Monday, May 12, 2014

16 Years Later..

Of all the trips we've taken..
this quick trip to Germany
meant the most.

19 years ago
Steve and I and 
3 month old Stephen..
moved to Germany.
Steve was a pilot in the Army
and we were so very lucky to 
be stationed in Illesheim Germany..
our first assignment out of flight school.
Steve flew over first and secured 
a house for us.
We were determined to live 
not on the military base..
but in a house
with German landlords.

We lived for 3 years 
above Erich and Lieselotte
in a little farming town
called Bad Windsheim.
He built this house
and the two of them are 
probably the most hard working
people I know.

They didn't speak English..
thank goodness because boy
did we learn German!

Their daughter Silke
however, did speak English 
which was helpful at times!

Before Stephen goes off to college
this fall..
I wanted to take a family trip
back to his first home..
and to where Hannah was born.
Thursday we drove from Paris
to Rothenburg..where we stayed 
this past weekend.
Rothenburg is about 20 minutes
from Bad Windsheim and it's a 
beautiful old walled city.
(I will share more pictures of 
our weekend..
but I needed to have a post
dedicated just to them)

We arrived around 8:00 pm after 
an 8 hour trip and decided to 
drive to Bad Windsheim to have 
dinner at our old favorite Italian 
place, Franco's.

Before dinner I asked Steve to just
drive by the old house.
At 8:30 at night we certainly weren't 
planning on showing up unannounced.
But, I found myself ringing their doorbell.

I heard Lieselotte say..
"Erich, it's the Pam!!!"
I'll never forget the hugs they
both gave me.
They invited us in 
and it felt like yesterday,
not 16 years ago,
that we were sitting around their table.
Silke came too and told us
that her parents would say..
"Someday, Pam and Steve will
show up on our doorstep".

They showed us all of the 
Christmas cards I've sent
over the past 16 years.
And the pictures I've sent 
that are hanging on their wall.

They invited us back
for lunch on Sunday.
After a feast of shnitzel and 
potato salad and bratwurst
and lots of laughs and tears
we said goodbye..
Silke said..
"don't wait another 16 years to come back"
We won't.

These people were not 
just our landlords.
Our even just friends.
They became our family.

Vielen dank fur alles!
Bis spater...
Wir lieben dich!!!


  1. The connections we make in life are what's important. Such a lovely story it brought tears to my eyes.

  2. This is the sweetest! You are going to feel "full" for days. And yes, when you are away from family, you do build a beautiful extended family. And, I love that the language barrier did not matter and you were able to see each others hearts. This is a true love story!

  3. just the absolute sweetest thing.
    i believe that these connections are why we're here on earth.

  4. Beautiful entry!

  5. Makes me cry...this is what life is all about.

  6. I am so glad you shared this on your blog. It is the relationships we make that are so special in life. Early in our marriage, and beyond we moved often. And along the way we met some wonderful people and had an older couple for neighbors when our boys were babies. We have kept in touch for years. It is a special thing. So glad you could visit again.

  7. What a wonderful story!! Thanks for sharing it with us! xoxo

  8. I really enjoyed this post!! That is awesome :)

  9. This is lovely! I too have the German-American connection and have ended up living here. I just love hearing about these friendships that pass the test of time. Just yesterday I read a quote by Louise Hay that I still have in my mind: "Love is the biggest eraser there is". I dream that the atrocities of war and hate in this beautiful country (and all countries on this planet, really) are slowly but surely being erased by love and friendship - both of us have witnessed it happening!
    How endearing that she has kept all your Christmas cards too! What a sweetheart.