Thankful…A very personal post

Germany Unity Day 001

In case you didn’t know, I’m both German and American.  We moved from the USA to the southwest corner of Germany last fall to spend some time with my father who lives here and expand my husband’s business.  We know we’ll head back to the states one day, but for now – we’re enjoying living in Europe and running our businesses virtually.

Today’s project is a clean and simple one – but quite personal.  Today, October 3rd, was the inspiration for this project, with a little guidance from the CAS(e) this Sketch challenge.

Case This Sketch BadgeCTS_95

Today is a national holiday here – it’s our July 4th.  The cold war ended on November 9th, 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Barely a year later, the two German Countries – East and West, as I had known them growing up, were united into one.  The Unification Treaty, signed on Sept 20th called for October 3rd to be officially know as Tag der Deutschen Einheit, or Day of German Unity.

Germany Unity Day 003

Growing up, we visited Germany practically every summer.  My mother, born in Prussia (then Germany, now Poland) was relocated with her family as a refugee to Dresden after World War II – she was just eight years old and the eldest of five.  She grew up in what was then known as Russian controlled East Germany behind the Iron Curtain  – as the Wall that severed this country was known.

Each summer, we would spend about six weeks here visiting friends in the west, and as a toddler, my family in the East.  Once my parents split, we came here with my Dad, and would visit my Godmother’s family in Eisenach, just over the East German Wall (border).  It was quite an experience to cross – something that took almost a whole day.  Russian soldiers would walk up to us with machine guns and take our passports 6-8 times, we’d have to unload and re-load the car several times – and they were always suspicious as to why Americans were allowed, yet wanted to go into East Germany.

To say it was an experience was putting it mildly.  We weren’t allowed to bring books, newspapers or anything really with us.  We had to register and spend every converted dollar (having receipts to show that we were taking everything with us that we were spending) back with us.

The best way I can describe going into the east was coming from a bright colorful place (it was the 70s and 80s after all) into a black and white greyish suppressed place.  It was surreal.  I’ll never forget those trips.  The buildings were still dilapidated, the streets went from paved in the west to cobblestone in the east and while we played on playgrounds in West Germany, we playing in orchards and with farm animals in the East.

So to say that I was stunned and overcome when the wall fell that 9th day in November, 1989 is an understatement.  My grandmother, cousins, aunts and uncles could finally leave and just move around if they wanted to.  It was just the thought of possibilities and color finally making its way to the East.  It would be many decades before life was somewhat normal there, but today – just 25 years later – the world is finally their oyster.

Today’s project is clean and simple, because simply put, I’m thankful for this holiday today.  I’m thankful that my family has choices.  I’m thankful that they have access to food, the bare necessities, and just all that we take for granted on a daily basis. I’m thankful that the east is finally colorful and the land of opportunity.  So this project is just that – simply the German Flag and my brushed gold heartfelt sentiment – thankful.

Germany Unity Day 005

Thank you for reading this very personal blog today, I appreciate you visiting, perusing and being a part of our virtual community.  No matter where you are in the world today, know this country glows a bit brighter on the official 24th German Unity Day.

So grab a beer and celebrate right along side us today.  The party will be big in Berlin – Germans live each day to the fullest – we know how precious freedom and liberty is.  It wasn’t a pretty history, but to be severed for so long and then unified and whole again – that’s something no German takes for granted.  Simply put – we’re thankful for today.


Germany Unity Day 002

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