2 posts tagged with “Zweibrücken”

  • Radler slushies and nostalgia

    MADD Virgin Craft Brewed Lager

    I was 16 the first time I got drunk.

    No, I didn’t raid my parents’ liquor cabinet and go crazy with the Sambuca, nor did I sneak a six-pack to the park to drink under the slide with friends.

    This intoxicating experience came compliments of my dad. I call it part of the curriculum of Life Lessons with Ludwig. I’m sure there were other teachable moments brought to me by my dad prior to this one, but they would have happened before my folks split and so, those poignant parenting episodes have just blended into one another in the era PD (pre-divorce). It wasn’t until after my parents’ marriage breakup, my dad landing back in Germany for a time, that Life Lessons with Ludwig became more defined, each with a beginning, middle and end. Getting drunk is the first one I remember vividly, despite my beer goggle vision at the time.

    It was the summer of 1993 and my sister and I were visiting my father in the land of beer and schnitzel. Like all good German burgs, his hometown of Zweibrücken had a summer festival whose central activity was — wait for it — drinking beer. There’s a good chance they have similar festivities in spring, fall and winter, too, but this particular celebration was called the Staadtfest, the Town Fest, so all drinking was purposeful, done in honour of Zweibrücken. Continue reading

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  • Peach Tree
  • Recipe for a family bond: An ode to a pumpkin

    I watched as my cousin walked up to the cashier, basket of groceries in one hand and a small orange pumpkin in the other.

    With room in the basket, it struck me how he separated the small orange squash with its lopsided bit of curled stem from the rest of the groceries.

    I also wondered what he would do with it. He had only a couple more days in Zweibrücken, where we both were at the time of the great pumpkin purchase, before he’d return to his reality in London. And I, along with my husband Steve, had only a couple days beyond that before we would also be bidding adieu to Germany.

    We were there together this fall on short notice. Members of my family came from respective corners of this country and that continent to say good-bye to the matriarch of the Mayer clan; a woman who is, without question, loved, though there have been moments when that wasn’t easy. She is admirable in many ways, and yet those same qualities we all grew to admire — and to which we credited her longevity — had once made her unbearable.

    Still, at 99 and three-quarter years, with a mind that could put most a third of her age to shame, and a stubbornness that convinced everyone she would outlive us all, my Oma was flagging. She was certain she was going to die and as she laid in a hospital bed, she begged for death to happen.

    It wasn’t my favourite trip to a place that I love and, in typical Oma Mayer fashion, she cheated death, though I know she was the only one disappointed.

    For most of the week we were there, there was a heaviness to the days — hours of which would be spent at the hospital with her. There was a hollowness to any laughter, a worry about what the next day would bring. It was hard to imagine a world without her.

    And then there was this pumpkin.

    Continue reading

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