Tag Archives: Wiesbaden

Random Memories of Germany

21 Feb

Wiesbaden-Part 5



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.

Treasures From Germany~Part 6

4 Dec


Judy Wills


During our first tour in Germany (1967-1970), we picked up this etching of the cathedral in Cologne (Köln), but just never had it framed.


6 1


Then I remembered a frame that I had of a chalk “painting” of my Aunt Jessie that was in a wonderful old frame. I had her picture removed (sorry Jessie), and the etching placed in the frame. The etching gives the feeling of “old” or “antique,” and to me suits this frame just right. It hangs in a place of honor in our family room, and we look at it often. We were able to visit the cathedral many times during our two tours of duty in Germany, and we also were able to see it again on our Viking River Cruise a year ago. Here are some current pictures of it.


We thoroughly enjoyed all the traveling around Europe that we did during our stays in Germany. One of our favorite old cities to visit, was the town of Mickelstadt. It wasn’t too far from Heidelberg, and we visited often. Here is a watercolor of that town that we enjoy. Brings back so many good memories.




When we lived in Wiesbaden, we would occasionally have “vendors” come to our stairwell door with goods they wanted us to purchase. Neither Fred nor I am very good at “haggling,” and when the artist approached us with this windmill painting, we said we just couldn’t afford it.




We thought that was the end of it, but she lowered the price. Again, we declined. And then she made her final offer – saying it was the rock-bottom price she would go. I looked at Fred, and we agreed that $35 for an original oil, framed, wouldn’t break the bank. So we bought it. Didn’t realize we had that knack for haggling! We purchased the two prints of Paris scenes somewhere along the way, and added them to the Holland painting. The colors go fairly well together, we think.

One more thing that we picked up while in Germany, was a page, copied, from a page of the Gutenberg Bible. For many years, it just sat, rolled up, on a shelf. I finally had it framed to hang in Fred’s office. The “antique” look to the frame seems to match the page from that original Bible. The smaller frame holds the description of the page. We had it translated, and it says: The 42-line Bible was printed between 1452 and 1455 by the inventor of the printer in Mainz (Germany). The original of this book is found in the Mainz Gutenberg-Museum. This arrangement now hangs in our guest bedroom.




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





Christmas in Germany

27 Dec


Judy Wills




Recently, on facebook, I saw that our daughter, Karen, has posted a picture that took me right back to our first tour of Germany. She stated that it: “brings back memories of living in Germany!”  We were in Wiesbaden, living in government quarters, which was a “stairwell” with two “apartments” on each level. And there were two stairwells in each building. We happened to live on the top floor, which we later discovered was the best place to live. No one above us…if we needed a breeze, we had it whether or not the other levels had the breeze or not. The only drawback was carrying grocery sacks up those three flights of stairs – and laundry down to the basement!

But usually, at Christmas, we were encouraged to decorate our picture window. I seem to recall there were competitions among the buildings to see who had the “best” or most elaborate decorations, or the most meaningful….you get the picture.

Therefore, this picture really reminded me of that time. Here is the picture Karen posted:


I’m sorry this picture is in black and white. However, let me show you one of the building we lived in, and what we did one of the Christmases:


Our apartment is the upper left one – the one with the silver bells. I don’t think we won any awards, but it was fun, anyway.

Here is another picture, but not of our stairwell. They may have won an award!


Ten years later, we were stationed in Heidleberg. We lived in a different “type” of government housing, with the picture window at the end of the building/room, rather than like the housing in Wiesbaden. Here is what I did for our window treatment there.



The Germans made these wonderful decorations out of wood/wood shavings. That’s what this one was. Unfortunately, I must not have packed it well enough, because it arrived in the States rather beaten up, and unusable. In any case, I don’t have it any more. But we enjoyed it while there.

My taste in Christmas decorating may not be very elaborate, but Fred and I both enjoy what we put together to decorate our house.

But more than that, many of our decorations and tree ornaments are from Germany, and we are reminded of our time there every time we decorate our tree, or put together some sort of decoration in the house. It was a wonderful time in our lives, and we are thankful God gave us the opportunity to live outside our country.


Wiesbaden~Part3/Frau Katie

1 Sep


 Judy Wills


When we were headed to Wiesbaden, West Germany in 1967, I was seven months pregnant with our first child, Karen.  It was a long flight over, and she and I were both exhausted.

At that time, the military was assigning each incoming military family a sponsor, to help with the transition from the U.S. to an international country.  Our sponsor seemed to be very helpful through letters (e-mail had not been invented yet).  When we told him we were going to stop in Albuquerque to visit with family before departing for Germany, his comment was for us to enjoy our time there – it was his home, as well.  Hmmm…. Interesting.

He met us in Frankfurt and drove us to Wiesbaden, about an hour down the road, where we checked into our hotel.  He apologized that his wife was not with him (it was about 5:30 a.m.), but they had a small child that was still asleep, and they would meet up with us that afternoon for a trip around the town, and dinner.

After a good nap and shower, we headed out to meet them.  As we got closer to the family, the wife called out my maiden name!!  Turns out, she and I had been in Rainbow Girls together in Albuquerque.  She had even been in my installation ceremony as Worthy Advisor.  Small world.  And small world, indeed, when Fred and her husband found out they had been in some classes together at the University of New Mexico!  It certainly made us feel more at home, having some ready-made friends there.

We had initially thought that we would attend the Chapel on base, but contribute to the Baptist Church in town.  Fred’s father had been an AF Chaplain, and we thought that we would continue that tradition.  However, some of the members of the church came to visit us, and convinced us to join them.  We became quite a part of that group, and never regretted that decision.  We made some life-long friends there.

Karen on Grandma Wills’ shoulder

After Karen made her appearance, we started taking her with us to church. There was a nursery there, 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.   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.

Katie came to visit us when we lived in San Antonio, and we thoroughly enjoyed her visit.  When we returned to Germany 10 years later, we went to visit her in Wiesbaden.  My mother had come to visit us, and she went with us.  Katie treated us to some home-made cheese cake at an outdoor café.  I’m sure she’s gone to be with the Lord by this time.

But we will always remember Frau Katie and Wiesbaden.

Karen and Frau Katie

Karen and Frau Katie




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