Tag Archives: Military Life

Random Memories of German-Pianos and Such

2 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I believe I’ve mentioned in previous musings, that I had piano training from the day I started first grade until I graduated from high school.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I was a prodigy.  I believe God gave me a talent for music – and the piano in particular – but I was not given the “gift” of music.  I can play, but I always must have a piece of music in front of me – I am unable to play “by ear” as so many can and do.  I am grateful for what I have, and rejoice with those who have the gift of music, and I enjoy their talents.

But that’s not what this post is about.  There has almost always been a piano in my life.  I grew up with a piano in my house.  I remember always having an old upright piano at home.

1950 – Judy at the old upright piano

Then in 1952, when I was just 11 years old, my parents purchased a new piano.  That’s the one I still have.

1952 – the new piano

1952 – Judy at the new piano

When I went away for college, there wasn’t one.  And when Fred and I married, there was no room in our little apartment for a piano, even if we could have afforded to buy one.

But following the death of my father, my mother re-married after some years, and they moved into an apartment, with no room for the piano.  So I inherited that piano – and it still sits in my living room now.  But it wasn’t until the early 1970’s that I acquired it.

2020 – at home in Orlando, Florida

When Fred and I went to Germany (Wiesbaden) in 1967, we joined a small English-speaking church there.  Soon I was asked to be the church pianist.  And so, after we moved from the economy housing to government quarters, we rented a piano from a company in town.  We were amazed to find that those who brought the piano up three flights of stairs….were two older gentlemen!  They had some sort of straps around their backs, and the end of the straps – in front of them – had a large “hook” at the bottom that fitted under each end of the piano.  We couldn’t believe our eyes when those two men – one on each end of the piano – bent, then lifted – and the piano came up!  They carried that piano those three flights of stairs like it was a walk in the park!!  And two years later, when we left Wiesbaden, they carried it down those same three flights of stairs, like they were carrying something as light as a feather!  No grunts or groans from them!  Amazing!

Ten years later, when we moved to Heidelberg, Germany,

it was during a time when the government was allowing more than 2,000 pounds of household goods to be shipped, so we, essentially, brought our entire household with us.  Well, most of it, anyway.  We knew there would be washers and driers available to us, so we left ours in storage.  However, my piano came with us!  I honestly don’t remember the trip up – once again it was three flights of stairs.

Christmas 1982 – Karen in front of the piano in our quarters

But the trip down, three years later, was something else.  No strong older gentlemen this time, but it took five hefty men with many straps around and under the piano to get it down the stairs.  If you will look at the picture below, you will see large windows at each landing.

Well, on the way down, a couple of the men simply just gave up their jobs and let the piano go to the other three.  It happened on the stairway, not the landing, and I had visions of my piano flying down the rest of the stairs and straight out that landing window – and onto the sidewalk below – smashing into a million pieces! Fortunately, the other three men were strong enough to hold the piano in place until the other two could gather their strength again, and carry the thing the rest of the way down.  Whew!

And one last tidbit about that piano.  It was made by Everett, and instead of a wooden pegboard, it had a metal pegboard.  That made the instrument VERY heavy!  As it was being off-loaded at our new house in Virginia – again with FIVE men carrying it – they

got if off the truck and had to stop and catch their breath!  Then they got it to the bottom of the stairs going into our house.  Again they had to stop.  One of the gentlemen asked: “who plays this thing?”  I replied that both my girls and I did.  He then said, “that’s a good thing, because if this was just a piece of furniture, we would leave it right here!”  Fortunately, they didn’t, and it made it into our living room.

1992 – Seaford, Virginia – Judy and Mom in front of the piano

~~~~~~~~~~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-The Bakery

26 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

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

I’ve mentioned in previous musings about the Bakery that was just around the corner from the housing area where we lived.  I made many trips just to visit that bakery (Bäckerei in German).  I have many fond memories of going into that store and “speaking” with the lady who owned it.  I spoke a little German…she spoke a little English, and so we were able to communicate fairly well with each other.  She was a delightful lady.

One thing I enjoyed the most about her was the way she treated her customers.  For instance, the first year we were in Heidelberg, Fred’s parents came to visit (which they did each year we were there).  Wanting to show them all the wonderful things about Heidelberg, we took them to the bakery.  I introduced them to the owner.  I told her that they really loved to eat raisin bread (Rosinenbrot), and she produced a loaf.  We ate off that loaf for a few days.  But the really fun thing is that every following year, when Fred’s parents visited, and we went to that bakery, she remembered them – greeting them with smiles and handshakes – and presenting a loaf of raisin bread.  She remembered not only the couple, but what they enjoyed eating!  Great lady!

I remember going in there one day in the Spring, and she had set out samples of an onion tart she had made.  Onions grew abundantly in the area, and she made the best of it.  It was a delicious taste – but I can’t remember whether or not I purchased an entire “pie” to take home.  I probably did, because I knew Fred would enjoy it.

Another memory of the bakery – as mentioned in other posts, I had started teaching aerobic dancing while in Heidelberg.  My partner and I had set up a contest among our students, to make a design that depicted our logo.  We had several entries, and chose one top winner,

The winner of our logo

 and one runner-up.  As it happened, I went from one of my classes, still wearing my aerobic outfit, to the bakery before heading home.  The owner of the bakery asked about the shirt (Heidelberg Aerobic Dancing) and I tried to tell her it was an exercise class, but made use of “dance” instead of just exercises.  And so I told her it was “tance…aber….gymnastic” (dance…but…gymnastics).  She seemed to get the idea.  I just hoped I had said it right!

 One of the best memories of the bakery, was what I did for Fred’s birthday, the last one before we left Germany.  I had frequently purchased just slices of her famous cream pie (like a cream cheese pie, lemony flavor and mildly sweet), and other goodies.  One day I was in there, when someone ordered a Black Forest Cake for a birthday.  That gave me the idea for Fred’s birthday.  I was able to order and purchase a small Black Forest Cake (about 8″ diameter), and asked her to write “Fred” on it.  She didn’t understand “Fred” so I said “Frederic.”  She then said “Fritz?” which is the German nickname for Frederick.  I said “nein” and said “Fred.”  A little disgusted with me, she handed me the paper and pen and said “here!”  So I wrote “Fred” out for her, and we were both happy.  Fred was more than surprised, and pleased.  It was a delicious cake!!

When my BFF, Sue, came for a two-week visit, we squired her all around Heidelberg and Germany.  She and I went on a bus tour to Holland – that is a memory for another post.  But one of the things I did with her, was to take her to my favorite bakery!  I spoke to the owner in my halting German, asking for whatever it was I wanted.  After I had finished, Sue said, “Wow, Judy, I never heard anything like that.”  In reply, I said, “believe me… that’s like NOTHING She’s ever heard before either!”  And the lady just laughed.  So she probably knew more English than she let on.  But that’s okay, we got along famously with what we each knew.

One of the things I miss most about Germany, and Heidelberg in particular, is that bakery.  

~~~~~~~~~~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-Part 7

19 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

While we did most of our shopping – whether clothing or groceries – at the military facilities while in Germany,

Credit Google Search and Military One Source

 there were times when we enjoyed shopping on the German economy.  I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the Germans were adamant about closing early on Saturdays (usually 5:00 p.m.) and either not opening on Sundays, or having shortened hours.  I appreciated that.  

I remember that I had learned to make the German Springerle Christmas cookies from Fred’s mother.  She also gave me a Military Wives Cookbook that had a great recipe for those cookies in it.  But I really didn’t have any of the “forms” until we went to Heidelberg.  I must have had some type of forms – perhaps Fred’s mother gave me hers, I just don’t remember – because I did make those cookies each Christmas.  

When I went into a German store to see if they had the forms, I had a rather difficult time telling the sales ladies just what I wanted.  I thought I had the proper pronunciation for the forms, but I think one lady finally realized what I was asking for – in my halting German!  She brought out a few forms, and they were exactly what I wanted!  Just what I was looking for!

In another situation, down the road from our housing area was a type of “mall” that we frequented.  It was called Famila.  Some called it Familia, but it was the same place.  It had everything from grocery stores to yarn shops, movie theaters to shoe stores.  You get the picture – just like one of our shopping malls in the U.S.  It was all indoor, like most of the malls in this country, so it was a nice place to walk and window-shop, no matter what the weather.

There was one event that really surprised us while we were there.  The girls and I were outside our building one day, when we saw a HUGE number of bicycles coming furiously down Römerstrasse – the main street outside our housing area.  There were probably a couple of hundred cyclists in the group.  It could have even been the Tour de France, but in Germany.  We were amazed – all those bicycles at once!  But what took us by surprise was that ALL the cars – from both directions – just……STOPPED!  No one told them to stop, they just stopped on their own, and pulled over to the curb.  It was the race going by, which was fascinating by itself.  And, after the last bicycle had cleared the area, the traffic started up again.  Amazing!

Credit Google Search and Velo News

~~~~~~~~~~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-Part 6

12 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Fred and I tried to be good Americans – not the “ugly” Americans that are portrayed so often.  To do so, we took German language lessons before we left the States, and studied some after we arrived in Germany.

I remember taking classes after we settled in our apartment in Heidelberg. 

Part of Mark Twain Village – across the courtyard from our building

One of the last days of classes, we had to partner up with another student, go downtown Heidelberg, stop a German on the street and ask questions/directions in German and get an answer from them.  That was a rather intimidating thought to me, but my partner and I did it.  We would stop someone on the street with “Entschuldigen (Excuse me).  While we then began our questions, the person we stopped usually had a stern look on their face, which nearly made me stop.  However!….as soon as the question was asked, their face cleared, and they answered our questions eagerly and with friendliness.  It never felt like we had interrupted their day.  That was amazing to me!    

Heidelberg Castle, gate and town from the Neckar River

I mentioned in previous posts that we were occasionally mistaken as German by the Germans (i.e., please see my post of March 20, 2016 – The Cruise of a Lifetime, Part 6 continued).  That was always fun.  And that brings me to a time when we were walking from our apartment on Römerstrasse to our church, when a car pulled up beside us and stopped.  In German the people in the car asked for directions to Leimen – a town just a few miles south of Heidelberg.  Well I did my usual “ich habe nur ein bischen Deutch” (I only know a little German),and as I turned to Fred to ask about how far it was, someone in the backseat spoke up with “I speak English.”  But then, being good Americans, I still answered in my best German – that it was straight ahead perhaps 10 kilometers (geradeaus vielleicht zehn kilometers).  They thanked us – in German, with smiles on their faces – and off they went.  

Römerstrasse – the street near our apartment building – where we walked

While in Heidelberg, I found a set of china/porcelain that I wanted.  It is made by Goebel, the same company that makes Hummel figurines and plates.

The pattern I liked is called “Burgund.” 

There was a store in Heidelberg that carried the entire pattern, and I purchased my set from them.  When I got home with it, and compared what I had to what I had paid for, I realized that they hadn’t charged me for 12 saucers.

Again, wanting to be good Americans, I went back to the store with the receipt to explain.  Well, between my halting German and their halting English, it took some doing to make them understand that I had under-paid them!  They thought I was saying I had over-paid for something!  When it was finally clear that I was in the wrong – and was there to make payment – they were astounded!  And as a thank-you, they gave me a set of salt and pepper shakers in that pattern!!

 WOW!  It really does pay to be nice!  I just wanted them to know that not all Americans are “ugly” Americans.

~~~~~~~~~~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-Part 5

28 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I mentioned recently that the pastor of our English-speaking Baptist Church in Heidelberg became our Karen’s future father-in-law. 

Heidelberg castle from the Korn Markt

The congregation of Grace Baptist Church called Greg to be our pastor in the Fall of 1981.  He and his family arrived just after Christmas that year.

The church we met in

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. 

Some of the ladies of our church had worked a lot to make the apartment comfortable and livable for them.  They made curtains for the windows.  They made/purchased pillows for the sofa/couch.  Pots and pans were provided.  And I believe the kitchen was stocked right before they arrived.

This apartment was located about 10 kilometers from Heidelberg, and MTV.  That’s about six miles, American talk.  Not far, but far enough one needed to either drive there or ride the bus.  Or bicycle if so inclined.

This little town was called Emmertsgrund.  It is actually a suburb of Heidelberg.

Credit Google Search and heidelberg.de

This is similar to the apartment building where they lived

After Karen and Brian became an “item” they began studying together, going on dates, and talking on the phone a lot.  So what else is new with young teens attracted to each other, hm?  I believe their first date involved a bus ride from MTV to PHV (Patrick Henry Village – the other American housing area in Heidelberg), and a movie at the theater there.  

Once, while Karen and Brian were talking on the phone, Fred, in our apartment, sneezed.  Well, if you’ve ever heard Fred sneeze, you would know how loud it is!  After a moment, Karen turned away from the phone and said, “Dad, Brian said he heard you sneeze all the way to Emmertsgrund!”  That’s been a laughing joke in our family ever since!

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

Random Memories of Germany-Part 4

21 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

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.

Random Memories of Germany-Part 2

7 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Last time, I wrote about the pathway between our housing area (Mark Twain Village or MTV) and Patton Barracks in Heidelberg. 

It was a shortcut between the facilities, and one we could walk easily.  We were able to experience a lot of God’s good earth along that pathway.  We saw the garden platz that the Germans used to grow their own vegetables.  But the blackberry bushes were our favorites.  And the berries were free to any and all who would or could pick the berries.  Yummmm!

Credit Google Search and Pixabay

We also enjoyed the pizza that was made at the pizza parlor on Patton Barracks.  And it was a favorite of most of the military there – of any and all ranks!

But I have another memory of that pathway.  It started with us arriving in Germany and getting into temporary housing.  We were there several weeks in that glorified hotel room, and had to eat either in the restaurant downstairs, or on the economy (military speak for the civilian population).

One of the first things we did was to locate a church for us to attend.  Of course there was the base Chapel, but that really didn’t suit us, even though Fred’s father had been a Chaplain in the Air Force most of his career.  (I say most, because he was a Chaplain in the Army during World War 2, before the Air Force became the Air Force)

In finding the church, we found it was meeting in the church building that was owned by a German Baptist congregation. 

The church we met in

 It was within walking distance of MTV, and so when we moved in there, we walked most Sundays to the church.  However, the German congregation met during what we considered our Sunday School time, so our Sunday School met in an English Institute which was a school that taught English as a second language to Germans. It was not far from the church facility.  And then, following Sunday School time, we would all go over the few blocks to the German church building and have our worship service.

All that to say that we found the pastor of that church had been there for his three year term, and had already resigned and was ready to head back stateside.  In the few weeks we were in the church, I got to know the pastor’s wife fairly well.  She was telling me that one time she was doing her jogging along the pathway between MTV and Patton Barracks when a German teenager came upon her with his bicycle.  He began to ride behind her, as if chasing her.  She said she finally turned around to him and said “geh weg!! (go away!)”  At that point, he stopped chasing her.

Well, I thought it was funny.  I told it to Fred, and we devised a skit to retell the story during a “roast” the church had for the pastor and his family before they left Germany.  I had on a pair of shorts under my skirt, and we fashioned a set of “handlebars” for Fred, complete with a sign saying “bicycle,” and when the time came for our skit, I took off my skirt, jumped up, Fred took up his handlebars and began chasing me around the room.  We went on for a few minutes, and then I told him to go away!  

Looking back – it was a fun memory.  We haven’t kept up with that pastor and his wife.  However, the pastor that followed became our oldest daughter’s father-in-law, so we have kept up with them.  But that’s for another story.

~~~~~~~~~~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 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I have already written several posts about our time in Germany.  But recently my husband, Fred, and I have mentioned to each other some events or incidents that happened while we were there.  They were fun memories, and I would like to pass them along to you.  Perhaps you have experienced something similar in your lifetime.

As we were eating our strawberry/blueberry combination one morning, Fred mentioned he had seen a strawberry/blackberry combination.  Telling him that it sounded good, but I really dislike the blackberry seeds in my teeth, he asked if it was blackberry bushes we saw walking along a path from our housing area to another while in Heidelberg.

Heidelberg castle from the Korn Markt

You see, there was a “short cut” from our area (Mark Twain Village)

Part of Mark Twain Village – across the courtyard from our building to Patton Barracks, and it wove through an area of garden platz.  While most of the gardens within the platz were fenced in, the pathway itself was not.  And those blackberry bushes were there for anyone to enjoy.  

And we did enjoy them.  We would pick some of the berries and bring them home.  I remember making jam out of them, but the seeds just made it uncomfortable to eat – at least for me.  I think I even made a pie from them, but the same situation.  We have found some jelly made here in the States that is blackberry, but the seeds have been strained out.  Much better!!

Blackberry, Berries, Fruit, Bush

Credit Google Search and Pixabay

I remember once, when our girls and I were walking along that path, and Janet was trying to reach some of the berries that were back (obviously someone had picked the ones up close to the path), and while trying to help her reach those distant berries, I accidentally pushed her into the bushes!  And, unfortunately, she came home with a few scratches from that!  Not a good move on Mom’s part!

Credit Google Search and Pixabay

One of the reasons we liked to walk the path to Patton Barracks was that one of the eateries on Patton Barracks was a pizza parlor.  And they made the BEST pizza!  We would frequently call ahead, so that our pizza would be ready for us when we arrived.  So we could just sit down and eat it.

Pizza, Food, Takeout, Box, Pepperoni

Credit Google Search and Pixabay

Do you remember the TV series “Dallas?”

DallasLogo.jpg

Credit Google Search and Wikipedia

 We didn’t watch it, by the way.  However, one season-ending cliff-hanger was with J. R. Ewing getting shot.

Larry Hagman as JR.jpg

J. R. Ewing, portayed by Larry Hagman – Credit Google Search and Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia, that wasn’t resolved until the fourth episode in the next season, November 21, 1980.  There was a lot of hype about it, even with the catch-phrase “who shot J. R.” and it seemed like the entire world was eager to see who did it.  As it turned out, that particular night, the pizza parlor was having a special – come order a pizza and watch that episode.  Well, since we weren’t big fans of “Dallas” we didn’t realize all that was going on, and we ordered a pizza!  After walking along the garden platz path, and arriving at Patton Barracks, we discovered the place was packed with people!  When I went up to the counter to get our pizza, they told me I would have to wait in line – and it was a LONG line!  And then, when we finally made our way to the counter through the line, they then told me we should have come up to get the pizza, as it was ready!  Talk about being frustrated!  I think we even just took the pizza home – it was too crowded to eat there.

Looking back – it was a fun and funny memory.

More on the path from Mark Twain Village to Patton Barracks next time.

~~~~~~~~~~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.

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On the Street Where You Live…Part 14

3 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Fred retired from the Air Force and from Langley AFB and we stayed in Virginia for another seven years in that house.

Both of our daughters had married, and we decided we didn’t want to live in snow anymore in the winters.

My only sibling – my brother, and his family, live in Florida and we had visited them many times, and liked it.

And so we came to Orlando, looking for a house.  We actually settled on a new house in Kissimmee, in a new subdivision.

It was a three-bedroom, two bath, split plan house, with the master suite being on one side of the house, and the other two bedrooms and bath on the other side.  I liked that idea – the separation was convenient when we had visitors staying with us.  The living room/dining room were sort of together, so that was something we had to arrange furniture around.  The kitchen and family room divided the master bedroom suite from the other bedrooms. 

The master bathroom was an interesting shape.  Along one wall were two sinks in a counter space, and a long mirror covering the entire area.  At the end was the glass-walled shower, and next to that was a garden tub.  There was a window over the tub with an “orange slice” at the top.  We eventually had that window filmed for privacy.  The toilet was in a room off the next wall, with a door.  Interesting and convenient.

This small chest of drawers is now in the guest bedroom

There was a small wall space between the bathroom and closet.  Only wide enough for a narrow chest of drawers.  We had one TV and some book cases in the bedroom with us, as well as a dresser.  The closet was a walk-in closet; small but efficient.

At the end of the hall leading to the other bedrooms and bath, was the space for the washer and dryer.  Along that hallway was a narrow pantry.

The second bathroom had a door in it, leading to the back yard.  Since so many houses in this area have pools, that door was for the purpose of coming in the house after getting out of the pool.  We didn’t have – nor did we want – a pool, so I covered each pane of clear glass in the door with “crystal” contact paper, so all things going on in the bathroom were private but still let in outside light.  It had a single sink, a toilet, and the tub/shower.  Small but quite efficient.

The ceilings in this house were modified cathedral ceilings, peaking over the kitchen.  They were finished with the popcorn finish.  There were many cabinets and cupboards, and the sink looked out into the family room.  There was the usual refrigerator and stove and dishwasher included.  It was a quite comfortable kitchen to work in.

There was door leading from the kitchen to the garage – a double-car garage.   There was an open doorway from the kitchen to the dining room/living room.

There was a patio in the back yard.  There were sliding glass doors in the master bedroom and the family room.  It was covered, and made of concrete.  We didn’t use it much.  I had thought of screening it in, and we might have used it more, but we never did.

When we began thinking of moving into Orlando, realtors kept telling us we needed to put in a pool, as no one would buy it without one.  We didn’t need or want the expense of adding a pool, and as it turned out, the lady who bought the house didn’t want a pool!  So it would have been a real waste of money to put one in.  It might have even negated a sale to have one.

~~~~~~~~~~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.

On the Street Where You Live…Part 13

27 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Leaving Heidelberg was difficult – we really loved being in Germany.  But our three years were up and it was time to rotate stateside.  We did a circuitous travel to England for two weeks (Please see my posts starting in July 30, 2017 – November 26, 2017 about that trip.).  We then flew to New York then eventually to Virginia, where Fred’s next posting would be at Langley AFB in Hampton, Virginia.

We found our house, signed the papers then flew to Tampa, Florida for a week’s visit with Fred’s parents. 

July – Clearwater, FL – Fred’s parents, Karen and Janet

From there we flew to Albuquerque for a visit with my Mother and Aunt Jessie.  And then back to Virginia to begin that adventure.

July – Albuquerque – My mother and step-father, Fred, Karen and Janet

The house was available for us then, but our furniture had not arrived, so we stayed one night in temporary quarters on Langley AFB.  One night was all it took.  It was August and HOT…HOT…HOT!  And the air conditioner was broken – and no fans!  We tried to sleep, but couldn’t.  We were all up about 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. to drink down as much ice water as we could.

The next morning, we borrowed mats and a card table (sound familiar?) and cooking equipment and went to our house.  We slept on the floor on the mats.  It wasn’t easy, but at least we were cool!

The house was barn-shaped, but had some neat features.

It had four bedrooms and three full baths.  One bedroom and bath were downstairs, and we used them as a guest unit.  The master suite was the width of the house, and had an en-suite bath with a shower only, no tub.  The second bathroom upstairs had the full tub/shower.  The other two bedrooms were upstairs, as well.  One of the bedrooms, that faced the front of the house, had a little door in the closet, that led to some “attic” space, the length of the house.  That was so convenient!

Downstairs was a formal living room and a separate dining room which was just off the kitchen.

Dining Room – left is the hallway to the guest bedroom and bathroom

There was also a family room that was wood-paneled and had a wood-burning stove in it.  

My mother in the family room

Fred’s parents in the family room.  Wood paneling and the wood-burning stove

I really liked the kitchen!  The previous owners had renovated it, so that one wall that had been just empty, now held cabinet space and drawer space, as well as the stove.  They had also installed a microwave – but they had cut a hole in the wall and made a brace on the wall in the garage to hold the microwave.  All we saw in the kitchen was the front of the machine!  We also didn’t hear the machine when it was running.  Nice and quiet.  The space where the stove was originally (next to the door leading to the garage), now became a very large pantry.  There was cabinet space galore, and a window over the sink, looking to the back yard.  The refrigerator was at the end of the cabinets, next to the doorway to the dining room.

In the back yard, there was a patio made up of slate sections.  There was a trellis at one end, and a big tree at the other.  Someone had installed a pull-across line that could be used to hang clothes to dry.  I love the smell of sheets dried in the air, and so did that frequently.

We lived in that house nearly 13 years – the longest we had lived anywhere.

~~~~~~~~~~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.

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