It was now early November of 1989, and as the leaves began to turn colors and fall away, the contemporary design of the house itself became more visible.
Because of the property’s peninsula like shape – with streets both in front and behind it, there was a lot of street frontage to maintain – as is the proper German custom.
Our Mercedes-Benz 230 sits in the driveway on a beautiful fall day in 1989, and the white pole to the left of the photo was to fly a village or church flag on certain festival days during the year.
In the side yard over the hood of our car is a wooden structure that was a rustic swingset, which as you will see, David put to good use.
Here is a view from behind the house – the glass wall between the chimneys is part of the dining room and the black slats on the left are part of the woodshed at the top of the driveway beside the one car garage.
Another view from behind the property shows the forest, which consisted of three parallel rows of trees surrounding much of the property – and I began cutting out all the deadwood in preparation for the new spring growth next year.
This view of the property was taken from across the street, and shows the “arrowhead” nature of the lot, defined by the two streets that merged together into a “Y” shaped intersection.
As you can imagine, there were lots of leaves to pick-up that fall – and we made it a family activity with David helping out with his wheelbarrow.
David always enjoyed swinging on the swingset, and from the frost on the leaves behind him you can see that it was an icy cold November day.
If we pay attention, we can see in children their immense capability and enthusiasm for enjoying the moment – a very important lesson for adults to relearn from time to time.
The saying that as parents, “children keep you young” speaks of the youthful energy and excitement that children have to offer everyone around them.
David and I working in the yard surrounded by frost covered leaves on the grass – our family was now all settled into Monzelfeld and life had returned to normal for us…but what really is “normal?”
It was November 10th – the eve of Saint Martin’s Day, or “St. Martinstag” – and we set out as a family for a hike that would eventually bring us to the village bonfire to mark the occasion; and here is a newly built house on the edge of the village with commanding views to the horizon beyond.
The tradition on Saint Martin’s Day is for the school children to make paper lanterns to lead the village procession to a huge bonfire – often twenty or more feet high – out in the fields surrounding the village.
A villager plays the role of Saint Martin, dressed as a Roman soldier on horseback with a red cape; and wonderful soft fresh baked pretzels are handed out to the children at the bonfire.
Since we were new to the village of Monzelfeld and to the area, we decided to take a hike and took the long way around to where the bonfire was to be held, in order to better explore the area – here David stands in a small icy patch in the field.
The Hunsruck or “Dog’s Back” region of Germany is an area of higher terrain generally east of the Mosel River that is very rural, and covered with forests and open farmland.
It was a bitterly cold day in Germany, and David stands in another icy snow patch in front of fields and a forest that blankets the distant valley.
Something caught David’s attention as he points at what was probably an airplane in the sky – he was a real trooper who could hike with the best of them.
Standing behind a tree in the field behind the new house with the sweeping views of the horizon, the cold didn’t seem to stop David’s eagerness to continue on at the ripe old age of 2 years and 9 months.
In this picture we’re closer to the distant valley that is covered in a forest, and the warmth from the bonfire will eventually be very welcome indeed.
Our hike takes us back in the village now, and this new house under construction shows the quality of German houses – built of concrete block with the finest materials that are meant to last for generations.
As the sun began to set we were closer to the destination of the bonfire, and here David and I stand in front of a beautiful small devotional chapel that is on the outskirts of the village in a field by itself – only large enough for a few pews and a beautiful devotional altar.
The sun was setting quickly as we were getting closer to where the bonfire was held, and this row of bare trees looked very nice against the pink-tinged sky behind them.
This cropped picture of a simple wooden roadside directional sign has an interesting exposure to it that I can’t explain, as the rest of the photo included the setting sun behind the bare trees; and at this point sadly we ran out of film prior to reaching the bonfire.
On another day we visited the town of Limburg on der Lahn, which is east of Koblenz on the Lahn River; and my wife, David and my mother-in-law (left to right) stand before Saint George’s Catherdal.
Saint George’s Cathedral or “Sankt-Georgs-Dom” in Limburg an der Lahn was constructed between the years 1200 and 1235, and beside it is a stone castle that dates to the 7th century and was finally completed in the 13th century.
We toured the Old Town or “Altstadt” district of Limburg an der Lahn and here my mother-in-law, David and my wife (left to right) admire a building covered in very detailed wood carvings.
Limburg an der Lahn has a beautifully preserved and protected medieval town center in the Altstadt, which was part of the protected walled city center.
As David, my wife and my mother-in-law (left to right) stand in the shadow of medieval buildings; one can only imagine what the city would have looked like originally hundreds of years ago.
Here David, my wife and my mother-in-law (left to right) walk through a spotless and interesting section of the Altstadt, amid narrow passageways and restored houses – with some requiring a little extra bracing.
A beautiful half-timbered building from centuries ago stands in pristine condition, as the gabled windows from a distant roof seem suspended above it in the air.
Always ready for action, David couldn’t resist taking this little vehicle for a spin – and the child in all of us completely understands why.