We are coming up to four years this month since we were posted to Germany and since our time here is coming to an end I felt the urge to write down a few of my observations about German life.
Whilst I know many others disagree and would prefer to be “within the wire”, I feel incredibly lucky to have been housed within the German community. We are in a village within the Teutoburg forest in the Nord Rhein Westfalen area of Germany. It is a stunningly beautiful part of the world, surrounded by woodland on all sides. I know a few forces families find it a bit remote and maybe the fact that I grew up in a tiny English village in the middle of nowhere has given me the tools to cope here better than others, but I just don’t know how you could not fall in love with this place. I adore that you can walk out the door and be surrounded by trees within minutes. To be able to walk in the woods and have the feeling of being miles away from everything that modern life brings is one of the most peaceful feelings I know and I try to grasp a little of this everyday.
Something I have noticed whilst living in Germany is that they tend to decorate the entrances of their homes to match the season. Their homes are draped in beautiful bright colours, fruits, flowers, plants and ornaments to match the changing of the season.
This is the time of year I love most over here. We are in Autumn at the moment and there is an abundance of seasonal inspired wreaths, flower displays and porch decorations around. As soon as September arrives people display groups of pumpkins and different types of squash on their doorsteps to signify the harvest. As Halloween draws near these pumpkins are carved and put back outside containing candles that are lit each night.
Almost as soon as Halloween is over here you begin to see Christmas decorations Yes! As early as November they begin to put up wreaths and lights in their gardens. Trees and indoor decorations don’t tend to go up until much later, trees often being left until just days before Christmas Eve. Christmas decorations are generally left up well into the New Year here too. Alot of people say this is far too early, but I have always been of the opinion that Christmas can never come too early. And I have noticed that some homes only take their decorations down as Easter gets closer.
March and Springtime brings bright yellow flower displays and an Easter Tree in every garden. Brightly coloured little plastic eggs adorn the branches of every tree in sight. Spring chickens, bunnies and lambs sit on front porches, ornamental of course, not the real thing. Bunches of daffodils and tulips on the ledges brighten the windows. It all gives a feeling of brightness after the long, dark winters, we have over here.
Summer, I have noted is the only season they don’t seem to celebrate the season with decor. This is when they clear it all away and have clean, fresh minimal entrances.
This, (along with coffee and cake ;)) is just one of the many parts of German life that we have grown to love and take on board ourselves during our time here. Their love of family is another. For them, children are the center of everything and Sundays are seen as family day over here. They make time to be together and enjoy playing and laughing with their children.
All in all we have enjoyed and appreciated our time in Germany and will be very sorry to see it end, but that is the nature of forces life- Home is where the Army sends us. The only difference being that this time when we leave we are a huge step closer to our Spanish dream. The place we have wanted to settle since we first met is getting closer for us and a whole new chapter is ready to begin…
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link up – http://www.thingsthathavecaughtmyeye.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/love-where-you-live.html