With orders in hand for our follow-on assignment to Hahn AB, Germany; I flew with my wife and son back to Germany in May of 1989 so they could spend the summer with my wife’s parents while I later took care of outprocessing Mather AFB and attending my enroute training.
A world away in Germany everything remained as idyllic as the day we had left in 1987 – and here is a typical scene of a village along the banks of the Mosel River in the Eifel.
The vinyards along the banks of the Mosel River were as picturesque as I had remembered them to be, and reflect the traditions of the region that go back to the days of the Roman Empire.
Vinyard owners know a thing or two about hard, back-breaking work; as these vinyards take a tremendous amount of manual labor to maintain and harvest.
The Mosel River valley slopes are very steep and precarious to work on, and there are only a few paths available to operate tractors and wagons on – so most everything has to be done manually.
The slopes of the Mosel River are covered with vinyards from Trier to Koblenz, where the Mosel River meets the Rhein River; and many of Germany’s other river valleys support vinyards as well.
My wife and I purchased a used Mercedes-Benz 230 with the car buying assistance of my wife’s father and brother – who had a long history of owning and restoring Mercedes-Benz automobiles between them.
Here our Mercedes-Benz 230 is parked at the end of my father-in-law’s driveway to be detailed; I also purchased the interior wood trim kit for the dashboard to make the inside look special as well.
Almost everyone in Germany seemed to own a Mercedes-Benz, Audi or BMW; and owning high quality automobiles has always been a Germany tradition.
This was to be my wife’s car, as our other car was a blue 1987 Honda Civic Wagon which was being shipped from California to Germany at the time and was perfect for me to drive back and forth to work in.
Because Germany’s roads are often rural with many twists and turns and lined with forests along their shoulders, my wife and I though a solid Mercedes-Benz sedan would be the safest option for both her and our son to use as their primary vehicle.
A common German and European tradition is to build homes out of cement and tile that are strong enough to last for centuries, and to buy quality vehicles to own, maintain and operate for years – and both are also the most cost efficient options in the long run.
Here I am standing beside our Mercedes-Benz 230, which was the nicest car that my wife and I had ever owned and operated – a true joy to drive – especially on the autobahn.
I was soon returning to Mather AFB to do my final outprocessing and enroute training with the Arizona Air National Guard at the Tucson International Airport – but it was very nice to be in Germany again for the moment.
Germans take tremendous pride of ownership in almost everything they own and are responsible for, from detailing their automobiles to sweeping the streets and sidewalks to washing their windows weekly – everything needs to be kept in top shape.
Our family made the rounds of visiting with relatives after returning to Germany, and my wife’s parents helped design this house when it was being built for one of their relatives.
David and I enjoy a moment together in the back yard while visiting with relatives and having an afternoon “coffee and cake” – which has always been my favorite German tradition!
David clutches his “bunny” while we were visiting my wife’s aunt’s home for her summer birthday party, which was always a festive occasion for all the extended family.
David was growing up fast and was always full of action and energy – and here he runs in the backyard by the bird feeder while visiting with relatives.
David gives me a questioning look as if he wasn’t quite sure that what he was planning to do would meet with my approval, as if he’s frozen for a minute in doubt before continuing.
While relaxing for a moment in a lounge chair, David finds that a custom seat between my knees suits him perfectly for the time being – while growning tired at the end of a long day.