thing or the fact that Bob was wearing leather shorts and it was 30 degrees outside.
“Yes, we’re Yodelers.”
I had never met an official yodeler before and I had several thoughts all at once. I wondered if they dressed like this all the time or just for the competitions. I also wondered if Bob’s legs were cold. And then I wondered if they were going to offer me a Ricola cough drop.
They looked at me expectantly. I thought they might be waiting for me to invite them in for some fondue or perhaps a hot cup of Swiss Miss.
Then it dawned on me.
“Would you like to yodel for me?” I asked, unsure of proper yodel-requesting etiquette.
Didi nodded vigorously. I already regretted extending the invitation. The only yodeling I’d ever seen was on TV and I had no idea what to expect in terms of volume, duration, or the potential for a herd of mountain goats to suddenly appear on my stoop. Truthfully, it was not one of those things that had been on my bucket list. I’d never said to my husband, “Before I die, I really want to hear someone yodel.” The only yodel I’d ever had a hankering for was the chocolate and cream kind you buy in the supermarket.
Truthfully, it was not one of those things that had been on my bucket list. I’d never said to my husband, “Before I die, I really want to hear someone yodel.”
But Didi was already warming up. And before I could say auf wiedersehen, Didi let one fly.
“YODEL-ODEL-AY-HEE-HOO!” she bellowed.
I jumped at the unexpected sound, and then looked up to the ski resort to see if she’d started an avalanche.
Didi beamed. “Bob is better. But he’s saving his voice for the competition.”
Bob nodded and bowed to me.
“So, are you two, like, professional yodelers?” I asked.
“Oh no,” said Didi. “We just do it for fun. We’re too old to do this professionally.”
I wondered what the optimal age was for yodeling. Was there a point where you got to be too old to yodel? At that time, were you called a Yoldler?”
Didi asked me if I wanted to hear another yodel and I said okay. But as she began to yodel, our dog Monty started to howl along with her.
“Hey,” she said. “Your dog yodels, too!”
Yes,” I replied. “But he refuses to wear lederhosen.”
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