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Regular Diary In Germany

October 27 , 2004

(Written Nov. 1)


Dear Families and Friends,


Sometimes we need these diaries as simple reminders to ourselves of what we have spent our time doing. Otherwise, it is far too easy to lose track of details, too easy to blame forgetting on "getting older", too hard to remember that fun comes in different packages.

So, here is a picture gallery for some current reminders:

Shopping seems to be both a chore and a hobby. On this Saturday, we went looking for the air base near Wiesbaden for a "fair". Such fairs occur annually at most of the military bases around here and offer an opportunity to pick up "local" items at reasonable prices.

Before we found the base, we got "lost" and went into a market held in an old "kaserne", perhaps an original horse barracks from far before the Americans arrived. Riders still shared the walkways. The refurnished barn had a selection of fruits, vegetables, hand-made women's clothes, and a few antiques. We vowed to return - someday.

By the time we found the air base (no pictures allowed), we went in, we looked around, but we did not buy. Maybe we've already accumulated enough?

Probably not. I expect an old cabinet to show up in our kitchen - along with a tendency to accumulate until we need a bigger place!


Frankfurt abounds in parks, and this one was as pleasant as any, as long as we didn't mind sharing it with the dead.

Not far from our house, the Friedhof Sud (South Graveyard) spreads over several acres with a mix of neatly tended graves, wide straight paths, and old trees and shrubs.

The graves are tended to in truly German fashion and, if a site gets a bit unruly, such as Mr. Sicha's here, the headstone is given a ticket that warns that the consequence of untidiness is disinterment from Friedhof Sud!

This Fall, we've had a couple excuses to go out among the colorful trees and forests. This particular weekend, Lief Erickson, a friend from Kiev now living back in America, visited on his way through Frankfurt Airport.

We drove North through the forest along the Rhine River Valley, stopping at the fortress above xxx, with its reconstructed observation tower. The windows did have a commanding view of the river and road approaches to this ancient cross roads.

While I was in the States on business, Marianne enjoyed the Frankfurt art scene. The Schirnkunsthalle Art Gallerie was featuring a show by the artist Yves Klein, an artist who's blue is famous, or at least so I was told by my German teacher.

Looking at Marianne's pictures, it does seem that blue was a common element, whether Klein was using brushes, spray guns, dripping buckets, or bare bodies to spread color on canvas.

Last week, Peter Ritsche, my boss down in Erlangen, invited us to a "cheese seminar". We were not sure what to expect.

Upstairs in the Cheese Corner (Kaese Eche) cheese store, the proprietor, Herr Waltman, welcomed us with a glass of sherry and a three-year old Gouda cheese. He promised an educational culinary evening.

Three hours and fifteen cheeses later, we had to say he'd made good on his promise. By then we knew much more about cheese, mostly French, than before and we had eaten our fill of some of the best.

For more, see: http://www.rohmilchkaese.de

So, young or old, write down what you've done lately. It's fun.


Best regards,

John and Marianne


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