Tag Archives: Military family life

Random Memories of Germany

21 Feb

Wiesbaden-Part 5

Italy

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I don’t remember the exact route of our trip…I just remember places where we were along the way.  Remember from last week, I mentioned that the other Americans in our B&B in Oberammergau was the pastor from a Baptist church in Kaiserslautern?

First Baptist Church-Kaiserlautern, Germany

Well, believe it or not, we ran into that same group when we were in Pisa, Italy!!  Small world, indeed.

I was fascinated by Pisa and the Leaning Tower.  I was amazed that it was still standing, especially at the angle it is leaning.  And to think that it is STILL standing in 2021!! 

Judy in front of the Leaning Tower – 1970

I realize a lot has been done to shore it up and keep it upright, but still…..  We made another trip to Italy with our girls in 1982, and our Janet climbed up to the top of the tower!  But she always was the more adventurous of all of us.

1982 – Janet in the pink jacket at the top of the Leaning Tower

I was nearly as amazed by the Baptistry near the cathedral, as I was the Leaning Tower. 

1982 – The Baptistry next to the church – Janet in the foreground

It is an amazing building.  And according to this picture we took, the Baptistry seems to be “leaning” a bit, as well!  I guess the ground in that area is not very stable!

We had been told about a shop in Pisa that had marble pieces, and we found it.  We purchased two marble lamp stands that we still have with us today. 

1982 – The Baptistry next to the church – Janet in the foreground

I found some marble “fruit” that I liked and have today as well – along with an alabaster “egg.” 

Marble fruit – quite realistic looking, I think

 And I found some “tumbling angels (or should I say cherubs)” that are made out of some kind of composition material.

The tumbling angels (cherubs) – from right to left

I have enjoyed having all of these things.  And so our trip to Pisa was a grand success!

Again, I don’t exactly remember where we traveled in Italy.  I just remember that we hit Venice,

St. Mark’s Square
The Bridge of Sighs

and Florence (my favorite!!), and Trieste.  

Michelangelo’s David

Fred and his family lived in Trieste following World War 2, and we were able to find the building where his family lived.  They lived in the “mezzanine” of this building – just under the arches of the arcade.  Here is a picture taken by Fred’s dad in 1950,

and now one we took on our trip

As a “footnote” to this story, our Karen and her husband Brian, on one of their trips to Europe, found the same building in Trieste, and Karen was able to point it out to Brian and tell her Dad’s story.  Amazing how that works, hmmm?

I remember we drove along the Appian Way – all those trees along the way.  

We also stopped see Lake Como. Beautiful.

~~~~~~~~~~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

31 Jan

BERLIN – PART 3

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

One of the things we did while in Berlin, in 1983 when we went with our daughters, was to visit the Olympic Stadium, site of the 1936 Olympics.  It was an impressive stadium, but rightly so, I guess, since Hitler wanted to show how the Aryan race was superior, and how “friendly” and welcoming Nazi Germany was.  USA runner Jesse Owens most certainly squashed that theory!

Das Olympia-Stadion in Berlin

Photo credit Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R82532 / CC-BY-SA 3.0 Photographer – Hoffman

We took only a few pictures of the stadium. 

Here Karen, Janet and I are standing in front of the pillars.  If you look in the professional picture, you will see those same pillars in there.  It was an AMAZING structure.

One of our favorite structures in Berlin was the Brandenberg Gate.  Of course, when we saw it, it was in East Berlin, behind the Berlin Wall.  The best we could see it was on the tour bus, which puts us up higher than in a car, or walking.

When Fred and I, along with Karen, went to West Berlin in 1969, one of the places we visited was the Berlin Baptist Church – an English speaking Baptist church within the city.

After the service, Berlin Baptist Church – 1969

It was so refreshing to know that there was a body of believers there who worshiped together.  As I recall, as we were in the service, the regular pianist was out for some reason, and they were desperate for someone to play the piano.  Since I was doing that at our church in Wiesbaden, I volunteered to play for them.  It was an honor to play, and they seemed to enjoy having the instrument to help them sing along.

One other thing we enjoyed doing was just walking around the city.  Here is a picture of Karen and me during that visit in 1969, in front of the Congress Hall (Kongresshalle).  

Karen was just two years old at this time.  And did I mention that she and I went with Fred for his two-week TDY (temporary duty) at that time?  That’s how we were able to see and do so much of that I’m sharing with you.

I do remember once, in 1983, as we were walking with Karen and Janet, that Fred decided that, since it took so little time to go via the U-bahn (underground rapid transit system), that it shouldn’t be too far between stops.

Credit Google Search and Wikipedia

So we walked between two stops – and it probably took us nearly an hour to do that!!  That little train just whizzes along, but the distance is MUCH farther than we thought!  We were all exhausted by the time we got to the second stop.  As I looked at our girls faces, they both had the exact same tired expression on their faces!  Well, to make a short story long….we rode the U-bahn from then on!  We did our fair share of walking, but not when we needed to get from one place to another in a short period of time!  Whew!

~~~~~~~~~~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

17 Jan

BERLIN – PART 2

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

We always enjoyed our time in Berlin.  As I’ve mentioned in other posts, we never found a distasteful meal in Germany – ANYwhere in Germany!  And we found some of the best food at the Gasthauses where we stopped in small towns.  Our daughters didn’t understand that, until we told them that, in order to stay in business, they had to have good food, that the local people would enjoy and be repeat customers.  If the food was bad, the locals wouldn’t return.  And so we looked for out-of-the-way places to eat as we traveled.

As for Berlin, I don’t remember much about where and what we ate while in Berlin.  Only one instance that has stayed with me.  It was back in 1969, and Fred had a TDY (Temporary Duty) in Berlin, as the replacement for the Meteorologist at the Weather Station in Berlin, while that officer was on vacation.

Templehof Airport – Base Operations where Fred worked in the Weather Station

It was to be a two-week TDY, so Karen and I went with Fred.  Karen was just two years old at the time.  We were staying in the Columbia House hotel at Tempelhof Airport.  

I must add here our method of travel to Berlin from Wiesbaden.  We decided to take the train – which was a troop train. 

Credit Pixabay

We had heard stories of the train trip, but it wasn’t until we were actually on the train that they came to life.  We had a sleeping compartment, which was good.  However, there were about three or four stops along the way – probably going through the Russian Zone and checkpoints.  In any case, our train driver seemed to take great delight in….mmm perhaps trying to slam on the brakes at these stops!  We very nearly rolled right out of those beds each time he jerked us to a stop!  It was NOT a fun trip!  Fortunately, Karen slept right through it!

I don’t remember just what we had done that day, but for some reason, I remember that I was feeling rather ill that evening at supper time (it felt like either a cold coming on, or the flu).  There was a restaurant within the hotel, which was convenient for us, especially having a two-year-old with us at the time.  I believe all the servers, as well as the cooks in the restaurant, were German nationals.  When our server asked what I would like to eat, I informed him that I really wasn’t that hungry, and why.  His face lit up and he told me that he had “just the thing” to get me over it!   He returned with a bowl of the best-tasting lentil soup I’ve ever had! 

Credit Pixabay

It was mostly broth, with the lentils and a few shredded vegetable thrown in.  (As an aside – I’ve tried all these years since to find a recipe for lentil soup that even sounds like that soup tasted!  All with no success)  

After I finished the soup and started to head back to our room, he approached me with a tray that had a cup, some tea bags, with lemon and sweetener, and enough boiling water to make two cups.

Credit Pixabay

He told me to take it to our room and be sure I drank both cups before I went to bed that night.  Which I did.  By the next morning – I was back to normal!!  The soup and tea did the trick!  The following night, at supper, I thanked him profusely!  He went above and beyond his “duty” as server, to help me, and I was so very grateful.  I have always remembered his kindness.

~~~~~~~~~~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

10 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Berlin-Part 1

We were able to visit Berlin several times while we lived in Germany – during each of our tours of duty in Germany.  We marveled at what we saw, each time we visited.  I remember (but not exactly when) I was describing being in Berlin and how much we enjoyed it, to the lady doing my hair.  I believe she was a German girl, working in the American beauty shop on base.  Her response surprised me, in that she said she didn’t think she could live in Berlin, since it was so “closed in” with the wall surrounding it.  And that thought surprised me!  I told her that Berlin was beautiful and felt quite “open” and not closed in at all!  But she was firm in her belief.  I was sorry I was unable to convince her.  The very air in Berlin feels like “hope” and freedom.

Our first visit was when my Mother came to Germany for a two-week visit in May, 1969.  We stayed in the hotel near Tempelhof Airport.

1969 – Tempelhof Airport.  U.S. Air Forces – Tempelhof  Central Airport

We were curious to see some sort of monument in front of the hotel, and later learned that it was a memorial to the Berlin Airlift.  And not only that, but it happened to be the 20th anniversary of the airlift.  The airlift, resulting from the Soviet blockade of the city in 1948, is quite a story unto itself.  I will not retell that story here, but would encourage my readers to Google “Berlin Airlift” and read about it there.  It was a major event in the Cold War, and Tempelhof was a major part of the story.

1969 – The Berlin Airlift Memorial monument. Judy in bright pink, Mother in blue.

We took a bus tour – to see the high points of the city, before we struck out on our own.  The Berlin Wall was up by that time, and we were unable to see the East side of Berlin, as it was controlled by the Soviet Union.  The difference between East and West Berlin was startling.  West Berlin was a modern, beautiful city, while the East side looked like a war zone still.  Amazing!

1969 – Looking into East Berlin from Checkpoint Charlie

One thing, especially, that fascinated me, was the ruins of Kaiser Wilhelm Kirche – right next to the new, beautiful Kirche.  I don’t have pictures of the new church during that time, so I don’t remember whether or not we went into the new church that visit.  But we did during our visit with our daughters in 1983.  It’s really beautiful.

Credit Google Search and art-days.com

It is along one of the main streets of West Berlin, Kurfurstendam, affectionately known as Ku’dam.

1969 – Looking down the Ku’dam at the old and new church

I had wondered why the ruins of the church were left there in the middle of the town.  I was told that the German people wanted it left – as a reminder of what war had done to their country – twice!  And to never instigate war again.  It is a vivid reminder!

The original Kaiser Wilhelm Kirche

Credit Google Search and Culture of Readers Journey – Edublogs

But there are some wonderful things to see there, as well.  We went to the Charlottenburg Palace.

1969 – The Charlottenburg Palace

1969 – The Charlottenburg Palace manicured grounds

In addition to all the “royal” stuff one might expect to see, we saw the original bust of Nefertiti in the museum.  There is much speculation as to why she is in Germany and not Egypt, but that’s another story, too.

1969 – the original Nefertiti bust

Walking along a lovely city street, we came upon an old hand-watering pump.  Apparently it is free water to any and all, and it looked like it was used by many to wash their cars there!  We showed it to our girls in our 1983 visit, as well.  Little things like that fascinate me!

1969 – the old hand-watering pump

1983 – the same pump. Karen, Judy and Janet

~~~~~~~~~~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

3 Jan

The Doctor

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

When we lived in Heidelberg (1980-1983), we lived in an apartment building, furnished by the U.S. government.

Our apartment building – ours was the upper left, on the end

The dormer windows to the right were the maids rooms windows

It was a three-bedroom, one bathroom, living room/dining room combination room, and kitchen.  In our particular housing area (Mark Twain Village, or affectionately known as MTV), the buildings had “maids rooms” above one side of the stairwell – one room for each of the apartments in that stairwell – and the other side of the stairwell was open space.  We lived under the side that had the open space.  The maids room consisted of two twin beds, a desk with chair, and a wardrobe.  There was one bathroom along the hall for use by all the maids rooms.  That’s where we housed visitors that came to us.  Fortunately, I had grown up sleeping on twin beds, and had two twin bedspreads that fit nicely.  Unfortunately, that room became our “junk” room until someone came to visit, then we had to clean it out rather quickly.  But it worked.  Also, down in the basement were the washers and dryers (for the entire stairwell), and “cages” for anything we couldn’t fit in our apartment – bicycles, etc.

I don’t remember a lot of turn-over with occupants in the stairwell, while we were there.  That was a good thing.  The family living below us consisted of a military man and his wife, who was from France.  She was an excellent cook, and showed me many things that the French people cooked.  Unfortunately, none of it lasted with me!

Below this family, and on the first floor, lived a military doctor and his family.  He had grown up living in Brazil with his missionary parents, and spoke fluent Portuguese, as that is the language of that country.  He also spoke English.  His wife was Brazilian.  They attended our church.  I taught their oldest daughter the piano for a while.  She was amazing!!  His name was Dr. Lipsi.

There are two events that involved Dr. Lipsi while we were there:

1.  One day I was in our kitchen, with Janet, and was cutting some soft cheese for some snacks.

Credit Pixabay

Since it was soft cheese, and I was using a new cheese cutter (like the one in the picture), I “pushed” the cheese forward with my thumb.  Janet’s eyes grew wide and she exclaimed…”OH!!”  When I looked at my hand, I realized I had sliced quite a chunk off my thumb!  It was fairly deep, but I hadn’t even felt it!  I wrapped it in a towel, putting pressure on it, and ran down to see Dr. Lipsi.  He very generously took came of it – telling me to “keep pressure on it!”  Like I was about to let go!!

2.  Our Karen had started wearing contact lenses while we were in Heidelberg.

1980 – Judy, Janet and Karen with friends in D.C., before going to Germany

Karen in her glasses

1982 – Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany, inside the Eagle’s Nest

Karen in contact lenses; Judy’s mother, Judy, Janet

One evening, as she was about to go out with friends, she came dashing back into the apartment in tears, saying that the wind had blown one of her contact lenses out of her eye, and she couldn’t find it!  She was in a panic about it, but fortunately, had a spare lense.  So she inserted it, and left with her friends.  When Dr. Lipsi heard the commotion, we told him the situation.  He took his flashlight, went outside, and FOUND THAT LENSE – in the dark evening, ON A BUSH!!  What persistence!!  We were so grateful.  We had just given up and thought it was gone for good.  WOW!

~~~~~~~~~~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

15 Nov

Wiesbaden-Part 1

SUNDAY MEMORIES

My husband, Fred, joined the U.S. Air Force following his college and seminary education.

While he had intended to go into full-time ministry, God had other plans for him.  He was sent to San Jose, California to attend a year’s study/training in meteorology at San Jose State College (now University).  

Credit Google Search and San Jose State University website

During our stay in California, he received follow-on orders to Wiesbaden, West Germany.  He was to be assigned to the Weather Unit there, for the Air Force.  We were both excited about the prospect of living in Germany.  I had never been out of the U.S. (except for a couple of visits to Mexico as a teenager), so this was an exciting time for me.

I was pregnant with our first child at the time we left for Germany, and was a bit concerned when our baby stopped moving after we arrived on German soil.  However, I think she was just tired from that 8-hour flight – as was I – because she picked up the pace after a good rest!

We delighted in Germany.  We were unable to get into American housing right away, and lived “on the economy” the first year we were there.  That was an amazing experience, as well.  We found a house that rented to Americans, and we lived on the entire second floor of this house. 

1967 – Wiesbaden, Germany – Upstairs is our apartment – with the balcony

We didn’t have any furniture, so we were glad to find this house was furnished, since we were only allotted 2,000 pounds of “furnishings” by the U.S. government.  We purchased a car (actually two separate cars while there), and set up for living.

There was a lot about Wiesbaden we loved.  We lived just down the street from a beautiful park.  Fred and I would take walks through the park, and later, after our Karen was born, we would take her on buggy walks through the park.  The German people – especially the women – would stop us and ohhh and ahhh over Karen, and we were pleased.  

The park where we walked

We had originally decided to attend the military base chapel on Sundays, since Fred had grown up in chapel, and his father was an Air Force chaplain, but give our tithe to the English-speaking Baptist Church we found in town.  However, after visiting the church a few times, some of the members of the church, convinced us that we should indeed, be members of that little church.  And so we did.  While there, they moved from the “cellar” where they met, into a more up-to-date building.  I began playing the piano for that congregation during that time, and played until we left Germany.  That’s where we met Frau Katie.  Quoting myself from another post I wrote about Wiesbaden:

There was a nursery there [in the church], that was manned by a lady they called Frau Katie.  I think she really took a shine to us, since I would take Karen down to the nursery and nurse her.  That was when a lot of American women were against nursing their babies, and only using bottles.  In any case, Karen became a favorite of hers.

Karen and Frau Katie

On one of our last trips before we rotated stateside, we asked Frau Katie to stay with Karen while we were gone.  We later discovered that she was teaching Karen to speak German!  That gave Karen a head-start on German when we returned to Germany 10 years later.

~~~~~~~~~~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

8 Nov

Paris Part 2

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I think the most memorable trip was the bus trip we made to Paris with the girls in 1981 over New Year’s into 1982.  The first complaint we had was that, when we boarded the bus,

Credit Pixabay

we found that a lot of the single soldiers traveling together, had each wanted a window seat, leaving only one seat on the aisle for someone else.

On the bus

Therefore, when we found two seats together, we took that one.  The remaining two seats together were at the back of the bus.  Okay, that’s not much of a problem, except that was the “smoking section” on the bus, which was laughable.

Credit Pixabay

I mean, come-on – ANY smoking on a BUS would contaminate the entire bus.  But Fred was violently opposed to sitting among all that smoke, so I volunteered to sit in the back with one of our daughters.  The girls weren’t too pleased with the situation, and traded seats with each other quite often.  I especially remember that, being winter and cold weather, we had our coats and gloves with us.  And the girls would sit with my leather glove across their noses the entire time they sat in the back with me – they really couldn’t stand all that smoke!

Credit Pixabay

Also, on the trip home from Paris, quite a few of those riding with us, especially in the back of the bus, had been drinking.  I guess they had found a New Year’s party somewhere.  They were quite tipsy and loud – they particularly enjoyed doing the “Funky Chicken” over and over with much hilarious laughter.  I remember telling Karen, who was sitting with me at the time, that “this is real life – this is not a made-up movie to show you what drunk people are supposed to look like.”  She looked at me and stated that “they are stupid…and silly…and I will NEVER get drunk!!”  And she never did.  It was a great teaching moment.

But that story gets us away from our time in Paris.  We loved staying in the hotel, and the breakfasts they gave us of French bread, butter and jam,

Credit Pixabay

and the croissants (sigh)!  We just wished they had allotted us more than one croissant!  They were delicious!!

Credit Pixabay

We went to the Louvre, and spent quite a bit of time there.          

The Louvre with small arch

 We went up the Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower – Judy, Karen and Janet

We walked along the Trocadero and we told the girls about our 1969 visit to Paris, and the fountain with jets shooting water across the fountain.  

The Trocadero and water canons

We showed them  the statues we had seen along the Trocadero in 1969.

The Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero

 We went inside the Notre Dame and showed them the beautiful Rose Window with its stained glass.

We went to and inside Versailles, and took in all its beauty. 

 We saw Napoleon’s tomb. 

Napoleon’s Tomb

 We walked along the Champs Élysées and admired all the stores and the Arc de Triomphe.  We didn’t dare attempt to get to the Arc, as the traffic was suicidal!

The Arc in the setting sun…beautiful!

But, all in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Paris.  It was thrilling to us to know that we were in that beautiful country, and all the history that had passed through that lovely city and country.  If Fred and I ever go back to France, there are other places I would like to visit – Normandy, Marseille, Toulouse (mainly because my father stayed in Toulouse following WW1 for one year, and studied at the university there), Avignon, and just the French countryside.

Whether or not that comes to be, is anyone’s guess.  Well, I guess I should say that if it is God’s will, we will go there.  Otherwise, I’ll just be pleased God allowed us to see as much of France – and the world – that we did.  I am grateful.

~~~~~~~~~~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.

Treasures From Germany~Part 5

27 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

In previous postings, I mentioned that one of our very favorite cities in Germany to visit was Rothenburg. It is a walled city, that has existed by name since 1170 A.D. While we didn’t know all the Nazi history of Rothenburg, we still loved the city. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

In March 1945 in World War II, German soldiers were stationed in Rothenburg to defend it. On March 31, bombs were dropped over Rothenburg by 16 planes, killing 37 people and destroying 306 houses, six public buildings, nine watchtowers, and over 2,000 feet (610 m) of the wall. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy knew about the historic importance and beauty of Rothenburg, so he ordered US Army General Jacob L. Devers not to use artillery in taking Rothenburg. Battalion commander Frank Burke (Medal of Honor) ordered six soldiers of the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division to march into Rothenburg on a three-hour mission and negotiate the surrender of the town….When stopped by a German soldier, Private Lichey, who spoke fluent German and served as the group’s translator, held up a white flag and explained, “We are representatives of our division commander. We bring you his offer to spare the city of Rothenburg from shelling and bombing if you agree not to defend it. We have been given three hours to get this message to you. If we haven’t returned to our lines by 1800 hours, the town will be bombed and shelled to the ground.” The local military commander Major Thömmes gave up the town, ignoring the order of Hitler for all towns to fight to the end and thereby saving it from total destruction by artillery. American troops of the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division occupied the town on April 17, 1945, and in November 1948, McCloy was named Honorable Protectorate of Rothenburg. After the war, the residents of the city quickly repaired the bombing damage. Donations for the rebuilding were received from all over the world. The rebuilt walls feature commemorative bricks with donor names. Traffic-reducing measures were put in place in a significant portion of Rothenburg to increase safety and accommodate tourism.

Since our days in Wiesbaden (1967-1970), we had visited Rothenburg, and collected etchings that we liked, and had them framed. Here are some of them.

 

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Here are some recent pictures of Rothenburg that we enjoy:

 

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

Treasures from Germany~Part 3

6 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

More treasures we found in Germany. We discovered, while in Heidelberg, that an art form had started. Sorry, I can’t recall the name of it right now. But artists would take old objects (such as this coal carrier) and paint it. It is now an umbrella stand in our house

 

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Or they would take things like this flan form and paint it. It also hangs on our wall.

 

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It is such a unique, and beautiful form of painting, and we enjoy these items so much. However, with all the crafty things that I do, painting is NOT one of them. Everyone kept saying how easy it was to do – just swirls and commas, and dots. But I knew I would never be able to duplicate what they did. So I just purchased their wares, and enjoy the end product.

This particular item is loved in our house, but we didn’t pick it up while in Germany. Actually, our Karen found it in downtown Chicago some years ago, and knew that we would enjoy it. Those of you who have visited Heidelberg, know that it is the gate to the old city – another landmark, if you will, other than the castle ruins itself. But it sits on a shelf in our kitchen, fully lit from the inside, 24/7, and reminds us of our time there every time we see it (or dust it!).

 

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And speaking of Heidelberg, shortly after we arrived in that great city, I found this framed photograph, in a shop. I loved it on sight, and purchased it. Through the years, the photo has faded to more yellows and browns, so I had it “restored” to its original colors. We thoroughly enjoy it.

 

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While we were in Heidelberg, I kept seeing a set of porcelain that intrigued me. I had a set of china that my brother had brought back from Japan years before Fred and I married, and I had a set of ironstone that we used every day. And then there was the antique Haviland china set that my Aunt Jessie found at an estate sale in Albuquerque many years ago, that I acquired at her death. But this porcelain set…well, it just kept eating at me. So finally, I told Fred that I would be happy with a tea set of it, and we purchased it.   It is called Burgund, and is produced by Goebel, the same company that produces Hummel figurines. However, before we left Germany, I told Fred that I had lied….I wanted the entire dinner set! Dishes! Plates! Serving pieces! Just ALL of it! And so we purchased it, and we use it quite often. I think it’s a beautiful set. Here is the covered serving bowl, just to give you an idea of the design of the porcelain.

 

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One little side note about the Burgund: as I was unpacking all the dishes, and checking off the invoice, I discovered that the store had not charged me for the 12 saucers. So I took the invoice back to the store and, in my halting German, tried to explain what had happened. They didn’t understand at first, thinking I was saying they had overcharged me. I was finally able to make them understand that, no, I had not paid for those saucers, and I was there to make things right! They were so happy to take my money that they gave me the salt and pepper shakers free! I told Fred that I never wanted anyone to think that ALL Americans were ugly Americans! Perhaps I helped that view in at least one store in Heidelberg!

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

 

 

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