Sunday, May 1, 2022

Maifeiertag¹

May Pole in Germany
(Source)
Most of you who have been hanging out here a while know that I spent the last seven and a half years of my Air Force career at a NATO airbase in Germany. I lived in Kreis Heinsberg in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, in a little town by the name of Waldfeucht (literally "damp forest"). Many happy memories from that time. Many indeed. (And not all involved bier und schnitzel!)

It's been twenty-three years since I spent my last May Day in Germany. I don't really remember the May Poles, in my village the houses of eligible young ladies would have a small decorated tree (or branches from one) adorning the chimney area of the house. It took a considerable amount of skill (not to mention stealth) to get those up on someone's house without being caught. But hey, if the lady was fetching, why not?

Anyhoo, I gave the Muse the night off, she's been busy as of late, and honestly, I'm just too tired to be creative. I'm also getting a bit nostalgic for the days of my youth. I'm having trouble believing that I retired from the Air Force twenty-three years ago this month.

Time flies, especially when you get older.


Thus marks the end of the longest month ever, or so it felt. The Missus Herself went to California for most of March. Then I went out there (for work) for half of April, when I got back, The Missus Herself was needed down in Maryland. She's like a superhero or something, the kids call, she answers.

She's finally back and the spring yard work has commenced. Friday was the annual ritual of cleaning the koi pond. We went into winter with seven fish, we came out of winter with five. It was a rough winter for the fish. But big old Mr. Frog, as we call him, no, he's not French, continues to thrive. This frog showed up one day some years ago and has made our pond his abode ever since.

This amphibian is bigger than my hand!
The Missus Herself did most of the hard work (she usually does) as I was off at an impromptu doctor's visit. Seems my right ear had decided to ache like crazy and was damned near completely devoid of any hearing ability. I figured that "this too shall pass" but my far-better half sent me to the medicos.

My doc washed out a glob of something that looked like the size of a baseball. Once she washed that out the pain was gone and my hearing had returned. Hhmm, wonder how that got there? I'm pretty good about cleaning my audio sensors, the left continued to function just fine, so I'm guessing it was "one of those things."

Yeah, let's not do that again.

Anyhoo, Happy May Day, not the freaking Commie kind but the old-school German kind. With witches and beer und schnitzel und wurst und spaetzle, usw!² And I leave you with this, from the Harz Mountains, where they still do things the old way. Or so I'm told. (I'm sure they have fun with the whole Walpurgisnacht thing.)



Tschüs!³


P.S. I'm also binge watching the final season of Ozark. Those who know, know. Keeps me busy ...



¹ What die deutschen call May Day. Some also call it the Tag der Arbeit, workers day. But that's mostly Berlin, that city was always rather "rot."
² The German way of indicating "etc.", it stands for "und so weiter," so on and so forth. No, literally ...
³ Bye. Cheerio!

24 comments:

  1. Amanda Dragonimov's Mom is Tabitha Stevens-Dragonimov, and her Grandma is Samantha,Stevens. I was thinking that none of those three witches look like the dancing witches, in the video. But then I remembered Amanda's Great Grandma Endora. I withdraw any criticisms I may have entertained in my mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dragonimov and Stevens don't sound very German. Perhaps that's why?

      Delete
    2. Quite possibly. I hadn't considered that.

      Delete
  2. Give my best to Mr. Frog. Badgers have always had soft spots for toads, you know

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. Frog, or Frogzilla if you will, isn't a toad. I didn't tell him you called him a toad, he would not like that.

      Delete
  3. May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii! Aloha to you, your wife, the 5 tough fish and your frog!

    ReplyDelete
  4. How big were the missing fish? Frogs will try anything. Enjoy Mayday Sarge and your reunion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty big, they weren't missing, the bodies were recovered and given a proper burial.

      Delete
  5. Freundlichen Grussen am MaiTag Sarge! The Muse has been working indeed, though it seems as though she was really cranking in the earlier (later chronologically) series. Still the Muse is vital and usually in control.
    We unassed Deutschland over a decade ago and have been back once. The old Thomas Wolfe saying is true "You can't go home again" few things (except the bier and food) were as good and many things were markedly less so (as in this country). I'm not chafing to go back again.
    Boat Guy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first series just seemed to flow, tying it (as I did) to the calendar. If you recall the first few posts were leading up to D-Day so I covered the 2nd through the 6th of June in the beginning. After that it was just following my WWII day-by-day book (2,194 Days of War by Cesare Salmaggi) until the war was over. Then I wanted to relate the earlier experiences of the characters in that series.

      It's been a slog at times (not as many people reading this one which leads me to believe I need to work harder, but I once told myself that if blogging ever became something akin to a job, then I wouldn't do it) but work has also been very involved since I finished the first WWII series. Helping to mid-wife a new capability aboard a new class of ship is busy to say the least. One of the hard parts has been insisting on not repeating the many mistakes made in the past. Frustrating as Hell at times. Also four trips to Sandy Eggo in less than a year has kept me on the hop, so to speak.

      But we'll get there. " I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer." U.S. Grant

      Delete
    2. Sarge, dunno if there are actually fewer reading as there seem to be a goodly number of us commenting. Regardless you have your bunch of "repeat offenders" reading. We appreciate what it takes and will eagerly await each installment. Drive on!
      Boat Guy

      Delete
  6. Sarge....regarding the decorated tree or branches on the chimney. Asked Mrs. Cletus if she and her sisters put branches on their chimney in Neuss when they were of marrying age. Of course, that was much earlier than you being stationed in the area. Reply was those customs are very localized and that wasn't practiced in the Neuss/Dusseldorf area. Haven't been back to visit her family since "2017". But I do miss one of my favorite activities, which was stopping at an Imbiss Wagon and walking down Hauptstrasse munching on a brochen mit wurst and scharf senf (snack wagon...bun with sausage & spicy mustard).
    Cletus Valvecore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The girls didn't put the branches up, the local lads did that. Also it was kids of what we'd call high school age. I wonder if that has changed given recent events. (Looking at you Disney.)

      You bring up a good point, Germany is a country of multiple traditions, cuisines, and histories. Wasn't even a united country until 1870 and has been chopped up and re-arranged a couple of times since then. So what's common in the Palatinate is unheard of in Bavaria. When someone asks me about German food, I always ask "which region?"

      I'm sure the place is radically different since I left in 1999. The socialists and die Grünen were always intent to destroy all that was good and decent about Germany. Seems they succeeded in many ways. Still and all, I miss my time there. But you're right, you can't really go home again.

      Ah yes, I do miss the schnell Imbiss and my morning brötchen mit käse und fleisch, my unit actually had a morning brötchen bar where you could make up your own. Good times!

      Delete
  7. It really has been a long month hasn't it? Glad it's over. Lots of stuff going on, Some good, some not so much. Hopefully, May will be better

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sarge, that may have been the most delightful thing I have seen all week. Big Band German Rap and Dancing Witches - what is there not to like?

    For a brief period in 2001-2002, I had to travel monthly to Vienna and then to Germany. I would fly into Munich, get a car, and drive an hour and a half through Ulm and down to Bieberach An Der Reiss (Bavaria and Schwabia). I do miss driving through the countryside and meat and cheese with every breakfast.

    I have thought about the places I went to years ago as well - Ireland, Hungary, even Germany. I wonder know if going back would at all be the same as I was there in some cases before globalization really caught up with them, or if I am better off just leaving the memories undisturbed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's something I wonder about myself.

      We lived in Long Beach, MS for one summer, a lovely condo across from the beach. I went back when I was in an Air Force training course and it felt empty. Now the place is completely gone, leveled by Hurricane Katrina.

      Memories are good, sometimes it's all one has left.

      Delete
    2. Had to chuckle at Toirdhealbheach Beucail's comment as it reminded me of a location where during deplaning a passenger asked the British Stewardist what he should do with his watch...meaning move the time forward or back. With her very dry British sense of humor she said "Sir, I would suggest you set it back about 2,000 years." Somehow I think most things in that area are just as they were when I left in 1988 after 5 years.
      Cletus

      Delete

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

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.