Friday, January 17, 2014

Our House in Germany

When Dieter and I had married in Germany in 1957, we were very poor. Dieter was at his last semester in Engineering School and I was already pregnant with our first child. We lived in a very snall apartment under the roof.
Being poor does not mean being unhappy - just the contrary!
Dieter's first job as Construction Engineer and Architect was just enough to pay our small rent and buy groceries. From there on Dieter frequently changed employers to climb up the money ladder, which also meant changing locations of residency. The apartments got bigger over the years and so did Dieter's reputation as a Professional. At some point big Construction Companies sent their Managers to our door to win Dieter over and convince him to change.

We were a family with two sons when we started to make vacations at the Holland shoreline south of Rotterdam. When we had our daughter we had moved already to a neighboring city and when she was 2 years old, we had to move to Bremen. The Apartment at  "Huchtinger Bahnhof" was spacious and involved 2 floors with another room under the roof. It was so nice that we never really had the urge to buy an own house. It was also a matter of money. We both loved our vacations and we always taylored those to the needs of our children. Later on our camper trailer changed to a bigger size, a small boat with an outboard motor was added - and our vacations stretched out to Austria and Norway. Our boys were active Kayakers participating in Ralleys and Dieter helped them and their peers to transport them and the kayaks to starting locations. Dieter and I were also members in a Camper Community at the river Weser and had our own lot. We invested into that too, and we were driving to that wonderful spot outside Bremen almost every weekend. Of course - our children loved that.

Finally - in 1977 we had that idea to buy our own
house. Dieter knew exactly what to look for because he was sure of the quality of that pre-manufactured house which was developed in Sweden. The houses had 2 separate Apartments, the yards divided by a fence. It had many money-saving utility features. And we could option in many extras. I do show only few pictures from the inside, but it was lovely, to say the least. Dieter once had worked for that company and a new development with those houses was just established south of Bremen. The street next to our property was the border in between the City State Bremen and the Lower Saxony State, where we now lived.

Our property was the biggest one in size and located at the end of the development and had  access to the garage court where Dieter's business car was parked. Dieter had built another big double garage for my Audi and his BMW with the garage door to the garage court. He was pretty busy converting a dirt patch of old lawn into a park-like garden. I can publish only some pictures from it because so many others are showing persons of our family and friends and I do not expose them to the public according to their wishes.

This is the front of our part of the house coming from the street Dinklager Weg in Stuhr via a foot path.

Backside of the double house. The two left upper windows are ours, and so is half of the covered seating area and the adjacent shed.

This is the tile path from the entrance area to the back terrace.

The open door leads to the Living Room. Dieter clears the table of empty beer bottles. We had guests....

To the right you can see the shed door, and in between the house and the shed is a big seating area, where we could sit when the weather was on the windy/rainy side.....

The garage court yard. Our double garage, which was very deep and harbored Dieter's work area in the back, shows my Audi to the left and Dieter's private car, a BMW, to to the right. The fence door to the right could be opened completely to park our camper trailer. the garage door to the right of the colorful fence contains another Audi, Dieter's business car. Behind this all we had planted a little forest, with pines, firs and 2 leaf trees.

Cabinets in our Living Room, which show only one half of that side. For our first small apartments we had 
bought already furniture we could stack and remove or add feet - those could now be incorporated into the wall furniture. Dieter completed the skirtings etc. and built a small bar. The style was IKEA wood furniture.

Dieter had built this outside Fireplace/Grill and it worked fine and was employed very, very often. The street you see is the Stuhrer Landstrasse, the borderline in between 2 German States I was speaking of. Along that side we had planted firs and all kind of bushes, blooming and non-blooming. This hedge was growing fast and the sreet was not to be seen anymore. The table you see on the right side was a Ping-Pong table made by Dieter, the board was resting on movable work horses......

Dieter had also built the nice bird feeder - and had planted the big fir in the middle of the lawn.....This is Karin, the picture was one of many taken that day, it was our daughter's Confirmation  Day.

Our big fir was trimmed with lights for Christmas Saison - and drivers on the road stopped their cars to look or take pictures. One day we had sirens going outside, the police was investigating what the reason for the car stoppings were, they thought an accident had happened....
The building you see behind the fir is L-shaped and has a Grill built into the wall  with a seating are on the other side, and the inside is a bar room.The door you see is the side entrance of the big garage.

Dieter opens a keg of beer when our second son had his wedding party in our place. The pictures taken in that garden bar are priceless, but as I said - too many persons in it, the pictures have to stay in our photo boxes...

We toast with Champain on our son's wedding after Dieter had addressed the newlyweds.....

This is a happening in our kitchen. I prepare a big meal for a crowd and appeared to be tired. Dieter came in, recognized it and comforted me....

This was the day when our oldest son got married and all guests had coffee and cake in our place - next to some wonderful drinks. We both are very tipsy...and I feed cake to Dieter because his hand seemed to be unsteady....haha....

On this picture you can see clearly how the growing bushes and trees give us more and more privacy...

This is the pathway you saw in the beginning of the picture series. Our flowers reached almost the second floor level.....

As I said earlier - the street with the through-traffic is blocked out......

In 1984 Dieter lost his job because of recession in northern Germany. He was over 50, over qualified and over paid - and he had to make room for a freshmann from a school with one third of his pay... Instead of waiting for a job to get offered from the government agencies, we decided it was time to make a giant step forward and go to the United States. Dieter's younger brother in NJ wanted him to start a general construction business in Pennsylvania for him because he had already bought a house in PA......

We sold the property and everything we owned, bought back all insurances as possible,  
packed 51 big boxes, shipped them via freight ship to New Jersey and flew over....
Our children and their families and our daughter, who wanted to study , stayed behind.

More about our new home in the USA will follow in the next post.


  1. Beautiful glimpses into the time capsule of your life, Karin! The trees and shrubs sure did make it private after a time. It must have been so hard to leave your children behind. Sometimes we think we might like living somewhere else, a different state, but then think about how our three children have all settled close to us. We won't leave them. :-) You had little choice, though, when Dieter's job was lost. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to another installment! :-)

    1. I thank you, Teresa. You honor me with your comment, it is a gift of your precious time and your loving mind....

  2. A lovely home for a lovely couple! ♥

  3. I like the poster behind Dieter's keg... ;>)

    1. He always likes those kind of posters, up to this day....

  4. Thanks for your comments, both friends Paul! My appreciation comes with a big hug for both of you!! ♥

  5. You two entertained and had many parties there. You're both so blessed with the gift of welcoming, and you still have that gift. Sharing a day with you two is still a lovely memory. Thank you for being so wonderful.

    Cindy Rueden Gosar
    ( I am authorized by my friend Cindy to post her fb comment. Thanks a lot, Cindy!

  6. When I look at you and dieter, I see love and affection, care for one another, sharing and wanting happiness not just for good times but also in bad times ... I love you and Dieter. So happy you are my friends and you have come into my life and lighted it all up ...

    1. Cemil - you made tearing up.....I can tell you also that you one amongst a few internet friends I cherish and admire for their wisdom. Thanks for your loving comment....that is all we can do as friends in cyberspace...instead of hugging we can assure one another.....

    2. Since I cannot edit my reply I have to employ another comment. Lately I make many typos and I have to remind everyone that I going rapidly to the 80-year mark. That I forgot the word "me" in the first sentence might also be the result of having enjoyed a "Whiskey on the Rocks" just shortly before. Not everyone has the money to enjoy that, but I just trade a new pair of shoes or a new dress for a bottle of Whiskey - cleans the arteries in the process - smiling.......

  7. What a beautiful property you and Dieter had, Karin! Especially in Europe, where land is often scarce. Lovely life and home as well. What a difficult undertaking that must have been, to pack up and move to America. Adventurous spirit! ☺

    1. Somehow I missed your comment when it was posted by you, Debbie. Sorry. Thanks for looking at my pictures! Yes, Now, in my old age, I have doubts that we did the right thing. But you know me - always upbeat and not regretting. Living in the NOW is the best and enjoying our life. Love - Karin

  8. The photo of Dieter with his arm around you, in the kitchen, is truly beautiful. Just the way you look at each other, perfectly captures a moment of love between 2 humans beings so deep it's one for ages. ^_^

    1. I thank you, Henrik. Your comments are a wonderful feedback.....