My Favorite Novel

Dear friends,

It’s a very cold November night and after a busy day baking bread and buns and  a delicious apple tart, plus writing an important letter, doing laundry, making a yummy pizza from scratch,  writing comments for  my Flickr friends’ amazing photos I am finally sitting down on my cozy couch near the crackling fire to write my weekly post.  Now I can catch my breath after this lengthy sentence, which my teacher in my long past school days would not have approved of.


I am remembering the long fall and winter evenings in my childhood and youth, which i would spend reading curled up in a comfortable chair or in my bed.

When i grew up, books were for me the major source of entertainment,  diversion and education. Our family like most of my friends didn’t have television, computers, record players or even a phone or other electronic gadgets. My father had a small radio to listen to the news.  We had to find other means of entertainment.

Although I was allowed to visit my friends, I had to return home before dark, which cut my visits short in the fall and winter months.

Thus, books were my major source of exploring the world. As I mentioned in an earlier post  i read my first novel secretly,  when I was six or seven years old.  This book was my first love and I still love it to this day.

I remember seeing it on my mother’s bedside table, when we still lived in our big house in Gotha. I had just learned to read and was intrigued by the size of this book, which my father had given my mother as a present. The title “Antonio Adverso”  (Anthony Adverse is the original title)  sounded mysterious and beautiful like a lovely melody.

I started reading the first few words and sentences feeling accomplished and proud that I could decipher and understand some of what I read. Intoxicated by my success i continued and suddenly felt drawn into a mysterious strange world far beyond my years. I would take every opportunity to hide in the bedroom and continue to immerse myself into the fascinating adventures and experiences of my hero Antonio Adverso as he was called in German. When confronted with difficult passages I had a great capacity for intuitively feeling or sensing what my brain could not yet understand or explain. With the help of my vivid imagination i was able to finish reading this amazing life story of an orphaned twin and his miraculous and adventurous life journey spanning many countries of the world. All universal aspects and topics of life are touched in this epic novel. Eventually i told my incredulous mother that I had secretly read her amazing  book.

Over the years I have reread this fascinating novel of more than a 1000 pages several times.  i sent it to Peter to read when we were first engaged and i wanted to name our first son Anthony.  We ended up giving that name to our third son because there were already four Anthonys in the maternity ward, when our first son was born,

My mom’s book is still in my possession, but it is old and tattered now.  However, Peter was able to find an original Amarican edition on ebay a few years ago.  I was surprised to discover that the previous owner of the book may have never read it but used it to press delicate flowers.  Some pages were still not cut open as was the custom in the long past.

Anthony Adverse was first published in 1933 and remained the bestseller of that time until Gone with the Wind swiped away the lead.

In 1999 Anthony Adverse was republished and is available through I can highly recommend this epic novel, which spans continents and touches all aspects of life.  It still has relevance for this day and age.  Anthony Adverse’s miraculous story will touch the heart and mind of  every reader as it touched mine.  Anthony Adverse has been my first love and I’ll never forget him.




Back to my Past (1958-62)

Dear readers of my blog,

finally I am continuing with my childhood memories.  In  my last post from that time I told you about a “smelly” prank  which we played on our art teacher. We were lucky that we didn’t all all get kicked out of school except for our class mate who had masterminded this “evil deed.”   She had already a bad reputation for being disrespectful and causing frequent troubles.  She seemed unperturbed by her suspension because she wanted to quit school anyways to have a fun life.. With a big grin on her face and a twinkle in her bright blue eyes she happily waved us good bye

Even without her, we played another prank on a teacher who , however, reacted  with good humor and did not retaliate.

This teacher had newly arrived from the GDR,  the other side of  the divided  Germany as a refugee.  He was a skinny man whose pants would often precariously slide down when he stood at the board  explaining mathematical formulas with great passion for his subject. We, however, tried to figure out or estimate how many times during his lengthy instructions he would pull up his irritating pants. We would stare at him with intense concentration and fascination, which he took as a compliment for his lively teaching style.


One girl in our class was the daughter of the vice principal. She told us that our math teacher  was bragging in the staff room how focused we were on his instructions.  Some of the other teachers had voiced concerns that our class was easily distracted or not attentive during their  instruction times. She also found out our math teacher’s birthday.

We decided to surprise him with a unique and useful gift. On his birthday, our teacher started to present us with a lesson on an especially exciting algebraic problem.  After he had pulled up his deviant pants  frantically  for the tenth time, the top math student asked very respectfully, if we could take a short break.  She informed him that the class wanted to wish him a Happy Birthday and present him with a gift. Our teacher looked perplexed. Maybe he was calculating the odds of such an unusual event happening to him. Teachers at that time never received birthday gifts from students.

The top math student, a quiet girl, politely shook his hand to wish him a happy birthday.  Shyly she handed him a small package while the rest of us shouted our congratulations. A bit hesitantly our teacher started to open the little gift. He looked surprised and slightly amused when he pulled out a pair of fancy suspenders. To his credit,  he was a good sport. He thanked us profusely for this most useful gift. To our delight and a bit of shame he even tried them on before finishing his “exciting” lesson without his usual wardrobe malfunctions.

He must have received another present after school for his birthday;  a pair of well fitting pants. No more need for suspenders. Unfortunately from that day on,  our attention to his instructions left much to be desired.  Did he ever figure out the  unknown variable  for this decline?


By a funny twist of fate,  I married  a math teacher who had the same ” pants sliding problem” during his exciting teaching career.  However, his students never had a bright idea to help alleviate his problem.

This Eventful Summer 2015

Hello friends and readers of my blog.

Before I start to continue  with my childhood memories  again, I’ll tell you a bit more of my experiences this summer while they are  still fresh in my mind.  This post is quiet lengthy.  If you want to read it in  two installments,  there is a break, marked  PART ii

I n my last post I talked about the short but sweet visit of our granddaughters and two sons.

They had hardly left, when school closed for the summer.    Peter and I  decided  to travel right at the start of my holidays to Vancouver Island to visit our middle son Tony and his wonderful partner Lisa.  They had just recently bought their first home and were eager to show it off.   It was a good decision not to delay our travel plans until later in the summer because an unforseen event would have prevented us from going.

Ferryapproach small

Traveling to the coast and taking the ferry to the island is always a great experience for  us.  Each time  I am more in awe of the breath-taking landscapes we travel through.  I let some of the pictures speak because I lack the words and time to describe all that awesome beauty.

Lumby 2


The one and a half hour ferry ride,  especially in brilliant sunshine,  is always exciting.  I  enjoy sitting on the deck with cheerful and relaxed tourists  who are often eager to engage in short conversations to share some of their travel experiences.

BCocean ferry small

This year,  the island looked drier than usual for the beginning of summer  because of the unusually hot spring we had.  However, the life giving presence of the ocean is forever invigorating and exiting.  Peter and I always feel more alive when we walk along the beach and  listen to the waves. the cries of the sea birds, feel the moist, salty air….and are overwhelmed by the majestic view of the magnificent ocean.   It is exhilarating.

Tony beach small

I am so happy that Tony and Lisa found each other and seem to have a loving relationship.  It took Tony a long time to find the right partner and I am glad that he waited. I had almost given up hope when it finally  happened a couple of years ago.  They seem to be right for each other and it is so much fun to be in their company.

Their new home is located in a beautifully treed, landscaped and quiet neighborhood close to beaches, parks and Tony’s beloved golf course.  It is an older house but so well built, designed that newer houses could not compare in quality and beauty.  We were so impressed by the bright, spacious and cheerful rooms tastefully decorated and furnished.

Lisa door small


Living room TL small r

The large deck adjacent to the kitchen  is shaded by a big fig tree and other fruit trees, lush shrubs and vines. The colorful flower garden interspersed with blooming bushes is a delight for the eyes. It feels like an enchanting, magical place especially when you sit under the cool grape arbor. The variety of flowers, shrubs and trees is astounding for such a small  city space.   Tony and Lisa seem excited to take up gardening and asked a lot of questions.

Along the wall leading to the stairs at the back of the house  grows an enormous fragrant Rosemary bush.   I have never seen one so big and healthy looking.  The aroma mingled with lavender and honeysuckle scents is intoxicating.  From the deck you can see two big bird condos on high poles along the fence overgrown with jasmine and honeysuckle vines. This little flower garden is a paradise for birds and butterflies. During our visit  Lisa bought a bird bath and we had fun watching the cheerful feathered friends while eating our meals outside.

Rosemary Biene small

Tony and Lisa spoiled us with their hospitality. Both love cooking and are excellent gourmet chefs. They complement each other. Their meals are light, fresh and healthy. They are delicious and also a feast for the eyes. It is a delight to watch the two prepare a meal together. All their moves are so graceful like dancers especially when they skillfully chop vegetables, slice meat or fruit or assemble ingredients.

Lisa kitch sm


Tony BBQ small 2


Deck small


For me it was so relaxing to just sit back and enjoy their delicious creations in the wonderful surroundings. I felt blessed and grateful for their loving companionship. Tony as a child and teenager was not always easy to raise. He caused a lot of worry and stress for a while.

But miraculously he has turned into a loving and successful adult. Peter and I are so proud of him. Young parents take note. Always believe in your children and never give up hope when they go through difficult times in their adolescent years. Stay firm but  loving and always forgive and support.

Victoria is a picturesque place especially on a bright summer day. We explored the scenic beaches near by and the colorful touristy harbor down town.Tony would hunt for the freshest sea food and other ingredients while we leisurely explored with Lisa as our charming guide.

Peter and me small

Shorty before our departure, they invited Lisa’s sister, husband and young family for a BBQ of Buffalo burgers with goat cheese. It was such joy to see how Aunt Lisa and Uncle Tony interacted so lovingly with the  children. The little nephew and the twin nieces clearly adored them and I could see why. They were so attentive and sensitive to their needs and engaged them in fun activities and play. Their big dog Shulo, also part of the clan, was no stranger to us.  Tony and Lisa had brought him on their visit last Christmas when Sarah and Mingo needed a break from him. I hope that Tony and Lisa will have a  family of their own some day.

Far too soon we had to say goodbye. But in Vancouver we had a short stopover and a pleasant visit with Stefan who had just returned from Colombia, one of his many travel destinations. Over a relaxed meal with a big glass of cool beer he told us some of his exciting experiences in South America. From his visit to a coffee plantation he brought us some coffee beans and a big decorative gunny sack. The coffee aroma in the car was so invigorating and tantalizing all the way back.

Stref Biene beer small


columbia small

But  we had to take an unplanned detour route on the way home.  The Coquihalla Highway was temporarily closed because of a forest fire near the highway.  However, our detour turned out to be an exciting little adventure. We had not traveled this wild and scenic route for many years and were impressed by the upgraded highway conditions. I annoyed Peter by frequently begging him to stop to take pictures of the many awesome scenic views. He always declined because we had to make it to Cache Creek in time to find a hotel for the night. But he promised to take me on an exploration and photo shooting trip next year if not sooner. i am always amazed how roads and highways can be build and maintained in such isolated and rugged landscapes.

Part ii

Shortly after our return home, we set up camp at Taite Creek, our beloved forestry campsite close to home at the lake. Over the last few years more and more people have discovered this hidden jewel and have fallen in love with it. Therefore it is not always easy to find a site in the summer. But we were lucky to get a spot in this wonderful summer community. We know almost all the regular return campers, but every year we also meet new and interesting people. Some campers think we live there year round or we are the camp hosts. In the future I will write an exclusive post about this enchanting place and the many exciting experiences we had there over the years.

This summer our stay was marred by an accident. Peter loves exploring the back country to take pictures of the beautiful natural surroundings. He drove his scooter repeatedly up the power line road to get a view of the lake to post on Flickr. Photography has always been his passion and now even more so because he can share his pictures on Flickr and other social media.




He would be so exhilarated after such a  trip returning with beautiful images on his camera.  We would keep in contact with radio phone.  This particular afternoon he was so eager to go for one more short drive he didn’t even change into long pants and boots

Dinner was simmering on the camp stove when I heard the moped approach right on time for supper.  I let out a gasp when i  saw my husband hobble towards the picnic table and sit on the bench  Blood was running from big gashes on his knee and leg.  “That’s nothing”, he said,  “it’s just a little spill. It looks worse because of the blood.  I am fine.”   Before I could question any further he limpd to the  lake and had a short swim to wash off the blood.

During dinner he told me that two big rigs had parked side by side on the road blocking his way. The owners were nowhere in sight. When trying to squeeze by at the side of the road he had slipped and the moped had tipped on his leg.

To make a long story short. Peter initially refused to see a doctor. His cuts and bruises healed quickly. But he stubbornly bore the pain of what he thought to be a sprained ankle.  A camping friend who is a nurse supplied him with pain killers and good advice.

However, eventually he gave in, when more and more people urged him to get medical attention. Reluctantly, he finally  saw the doctor who diagnosed a broken fibular and ordered complete rest. Luckily Mike and Angie had planned a short camping trip with friends. They helped us move home and took over our site.

I became a nurse and chauffeur for Peter for the rest of the summer. Peter at first was scared to death sitting in the passenger seat. But eventually he relaxed. He had to cancel all our travel plans to the Similkameen Valley, which he had so carefully planned through the spring.


With all the forest fires raging through the province, we might not have had the holidays we had dreamed of. Instead we had to enjoy our yard at home which was actually quite relaxing.  I didn’t even have to miss swimming.  Every day, before the afternoon heat i would go for a solitary swim at the boat dock and come back refreshed to look after my patient. Later on, when Peter was allowed to  walk on his crutches with his special boot, he would sit in his chair by the water and watch me swim or take macro pictures of insects or flowers in close range. He would attract friends and strangers eager for a chat.

Boat dock small

I tried to speed up the healing process with  warm comfrey leaf poultices which seemed to give him comfort.  He really looked forward to their applications.

This accident was a reminder that life can change in an instant. Therefore, we should always follow the saying “Carpe Diem” and enjoy every moment of this miraculous life.

May lots of good things come your way.  Until next time, hopefully in a week.

By the way,  Peter is finally almost back to “NORMAL”









Hello friends. I am Back

Dear friends  and followers of my blog, last year, on my birthday I started writing about  my  journey through life.  Every living being on this planet has a unique and miraculous story.  This is my attempt to share my experiences with family, friends and the world since we are all interconnected in mysterious ways.

Eagle feather blog

I am a person who lives in the present and does not often dwell on the past or daydream of the future    However, by writing this blog  I started to like reliving memories of my life.

At the beginning of summer I took a break from writing because that beautiful season is so short.   I am like a sunflower and need to turn to the light to survive,


I love the sunshine and activities outdoors with family, friends and new people we meet when camping or travelling.  In summer when I charge up  energies there is no time to spend in front of the screen  The vibrant and life-giving forces of Nature are calling me to the wonderful world  outside.

Whatshan Lake

I am a sun worshiper.  For me sunlight is vital to my physical and emotional well being.  Water is another element I adore which enhances my joy in life and invigorates my spirit,  Since my early childhood I love the freedom and peace when swimming in lakes and rivers,   Gliding through pristine waters always washes away stress, negative feelings or thoughts It energizes me.

Solitary walks along the beach or in the forest have the same calming and uplifting effects on my sense of well being.  I come to realize that many of my best memories are connected to experiences in the natural world with people I love.

It gives me joy to see that our five sons are all drawn to the same life-giving forces of the outdoors  and are seeking out experiences in beautiful natural environments like hiking, mountain climbing, horseback riding, swimming, boating, gardening and walking.

Forest Light

This summer started off with the wonderful visit of our second son Richard from Montreal. He came with our two little granddaughters, Azure and Emeline.   I let the pictures speak for themselves. As the well known saying  goes,  “A picture is worth a thousand words.”   Azure and her little sister are such sparkling and multifaceted  personalities that i could not even do them justice by attempting to describe them in a thousand words.   Their unique personalities have to be experienced in person.

Azure Em

Uncle Stefan, our youngest son from Vancouver, also joined us during that time to share in the family fun.   He is the strongest family bonding glue of all his brothers.

Me girls Rick




One of the highlights of the short visit was a trip to my favorite beach and campsite at Taite Creek.  June is always a wet month and a storm was brewing.   In spite of the menacing clouds on the horizon,  spunky little Azure   (following in the footsteps of her grandma) was the first to brave the still frigid waters of the Arrow Lake    With chattering teeth but bubbling over with excitement she then danced around the fire.   Little Emeline snuggling in her father’s arm clapped her hands in admiration of her older sister  Their singing and dancing around the fire at my favorite campsite are memories i never forget,

Em taite

Dear friends,  for today I’ll close my post.  I am so glad to be back  It’s a dark and stormy November night.  Through the coming dark season there will be more time to write   The last picture was taken at Taite Creek which is even beautiful at this time of year.   I wish you happy memories of your miraculous life.   Let the summer sun be reflected in our hearts.

Dunkle nacht