A Copy of ‘Experiences in my Life’

On the 10th October 2018 I wrote this:

“Yesterday there was on Peter’s Facebook a link to this blog. A few people were interested in reading it. I reblogged it here so maybe some more people might want to read it.”

So today, one year later, I looked again at this blog and decided to copy it, hoping that some blogger friends who haven’t seen it yet, might want to have a look at it.

Originally I published it here:

https://auntyuta.com/2017/10/05/experiences-in-my-life/

Here now is the copy of ‘Experiences in my Life’ from the 5th October 2017:

“It has been a while  since I added anything to my childhood memories. If I had another look at it now to see what I have written  some time ago, maybe I would find a few things in there that I do not remember so well anymore now. With time the memories seem to fade somewhat. This is why it is important to write down the things that I do still remember now.

Today I thought about it how blessed I am that I have a number of great-grandchildren. Yes, there are five of them now. Grandson Tristan has two girls, grandson Ryan has two boys, and granddaughter Roxanne has one boy. The two girls are nine and ten years. The boys are five and three years, whereas Roxy’s little Carter is now 10 and 1/2 months. Since all of us do not live very close together,  I cannot see the family on a daily or weekly basis. Even a regular monthly meeting is usually not on the cards for Peter and me.  After all we are both in our eighties. Still, I am very happy that Peter can still drive enabling us to participate in special family celebrations. A few times a year our extended Family does come to visit us. I am always thrilled when a lot of visitors turn up at our place!

Everyone tells  us that it  is great that our family keeps in contact for birthdays, and at Christmas time and Easter. I do appreciate this very much and am very grateful for it. It is very rewarding to see the growing up of  great-grandchildren.  Watching them at their different stages kind of reminds me of my own childhood.

I often ask myself: What was I like at such and such an age? I still do have vivid memories about some events and some family members from the time when I was about three or four. So would my great-grandchildren perhaps remember people and events from the here and now when they are in their eighties?

When I go back to the time when I was about three or four, Cordula often comes to mind who was just eight months younger than I was. We could see each other quite often. Actually, I think she was a bit like a sister to me. When her Mum took Cordula for an outing. I was often allowed to go with them. I have such good memories about these walks! I cannot recall that my Mum ever asked Cordula to come along with us when my Mum took me for  an outing somewhere. I think occasionally Cordula would come to the apartment where I lived to play with me. But usually I would go for visits to  where Cordula lived just two floors further up on the fifth floor.

To me – even as a child – these  five story high Berlin apartment buildings  were just perfect as a  place to live  in. When we moved to a desolate country area because of ever increasing bomb raids on Berlin, I missed Berlin very much.

Last year when we went for  a visit to Berlin, we  stayed in an area where  all the buildings  were five stories high. All of them were beautifully restored and maintained. “Wie im tiefsten Frieden”  – like there was absolute peace. This is what we used to tell us during the war when something seemed to be like it was before the war started. These buildings I  am referring to were last year already well over 100 years  old!”

One month ago, on the 13th September 2019, granddaughter Roxanne had a Baby daughter: Evie Rose. That means little Carter ( nearly 3 now) has a baby sister. He loves her to bits!

Last weekend we stayed in Sydney: Grandson Troy did get married to Antonina. It was again a great family event!

In October 2017 two bloggers made comments to

 “Experiences in my Life”

I copy these comments here together with my answers:

  1. It is always rewarding to have family keep in contact. After marriage one of my brothers and one sister moved to Queensland. Another brother lives in Holland. The distance makes it more difficult but sometimes we phone or even visit.
    The grandsons are now in their teens and start making their own lives.

    1. That’s right, Gerard, distance makes it more difficult. We often talk with Peter’s sister in Berlin via skype, also we do talk via skype with my brother who lives not far from Berlin. To be able to skype for free for any length of time is a marvellous thing. However seeing our siblings in person and being able to give them real hugs is something else altogether. In our modern world because of overseas flights we do have the opportunity to keep some real person to person contact. But no matter how often we take to the air to go for visits in distant lands in the end we have to live most of the time without our far away siblings . On the other hand it may perhaps be possible to tell oneself that overall the spiritual is somewhat more important than the physical?
      How often do very elderly people lead a very lonely life because none of their loved ones lives near by?

Uta’s Diary, 2nd of September 2015

https://auntyuta.com/2015/09/02/utas-diary-2nd-of-september-2015/

A bit over four years ago I published the above post. There are some pictures in it reminding me of Gaby’s birthday and some family visits, when Lucas was 3 and Alexander barely one.

And then I included some pictures of my parents: One of my father with Gaby, when Gaby was just six months old. We lived at the time at my father’s place in Düsseldorf. My father was very fond of the baby and straight away when he came home from his office he would go to pick up Gaby for a while to talk to her.

There is also a picture of my mother with Gaby when Gaby was nearly one year old. We were in Berlin for a visit at the time. The picture was taken at my mum’s balcony. I inserted these two pictures of my parents because I had been thinking how very different from each other my parents had actually been. Reading what I wrote about it some four years ago, did bring back quite a lot of memories for me. These memories are still very strong memories. I find it interesting to reflect on all this and copy here what I wrote in September 2015:

“The older I get the more I seem to reflect on times past. I often felt very much out of place as a young person. Also I tended to be “zurückhaltend”, that is I was usually more the listener and observer and did not show a great deal of affection and emotion. On the other hand, I also remember times when I felt free and communicative and very talkative.

When I think of my parents, the most remarkable memory about them is, how very different they were. Here is a bit of how my father may have influenced me, and then how my mother’s influence was so very different.

My father was the most open minded and tolerant person. He liked to talk to me about a lot of things. He always treated me as though I was trustworthy and mature for my age, able to understand different points of view. Very rarely did I see him being angry with me. He only tended to be somewhat angry when, all of a sudden, I behaved in a very unpredictable way. Despite his open mindedness he was basically a very conservative man. If I showed signs of departing from his view of the world, this would upset him personally. Still, he was loving and forgiving, and eventually he was always able to accept my departure from some of his conservative views.

Now, my mother was in every way the opposite of my father. On the whole she was maybe rather tolerant as far as I was concerned because she loved me. But she made it very clear, that she did not love my father anymore. She showed not the least bit of tolerance towards him, on the contrary, she showed a lot of hatred, for in her opinion he was a “Versager” who did not do anything for his children. She thought it was not up to her to look after him when he had serious health issues. Maybe she thought he was just pretending. Also, she hardly ever talked to me about things that were important to me. She tended to keep very important things from me, for she wanted ‘to protect’ me! At least, this is how I remember it. I knew she loved me very much. Still, I always felt I was not the daughter she imagined I should be. I remember she telling me, I was an “Oppositionsgeist”. So I must have been speaking up about some things that disturbed me a great deal. I felt very bad for opposing her, but I could not help it. Of course, on the outside I tried very hard to go along with what she expected of me, just to keep the peace. Alas, I think I came into inner conflict about it. In short, I often did not feel happy about myself.”

I ask myself now, how come, when I felt very much loved by both parents, I still did not feel very happy in myself a lot of the time? I think I felt torn between my parents . . . .

But ging back to that diary from the 2nd of September 2015 I wrote that we had cake on that Sunday afternoon when we had family visits. One of the cakes was a freshly baked cheesecake. Peter baked it! Here it is still in the oven:

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And I wrote: The following Sunday, which is Fathers’ Day here in Australia, we are all going to meet for lunch at a Thai Restaurant. So, this was four years ago!

Fathers Day in Australia is always on the first Sunday of September.

My Diary, one Day after Mothers’ Day

A couple of hours ago I looked at some “Nuclear News” and copied and published some of it. Should I not take notice of any “Nuclear News” because these news tend to sicken me immensely?

http://www.yourdictionary.com/ostrich

Under the above definition about “ostrich” I found the following:

“Origin of ostrich

  1. from the erroneous belief that an ostrich buries its head in the sand when in danger
  2. a person who tries to avoid difficult or dangerous situations by refusing to confront them”

So, do I wish to avoid to confront this dangerous situation? If all this nuclear news bothers me continuously, should I not stop to read about it? No, I don’t think so. Is it possible that a lot of people just do not want to be informed truthfully because the truth would upset them too much. Instead they rather believe lies. Believing in what are obviously lies is somehow more soothing to them than being confronted with the truth. Has “believing” in lies some survival value? Maybe. – Maybe Orwell in his story “1984” did see it this way?

However, today I do not want to dwell on this “nuclear business” for too long. Instead, I want to think back on what a wonderful day Mothers’ Day 2018 turned out to be for our family.

As I said in another post, we were expecting our family to turn up at our place in the afternoon for coffee and cake. And so it happened. The guests arrived right on time, among them were three mothers and I was the fourth one.

My two daughters were among the guests. My son had given me a ring from Victoria a bit earlier to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day and telling me the news about Benalla and his family and asking me about it how I was going to spend my Mother’s Day.

I did get some lovely flowers from my daughters:

I asked Caroline and Matthew to fill the glasses with a welcome drink.

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These are just some of the welcome drinks.

So there were my daughters with their partners as well as two grand-daughters and two grandsons,  two of my great-grandchildren, son-in-law’s mother, grandson’s wife (mother of the two great-grandsons that were present) and the other grandson’s girl-friend. So quite a lot of the family were able to come along for a little Mothers’ Day celebration. Peter and I were very happy about this!

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This is one of the potato pan-cakes we had today for lunch.

Uta’s Diary, 5th of Sep 2016

Yesterday, on the first Sunday of September,  it was Fathers’ Day in Australia. Our daughter Monika had booked a table for lunch at the German Club. The place was totally booked out. I was told, Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day were the two most busy lunches. Even for Christmas they do not have that many bookings because for Christmas most families like to celebrate at home.

At the German Club there is now a cafe section. After our rich German lunch we placed ourselves in that cafe section for coffee and cake. Mark, Monika’s partner, gave Peter a special bottle of beer. While Peter was hugging this bottle, Monika took this picture of Peter and me.

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Monika also took this picture
Monika also took this picture

On the left is Mark’s daughter Tiana, then Monika’s daughter Natasha, Mark’s mother Merl and Mark.

We have been invited for next Sunday afternoon to Mark’s and Monika’s place for coffee and cake. It is going to be Natasha’s 25th birthday and Monika’s whole family will be there. We’re looking forward to that.

Matthew has been visiting our daughter Caroline in Darwin over the weekend. In a few weeks Caroline is going to visit us again. Caroline may be working in Darwin till February of next year.  There are affordable flights available between Sydney and Darwin. Caroline and Matthew do make good use of these!  I wonder, when we can see our son Martin, who lives in Melbourne. He was with us in Berlin where we had a really good time with him. We have not seen him since we returned from overseas; that was a couple of months ago. How time flies!

1st of August 2016

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Last month Lucas turned four. His birthday was celebrated in the Yacht Club at Lake Illawarra. From the club one has a good view across the lake.

 

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The family birthday party was on a Sunday, the day before the actual birthday. Matthew, Peter and I had earlier on that Sunday picked up Caroline from Sydney Airport where Caroline had been flying in from Darwin via Adelaide.

Here is Ebony with her two sons Lucas and Alexander. Caroline and Natasha are looking on.
Here is Ebony with her two sons Lucas and Alexander. Caroline and Natasha are looking on.
Caroline with little Alexander
Caroline with little Alexander
Ryan
Ryan and Krystal, Lucas in the front

 

Monika and Roxy
Monika and Roxy

 

This is the food that Peter chose as his lunch.
This is the food that Peter chose as his lunch.

 

I very much liked the rice and some of the very good tasting vegetables
I very much liked the rice and some of the very good tasting vegetables

 

Peter with the birthday boy
Peter with the birthday boy

 

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Alexander and Lucas in the club's playground
Alexander and Lucas in the club’s playground

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Playstation
The Playstation

 

They like the Playstation
They like the Playstation

 

A Playground for the very young ones
A Playground for the very young ones

 

Fun Play Area
Fun Play Area

 

Beautifully designed Play Areas
Beautifully designed Play Areas

 

I loved to walk around and take pictures.
I loved to walk around and take pictures.

 

Natasha was keeping an eye on her little nephews.
Natasha was keeping an eye on her little nephews.

 

Alexander is about to try out a bit of climbing.
Alexander is about to try out a bit of climbing.
Alexander watches his brother climbing.
Alexander watches his brother climbing.

 

Children having Fun!
Children having Fun!

 

Another View to the Lake from the Playground Area
Another View to the Lake from the Playground Area

 

Ebony and Natasha are about to take the children back to the table for the cutting of the Birthday Cake!
Ebony and Natasha are about to take the children back to the table for the cutting of the Birthday Cake!

 

Lucas has to come out now.
Lucas has to come out now.

 

Lucas loves his Cake.
Lucas loves his Cake.

 

Lucas with Nina and Troy
Lucas with Nina and Troy

 

Peter and Matthew can be seen in the background.
Peter and Matthew can be seen in the background.

 

Looking for something?
Looking for something?

 

Who is it under the table?
Who was under the table?

 

All of us have had a good time.
All of us have had a good time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We always wish

I thank Ajaytao for these words of wisdom and want to reblog them and write some thoughts about my own life.

Turning 80 this year I can say that I have had a good life. Even now at this advanced stage in my life I can still enjoy life and do not find it too hard to cope with age related aches and pains. Do I wish I could have changed something in my life? Oh yes, I wished I could have changed not having had to grow up in Germany during wartime and the difficult postwar years. Of course these are things we cannot change. But WW II for sure turned me in an antiwar person for the rest of my life.

False advertising, propaganda, and outright lies, these are the things I am very sensitive to. Blame my childhood experiences. I learned early on that you cannot believe everything a leader might tell you. We lived like paupers after the war. I went to school till I was eighteen, but I did not apply myself. I never learned to study hard. Probably I could not see any sense in it. At eighteen I started secretarial work. A few years later came marriage and children and migration to Australia.

Ever since I left school (and during my school years as well!) I had very little money to live on. However I was never desperate for more money. Throughout my life my motto was I have to make do with the little money I have. It turned out that somehow it was always enough. My husband and I are very good savers. We paid off our house with a building society loan. The first few second hand cars we bought on hire purchase. Apart from that we never went into debt. When we travelled overseas we used our own saved up money.

Do I wish I could have changed my past? Sure I would have liked to grow up without the deprivations of war. I would have liked my father to be home all the time. I would have liked my parents to live together after the war. These are things I definitely could not have changed. What could I have changed? Study hard, go to university, end up in a profession I would have loved to work in? Well, it was not to be. I did not have the guts to study hard.

Even though we were rather poor the first few years in Australia, I did not feel poor. I was happy having a family and I enjoyed the easy going Australian lifestyle. How much did I change over the years? Maybe not all that much. I am probably basically still the person I was when I came to Australia aged 25. Some major changes in my education would probably have been possible before I even entered high-school. I was just easy going at school, always got good marks without much effort; except towards the end of my school career at commercial school, which I hated!

I remember as a teenager I spent hours dreaming about a wonderful person who would come along and give me some guidance. I never did get to know such a person, except in my dreams! But I was very happy later on with romance and married life and children. Well, I must say, I am quite happy with the way things turned out to be in my personal life. Still, one thinks sometimes how things could have been somewhat different.

Saturday, 10th November 2012

As I probably mentioned in one of my earlier posts the family of my father was a rather large family. My father had five siblings! His younger sister Elisabeth (Liez) was about the same age as my mother. My mother and father had three children, Elisabeth and her husband Alfred had also three children. We children were similar in age. I was born in 1934, our cousin Horst six months later in 1935; my brother Bodo was born in 1938 and our cousin Karin one year later in 1939; my brother Peter Uwe was born in 1941 and our cousin Udo one year later in 1942.

This means Cousin Udo is the one who turned 70 in September 2012. Peter Uwe and his wife Astrid had told me they were going to drive to the Stuttgart area in time to be there for Udo’s birthday celebrations. And they invited me to come along with them. It would give me a chance to meet up with a lot of our grandfather’s descendants, who would all come to celebrate Udo’s birthday. This was the time when our cousin Renate (our mother’s niece) had just had a severe stroke and it looked bad. Renate’s daughter sent me emails and kept me up-to-date about Renate’s condition. I had the feeling, in case that Renate should die, I should aim at going to her funeral rather than travelling with Peter Uwe and Astrid all the way to Stuttgart. Then I did get the news that Renate had died in a hospital in Munich. She was to be cremated in Munich a few days later when there was to be an urn-burial near where she had lived.

I blogged about it how Peter and I travelled by train to Munich. This meant I could not travel with Peter Uwe and Astrid. They were not very happy about this, because they had already booked accommodation for the three of us. Anyhow, what has all this to do with Saturday, the 10th November 2012? Well, at the time we were still staying with Peter Uwe and Astrid att their house in Mecklenburg/Vorpommern. On this Saturday they suggested we could all travel to Stralsund to meet Uwe, our cousin’s son, as well as his family.

Of course Astrid and Peter Uwe had met the whole family at Udo’s birthday party. Uwe has a wife (I forgot her name now) and four lovely children. To have as many as four children is nowadays rather unusual for a German family in Germany. But anyhow we met them all at their family home in Stralsund. I was very impressed what a lovely well organised family they were. We arrived at lunchtime and they invited us for lunch. Astrid had baked an apple-cake and had mentioned on the phone that she would bring it along. On the way to Stralsund we stopped at a super-market to buy a few sweets for the children and flowers for the lady of the house. Some of the children helped to set the table. They had a huge table in a huge living-room area. Their apartment had very high ceilings and I think about five bedrooms. They lived in a building which was maybe one hundred years old but wonderfully restored and looked as good as new.

The apple-cake was served as a desert with coffee. Uwe had an appointment after lunch and had to rush off. But during lunch we had a really good conversation with the whole family. All the children participated in the conversation too, which impressed me very much. The way the conversation went reminded me a bit about my grandfather in Lodz. I found Uwe was as good a talker as Grandfather had been. And he would draw everyone into the conversation as well. I really enjoyed observing this family and how they related to each other. Alas, we could stay with them only for a very short time. We pointed out that we were about to explore Stralsund a little bit. They gave us good advice, where to go and what would be of interest to see.

Stralsund is situated at the Baltic Sea. Peter took some harbour pictures and some pictures of the beautifully restored buildings in the midst of town. I took some pictures too, but they got lost when my computer crashed. Nobody thought of taking any photos of this lovely family we had been visiting. This I regret very much. But my pictures got lost anyway. There are quite a few pictures that Peter took and I am going to publish them in my next blog.