The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 34 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part IV

34

Biene’s Bold Reaction to Five Letters from Germany

Papa

Key Player #4 of Chapter 34: Papa Walter Panknin

As the drama unfolds I will introduce for each part of this chapter one person, who played a major role in our desperate struggle for being reunited in Canada.

November 2nd 1965 Didsbury

My dear Peter,

Before I respond to your messages and also tell you about my life here, I want to deal with the main issue at hand. Dear Peter, my parents and my brother’s reaction came so unexpectedly for me that every letter from home was a real shock for me.

First of all my brother wrote, who until now has only written this long letter to me. He tried to logically explain that our plans are against all reason that out of several reasons I would be unhappy with you in Canada and above all that I would make my parents unhappy. Shortly afterwards I received an equally long and logical letter from my father with similar arguments and the threat that if I acted against all warnings and reason, I would in no way receive any support from him. Then finally came a long letter from my mother. She desires that we two come together and that she was prepared to let me go ‘one day’ to Canada. However, influenced by my father and brother’s arguments, she too thinks that it would be too early and that we would only be unhappy. Even my brother-in-law and sister asked me in long letters to take everything into consideration and let reason prevail rather than listen to my heart.

Dear Peter, as I can only roughly indicate to you, their main concern was about my happiness and the fear to lose me. Therefore, Peter, I cannot feel any anger or disappointment. You are right, Peter, my parents must have hoped all the time that everything, as you said, would fizzle out between us at the end. And only now I understand as to why without any objections they let me go to England. I believe that they hoped it would lead me to different thoughts. Dear Peter, you can imagine in what kind of conflict I find myself! I have never been so determined in my life as now! I come to you, even if I have to earn the sea voyage myself. My decision is final, and nothing can dissuade me from it. Therefore, Peter, prepare everything.

My parents fear that the hard work would make me unhappy. O Peter, I realized here in England how physical work in harmony with intellectual work creates happiness. And to work together with you for our life can truly make me happy! Mrs. Lande literally cried, when I told her that I would have to leave at Christmas time. She thinks that never before had a girl managed to do so well with the work and the children as I have. These words give me self-confidence; for I came  with no experience whatsoever. My mother always says, ‘Where there is a will, there is a way.’ I also believe in it. Sometimes I think that I am hard-hearted and egotistical, because I want to come to you, although I know how much pain I am causing to all the people that love me. Yet, Peter, don’t we need to live our life as our parents lived theirs? My father writes that he would rather travel to European destinations four times a year than to spend a single penny for a trip to Canada to visit his daughter, who has abandoned her home country. You too will feel while reading this, how much these words have hurt me. When I come home for Christmas, I will talk calmly with my parents. If they insist on their position and refuse us any help, then Peter I will come in spite of it all. I have so much confidence in our future. Perhaps we can only convince our parents with an iron will! O Peter I think that I appear so hard-hearted toward them, for I can sense how they must feel. But I know that it is right to go to you.

In the meantime you will have received my brother’s letter. Don’t take it as an insult that my parents have used my brother as mediator. I am more offended than you; for I know that only my brother’s influence could have changed my parents’ mind. However, Peter, all parents would just like my parents try to keep their children at their side, especially if it means to let them go into a world of uncertainty. And Canada is for them uncertainty. We must understand them. But nothing can change my decision.

My dear Peter, now I have not yet dealt with many of your questions and problems you brought up in your letters. However, I shared the main issue with you so that you can undertake all the necessary steps and you can tell me what I need to do. As always in a big hurry, unfortunately!

Be lovingly embraced by your Biene

Having observed in the past quite a few of Biene’s vacillations during times when decisions of the heart had to be made, I felt total admiration for Biene’s courageous handling of a dilemma out of which there seemed to be no escape. In my eyes she ruled like a queen over the complex issues that were going to haunt us for a long time to come. Indeed I was awed by her bold stand against the odds that were stacked against her. However, what I did not realize at the time, when her letter  gave my anxious heart a lift, was the fact that Biene was fighting far away from home the  good fight in the safe haven of her British employer.

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lakes

29

Wednesday’s Photos

The Squirrels in our Life

Today’s focus is on the squirrels, which make their home in our region. Walking through the local woods, you will find that it is one of the most common animals. In our backyards they often become a nuisance stealing hazelnuts in the fall and raiding the bird feeders in the winter.  However, no matter where you spot them, they look cute and they always appear adorable on the close-ups. Enjoy!

squirrel 1

Squirrel #1

Squirrel 2

Squirrel #2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Squirrel #3

Squirrel 4

Squirrel #4

Squirrel 5

Squirrel #5

You can also view my photo stream at flickr.com. Photos are taken mostly from the Arrow Lakes area. Simply search for Peter Klopp under people.

To gauge a little more accurately the scores for the pictures for last week’s photos, I used a mathematical approach with the following formula. First, second and third choice was given 5 points, 3 points and 1 point respectively. There were more than 20 participants for last week’s evaluation, which yielded the following results.

  • #1 – 19 points View from the Nakusp Promenade
  • #2 – 35 points Dragon Teeth
  • #3 – 22 points Evening Light
  • #4 – 33 points Log Booms encased in Ice
  • #5 – 13 points Sunset at Fauquier BC

Thank you for participating in the contest for finding the very best photos among the various themes during the month of January!

 

Chapter 34 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part III

28

Gradual Descent into Emotional Hell

 

Walter

Key Player #3 in Chapter 34: Walter Panknin, Biene’s Twin Brother

As the drama unfolds I will introduce for each part of this chapter one person, who played a major role in our desperate struggle for being reunited in Canada.

On the 23rd of October, 1965 I had not yet received the devastating news about her family’s opposition to our wedding plans. Not being aware of the storm clouds gathering over our sweet hopes and aspirations, I wrote Biene a cheerful birthday letter. Being in a most jocular frame of mind, I teased her about the severe yoke of marriage and encouraged her tongue-in-cheek to enjoy the few remaining months of freedom until our wedding day in May . A few days later my mood changed drastically, when I received the bad news.

October 25th, 1965 Calgary University

My dear Gertrud,

If this turns out to be true what you have just been describing in your last letter, you will be in great trouble pretty soon. I had to force myself to work yesterday, because I kept thinking about your problem, which consequently is also my problem.

First of all, what your brother told you is definitely wrong or it is at least the wrong impression. I have never mentioned that I wouldn’t like to be in Canada. The more I think about it, the more I do believe that your parents and brother don’t have any objections against me, but against the fact that their only daughter and sister should leave them in a couple of months. Thinking of returning to Germany is now out of the question. I thank you again for not having interfered in the time of undecided matters and inner conflicts before I entered the university. But if you had done so, it would have been the only possibility of getting me back to the Old Country. Now I have decided to stay. It is not only the money (about one thousand dollars) that is invested now into my studies for the winter session, I am also personally involved with great delight in the courses, especially in German literature and cannot give it up just because your folks want to have you around for a few more years.

But you were resolute and are still resolute, as you wrote me. Didn’t your parents know that you intended to follow me after some time? Sure, they did. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that they must have hoped that our relationship would eventually come to nothing. I guess on this particular point they underestimated the strength and sincerity of our love. Maybe they will think quite differently when they realize that they cannot change your mind. Though I wished I could do more, I cannot help except politely answering your parents’ letter, but definitely stating that I am willing to stay.

There is something else I want to tell you. You said your brother is going to write me too. He may write as often as he wants to, but he cannot expect me to answer his letters as long as I haven’t gotten word from your parents. I know what an awful impact a death of a close relative can have so that I fully understand why they couldn’t answer. In this case I’m willing to wait another fortnight and even longer, but I cannot accept your brother as a mediator between your parents and me. Do you understand me? I think the matter is too important to have it delegated to your brother. I wrote your parents and expect no answer from anybody but from them alone. How can I find out that the arguments are his and not those of his parents? Would you mind telling him that I really enjoy studying now that ‘I really like to be in America’ and his conclusions must have been a misunderstanding.

Although I don’t want to, I am getting quite a bit worried. But when you are involved, how can I remain calm! Nevertheless celebrate with an untroubled spirit your 21st birthday. I hope you will get a day off on Friday.  As to your next year it is my heart-felt wish that in spite of all adversities all things will come to pass that you are hoping for right now

With lots of love, your Peter

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lakes

42

Wednesday’s Photos

More Winter Landscapes

Once you have truly found your focus for beautiful spots around you, rain or shine, you find good places to photograph almost everywhere. I believe that before this winter comes  to an end (at the Arrow Lakes winter follows very well the seasons posted on the calendar), I will find a few more pictures to create another post or two. I hope you will continue to enjoy viewing the images. By the way, I do a bit of post-processing with Affinity Photo, a powerful editing tool available at a reasonable cost.

Nakusp

#1 View from the Nakusp Promenade

Dragon Teeth

#2 Last Winter’s Icy Dragon Teeth

Glistening Stones

#3 Evening Light at the Fauquier Boat Dock

Ice Snow Water

#4 Log Booms Encased in Ice

\

sunset

#5 Sunset at Fauquier, BC, Canada

You can also view my photo stream at flickr.com. Photos are taken mostly from the Arrow Lakes area. Simply search for Peter Klopp under people.

To gauge a little more accurately the scores for the pictures for last week’s photos, I used a mathematical approach with the following formula. First, second and third choice was given 5 points, 3 points and 1 point respectively. There were more than 20 participants for last week’s evaluation, which yielded the following results.

  • #1 – 15 points Fungus Covered Branches
  • #2 – 30 points Berries Ready for the Picking in Winter
  • #3 – 44 points Cattails above a Frozen Pond – First Place
  • #4 – 33 points Thriving Ground Fungus
  • #5 – 27 points Seed Pods over the Arrow Lake

You are invited to evaluate the photos again. Simply write down 3 numbers indicating your preference, like 4-1-3 for example. Have fun!

Chapter 34 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part II

33

Ominous Rumblings from Biene’s Home Front

Peter copy

Key Player #2 in Chapter 34: Peter Klopp

As the drama unfolds I will introduce for each part of this chapter one person, who played a major role in our desperate struggle for being reunited in Canada.

After having dispatched my letter to Biene’s parents I felt very much at ease. With vim and vigour and guided by an indomitable desire to achieve high marks in my academic endeavours, I embraced a regime of self-denial, a kind of mental forced  labour. I cut my leisure hour of guitar practice in the evening, shortened my social lunch time with friends and fellow students at the university, and allocated an extra hour   to my studies at home in the morning. I had no idea about the potential danger to my health by placing so many burdens on my shoulder. But I was happy in the sweet knowledge that all the hard work would pay off in the end. Little did I know, however,  of the storm clouds gathering on the other side of the Atlantic and of the ominous rumblings coming from Biene’s home turf.

October 20th, 1965 Didsbury

My dear Peter, Life is like a brilliant symphony. Again and again I feel this. Every day has its special tune and color and atmosphere and you need to be a poet in order to give a vivid and colourful picture of it. Sometimes the melody of the day is light and joyful, in other times dark and full of melancholy.

Today was a bright and sunny October day, and pushing the carriage with the little laughing Paul through the park, I felt happy and at peace with the world. Here in England I have gained new aspects of life and I really feel for the first time free and independent. Two letters, which arrived with the second post, made me hurry to the place, where I usually have a little rest in the sun. I got your letter as well as my mother’s and I have a lot to tell you. At first, Peter, be assured that my parents got your long letter. Don’t worry about not having received an answer until now. I am going to tell you the reason although I rather would not like to speak or even think of it, because it makes me feel unhappy. My aunt (you know, I sometimes talked about her, because I loved her very much) died a fortnight ago. My parents went immediately to Berlin and stayed for a week to arrange everything for her funeral. All the tasks connected with my aunt’s death caused my parents much grief and my mother felt mentally and physically exhausted after the journey and she was not even able to write to me. As soon as she feels better she will let you know what decisions she and my father have made. She asks me to tell you that this is the reason for their long silence. My mother had to tell me so much about the last happenings that she only gave notice to me of the mere fact that she got the letter from you. Yet she did not discuss it. She only reassured me that she would stick to her promise and try to help us in any case…

In love yours forever, Gertrud

A day later, having not sent off the letter, she continued on in German, which I took as a bad omen, and so it was.

My dear Peter,

Today I received a long letter from my brother, which contained the main thoughts and arguments, which he as he told me had written also to you. It is quite impossible for me at the moment to delve into all the details. I didn’t know at all that you don’t find it easy to stay in Canada. This is in any case the way my brother interprets your words. As soon as I have answered my brother, I pass on his letter to you. Dear Peter, my decision is firm, and nothing can detract me from what I recognized as the right thing to do. I have no fear of an uncertain future. This just for today! As soon as I have a little more time and leisure I will write you everything, which I have considered and decided.

Your Biene

I knew all along that, when this moment came, everybody would be against our plans.

For the moment it was very easy for Biene to stick to her decision. To join me in Canada was not only the right thing to do, but also fulfilled the promise of love between the two of us. She was still far removed from the source of disapproving views on getting married to a young adventurer with an uncertain future in the far-off and hitherto unknown country of Canada. Thus, she was able to take a firm stand against the first volley shot by her twin brother Walter across the English Channel.

Natural Splendour of the Arrow Lake

59

Wednesday’s Photos

Fungi, Seeds and Berries in Winter

Last week our focus was on the amazing shapes and forms that Mother Nature can produce in the winter. Today we are having a look at the inherent beauty of seemingly dead plants, such as fungi, seeds and berries. Again I present five images to you. I would like to find out which ones my readers like best. Although always welcome and appreciated, no comments are necessary. I numbered the photos, so it would be easy to give a quick personal assessment. Just use three numbers in the order of your preference. Have fun! Enjoy!

 

Fungus Covered Branches

1) Fungus Covered Branches

Berries for the Picking in the Dead of Winter

2) Berries Ready for the Picking in Winter

Cattails over a Frozen Pond

3) Cattails above a Frozen Pond

Delicate Ground Fungus

4) Thriving Ground Fungus

Fruitful Branches over the Arrow Lake

5) Seed Pods over the Arrow Lake

You can also view my photo stream at flickr.com. Photos are taken mostly from the Arrow Lakes area. Simply search for Peter Klopp under people.

Last week’s evaluation produced a rather peculiar result. All photos were equally liked judged by the dozen or so entries, with the exception of #1, which did not seem particularly to please any of my followers. Perhaps Africa surrounded by ice was not a very appealing idea. FB users were notably absent from last week’s contest, because WordPress failed to alert my FaceBook followers.

 

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