Posts Tagged ‘stationed in germany’

Stuttgart, FRG, An Arrival

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

In June 1982, my wife, young daughter and I left Dover Delaware on a Military Airlift Command C5  for The Federal

Packrod Spin, Fresh Water

Packrod Spin, Fresh Water

Republic of Germany, aka Bundesrepublicdeutscheland.   Or, West Germany.  We landed in Frankfurt and caught a train to Stuttgart where we were stationed.  I was in a virtual state of exhaustion and slept most of the way.  About 20 minutes out, a young Sergeant in our compartment woke me up and gave me some advice on locating an apartment. 

The big fear about Germany most of we young families feared was the cost of getting an apartment.  One month upfront, last month’s rent and a month or two deposit.  Additionally, the cost of the rent was often pretty high and the availability was low.  The Sergeant said Just walk around and look for windows without curtains.”  When people move, they take EVERYTHING!  Curtains, lightbulbs, cabinets.  You are renting 4 walls.  When you see an empty window, knock on the door and ask if it is for rent.”

Well, arriving at the train station about midnight, no one was there to meet me so, several calls and a half hour wait later, Captain Jack Spencer showed up a bit bleary, stuck us in his car and took us to the Hotel Krone in a small farmer’s villiage called Steinenbronn about 15 minutes south of Stuttgart.

Over the next couple days, we walked around the villiage and one day passed this two story house.  Low and behold! the main floor windows were all empty.  A lovey young blond lady was in the yard.  I asked her if the home was for rent.  “Du must mit mutti spechen” she said.  So, we all marched upstairs to meet Mutti, or more formally, Frau Wagner. 


To make a long story short, we moved into the home a week later for $400 to cover the next two weeks.  We paid 800 a month and enjoyed the home until we left a bit over three years later.  God certainly provided generously for us.  In all my time in Germany, I never met anyone who had found a home so easily and entered it so cheaply. 


The added bonus was the Wagner family.  They were wonderful people.  Mr. Wagner raised pears in his back yard from which he made a fine wine.  Mrs. Wagner was a very kind woman.  She told me one time she was concerned for my wife being out in the country in a small town by herself and not being able to speak German.  I still recall her specific words roughly translated:  “We Germans are a cold people.  It may be very difficult for your wife to be here and not speak German.  How about if I take some classes in a nearby town (I forget the name) and I will take her with me and she can take conversational German.”  For a number of reasons that did not work out, but, Over 20 years later I can still picture the circumstances of that conversation.  The Wagners had three children, Linda, the young blond lady who was married to a Helmut Schmidt and lived a couple blocks away, a son Thomas who still lived at home and was about 25.  Finally, there was the youngest daughter whose name I do not recall.  Last but not least was Pia, the Schmidts daughter who was of an age with my daughter.  They played together and went to kindergarten together for the three years.


So, thank you God for a great introduction to Germany.  Thank you, Familia Wagner, for your kindness, generosity and friendship during our sojourne in your country.


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