Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hhmm, That's Different...

Church and windmill, Waldfeucht, Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Many moons ago, when the world wasn't as insane as it is today, my tribe resided in the Federal Republic of Germany, fast by the border with the Netherlands. A lovely town, I saw that church spire and that windmill nearly everyday for seven plus years. (For those who want to know such things, that's a Catholic church, bearing the name of Saint Lambert of Maastricht, which is in the Netherlands, go figure. At least St. Lambert is local, Maastricht is about 27 miles from Waldfeucht. Which, incidentally, translates to "damp forest" in English.)


On the aerial view below, the "A" in the red (ish) circle is at the end of what was our driveway. (No, it wasn't actually painted on the street, Google did it back in 2013 when I first grabbed that screen shot. For proof look at the next screen shot, not now, wait for it...)

It was a nice place and we all enjoyed our time in Germany. I wrote about that here. Now the post I had planned for today involved the places I had lived and how much I like trees, but there is such a thing as too many trees, (yes, I'm looking at you Louisiana). Now when I went to Google Maps to grab a newer overhead of Das alte Gehöft for that post, I noticed that something was, well, different. One of the things was not like the other (different time of year and camera angles aside). That difference threw me off the original post (which I still will do, just not today) and sidetracked me to this one.

Google Maps
Below is the overhead I grabbed today, er yesterday (dang space-time anomalies!), notice anything different (other than the aforementioned time of year and camera angle)?

Look carefully (I know John in Philly has it nailed already).

See it?

Google Maps
Well, I noticed it pretty quickly as I lived there, so let me break it down for you. The picture on the left closely resembles our abode when we departed in the spring of '99. (Yes, yes, I know, in the last century...) On the right is the new overhead which gave me my WTF moment on Wednesday.

Those trees by the light green arrows (now gone) were a favorite hiding place of our cat Pat, during his biweekly escapes from Stalag 13, I mean, the house. He'd head over there and get himself under this one low bush covered with prickly things (I know, I know, they're called thorns) and chuckle in his feline way that we couldn't get to him. He would eventually return with us, but only on his terms. Cats, it's what they do...

One lovely day in the high summer, when we hadn't seen any rain for some time, some knucklehead strolling by on the road (which passes under the arrows) tossed his still lit cigarette into the trees. One of which was a pine tree, lots and lots of dry needles underneath. Yup, set it ablaze he did (had to be a guy, trust me).

Our American neighbor in the other half of our duplex (for such our dwelling was) closest to the blazing trees said she had smelled something burning but was late for work so she didn't bother to investigate. Fortunately, The Missus Herself thought the smell far too strong and the amount of smoke (which was starting to fill Schloss OAFS) far too much to be just a small fire.

She called me, she notified one of the neighbors who had a bit of English and who called the Fire Brigade (Feuerbrigade auf Deutsch) and by the time Yours Truly arrived on scene the excitement was mostly over. When the other Amerikaner came home he was (a) surprised that the lady of his house didn't pay more attention to her surroundings and (b) informed me that in their garage, stored next to the wall (on the other side of which was a roaring fire) were three freshly filled propane tanks for their gas grill.

So if we had not been at home... (Boom, no more house!)

Now south of Schloss OAFS pointed to by the orange arrow (hhmm, might be a Dutch arrow) there is, in the left photo, a nice open space. We played throw and catch (baseball and football) in that little field and the odd game of badminton (not odd as in rare but odd in that we weren't very good at it), and which various and sundry Germans in automobiles used as a shortcut from the paved street in front of the houses to the dirt road running behind the houses.

One guy had the temerity to blow his horn at us while we were playing in that open space. I asked him in English and in German if the grassy field upon which the battle of Waterloo was won, er, the grassy field upon which we were engaged in sport-like activities looked even remotely like an actual road. I also mentioned that he should perhaps, if he didn't actually own the land, to take his Teutonic self elsewhere. I may have actually been rude and used strong language. It's possible, in fact likely, that I did so.

But I digress...

If you will note, in the right photo there is no longer a grassy field but a rather substantial dwelling. (Well, it's bigger than Schloss OAFS at any rate.)

I wonder if that bloody German in the BMW tries to drive through that house? I think it would be rather annoying sitting in one's Küche having a bit of sausage and perhaps some beer and having some annoying chap sitting in your driveway blowing his horn, perhaps expecting you to move your house so he could drive through.

I wonder if he had to do this when he bought the car?


I first saw that cartoon over at Barbacat's place, tickled me it did. I should mention that The Naviguesser drives a BMW, I think he owns two actually. And while he's not an a-hole, he does drive extensively in California traffic, so...


  1. Hmmm.... that new home took up almost all that old empty lot didn't it? Would have sucked if you were still there eh? Not all changes are for the good. Dern kids...Get Off My Lawn!!

    1. Yup, took pretty much the whole lot. The view out of my bedroom was good back in the day, now it's looking at the side of someone's house.


  2. Googled 'Campo Pond, Hanau' for a blog post. Circa 1964 it was a vast treeless expanse of sand. Today, trees everywhere plus a herd of wild horses where our ammo bunkers once stood.

    There was a paved road across it, closed to the public, which was routinely ignored. One poor soul drove his VW into a self propelled artillery track one dark night.

  3. Hmmmm, change!
    Not all changes are visible on der Google map, but definitely apparent.
    You can trust me on that

  4. I knew that I wasn't fond of BMW drivers, now I know why. Thanks for the post.

    Paul L. Quandt

  5. Babylon revisited is never Babylon remembered! When I lived in Indiana, we were in one of three houses on a short dead-end street. At the end of the street was a marsh, which froze over in the wintertime and the braver (or foolhardy)among us would venture out on the ice.
    I Google Earthed the location a few months back, and the dead-end road makes a complete circle through a larger subdivision built upon what used to be marshland. Tempus fugit.

  6. It's always good to visit the old homesteads if one gets the chance. Childhood home? I've visited the street a few times. Same basic house, but greatly expanded. Never had the courage to knock. The log cabin we built in Oregon? I'm friends with the now-grown son of the family that bought it from us. He had my room. Visited once and it's the same as it was when I lived there. The place in Japan? I'm sure I'll never visit again, although Google Street View has given me a peek.

    1. I agree, Google Street view is non-existent in Germany for the most part. Odd that...

  7. Between 1880-1940 little homesteads sprouted and grew all over this part of the country as new landowners dug in and tried to pry farming income out of shortgrass prairie. Today the homesteads are slowly fading back into the land as if they never were.

    1. Mother Nature has her own plans and her own ways. We humans still try and bend her to our will. With little success.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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