Auntie, Sister. Grandmother, Great-Grandmother,
Mother and Wife of German Descent
I've lived in Australia since 1959 together with my husband Peter. We have four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I started blogging because I wanted to publish some of my childhood memories. I am blogging now also some of my other memories. I like to publish some photos too as well as a little bit of a diary from the present time. Occasionally I publish a story with a bit of fiction in it. Peter, my husband, is publishing some of his stories under berlioz1935.wordpress.com
Peter found a series of old German Christmas songs in the computer. It was very rewarding to be able to listen to all these songs while celebrating the First of Advent.
A picture from the computer of the Vienna Boy’s Choir singing German Christmas songs.
We listened to a lot of Christmas songs by different groups and artists. They all sang the German texts that we are still quite familiar with, bringing back memories to what it was like when we were children. Here some names of the songs: O Tannenbaum, O du fröhliche, Ave Maria, Kling Glöckchen kling, Leise rieselt der Schnee, and so on.
We had tea and German ‘Oblaten Lebkuchen’.
Then I could not help myself taking a few more pictures!
“German and Austrian Christmas customs have spread throughout the world wherever Christmas (Weihnachten) is celebrated. From the Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) to “Silent Night” (“Stille Nacht“) and on to the Advent calendar (Adventskalender), people around the globe have adopted many traditions that began in the German-speaking world.”
The Christmas songs, that I remember from my childhood, have a special meaning for me. Some songs were very joyful, others more reflective, that is ‘besinnlich’. Besinnlich meant we became deeply and seriously thoughtful while singing these songs . This kind of singing appealed to me. Advent was the only time of the year when my family would sing some songs together. And it went on for four Sunday afternoons in a row. After the fourth Sunday of Advent some serious preparations for Christmas Eve started. We children were not included in these preparations. As children we therefore became highly impatient while we were waiting for Christmas Eve – “Heiligabend” .
“Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,” and “O du fröhliche” were very popular songs during my childhood. (I was born in 1934.)
Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht, Alles schläft; einsam wacht Nur das traute hochheilige Paar. Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar, Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh! Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht, Hirten erst kundgemacht Durch der Engel Halleluja, Tönt es laut von fern und nah: Christ, der Retter ist da! Christ, der Retter ist da!
Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht, Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht Lieb’ aus deinem göttlichen Mund , Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund’. Christ, in deiner Geburt! Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Words: Joseph Mohr, 1816 Music: Franz Xaver Gruber, 1818
Silent night, holy night All is calm all is bright ‘Round yon virgin Mother and Child Holy infant so tender and mild Sleep in heavenly peace Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night, holy night, Shepherds quake at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar, Heav’nly hosts sing Alleluia; Christ the Savior is born Christ the Savior is born
Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light. Radiant beams from Thy holy face, With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
O du fröhliche This very popular German Christmas carol has Italian origins. In 1788 the German philosopher, theologian, and poet Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803) brought the melody to Germany after a trip to Italy. Originally a Sicilian fisherman’s song, the melody was used for the Latin hymn “O Sanctissima.” Around 1816 Johannes Daniel Falk (1768-1826) wrote the German lyrics for what soon became one of the most popular German Weihnachtslieder. The English version is known as “O How Joyfully.”
O du fröhliche O You Merry (Christmastide)
MELODIE: Sizilianisches Fischerlied – Johann Gottfried von Herder (1788) TEXT: Johannes Daniel Falk (1816)
DEUTSCH Johannes Daniel Falk, 1816O du fröhliche, o du selige, Gnadenbringende Weihnachtszeit! Welt ging verloren, Christ ist geboren, Freue, freue dich, o Christenheit! O du fröhliche, o du selige, Gnadenbringende Weihnachtszeit! Christ ist erschienen, Uns zu versöhnen, Freue, freue dich, o Christenheit! O du fröhliche, o du selige, Gnadenbringende Weihnachtszeit! Himmlische Heere Jauchzen dir Ehre, Freue, freue dich, o Christenheit!
ENGLISH (lit. prose) See poetic version belowO you merry, o you blessed, Merciful Christmastide! The world was lost, Christ was born, Rejoice, rejoice o Christendom! O you merry, o you blessed, Merciful Christmastide! Christ appeared, To reconcile us, Rejoice, rejoice o Christendom! O you merry, o you blessed, Merciful Christmastide! Heavenly hosts, Exult your honor, Rejoice, rejoice o Christendom!
Even though I spent a good chunk of time last week decorating the house for Christmas, I had not thought much about Advent. How often I leap ahead, instead of being present to what IS right now.
Now to be fair, what I know about myself is that I love to create settings, and often the setting is the first step for me as I enter a new season or a new task. The setting is now complete: the tree is in its cozy corner, the big blue cupboard is home to brush trees, all the Santa Al’s are stationed in the kitchen, and the Nativity Set is once again arranged on the white cupboard in the dining room.
I am ready to turn my heart to Advent.
One of my practices in recent years has been to select an Advent companion from the Advent Perspective cards illustrated by Tracy…
Last year I turned eighty. What a special birthday it was! Another year is gone. I consider myself to be at an ‘advanced’ age. Still, sometimes I seem to forget about this a little bit. But more about this later. First of all I would like to insert a few pictures that we took yesterday, on Sunday the 20th September. Three of our friends joined us for lunch at the Treasure Court Restaurant of the Dapto Leagues Club:
All in all our lunch lasted for well over three hours. We were sitting and talking over afternoon coffee for quite some time. It was very stimulating, this talk with friends our age. We had so much to talk about! When we left the club, we showed our friends our new second hand car. They were very impressed because it looks like new. I now hope it is going to drive like new for a few years, for this ‘new’ car is already eleven years old!
It did not take us long to make up our mind to buy this car. Two days later (Thursday the 10th) we could already pick it up. In the meantime we already took it to the highlands for a drive. Peter had no problem to drive with it up and down MacQuarie Pass. It has a 2 litre engine compared with our old, 15 year old, car that has only a 1,3 litre engine!
Yesterday we told every one, we would go today to a funeral at Rookwood Cemetery. The funeral is to be in the Catholic section of the cemetery. Susan, Mila’s daughter, rang us the other day that her mother had died. I think she was 89 and had been rather sick for quite some time in a nursing home. We remember Mila well. She used to be our neighbour quite a few years ago. After she moved in with her daughter in Sydney, she sometimes came with a pensioners’ group for visits to the Dapto Leagues Club, where we could meet up with her.
Initially I really thought we would be able to make it to today’s funeral. Alas, Peter and I had a very short night. We both woke up much too early and just could not go back to sleep. We had been thinking of going to Merrylands as well as to Lidcombe to the cemetery. The funeral is to be at 2 pm. Peter pointed out that we could not go back to Susan’s place after the funeral for this would mean we would be getting home far too late.
Anyhow, we decided now, all in all it would be too much of a hassle for us. There are reason, why we should be going to Merrylands one day. But I think we have to do it on a day when we have nothing else planned. I reckon for younger people it is easier to plan to do several things in one day. We are just a bit too old for all this. I feel better when we can do everything at a leisurely pace and don’t have to stress ourselves out too much.
Anyhow, we decided to stay in our local area today to have a quiet, relaxing day – – –
For sure it is good to have good neighbours. I have about half a dozen extremely friendly neighbours, that are all well past 70. First of all there are two very friendly women who live with their very friendly partners of the opposite sex! And then there are two single widowed women that have been widowed for ages, and both of them have been my very good friends for nearly twenty years! However, we visit each other on average only about once a week.
Myself, having been widowed for close to one year now, I still often feel quite lonely. The other people in the rest of the houses I know only casually: One is a 92 year old woman, and all the others are much younger and out working every day of the week. Ayleen, this 92 year old very friendly woman, has her daughter living just around the corner.
Ayleen and I, we are the only people in the complex who do not have a car, for we don’t drive. I usually get outside help when I need some shopping done or when I have to go somewhere, or I call a taxi.
My two daughters are still full time workers and don’t live very close. However they are there, when I need them. My son, who lives in Victoria, is a lot of the time not available. So, I try to fend as much as possible on my own. Four hours help per week is provided by the government so that I can stay in my own home. Yes, I am lucky, that so far, being already 87, I have managed to stay in my own home and out of hospital. None the less, it is a rather lonely life, especially during lockdowns. And so far I have not been able to use public transport . . . .
When my husband was still alive, we would usually go on a little holiday at least twice a year. I wished I could go on a holiday now. Who wants to come with me? . . . .
Peter and I had often guests staying with us. Who wants to be my guest now for a bit more than a couple of hours or so? . . .
Here are some pictures of a third Advent Sunday! 🙂
Well, these pictures I took some seven years ago, didn’t I? It looks like I was then still very much into Christmas decorations, whereas this year I have the feeling, I may not get into the mood at all. Yesterday my daughter Caroline had to remind me, that it was already the first of Advent Sunday. I had not thought of it at all!
I wonder now, will I have some people coming to my place for some pre Christmas parties on my new outside deck? I had hoped, it would be easy, to get some people interested. Somehow, I am not so sure anymore. I do. take nothing for granted. If it happens, it happens. Maybe it is going to happen, maybe it isn’t. If it happens, I know, I’ll be very happy to have a few people gathered around me for an extended time. But maybe nothing or not much is going to come of it. I then have to live with that too and tell myself, after all, this cannot be the end of the world! Sooner or later there will be some good times again. One thing I can depend on: All my close extended family is going to arrive for celebrations on Christmas Eve! 🙂 At least I can be really certain about that already! However, about what I do after Christmas, I wouldn’t have a clue so far. We’ll see. Don’t old people often live just by their memories? If nothing pleasurable does come up for the time after Christmas, maybe I too will have to live just by my memories about beautiful times in the past. —-
In my Church four candles were lit for the fourth Sunday of Advent.
This is a window in the Catholic Church of Dapto.
After the Sunday Mass I took these pictures of the nativity.
Martin drove me to the 7.30 morning Mass. After Mass I was picked up by Martin, S and Peter and we did go straight away to Wollongong Beach.
Soon some life savers arrived.
We stayed for about an hour on the beach. Then we drove on to the swimming pool a bit further North. We all went for a swim. I love to have a swim in this salt water pool. All in all we had an excellent Sunday morning.
So, today is the 23rd of November 2021. In one month we are going to be very close to Christmas. But even before Christmas we are going to have a few parties with family and friends. This is what I assume. I can’t wait! 🙂 It is such a good feeling that soon I may be surrounded by a lot of people I can relate too and talk to! And we can hug each other, and share nice food and drinks, and listen to enjoyable music, and maybe even do a bit of dancing! 🙂
I also hope that soon I can do a little bit of travelling again; that I can pend a beautiful little holiday somewhere, and preferably in a bit of company! 🙂
Last week I had lost my vaccination certificate. I have no idea, how this could have happened! Such a bugger! But I had a good idea yesterday. Summah, my home help was me yesterday from 10 am to 12 am. So I asked her to drive me to the pharmacy where they had done my vaccination. The people at the pharmacy were very friendly and helped me out by printing out another certificate for me. I was so relieved! We went to a little cafe afterwards, where they promptly asked for my certificate! So good, that I could produce it then and there. By the time we left the cafe it was already a bit after 11. But ALDI was not far away, so we could still do some shopping there. I like having Summah around. She is really good to me. 🙂
Here is another reblog of one of my posts from nearly eight years ago! It was interesting for me, to have a look at this blog because it mentioned the same kind of problem with blood pressure that I experienced quite recently again. The difference is, that this time I was put on permanent blood pressure medication. But the medication I am on now, seems to agree with me. 🙂
Well, this is a long story. It actually started the day I had my Carpal Tunnel Release operation. On that day at six o’clock in the morning I was allowed a cup of tea and a very light breakfast. Then I had to wait for more than twelve hours before I could have as much as a glass of water or a cup of tea. I was told ‘nil by mouth’ before the operation, which was to last for only a short time, maybe twenty minutes. Unfortunately I was the last one on the list. Which would have been all right, if everything had gone to plan. However there were some unforeseen delays during the day, which meant my operation was postponed for many hours. I sat in the hospital waiting room, waiting, waiting, waiting.
The rain has stopped. This morning I had another beautiful walk along Cambridge Road. I took the same walk yesterday morning too and also the day before that! That means I’ve been walking the same route for three days in a row.
Yesterday I did not take my camera along. But today I did. I’ve been taking pics on these morning walks so often! However, I always spy something else I want to capture. I hope I don’t make it too boring for you to show you some more of the pics I took.
The area along this fence is meant to be a public access to the creek.
This is what I see looking down from the bridge where the creek should be!
More and more stuff grows where supposedly some time ago a creek was happily flowing along.
When I reached Lakelands Park the sun had come out…