We visited the small village of Berolzheim and took a walk to “Linni” (Lindich) a piece of forest and fields which once was partly owned by my Grandpa. My memories aren’t very vivid, I just remember a playground he made out of trees.
Some pictures of the past
Magic happens in peculiar ways
When we walked back to the village we talked about the fact that there is no store and no restaurant anymore. We suddenly stood in front of a houseware store, whose display obviously didn’t change until the 80s. There was a lot of dust and even some dried beetles on the objects in the window and the prices were still marked in Deutsche Mark instead of Euro (introduction in 2002). Out of curiosity I pushed the door and it opened miraculously. I called my Mum and we entered the store and even called for someone, but nobody appeared. I felt like sitting in a time machine full of late 70s kitchen articles which you can only still find on flee markets. We looked around in the store for at least 20 minutes and let the feeling of being trapped in a time warp infiltrate. So many crazy stuff! The store was very well heated and at the end I was willing to buy some curiosities, but still nobody there. So we left and closed the door of the time machine behind us. Later we met a Lady in the streets who told us that the owner is nearly 90 years old and lives above the store.
Another Shop from the past
When I was a child, I frequently climbed those steps to buy sweets in a tiny dark store led by a slightly scary old woman. In my memory the store was dusty and full of enigmatic containers. And when I think back, I have an atmosphere in mind which reminds me today of Ollivanders magic wand shop from Harry Potter.
Today, eight years ago, my Dad died. Since some years, my Mum and I take the day off and do something nice and meaningful together. We decided, to visit the village where my Mum grew up and where I spend a lot of weekends and holidays of my childhood.
My Great Great Grandpa once build a fabulous house there in the Badgasse in Berolzheim, Baden Württemberg. Nothing huge and pompous, but three floors made of red sandstone, hard work, laughter and love. It stood there for two World Wars and was always full of children and adults. My Grandpa died in 1986 and since then my Grandma was the last person living there. In 2008 – she was already 90 years old – she still heated her rooms with a wooden stove in the kitchen. But the house risked to collapse and so my Grandma moved to an assisted living home. All the daughters already lived somewhere else and so the house was sold to a neighbor who demolished the dilapidated building and put up a garage instead. My Grandma died in 2014 at 95.
Those are some pictures from the 50s to the 80s showing members of the family on the steps in front of the house.
I haven’t been to Berolzheim since more than 12 years because I didn’t feel I could bear the sight of the non existing house – the place of some of my dearest childhood memories – being replaced by a garage. But today I felt, I go seeing it. I frequently feel, that my attachment to “things” is quite tight compared to others and when I talk to my Mom, I know, that she feels just the same. It is – like if the things are gone – the memories are gone, too. I don’t want to attach myself to things. I wanted to feel, that those memories won’t be lost, just because the house has gone. And they aren’t. Just yesterday I read the following: “Jeder Mensch sucht nach Halt. Dabei liegt der einzige Halt im Loslassen.” (Hape Kerkeling). I would translate it like that:
“Everyone is looking for something to hold on to. But the only possibility to find something to hold on to, is to let go.“
And in those times of change, there are things that will go and others that will come. And some old things have to go to make space for new things. And all of that is normal and good and maybe will even become much better than before. Who knows? Maybe it was a possibility for a good change in the life of someone?
I’m sad to see it gone. But is is still engraved in the corner of happy memories in my heart.
The place where the house once was and the village:
On our walk through the forest we met Donald Trump, the snowman. He was much nicer than his original. And he didn’t talk so much. Pavlov loves snow and he likes catching snowballs, just like in the last pictures.