Friday, July 18, 2014

Alte Heimat

Panoramic view of Schleiden
It's not easy to update the blog when you're traveling, even less so when not traveling alone and especially when staying with old friends. After three nights in Berlin and another two in Cologne, Angela and I were picked up by Uschi, wife of Urban-man, and taken to my old hometown: Schleiden. That's where we stayed until yesterday with Urban's brother, Tom, and his wife, Regine.
Angela and Urban enjoying the beverages
I hadn't been back in Schleiden since shortly after Judy's death when I visited numerous friends in this area of Germany. Tom is like a brother for me, and we've always enjoyed each other's company, be it on long bike rides or while drinking our beloved Gemünder Naturtrüb Landbier.
Our old house, top row toward the left
While in Schleiden, I showed Angela where I grew up—the first house we lived in, where the fair used to stop over, the new house (which my dad sold after my mother's death and before moving back to Berlin). The weather was summery and Schleiden showed itself from its most beautiful side. It was quite funny when Angela asked T&R how often they have to water their exquisite garden and yard—on beautiful days it is so easy to forget how much it rains here and how ugly the weather can be.
Tom preparing the Würstchen
I had a chance to talk to a few of the "old timers." There was Lothar, who used to run everybody's favorite town-pub, the Ratskeller; he now is an antiques dealer. And there was Herr Hardy, who has been working for the same bank for 39 years and who still recognizes me immediately when I enter. But the most heart-warming encounter was that with Frau Wiertz, the 93-year-old mother of my childhood friend Hans-Peter who is a few years older than I am and whom I haven't seen in at least 40 years. We walked by her house, and she happened to peek out and immediately exclaimed, "Das ist doch der Jürgen!" We spent a delightful half hour in her living room, which looked and smelled exactly the same as almost half a century ago. Man, that was worth the entire trip!
Frau Wiertz—still living by herself at 93
On our last evening we all grilled sausages. The three Scheld-brothers (Tom, Urban, and Gregor) and I managed to put away quite a few beers while discussing the world. It doesn't get much better.


1 comment:

  1. Indeed, some beautiful days!!
    Greets ;-)