This is the city that Gertrud’s twin brother liked so much. It was love at first sight.
Month: September 2015
Highlights of Summer 2015
Camping at Taite Creek
One week after we had returned from Victoria I pulled our little trailer the 10 km distance to our favorite campground at Taite Creek. Over the years word about this oasis at the Arrow Lake had spread all over the land. Outdoor enthusiasts from BC and even from the neighboring province of Alberta were flocking to this little paradise in the sun.
Gertrud and I were lucky to have found a vacant site in the middle of the summer. When we started camping, campfire bans were in effect due to the unusually hot and dry weather. What is camping without that romantic ritual of sitting around the campfire in the cool evening air, sipping a glass of wine, and having a good and relaxing time with your neighbors and friends? But Gertrud and I have learned to be content with what we have and not pine for the things we lack. In other words we made do with the given circumstances, enjoyed our daily swims in the refreshing lake, took canoe rides, went on photo excursions, spent some time with our camping friends, and played crib before retiring into our cozy trailer for the night.
Every other day quite early in the morning I drove home to look after our yard and garden and to get fresh food supplies for our camping needs. On one of those trips I got very lucky. A buck was standing on the side of the road. I immediately stopped the car hoping to capture his majestic image on my digital camera. Alas, the camera was stored away somewhere in the back of the vehicle. I opened the door very quietly and stepped out on the road. The buck did not move. I walked to the back and opened the tail gate. The buck still did not move. I quickly grabbed my camera and aimed it at the buck, who was still standing at the same spot and then as if he wanted to pose for the picture turned his beautiful antlers in my direction. Then to my utter amazement he allowed me to approach him, while I was taking one picture after another. At 20 m he decided that I was a bit too close for comfort and trotted leisurely off into the forest. This encounter with one of the finest specimens in the animal kingdom made my day and I proudly shared his image on Flickr with the rest of the world.
A Touching Love Story in German
Die Wunderbare Liebesgeschichte meiner Großeltern
von Anke Schubert ( Chart II a – II & IV)
Published in English on Jan. 30, 2015
Meine Großmutter Johanna besuchte von 1929 bis 1931 ein Lehrerseminar in Stettin. Sie stammte aus Hirschberg im Riesengebirge. Ihr Vater, der Oberschullehrer Ludwig Engel, hatte diese Lehranstalt ausgesucht, weil hier im Gegensatz zu anderen Hochschulen nur Studentinnen ausgebildet wurden. Nun trug es sich zu, dass bei einer Cousine von Johanna ein junger Zollbeamter namens Bruno Kegler zu Gast war. An der Wand der Wohnung hing ein Bild von Johanna, und Bruno fragte neugierig, wer das sei. Ihm wurde Bescheid gegeben, und er bat darum, der Cousine einen Gruß ausrichten zu dürfen. Das wurde ihm gestattet. Als Johanna ihre ersten Semesterferien zu Hause in Hirschberg verlebte, erhielt sie eines Tages eine Brief mit fremder Schrift und mit der ihr bis dahin fremden Anrede „Sehr geehrtes gnädiges Fräulein!“. Lachend zeigte sie die Zeilen ihren Eltern und las ihnen vor, dass der Briefeschreiber um ein Treffen bat, um ihr die Grüße ihrer Cousine ausrichten zu dürfen. Vater Ludwig sagte sogleich: „Du schreibst, dass aus dem Treffen nichts wird, da du ja gerade in Hirschberg bist“. Johanna setzte sich sofort hin und schrieb auf einem winzigen Briefkärtchen die Absage. Der Brief wanderte in den Briefkasten – der Vater kontrollierte das vom Balkon aus – und Johanna verlebte zufrieden ihre Ferien.
Als sie wieder in Stettin war, schrieb Bruno wieder nach Hirschberg. Der Brief wurde geöffnet, aber Johanna immerhin nach Stettin nachgeschickt. Er enthielt die wiederholte Bitte, die Grüße ausrichten zu dürfen. Johanna zeigte das Schreiben ihren Klassenkameradinnen, die sie vor den energischen Schriftzügen warnten. Sie antwortete aber trotzdem und gab den Termin und den Ort – ein Café – an. Alle Klassenkameradinnen wollten mitkommen!
Als Kennzeichen hatte Bruno angegeben, dass er einen grauen Anzug mit einer weißen Nelke im Knopfloch tragen würde, Johanna wollte ein weißes Kleid und einen weißen Schal tragen.
Als sie sich an dem verabredeten Termin im Café einfand, sah sie … zwei Herren in grauen Anzügen, und keiner hatte eine weiße Nelke im Knopfloch! Aber einer stand auf, kam auf sie zu und stellte sich vor – und es war, als ob sie sich seit Jahren kennen würden.
Für Johanna begann nun eine wunderschöne Zeit. Sie sahen sich so oft sie konnten, unternahmen gemeinsame Wanderungen und Dampferfahrten.
Schon nach dem ersten Treffen sagte Bruno zu den beiden alten Damen, bei denen er als „möblierter Herr“ wohnte, er habe gerade seine zukünftige Ehefrau kennen gelernt. Ohne Johannas Wissen schrieb er an ihre Eltern, schilderte seine wirtschaftliche Lage und seine Familie und bat darum, einen Besuch machen zu dürfen. Das wurde ihm gestattet, man lernte sich kennen und am 29. April 1930 heirateten Johanna und Bruno. Sie waren sehr glücklich miteinander, und in den folgenden Jahren wurde dieses Glück durch die Geburt ihrer Kinder Hartmut, Elisabeth und Jürgen vervollkommnet.
Chapter XIII of the P. and G. Klopp Story – Part 2
Visitors new to this blog can read earlier chapters on the Klopp Story menu item.
Bike Ride to Xanten and Kleve
Our weekly gatherings in the citadel provided opportunities for learning sessions, singing of scout-oriented hiking songs and preparing our favorite monthly weekend excursions on bicycles. These sessions were cheerful and noisy. The singing, which my new friend Klaus accompanied with his guitar, was especially enjoyable. Our voices reverberated powerfully from the ancient stonewalls in the large assembly hall. But nothing would surpass the anticipation and enthusiasm for the actual camp life in the nearby forests. Before we ventured out into the wilds, we biked to Kleve, a town on the other side of the River Rhine near the Dutch border. The road, a biker’s dream, so level that one would have to search hard to find even a hillock, passes by the town of Xanten and Kalkar before ending at Kleve, where a large youth hostel was located. Even though the total distance from Wesel was only 50 km, we spent all day getting there.
There was so much to see, especially in the archeological park of Xanten. Here the Roman legions had their headquarters. The centerpiece of the Roman town was the amphitheater, which used to be the focal point for entertainment in every city of the Roman Empire. When we glanced at the circular arena, we conjured up in our youthful imagination gory scenes of Germanic barbarians struggling against wild beasts, gladiator fights, and the bloodthirsty spectators yelling and screaming from the tiered rows of benches. When we arrived at the amphitheater, there were very few other visitors, no park warden and entrance fees to be paid. Today Xanten attracts an incredible crowd of over a million tourists a year. Late in the evening we rolled into the large yard of the Kleve youth hostel, single file on our bikes, very proud in our black scout uniforms decorated with badges, but also very tired after so much sightseeing on the way.
The man in charge of the hostel looked annoyed, when he saw a bunch of boys dropping in so late in the day to disturb his peace and quiet. He immediately singled me out with his keen eyes as the leader and pounced on me giving me a severe dressing down for failing to give him advance notice of our arrival. When I meekly showed him the youth hostel membership card that Hühnchen had given me with the prospect of easy access to food and lodging, he exploded in anger and with his yelling and screaming almost scared me out of my wits. I learned from his verbal attacks that using somebody else’s ID is forbidden. He made me feel so guilty that all I could do was to remain silent. At last he ended his abusive tirade, which included scornful remarks about my shabby appearance. Having thoroughly blown his stack, he felt much better and to our relief calmed down, even managed to give us a smile. He instructed me to inform my ignorant boss not to hand over his membership card to others and, with a hint of reconciliation, asked us to come in and register for the night.
To be continued …
Highlights of the Summer 2015
Enjoyable Visit with our Son Anthony and his Partner Lisa in Victoria (4)
As always when you are enjoying the presence of good company, friends and family, time is slipping by way too fast. In our case it wasn’t just the relaxing walks along the numerous beaches of Victoria, the trip to the harbor, the ferry ride past sceneries of colorful floating houses, marinas and the Legislative Assembly on the way to the inner harbor.
It was indeed nice to feel like honored guests. But the best part of it all was to be included in Tony and Lisa’s daily routine. I was especially happy to help Tony with the painting of a table and do the digging in Lisa’s flower bed to prepare the soil for the new flowers she had bought. Getting to know Lisa’s sister Sarah and her lovely family was also a highlight during our four-day stay. I instantly connected with her husband Mingo. His charm, sense of humor and rapport with his children impressed me very much.
Soon it was time to say good-bye. Tony and Lisa’s heart-warming hospitality, their fantastic gourmet meals, the pleasant conversations, all these things and much more will stay in our memories for a long time to come. On the way home we had to make an unexpected detour and change our travel route. The Coquihalla Highway was closed because of a raging grass fire. So we took the Trans Canada Highway instead, a longer, but more scenic route. In the late evening light we traveled on the winding road alongside the awesome Fraser River past Hell’s Gate all the way up to Cache Creek, where we stayed overnight before heading home.
Highlights of the Summer 2015
Enjoyable Visit with our Son Anthony and his Partner Lisa in Victoria (3)
A definite highlight of our visit was a trip to the Victoria harbor, where Tony went shopping for our evening meal at the local fish market. Wild Pacific salmon and halibut are so fresh – so I am told – that only a few hours before they land in the customer’s shopping bag they were still roaming in the nearby ocean waters. In the meantime Gertrud and I took in the colorful sight of this busy tourist attraction at the water’s edge. Some brightly painted homes here were actually boats that were permanently moored at a huge ramp-like structure, which looked more like a street with a board walk.
Early in the morning, when everyone else was still sleeping, I sneaked out of the house and strolled down to the beach. In the cool air it took me less than five minute.s to reach the ocean..There my friends, the seagulls, greeted me with their raucous cries.Canada geese seemed to have made Victoria their permanent home. On another morning I was lucky to encounter a blue heron, which was feeding at low tide on the barnacles clinging to a concrete wave breaker. Accustomed to human beings it allowed me to come close enough for a great picture of this majestic bird.
To be continued …