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Random Memories of Germany-Aerobics Part 2

16 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

When either Joanne or I went on a vacation, the other partner took over all the classes. I remember one day I instructed and danced four classes – I usually only danced two classes per day!  After the third class, I wasn’t sure I had the energy left to do one more class – but I must have gotten a second wind, and flew through it!

At one point Joanne told me that her students didn’t like me – the way I did the routines.  Joanne and I had a very different way of instructing the dances.  As it turned out, my students didn’t like Joanne, either!  So the next time I taught one of her classes, I told them that, because Joanne and I were so different – I asked her students to “listen with your good ear, and I’ll try to be clearer with my instructions.”  By the end of the time I  filled in for Joanne, we were all okay with each other.

I remember one of Joanne’s students – who was a friend of mine from our church – dancing with a cast on her foot!  She’d had bone spur on her heel and had surgery to remove it.  She said the cast just gave her extra weight to pull around, and she thought it just gave her more intense exercise!  Never saw anything like it!  She was able to keep up with the class, too.

In this particular type of aerobic dancing, we always started the routine on the right foot.  I didn’t find anything unusual about that.  However, there was one student of mine who just really had a hard time with the steps.  I couldn’t figure out what the problem was, nor how to help her…until she approached me one time with “were you ever in the marching band?”  That solved the problem – marching bands always start on the left foot.  You know…”left…left…left right left…”

There was one time when I was holding a class in the gym – and the power went out.  I had my boom box plugged into the wall unit, so that was a problem.  However, There was a door from the gym into a small “store” within the same building.  So I just yelled for the ladies to keep either jogging in place or doing some of the steps, and I ran to the store and purchased some batteries for my box.  I was able to get them into the box and start up the routine essentially where I left off.

And along that vein – Joanne taught one of her classes in a small gym in another part of the base.  She said she thought the gym manager didn’t want her classes held there, so she was convinced he turned off the power every single class.  So when I filled in for her there, I was ready!  I had the batteries in my boom box, and when the power went off, I just unplugged the power cord from the box and continued on with the batteries.  I don’t think the manager was very happy with me!

~~~~~~~~~~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 and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Aerobics Part 1

9 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

In thinking back to our times in Germany, I am reminded of the years that I taught aerobic dancing.  I have written about this previously, but there are some small details that I didn’t mention.

For instance, we had not been in Heidelberg for very long, when we attended a party for the Weather Wing (my husband Fred, was a meteorologist), and we were introduced to the men and women Fred would be working with there.  One of the wives mentioned that she was going to be attending a new aerobic class in her housing building the next week.  Well, always being interested in exercise, that peaked my interest.  When I asked if there was room for “one more” in the class, she said, “come on!”

I had heard of the Jackie Sorensen® program of exercise – aerobic dancing – literally days before we left the States for Europe.  So when I went to the first class, that was the aerobic dancing program Joanne was teaching.  I had never done any dancing in my life, but was intrigued by the concept of “dancing” as a form of exercise.  I fell in love with the class!  I am a fairly coordinated person, so I took to the steps right away.

After dancing with the group for a few months, Joanne said she needed a partner, as she couldn’t handle all the classes that people wanted.  She chose me to be her partner.  

And so, we set out to make our program as good as possible, naming it “Heidelberg Aerobic Dancing.”  This was our color and logo.

The classes were held either on the military base itself, or in the space above some of the housing units.  For example, we lived on the third floor, and the “space” above our apartment was just empty space.  At one time, I held a small group of classes in that space.  Since it was above our unit, we were disturbing no one else in the building.  I usually held my classes either in the gym, or in the ballroom of what they called “the Casino”…essentially the Officer’s Club on the base.  That particular class had about 50 women in it – we danced most of the dances in a double circle.  It was an evening class, and I actually think I enjoyed that class the most – the women had to face each other and get acquainted.  And usually the women who attend this class were those who worked during the day, and this was their way to get some exercise as well as let off some stress.  It was loads of fun. 

The classes I held in the gym were three days each week.  The man who managed the gym reserved that time for us, and would sit and watch us dance.  He said it was amazing to watch the new-comers learn the steps and eventually we were all doing the same steps at the same time.  The classes in the Casino were only two nights each week.

~~~~~~~~~~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.

Memories of New Years Past

2 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I guess I am just like most people when it comes to New Years – “I AM going to lose those _____ pounds this year!”  “I AM going to get the house in order!”  “I AM going to scan all those pictures and get them in an album!”  etc., etc., etc.

So, resolutions not-with-standing, what are my memories of New Years past?  I guess my favorite memory is of growing up in my church in Albuquerque.

Photo credit First Baptist Church, Albuquerque

For many years, on New Year’s Eve, the church would have a program that started about 6:00 p.m. with a dinner.  Now, this was a fairly large church, and we had a paid staff who made the meals every Wednesday evening, before the regular activities began.  And those ladies made the BEST dinner rolls!!!  Nothing I’ve ever been able to duplicate!

Anyway, dinner started at 6:00 p.m.  After that, I remember either a movie shown on a large screen in the sanctuary, or games.  Perhaps there were games for the smaller children – I just don’t remember.  But then there was a time of “remembrance” or sharing.  Just being thankful for the year that was passing away, and looking forward to the new one approaching.

But the best thing about the entire evening, was that, after the sharing time, we would – literally – ring the outer edges inside the sanctuary, holding hands to make a funny-shaped circle, and pray in the New Year.  We could hear the fireworks going off, and people yelling outside the church building.  But inside, we were asking God to bless the New Year, and us in it, and our part of it.  It was an extremely wonderful time.

And then I remember some New Year’s Eve’s in our small church in Virginia.

Seaford Baptist Church, Seaford, Virginia Oldest buildings

We would gather for a time of sharing and remembrance, then share the Lord’s Supper together, and then pray in the New Year.  I do remember one year that Karen and Brian married (on December 30).  As we were sharing thoughts, I shared that I would have to learn to keep my mouth shut and be a good mother-in-law!  The pastor would try to do the Lord’s Supper differently some times, to make it more meaningful for us.

I remember a time when he had a loaf of bread, and we pinched off our own little piece.  I also remember a time when there was a community cup for each family to share the “wine” (grape juice in the Baptist church!).  

But in all the memories I have, it always culminated with prayer for the New Year.  And I can’t think of a better way to start any New Year, than asking God’s blessings upon it.

May YOUR New Year be blessed beyond measure.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit

Romans 15:13

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.

After Christmas…

26 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

AFTER CHRISTMAS…

I am re-blogging this, as the thoughts in it are so pertinent today…

Christmas is such a joyous time.  I love the decorations – not only at our house – but also those that the neighbors put up.  Ours is rather tame compared to what some of our neighbors put up, but that’s okay…….we have what WE enjoy!

I love the season that reminds us that our Savior was born – to bring us life everlasting in His presence.  I’m sorry that society has made it into something so commercial, that so many people can’t see past the glitter to see God’s handiwork. 

 We received an e-mail from some friends who are working with Wycliffe Bible Translators,

Credit Wycliffe Bible Translators website

 telling of some translators in Nigeria who were working on Luke 2:7, where “She [Mary] gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”  After pondering the word “manger” the locals used a word.  When the Wycliffe translator asked what that word meant, they said it was a “cradle” hung by ropes where the newborn could be laid and it could be swung.

The Wycliffe translator tried to get them to understand that was not what happened – that Jesus came in the lowest possible way, that it wasn’t just a matter of tradition. God expects us to find the words that express the original meaning as accurately as possible. Furthermore, this word tells us something profound about God.  “When He came to live among us and bring salvation to us, He came in the lowliest way possible. He did not come and sleep in a nice rope-hung cradle like every mother wants for her newborn.  Instead, He showed us his unbelievable humility.  So we need to find your best word for an animal feeding trough.”

Suddenly the one who had argued most loudly for the traditional term offered, “We feed our animals out of an old worn-out basket that is not usable anymore except to feed the animals. We have another word for it.”  

And so they used that word.  

That story reminded me of a man in our church who works on the Jesus film for the Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru). 

Credit Campus Crusade for Christ website

 He said that there was a translator working with the team in Africa going from village to village, and he would translate.  But it wasn’t until they took the film to HIS village, and he heard the story in his heart language that he finally understood the message of Christ! 

God has made it so very easy for us to know and find Him.  In the “after-Christmas” we must hang on to the message that God sent his one and only Son to be born in the lowliest way possible, and grow into the man who would die for our sins, so we can live forever in His presence.  

How very great is our God!!  

Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8:9

Credit ChristianArt.com

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.

Christmas Memories

19 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Since Christmas 2021 is this week, I am re-blogging this post.  The memories are still as precious now as then…

Christmas memories……..so many……all good.  I remember, as a child, waking up to Christmas morning and rushing into the living room to see what Santa had brought.  And then to opening all the presents from Mom, Dad, Granny and Aunt Jessie.  I suppose my brother had gotten me something as well, but I just don=t remember that. 

1953 – Bill and me Christmas morning – Albuquerque

Bill and me in Albuquerque

I remember Daddy sitting us down and reading the Christmas story from the Bible.  He and Mom always made sure that we knew the true meaning of Christmas – why we celebrated the season and all the gifts that came with it.  And why we gave gifts to each other and to those who didn=t have all we had.

Daddy
Bill and me, Albuquerque – Christmas morning

I remember one Christmas that we were traveling to San Antonio from Albuquerque to spend the holiday with Granny and Aunt Jessie – before they moved to Albuquerque.  We had a car wreck along the way and Aunt Jessie came to pick us up and take us to her home.  We still had Christmas!  We didn’t have a workable car any more, and Bill had a broken arm……….but we still had Christmas!

Bill and me – San Antonio – in Aunt Jessie’s bed

I remember the last Christmas my Daddy was on this earth.  He’d had a very unfortunate accident in the hospital and was really banged up.  Fred and I flew in from California, and Bill and DiVoran, with their two children, flew in from Florida, to celebrate that time together.  I remember the children tearing into their presents under the tree that morning, and DiVoran stepping out of the way to urge Bill to get in the best position to get some good pictures of that.

Renie and Billy – Bill and DiVoran’s children – Albuquerque

And there was Daddy, with that black eye, just enjoying his grandchildren and children around him.  It was a time to treasure.

The whole gang – Albuquerque – 1966

I remember traveling from the Florida Panhandle to Titusville to have Christmas with my brother and his family, and then across the peninsula to Clearwater to have another celebration with Fred’s parents.  Being with family at this time of celebration is so very precious, and we cherish each memory.

And now I remember a recent time with the family in Titusville and the significant others that have joined the extended family.  I wouldn=t trade it for anything – no amount of non-Christian beliefs and just the time for partying is nearly as satisfying and delicious as being with family, in the Spirit of God’s blessings.

Nope………Christmas Memories are just too precious.  

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.

Random Memories of Germany-Crystal

12 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I am re-blogging this post, as it brings back so many wonderful memories of our time in Germany…

I want to share some precious items we found in Germany.  We had not heard of Swarovski crystal until we returned to Germany for our second tour of duty there (1980-1983).  We were enthralled with the beauty of it!  And while each piece was relatively inexpensive at our U.S. base exchange, we found them to be almost half price at the Canadian exchange in Baden Solingen.  We happened to be there once with Fred’s parents, and our daughters, and I had to borrow some Deutchmarks from my Father-in-law in order to purchase the ones I wanted.  And I did pay him back!

I actually purchased some for myself, as well as duplicates for our girls, so they each have a set of their own.  I suppose they can distribute ours to our grandchildren, when the time comes.

I found some lotus blossom candle holders that I really like, but I can’t use U.S. candles in them.  They are made for European candles, which are thinner-based.  So they sit on a shelf and look pretty.  That’s okay with me.

When we were in Germany, we traveled quite a bit.  One of the places we went, was Innsbruck, Austria.  The Swarovski factory is there, and we thought to pick up some “seconds.”  However, when we asked about “seconds,” the saleslady informed us that they had NO “seconds.”  If there is a flaw in the product, they just re-fire it and make something new.  Well, shucks!  That really put a damper on our outing!

Fred’s parents came to visit us in Germany each year we were there.  During our first tour, Fred’s Dad was involved with the gathering of Baptists in Bertchgaden, in Bavaria, and we joined them there, including my Mother, who was visiting at the time.  We all stayed in the General Walker Hotel at the top of a small mountain at the end of a steep drive.  The large facility was delightful (formerly used by the Nazi’s – named the Platterhof).  There were restaurants and shops within the main building. 

1969-At the General Walker-Left-to right
Judy, Kitty Wills, Karen, Agnes Lites, Charles Wills

Fred’s mother found this beautiful crystal three-sided obelisk.  Each side has a different Christian symbol carved on it.  Here they are:

Of course, I was taken with the obelisk as well, and purchased one for myself.  When Fred’s mother died, I inherited her obelisk, which I have given to one of our daughters.  When I die, the other daughter will get mine.  I think it’s beautiful.

God has been so gracious to us allowing us to live in that wonderful country for a total of six years.  It was a terrific experience, and one I never dreamed I would have.  God is good.

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected

if it is received with thanksgiving,

1 Timothy 4:4 

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.

Are You Missing This Main Ingredient This Christmas

11 Dec

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged 12/11/21 December 10, 2021

December 10, 2021

Last week, hubby and I stood at the customer service line at our local grocery store to return a jar of Vegenaise. OOPS, we had failed to notice it contained soy. As we waited, we observed our line was short compared to the one beside us.

Those in that line wore huge grins as they carried their hope to the counter. They hoped the number they chose would make them lottery winners.

Could it be they secretly hoped it would make them free and happy?

No criticism here.

I was just like them. Although I never once purchased a lottery ticket, I did put hope in things of this world. I hoped my accomplishments would please God. I hoped my performance would gain His favor. And I hoped what I did would lift me up one notch in the well-done-good-and faithful-servant ranking.

We all do that sometimes. We try and try. With the most honorable intentions, we really do. And in the same way heavy ornaments bend the Christmas tree branch, our endless tasks weigh heavy till we begin to droop, too.

At the end of the day, exhausted and frayed, we drag ourselves to bed. We may not realize that God is aware. He possibly peeks through the window of our heart. He sees the reason for our exhaustion—the constant dashes to put up decorations, to place lights everywhere, to grab the best recipe for pumpkin pie, and to wrap those gifts with green and red shiny paper.

Nothing wrong with that, unless we hope that busyness will fill that for which our heart, mind and soul desperately longs.

Could it be that’s the reason folks all over still live in gloom? They serve misplaced hope at every meal. Emptiness becomes their painful companion And, no jingle bells play for those who hope in the Christmas glitter.

Hope Abounds

BUT…. “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

We hope in the Christ of Christmas. That’s why we’ll never faint. We’ll never grow weary. We stand in line with a heart overflowing with hope, hope in God alone. That’s when we receive more than we expect, more abundance than any lottery, and more riches than our heart can hold.

And with hope firmly planted in the God of the universe, we walk away with armfuls of reassurance. Confident and secure, we join the Christmas choir that sings: the eyes of the Lord are upon me. I fear the Lord so I trust in His unfailing love (Psalm 33:18 paraphrased).

Once the Christmas tree is put away, the decorations are back in their boxes and leftovers are in the fridge, our only hope still turns to His unfailing love. Our hope increases in His promise that tomorrow is already planned for us. In the hope that our future is safe and guarded by His protection.

True celebration sparks when we open the gift of hope wrapped in His love. We find it overflowing with comfort for lonely moments. Satisfaction for our emptiness. And food for our hungry soul.

Let’s Pray

Father, as seasons come and go, I thank You for Your gift of hope that shines every day, increases every year, and always sustains me. In Jesus’ name.

Where will you place your hope this Christmas?

Janet

______________________________________

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Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

West Berlin

5 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I am re-blogging this post, as it brings back so many wonderful memories of Germany…

We had some amazing experiences during our times in West Germany.  We saw so many wonderful sights while there.  So much history, as well.

One of our favorite cities to visit was West Berlin.  At the time we were there, The Wall (Der Maur) was still in place.  And, unfortunately, the Brandenberg Gate was in the Russian Zone, or East Berlin.  We were unable to get close to it. [1967-1970]

I later spoke to a German national who said she just couldn’t imagine living in such an “enclosed” place as West Berlin.  I tried to assure her that it didn’t FEEL enclosed.  The American Zone was quite open and free.  I don’t think I was very convincing.  She just had to experience it for herself.

As we walked around the city, we came upon a fascinating piece of old Germany – a very old hand-watering pump.  Apparently, anyone who knew about it, could bring their car/wagon/etc. there and get free water to wash whatever they had – as long as they were willing to hand-pump the water.  Not something you see around the U.S.

My Mother had come to Germany to visit us that year (May 1969) and we delighted in taking her places that I know she only dreamed of ever seeing.  We happened to be in West Berlin during the celebration of the 20thanniversary of the Berlin Airlift.    The German people had erected a monument to that occasion, and the celebration took place in front of the hotel where we stayed.  The monument is three-pronged, representing the American, British, and French efforts to keep the free German people from starving and out of Russian/Communist hands.  It was a tremendous success.  

Another site that impacted me greatly was in the heart of downtown West Berlin, along the Kurfurstendam, affectionately known by the locals as the Kudam, which is the main shopping street in downtown West Berlin.  After the colossal disaster of World War 2, the German people decided to leave a reminder to themselves of the cost of pride and war.  They left standing the bombed-out shell tower of the Kaiser Wilhelm church.  And built right next to it a beautiful and modern new church and church tower.  While the new structure is impressive, it cannot be fully appreciated until one is inside.  The all-glass bricks are a cobalt blue, and with the sun shining through those bricks – well, all I can say is, it’s breath-taking.  And peaceful. And amazing.  And I’ve run out of adjectives already.  

~~~~~~~~~~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.

Random Memories of Germany-Figures

28 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I am re-blogging this piece, as it is a wonderful memory we have of Germany.

…There were several things that interested us while we were in Germany.  All those years before that we lived in Wiesbaden (1967-1970) , we had never heard of the Kaiser company (founded 1872..became Kaiser in 1928) that produced porcelain figurines.  But when we arrived in Heidelberg (1980-1983), that was the rage – to have some figurines by Kaiser.  We found several that we liked and purchased them for ourselves.  And some we purchased for our family.  For instance, my Aunt Jessie loved dogs, and especially poodles.  So we purchased this poodle for her.  Following her death, I reclaimed it.

And this little Scottie just took my fancy – he’s got such a happy expression, don’t you think?

These dolphins reached out to me, so I purchased them.  Kaiser has several different versions of the dolphins.  I liked the two set best.  Some were glazed (shiny) but I liked the unglazed better.

I think this squirrel is quite the cutie.

But this little bunny rabbit looks so much like Thumper from the Disney movie Bambi®, that I had to have him in my collection!  He’s adorable!!

We have a couple of nudies that appealed to us, and here they are.

I don’t have pictures of them, but my Aunt Jessie had several Kaiser figurines of gymnasts.  Our Janet has them now, as she was quite interested in being a gymnast herself.  They are quite delicate and beautiful.

Our Karen has a Mother and Child figurine, and a running horse with her colt – all made by Kaiser.  Here they are in a picture of them on her fireplace mantle.

As you can see, all of those Kaiser figurines are white bisque.  While we saw many of the same figurines that had been painted, for some reason, I liked the plain white much better.  However, there was one figurine that we purchased that couldn’t be anything but painted.  It is so delicate and beautiful, and we treasure it.

Another type of figurine that caught our attention was those made by Lladro (Spanish pronunciation – yah’ – drow).  Many of their “human” figurines are rather grotesquely elongated – definitely not proportioned, and did not appeal to us at all.  However, the figurines they made of animals were something that did appeal to us.  My family purchased them for me and gave them to me as Christmas presents two different years.  I enjoy them so much, and am thankful to have them.  They were rather expensive, even in Germany.

One other figurine type we purchased when we were in Wiesbaden, and have enjoyed them all these years.  They are Dresden “musical angels,” with each one having a different musical instrument.  Two seem to be the same, but after looking closely, you will see that one is praying for her sister instrumentalists (far right – hands closer together), while the other one is directing the music (far left – hands more apart).  I have treasured these figurines for over 40 years.

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.

Random Memories of Germany-The Wood Carver

14 Nov

MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I am re-blogging this piece, as it is a wonderful memory we have of Germany.

….Someone told us about a Master Woodcarver in Oberammergau, and insisted that we visit his house/workshop.  Fred was chosen to attend a NATO school in Oberammergau.  So we hired a single friend to stay with the girls in Heidelberg, and I went with Fred to the school.  Again, we stayed in a B&B, and I was able to explore the town while he was in classes at the school.

As I explored, I found the house of the Master Woodcarver.  His wife seemed pleased to have me invite myself to their house, and took me to his workshop, where he was working on one of his creations.  To say I was entralled would be an understatement, for sure!  He could carry on a complete conversation and continue to carve at the same time – without missing a beat or a stroke!

They showed me samples of his work – different sizes and different themes.  They told me that the tourist shops in town had offered him exhorbatant commissions, if he would just allow them to sell his craft/product in their stores.  He rejected them all.  The only time he allowed his product to be in their stores was when he was carving a very large (sometimes life-sized) piece, and needed their large machine to work a particular piece.  Their bargaining chip was – “you can use our equipment, but we get to sell (blank) number of your works in the store.”

I was in love.  I purchased two pieces of his art, and have enjoyed them all these years since.  In later years, when my Mother came for a visit, we took her to Oberammergau, and to the carver’s house.  She purchased another one – a “happy” monk with a beer stein in his hand.  They told us that, the larger the size of the monk, the “happier” he appeared!  I was given that piece when she passed away.

We had dinner in the NATO Club several evenings while on that trip.  While looking around the shop within the Club, I found a wood carving of an eagle – one of my favorite creatures.  And guess who the artisan was!!  That’s right – my favorite Master Woodcarver!  It is now hanging on my wall above the door.

When my best friend came to visit from Panama City, Florida, we took her to Oberammergau, and – of course! – to the woodcarvers house.  The lady of the house told us that he had been commissioned to do two life-sized pieces for a Catholic Church in Panama City!  The next time I visited her, we went to that church to see the statues.  They were magnificent!

So many items we were able to purchase while in Europe, to remind us of our times there, and the places we visited.  But these wood carvings are some of our most favorite pieces and memories.

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.

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