Autumn Impressions from Germany

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

– Albert Camus

Fall and snowy winters are my favorite seasons. This year’s fall has come a bit later after we had a rather lengthy summer with a drought.

I love to see the blankets of leaves, which I don’t have to rake. I enjoy foggy mornings while having coffee on the balcony. Then we might have clear blue skies a.k.a. Indian summer (German: Altweibersommer = old women’s summer), when the yellow leaves are so bright against the deep blue sky. Autumn is full of change.

If time allows, I take morning walks through the nearby forest.

Herbststimmung im Wald.

Another pretty sight in downtown Bad Homburg.

Amber-colored leaves

A Japanese maple in the sunshine

A dog rose bush  providing tasty berries for Hagebuttenmarmelade (rose bush jam). When I was younger, this type of jam was available in supermarkets  only between November and late spring. I suppose they have it year-round nowadays.

Against dreary November skies, a cup of hot mulled wine (German: Glühwein) might help in the evening. 🙂 With the mostly sunny days we’ve had, MY Glühwein bottle is still unopened.

Motor Pool Oberursel and its Swimming Pool 1929 – 1969

I have permission to share the following photos of the very first swimming pool in Oberursel, which belonged to the Motor Pool.

1929: pool party or Sommerfest (summer fest)

Summer fest 1929

On 30 March 1945, U.S. troops occupied the town of Oberursel and the Motorenfabrik (Motor Pool). The Motor Pool remained in U.S. American hands until 1956/1957.

Change of hands: The Americans returned the Motor Pool back to the Germans in 1956/1957

The Motor Pool also had its own fire department. The next three photos show a fire drill held in 1969.

Photo source:  Geschichtskreis Motorenfabrik Oberursel

For more about the history of the Motor Pool, have a look at the book at 125 years of Motor Pool history , a post I had written about the author Helmut Hujer, and his work.

List of German Wedding Anniversaries and Their Symbols

A couple of years ago, we celebrated our 25-year anniversary, a.k.a. silver wedding anniversary. In the Holy Roman Empire, a husband would crown his wife with a silver wreath on their twenty-fifth anniversary, hence the silver.

In Germany, we have the following symbols assigned to each anniversary.

The Wedding Anniversary Guide
  • 1st Anniversary: Paper
  • 2nd Anniversary: Cotton
  • 3rd Anniversary: Leather
  • 4th Anniversary: Silk
  • 5th Anniversary: Wood
  • 6th Anniversary: Sugar
  • 7th Anniversary: Copper
  • 8th Anniversary: Tin
  • 9th Anniversary: Ceramics
  • 10th Anniversary: Rose

 

  • 11th Anniversary: Steel
  • 12th Anniversary: Nickel
  • 12 1/2 Anniversary: Parsley
  • 13th Anniversary: Violet
  • 14th Anniversary: Ivory
  • 15th Anniversary: Crystal
  • 16th Anniversary: Sapphire
  • 17th Anniversary: Orchid
  • 18th Anniversary: Turquoise
  • 19th Anniversary: Abalone
  • 20th Anniversary: Porcelain

 

  • 21st Anniversary: Opal
  • 22nd Anniversary: Bronze
  • 23rd Anniversary: Titan
  • 24th Anniversary: Satin
  • 25th Anniversary: Silver
  • 26th Anniversary: Jade
  • 27th Anniversary: Mahogany
  • 28th Anniversary: Carnation
  • 29th Anniversary: Velvet
  • 30th Anniversary: Pearl

 

  • 31st Anniversary: Basswood
  • 32nd Anniversary: Soap
  • 33rd Anniversary: Pewter
  • 34th Anniversary: Amber
  • 35th Anniversary: Canvas
  • 36th Anniversary: Emerald
  • 37th Anniversary: Machalit
  • 37 1/2 Anniversary: Aluminum
  • 38th Anniversary: Fire
  • 39th Anniversary: Sun
  • 40th Anniversary: Ruby

This coming September, we will celebrate our Carnation Wedding Anniversary. The carnation flower in itself has a slightly morbid association in Germany – they often serve  as funeral flowers.

White carnations symbolize not eternal fidelity, but they also represent the nails used at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Fortunately, its German counterpart ‘Nelke’ not only means carnation, but also clove (as in Gewürznelke).

 

What Goes into the Biomüll?

When you first arrive in Germany,  your new residence comes with quite a few new rules. Among them is the business of how to separate the trash.

Biomüll Tonnen

Some of you care to do so, so here is the list of waste items for the brown container (German: Biotonne):

  • kitchen waste – anything raw or cooked
  • vegetables and fruits (no citric fruits though)
  • cheese, fish, meat, bones, and cold cuts
  • egg shells and nut shells
  • milk, flour, and cereal products
  • dry goods having gone past the expiration date (without the packaging)
  • oils and fats (solidified)
  • coffee grounds, filter bags, tea bags, and tea leaves
  • paper towels, paper napkins, and tissues
  • newspaper used for wrapping
  • lawn cuttings
  • shrubs, fallen leaves, and bark
  • other organic waste, such as  hair, feathers, cat litter, wood shavings, and sawdust (only from untreated wood)
  •  hay, straw, and pots made of peat and cardboard

 

Germany’s Oldest Christmas Market is in Dresden

Which town has the oldest Christmas Market in Germany? Among the many questions I get from expats around the area, this one is related to Christmas.

The town  is Dresden. Its Christmas Market, also locally referred to as Striezelmarkt, was the first one of its kind to be mentioned in 1434.

Meaning of Striezel (m): 1) In eastern and central Germany, a Striezel is a yeast dough bread, similar to Stollen (e.g. Weihnachtsstollen). 2) The term can also stand for ‘naughty boy’.

snowman

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