Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch5 Part 18

Hiking and Other Outdoor Activities

Biene wrote this post

My parents protected and shielded us from their increasing hardships and sorrows. We had many friends and were allowed to play in our quiet neighbourhood without restrictions. After the war, only a few people could afford cars. There was hardly any traffic. Most people travelled by bike, streetcar, train or horse buggy. Special forest trams would take us out into the beautiful surroundings for hiking or other outdoor activities. On weekends my mom prepared a simple picnic lunch, and we would either go by tram or on the back seat of my parents’ bikes out into the forests.

A few relaxing moments for the family and friends

It’s incredible how far we could hike at an early age. My dad would goad us on by promising a pop-like beverage if we made it to the next village or any other destination he wanted to reach. Picking berries or mushrooms would supplement our diet. However, at that time, I was not too fond of mushrooms.

Biene and Walter enjoying the great outdoors

Located close to our home was a public outdoor swimming pool in a beautiful forest setting. My father was a passionate swimmer, and he taught us to swim before we even entered school. I inherited my dad’s passion and went to the pool every day during the open season, no matter how cold the water was. Even before I was six years old, I was allowed to go there on my own without adult supervision,

In the winter, we would get lots of snow. Every day we would spend hours tobogganing with friends down a steep street in our neighbourhood. At suppertime, we would trudge home tired but with glowing cheeks looking forward to our big warm tile stove and my dad’s nightly stories about the great explorers and inventors of the world.

14 thoughts on “Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch5 Part 18

  1. Ich erinnere mich.daß mich mal jemand in den Pool sties, ich aber nicht schwimmen konnte und ich auch nicht wusste, wo oben und unten ist. Ich fand unter Wasser selbst zu einer Leiter.
    Mein Vater hatte das Ganze aber beobachtet und war zur Stelle, als ich an die Oberfläche kam.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Biene, what wonderful times, you and Walter enjoyed. So often it is the simple things in life, that give the most pleasure. Swimming, hiking, being together as a family and enjoying the warmth of the tile stove. Blessings!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Isn’t it interesting, with how little children can be happy? With an emotionally safe family background, love and attention, they can grow into confident persons, without being interested in money only.
    My mother also taught us how to swim, before we started school, because we lived near a canal, and my mother had heard stories of chidren falling in. Of course she told us not to go near the canal, but kids will be kids … 😉 I don’t think I would dare to let my child go off like Biene and also us at that age nowadays.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ich habe durch Deine Zeilen auch wieder intensiv an meine Kindheit gedacht, Biene. Ich bin zwar nicht
    eine von denen, die immer mit erhobenem Zeigefinger meinen, früher wäre doch alles besser gewesen…Aber eines behaupte ich: Es war sicherer! Wir haben in und mit der Natur so viel Aufregendes und Schönes erlebt ! Aufregend zum Beispiel war auch, daß meine Schwester Anke und ich bei einer Freundin einmal auf Schafen😂 😂geritten sind..Ich flog in hohem Bogen runter und hatte ein paar Schürfwunden..Na und?? Für Anke ging es nicht so glimpflich ab..Sie brach sich leider den Arm….
    Ja, den ganzen Tag sind wir im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes durch Wald und Feld gestreift… …Das würden wir heute den Kindern gar nicht mehr auch nicht dürfen, denn immerzu wäre da der Gedanke: Es könnte etwas passieren oder jemand könnte ihnen etwas antun…Das ist traurig…
    Die Winter waren auch eine herrliche Zeit für uns Kinder. Möglichst bis zur Dunkelheit draußen rumzutoben war eine Selbstverständlichkeit…
    Herzliche Grüße an Euch beide!! Schön, daß Du wieder so gut laufen kannst, Biene!!


  5. Children have the capacity to remind us that human needs are fairly simple. Adults seem to make them complicated through complex processes of ego, one-up-man-ship and of course greed.


    • As a former science teacher, I remember the trend towards ‘safetyism.’ They closed the school’s chemistry closet on the assumption it may contain harmful chemicals. A lock on the door and a key for the teacher would have been a better solution.


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