Random Memories of Germany-Part 4

21 Jun


Judy Wills

I mentioned last time that the pastor of our English-speaking Baptist Church in Heidelberg became our Karen’s future father-in-law.  And this is how that came to be.

The congregation of Grace Baptist Church called Greg to be our pastor in the Fall of 1981.  He and his family arrived shortly after Christmas that year.  They spent Christmas with family in Florida before coming to Germany.

Greg and Carol – welcome reception – 1981

The church congregation had a tradition that was established before we arrived, in that as many as could go together, hired a bus and went to one of the American resort areas in Bavaria between Christmas and New Years.  We went with the group to Berchtesgaden for Christmas 1980.  During the year, our family had also visited Berchtesgaden, Garmisch and Chiemsee (which has a Ludwig castle modeled after Versailles in France).  Therefore, when the church group wanted to go to Chiemsee for Christmas 1981, we declined. Essentially the only thing to do around Chiemsee was to ski, and since we didn’t ski, we decided to stay in Heidelberg, so we could be in town  to meet our new pastor and his family.

Chiemsee – 1969

Chiemsee – Hall of Mirrors – 1969

As it happened, the church as a group had fixed up an apartment for Greg and his family, in a town just a short ways away from MTV, so when they arrived in town, they were taken straight to the apartment to settle in and rest.  We had invited them to come down the hill and have supper with us that evening, so Carol wouldn’t have to fix a meal right away.

As it turned out, two things prevented that event: 1) Greg had pulled a muscle in his back shortly before leaving Georgia and coming to Germany and had been in traction.  Also, the long flight from the U.S. to Germany aggravated his injury.  2) Heidelberg had received quite a few inches of snow, and Greg had helped a German push his car out of a snowbank and re-injured his back.

So even though they declined to come to our house, we decided we could take supper to them!  I had made a big pot of spaghetti sauce (with noodles, of course).  I had a salad made, and then I went to our local bakery for bread.  I really LOVED the German bakeries.  My favorite one was just around the corner from our building, and I had gotten to know the owner reasonably well.  She spoke a little English, and I spoke a little German, so we got along famously.

The symbol for a bakery in Germany – the pretzel – 1982

Well, I went to her store, and in my halting German said I needed just a small loaf of bread.  She was already getting ready to close for the night, but she pulled down a long loaf, cut it in half, wrapped my half, then wrapped up the other half and put it back on the shelf!  I was amazed!!  I don’t believe ANY bakery in the United States would do such a thing!!  WOW!

So we made our way up the hill and to their apartment.  Greg was laid out on the sofa and didn’t move until supper was on the table, when he came and sat with us.  Then back to the sofa.  After the meal, we told Karen and Brian (their son – Karen’s age) that they were to do the dishes.  No dishwasher there, either – hand washing and drying only.  Karen told me later that, as we walked in, Brian, after spying Karen, leaned over to his mom and said, “She’s tall.  I like her!”

And that was the beginning.

Brian and Karen – 1985

Greg’s family stayed a total of five years, and we rotated back to the States after our three-year tour ended in 1983.  Brian came to Virginia the following Christmas to spend it with us.  They married December 30, 1986.  We always said Brian took advantage of the tax credit that year – at the last minute!  But they are still together, after all those years, and we love them and their family.  God is good

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

One Response to “Random Memories of Germany-Part 4”

  1. divoran09 June 21, 2020 at 5:05 pm #


    Liked by 1 person

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