Tag Archives: Milittary Memories

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-The Windows

18 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

While we were in Heidelberg (1980-1983), the military decided that the windows in all U.S. government housing apartments needed to be replaced with newer, better ones.

1980 – our apartment building.  Ours is the top left, on the end.

Now, that usually isn’t a big deal, and the new ones were a great improvement over the old ones.  And those buildings (with kitchen/bathroom fixtures) were built in the 1940’s, so an upgrade should have been welcomed.

The windows in the housing in Patrick Henry Village (PHV) were a pop-out/pop-in situation.  The buildings in PHV were built much later than the ones we lived in – in Mark Twain Village (MTV).  So PHV windows were done first, then they turned to us.

Unfortunately, the window spaces built in those MTV buildings were not any kind of “standard” sizes.  The frames were just not the same size as the windows they wanted to replace.  Therefore, they had to remove all the windows in our buildings and drill out the window spaces in order for the new windows to fit!!

That might not have been much of a problem, except they wanted to do all that drilling work while we were still living in the space!!  Here are a couple of pictures of what we had to do – everything had to be moved away from the windows and stacked against the walls.  So we covered everything with sheets and plastic sheeting, to keep the dust off the furniture.  And that included every window in the apartment!

The alcove in the living room

Window at the end of the building-during the renovation.

Here are pictures of the windows in Karen’s room – one at the end of the building, and one on the side.

Here is a picture of Janet’s room – and you can see that there was a large double window there! 

Here is a picture of Janet’s room – and you can see that there was a large double window there! 

That was also the same as the windows in our master bedroom. (Sorry, no picture there)

There was one window in the bathroom,

and another triple in the kitchen. 

There were three or four windows in each of the alcoves in the living room and dining room, and another large set at the end of the building.

The window at the end of the building, before the renovation.

So that’s a lot of windows.  It took them two weeks to drill out the window space and replace the old windows with the new ones.  We lived in a hotel during that entire time.  There was just no way we could live – in October! – in that apartment with no windows.

And then, when they were done, we found that the window replacements were taller than the original ones – and, therefore, all the window “treatment” that we had, was MUCH shorter than it had been before!  Not too happy about that.  But I didn’t want to purchase anything else for the window treatments, as we would be leaving Germany in June of the next year – just eight months later.  So we just “made do” with what we had.

Yeah, it was an inconvenience, but life is like that.  It was still an experience, and one we won’t forget any time soon! 

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.

Transition to Maine~Part 1

3 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

                                        

                                                           

In previous musings, I’ve mentioned how we were assigned to Loring AFB, Maine (Do you think if we ask for New Mexico, they’ll send us to Maine??). And they did.

Our Karen was born in Wiesbaden, West Germany, and was not quite three-years-old when we rotated stateside. That was an eight-hour flight back to the States, so I had purchased a few “new” toys that I hadn’t let her play with, just to keep her occupied on the plane trip. As we took off and began the long flight, I glanced at her and saw her eyes closing. And I exclaimed – “Oh no you don’t!” – and brought out some of the toys. Those eyes instantly popped open. We had a set of little books – about 3½” by 4″ – just kid-hand-sized, with about six books in there. Wish I had kept them. We had a blow-up doggie that we deflated before landing. You get the picture. We played/read for a while, then they brought lunch. After we ate, Fred and I put up the arm rests between our seats, and Karen stretched out across our laps for her nap. Fred and I slept for a couple of hours each before Karen woke up. Perfect timing.

Fred’s parents were living in King of Prussia, PA at the time, and picked us up from the airport at McGuire AFB, NJ and took us to their house. We stayed a few days with them, then flew to New Mexico for a visit with my mom, grandmother and Aunt Jessie.

Karen and "Oma" - her grandmother

Karen and “Oma” – her grandmother

 

 

Four Generations

Four Generations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we flew to Detroit, MI to pick up the new car we had ordered, then off to Fred’s sister’s house for a few days. She and her husband had a little boy, just one year younger than our Karen. They had a grand time together.

From there we drove up to Loring AFB, Maine. It was July, and we caught the “two weeks of summer” right away. We learned about the black flies that make their appearance in Maine during that time. They were really pesky! We stayed in a furnished guest house while awaiting assignment of quarters. While there we ordered some furniture from a local store, since we had been living in furnished government quarters for the three years in Germany.We learned that we were living in Aroostock County, which is a Native American word for Beautiful River.

 

5

 

What surprised us the most was that Aroostock County is one of the largest potato producing areas in the country (Idaho and Wyoming being in that mix). It is also the largest county – land area – east of the Mississippi River. We were nearly on the upper tip of the state, only three miles from the Canadian border, and the nearest town was Limestone, with Caribou being the closest “large” town. We were four hours driving time north of Bangor, and that was on the interstate – which was a two-lane road! The County Seat is Houlton. You might remember that from all the weather reports in winter that pronounce it to be the coldest spot in the U.S.

%d bloggers like this: