Chapter 36 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part IV


Banff National Park – Mid 1960’s

A Troublesome New Year’s Eve

Then I considered that we originally had promised to wait two or even three years for each other and that only the episode of the engagement ring had rushed us to cut the waiting period down to less than a year. Biene had greatly suffered when she was without any sign of life from me for more than three weeks and had pleaded with me to let her come. I could see now that in my desire, which was just as strong as hers, to be together with her I had foolishly given in, when our future was still uncertain. Thus, the original plan, which was sound and would have given her parents plenty of time to get used to, had been rendered unrealistic and indeed ridiculous in their disapproving eyes. In a flash I felt responsible that my very own weakness had brought about the mess that she was in right now. Angry with myself I considered writing to her parents according to her wish, which she imploringly expressed several times in her letter.

The Chinook winds that had started to blow earlier this evening were now howling at full strength around the building and made the basement window rattle. In the distance a few firecrackers announced the start of the New Year. Lying on my back, while others were celebrating, I composed in my mind the message that was going to bring our derailed original plans back on track. I would apologize to her parents. I would tell the story of her engagement ring and would describe Biene’s desperation, when she did not receive any letter from me for such a long time. I would tell them that she had urged me to let her come to Canada as quickly as possible and that I had agreed on the condition that I would have to be admitted first to the Faculty of Education or have a well paying job. Finally I would kindly propose to her parents that I would wait until the successful completion of my teachers’ training program in exchange for their kind approval of us getting married after I had become a teacher. With these thoughts going through my mind I sat down at the table and feverishly reached out for pen and paper. I was just about to write down the opening sentence, when I suddenly remembered how in anger and frustration I had once reacted by writing a spiteful response to the prospective in-laws, which only served to harden their already inflexible position. No, this time I would sleep on it for a night or two. And if I couldn’t sleep, I would rather suffer through a wakeful night than committing another blunder.

Late in the morning I awoke like from a nightmare. But I was relieved to know that while the letter that I was going to write would have brought complete satisfaction to her parents it would have caused most certainly grief and misery to Biene and to me as well. Who could expect us after all the emotional upheavals we had already gone through to wait another year or even a third year to be reunited? I could see clearly now the trap I would have walked into, out of which there would have been no escape. Wisdom dictated that I waited until I had more information from Germany. Having scored a major victory over myself and restrained my impetuous inclination to surrender to her parents’ wishes, I felt much better and with relative calm resumed my studies the following Monday.

24 thoughts on “Chapter 36 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part IV

  1. I read this with a feeling of anxiety. Waiting another year or two or three? I wouldn’t have been able to stand that myself when I think of my young and in-love state back forty-plus years ago. I also have learned to sit on any letters (or emails) that I write out of emotion. Many times I have spared myself embarrassment, unpleasant consequences, and regrets by waiting it out.

    You have me on the edge of my seat, Peter, waiting for each chapter!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Peter, another chapter that has me awaiting the next chapter. I was so relieved when you decided to sleep first before responding. Waiting to speak or write really makes a difference and uses great wisdom. Way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. another chapter that has me waiting with anxiety of your next chapter.
    Boy Love and Life sure is like a bouncing ball up down, up down.
    I know axactly what mistakes I make acting in hast.
    good for you thinking it out first.
    Take care Peter, keep your self healthy and happy you have deserved the Happiness together,
    a Life Long.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. that was really very clever of you, dear Peter. It’s always better to sleep a night or two over some problems and then your decision was right. Hope you have spring now, too. Here it’s really hot, 27 degrees, so suddenly from one cold day to the other. Have a nice weekend, kind regards Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, dear Mitza, for your approval and support for my actions! The extremes we have to endure with mother nature! First the cold snap and now the heat wave in Hamburg. We are finally seeing more pleasant weather, yet it is still too cool for this time of the year. Best wishes! Peter

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter, ich bin genauso in emotionalen Situationen , man kann im ersten Chaos der Gefühle durch “unüberlegte” Äußerungen bei anderen Menschen Reaktionen hervorrufen, die gar nicht beabsichtigt waren..Aber allemal sind übereilte Emotionen besser als sich unverwundbar zu geben, finde ich.
    Und als junger, verliebter Mensch läßt man eben oft das Herz schneller entscheiden als den Verstand..
    Und daß Du nun dieses Mal Deinen Brief nicht sofort geschrieben hast wie zuerst beabsichtigt, zeigt doch, daß Du schon “gelernt” hattest, erst mal alles gegeneinander abzuwägen…und das ist doch in so einem Durcheinander der Gefühle eine tolle Leistung….
    Bin schon gespannt auf die Fortsetzung..
    Herzliche Grüße an Biene und Dich!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liebe Edda, es ist so gut zu wissen, dass wir beide auf derselben Wellenlänge sind. Deine verständnisvollen Worte tun mir immer gut. Ja, wie froh, bin ich noch nach fünfzig Jahren, dass ich damals den geplanten schicksalsträchtigen Brief an Bienes Eltern nicht geschrieben haben.
      Habt weiterhin viel Freude auf der schönen Insel Norderney! Und unserem Geburtstagskind Dieter nochmals alles Gute für das kommende Lebensjahr! Wir stoßen in Gedanken auf sein Glück an.


  6. Peter, I am impressed at how well you understood the complex situation you and Biene were in all those years ago! Your story is so suspenseful that I find myself anxious to read the next installment, even though I know that in the end you did get together. But I do wonder just exactly how it happened, I have to admit! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us in such an eloquent way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If we know the end of a story, it is very hard to imagine that there is any suspense left in it. I think the secret is that our story is not fiction. It seems to me it is the realism keeps up the interest. Thank you, Ann, for your kind comment! Your insightful words are always appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That was the correct decision to wait with your reply. I must tell you that I usually can’t wait, but in certain cases I did knowing that you always have to have the right state of mind to write properly. Usually you forget important ideas when you react immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Gerhard, for sharing your own experiences on this topic. Keeping one’s impulsive nature in check and letting reason prevail in the end are the best strategies when it comes to controversial situations.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Phew! What a relief! As I read the early part of your post, I felt increasingly anxious that you might dash off a hasty letter to Biene’s parents and make things worse. I was so glad when you wisely decided to sleep on the idea and ultimately thought better of it. I know from bitter personal experience that ill-considered actions taken in the heat of the moment seldom lead anywhere worth going.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Peter. I am glad knowing that you decided to sleep before replying the new letter. After all exhausted things in mind, I am sure, you would be much better after having a few good rest. I haven’t opened WordPress in couple of weeks and found I missed some episode of the stories…

    Liked by 1 person

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