Monday, November 24, 2014

A Surprise

I had a real surprise yesterday morning. The phone rang but it was "unavailable" which I never answer because it is crap all the time. I arranged with my family and friends in Germany, which also come up as unavailable, to hang up and then call again right away. Well, that happened yesterday and I thought I would hear either my cousin's, or friend's voice, but the voice was that of a stranger. It turned out it was the daughter of my cousin Horty's from Cologne. You could have knocked me over. Horty was in an auto accident when she and her husband drove back home from our place in Suemmern, where we were stationed. She died 3 weeks later without regaining conscience. It actually was a blessing because she had a totally broken body. Isabel was at that time about 9 months old. My aunt, Isabel's grandma took care of her for about 3 years and then Isabel’s father married again and my aunt saw her only once about every month. That was very hard on my aunt.

I was in contact with Isabel off and on until my Aunt died at 93 years old. Isabel told me all about it but then the email contact somehow broke up over 10 years ago. You can imagine how surprised I was to hear her on the phone. We talked about half an hour and have since exchanged photos. Isabel's computer crashed and she lost all he email addresses for awhile and then tried to email again but by that time I changed my email address and her emails to me came back to her.

In the meantime Isabel has been divorced. She has two grown daughters who live with her at the moment finishing their education. Looking through old photos and correspondence from my aunt the other day she found our telephone number and decided to see if we still had the same number.

I am so happy to have contact with her again. She and my other cousin are the only relatives I still have in Germany. We were a small family, nobody had many children.

See you next time something nice happens Smile

Friday, November 7, 2014

Kubotcha Tale

Years ago when we were still snowbirding in Arizona we usually camped together with our friends on the North side of Tom Wells Road which is half way between Quartzsite and Blythe.

Travelling from there to Blythe is a weigh station where trucks will have to stop when it is open. Most of the time it was closed though.

Two of my friends and I would walk across the desert to a service station by the highway. It was a very old one and has since been replaced with a Texaco Station. Using the old but still functioning station we used the pay phones to retrieve our emails with the then popular pocketmail devices.
All three of us had one of those and in the days without access to the internet in the desert, much different from now, we were happy to stay in contact with friends and family that way.

Some days we arrived at the service station parking lot, which was just a gravel area, to find mounds of fruit or vegetable in a back corner of the lot.

The truckers who hauled those goods along the highway knew that most of the time the weigh station was closed so quite often they would be overloaded. Since they all have CBs and alert each other to obstructions etc. they knew when the station was open for a change and stop at the old service station to drop off the surplus goods in a back corner.

When we passed the lot and saw there was new goodies we usually got our mail, went back to the campsite and returned to the parking lot with our containers to fill up on the free bounty.

One day we found a big hill of kubotcha squashes! Bonus! We picked up as many as we could carry and from then on we were eating squash for days and later on took a few home with us when out time in the South as up.

That spring we planted some of the seeds of the kabotcha and we have had squash ever since, which is about 12 years now. At first the results were all kinds of different squashes and there was even a pumpkin and spaghetti squash amongst them but by now they all come up as honey nut squashes.

I got reminded of this when we were having a good squash meal at dinner time.

Kubotcha squash