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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several at Spectrenoir: http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy. I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Mom & Dad Often Talked About Siegerland in Germany so we Went Back!

Summer months were always peak season. But during my vacation time, when I still lived in The Netherlands, I helped them always out, by picking gherkins in the greenhouse.
Only in the summer of 1971 and in 1979, I did go with my late first husband to Germany and the South of France...
ALL other vacations, we helped Mom and Dad for several weeks managing their peak season.
By picking the gherkins a bit tighter we could skip a day and manage to make a one-day-trip to Germany with Mom &  Dad and my Dachshund Mauzie. This was on July 14, 1977 at the Biggesee (lake) in Germany.
Smoking a sigar on his special day off, together with Mom.
They always worked so hard!
Mom is here picking gherkins inside the greenhouse.
We always did start very early, at 5:00 AM because around noon it would get very hot, around 120ºF or 49ºC and that was no FUN! 
Even when Dad placed a big running fan in the isle...
Here you see Mom picking gherkins. 
Two wooden boxes on the special built cart by my Dad, on wheels for easy pushing it forward. 
Each box would contain 25 kg (55 lb) of gherkins.
We had to dump those boxes later on inside one giant wooden box for bulk delivery to the auction.
Yes, I could lift such a full box and lift it over the edge of said giant box to dump its contents.
From a distance, two rows under each pointed section of the greenhouse.
The leaves of the gherkins were very prickly!
I used to wear one of Dad's old long sleeve shirts to protect me from it.
Okay but now back to the subject!
Mom & Dad had been to Siegen/Weidenau in Germany by bus, with Dad's choir, to perform in the Bismarckhalle, also called Siegerlandhalle.
Here in October of 1965, Mom admiring the hills around Hilchenbach, Germany of beautiful Siegerland.
Mom standing in front of Hotel Deutscher Hof in Hilchenbach, Germany.
A beautiful centuries old building it was in traditional German Fachwerk.
Yes, it literally was as it burned down in December of 2016...
Photo quality is poor, this is what I received as scanned material from my youngest sister...
As for myself, I love to scan in higher DPI - takes longer but with far better results.
Nevertheless, they are very meaningful to me!
Here it was, photo from Tripmondo.de, as it did burn down in December of 2016...
Mom standing in front of the sign 'Zum Süssen Konrad' pointing to a German Konditorei, Bakery!
They always talked about how beautiful that region was and thus, my late husband and I said, let's take them back one more time!
So we went to pick Mom & Dad up in Horst aan de Maas, we lived in Panningen, a municipality of Helden, in the Province of Limburg/The Netherlands.
At that time we still had to cross the border of Germany, now it is open within the European Union.
To the right you see Hilchenbach, where Mom's photos got taken.
We passed through Helden in Germany - from Helden to Helden but not close to home!
You also see Biggesee.
The photo at the very top got taken there!
A big lake with beautiful surroundings, belonging to Attendorn.
My late first husband standing here at the Biggesee, Attendorn with the bridge behind him.
We also did visit Burg Schnellenberg in Attendorn, a 13th-century castle that now has become a hotel, just click link as it is in English.
Thursday July 14, 1977 was a rather cloudy day!
Taking a break on this medieval stone bench...
Yes, that was a lot of driving in one day; some 9 hours and we'd risen at 4:00 AM and will have to do the very same for next day, picking gherkins again...
Here Dad, Frans with dachshund Mauzie on the leash standing in front of Mom's feet...
So happy to know now that this 13th-century castle has been converted into a hotel!
All of us enjoyed Siegerland and Mom & Dad especially for being able to go back one day in their own footsteps...
Now the journey home and early rising next morning!
We had an Opel Kadett Special at the time...

Hope you enjoyed this little journey back in time with me.
Meaningful to me, fond memories of Mom's happy days!
Thanks for your visit and comment.

Related posts:
Burg Schnellenberg in Attendorn/Luftbilder Videos/Drohne/4K | short Youtube video from the Castle
My Sewing Creation - My Bridal Gown with Damsel Sleeves | previous post by me + late husband
{Fond Memories of Mom with us in the Eifel, Germany} | previous post by me
{Mom Did Wear Many Hats} | previous post by me
{Papa is 90 today!} | previous post by me



  1. Hello Mariette, Agriculture is a hard life, although it does have its rewards. Even in a greenhouse, there are early hours, hot temperatures and hard work. But you never lost sight of the higher values--what a nice thing you did for your parents.

    All that work picking gherkins probably got you in shape for your very active life, as different as it was to become, although mycology and mushroom culture does reference your agricultural roots!

    1. Dearest Jim,
      Aside from being independent, yes it is a very hard life. There are slow periods in the winter time but it would be better if it was more spread out.
      It always did touch my heart that exactly during the vacation period of everyone else, my Parents were sweating inside their greenhouse. So we did pitch in and helped them out voluntarily. Offering to take day trips with us and it made them happy and gave us satisfaction. Even more so now when looking back...
      Sure, the horticultural roots remain deep inside us for ever; the same for Pieter!
      The very last summer, even Pieter has helped out just before we emigrated. Also helped picking French beans. It is really peak season in summer. We emigrated on August 29 of 1983.

  2. Dearest Mariette....Thank you for sharing lovely memories.
    Toes crossed that you and Pieter are enjoying a wonderful summer.....suzi

    1. Dearest Suzi,
      Thank you for reading about our lovely memories!
      Those are the things that remain and are nice for looking back at.
      The summer since May has been good. Keeping up a garden is hard work but we got some help from a young man.

  3. Hello Mariette. I like reading your memories and you have a lot of them. In many places you've been and many have friends and family. I'm not jealous of working on picking cucumbers. * I have something in common, we both had to struggle with pain and fight for fitness. Regards.

    1. Dearest Giga,
      Yes, we got numerous fond memories and they are indeed very much spread out all over the world. For Mom & Dad the travel spots were not that far away at that time.
      Picking gherkins inside the greenhouse or cucumbers on the open field is a tough job indeed. English cucumbers was a lot easier; my favorite veggie in the greenhouse. Also picked lots of tomatoes.
      Just moving on and trying to keep going is the best attitude in life.

  4. Dear Mariette,

    Must have been such happy memories looking back at your family and time in Germany. Your little Mauzie is very cute.
    One thing about growing gherkins to, you always have to be there to pick when they are ready.
    Thanks for shaing and wishing you a happy July


    1. Dearest Carolyn,
      Oh, you cannot take a week's vacation; only skipping one day by picking tight and than catching up with an extra big load. Not easy in the summer.
      But we managed to escape and cherish the fond memories!

  5. Replies
    1. Querido Francisco Manuel,
      Especialmente lembrando vezes com minha mãe, ela reside no céu e isso é precioso para ter...
      Um abraço,

  6. What a wonderful journey back in time with great memories. Happy to see you drop by my place.

    1. Dearest LV.,
      Yes, the memories, especially of my Mom who no longer is with us, are precious!

  7. Dearest Mariette,

    I enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane and seeing the beautiful town, but I missed knowing your connection with Germany. Is Germany, not the Netherlands, your home town? Or did your parents only retire there later on? Help me connect the dots, please? It doesn't make appreciating the landscape and castle and the gardening of your parents any less enjoyable! :)


    1. Dearest Debbie,
      Well, my connection with Germany was just because it is so close to my hometown, only about 20 minutes away from the border. My late husband's Mom was actually from Germany but from a different area. For all Dutch people, even back then, Germany was within easy reach and Dad's choir went there by bus for a couple of days to sing. The went back together 4 years later and thus 12 years after that, my late husband and I drove them once more to that region. That was within approx. 4 hours driving distance; one way.
      You could have gotten the answer already from the one photo where I point out that we went from Helden in The Netherlands to Helden in Germany...
      Oh, how I still would love to go back there! Such a beautiful area indeed.

    2. My mother is from Bavaria. She has a good understanding of both Dutch and Danish. There must be a similarity of languages for her to able to converse.

  8. First off, I love your header! Such a lovely picture of a delicious breakfast. You have some great memories here. Wow, you all worked so hard, especially in that heat! Special you could take a little holiday together. In the second picture, I can see the family resemblance. xo Deborah

    1. Dearest Deborah,
      Thank you for the comment about my breakfast tray with waffles and raspberries!
      Fond memories indeed and it makes me double happy for knowing how much Mom enjoyed that trip. One day might sound little but for squeezing it in between a hectic schedule of picking gherkins, it was worth it. Mom might be smiling down from heaven...
      Sure that photo shows some family resemblance and it often depends on the expression for detecting similarities. The black and white photos are too tiny for seeing any facial expression.
      Hugs and happy 242nd Independence Day to you and yours.

  9. I have been traveling myself, so I am trying to catch up. I love these old pictures. I feel sure they bring back many memories.The picking in sounds like it was a lot of work. Have a nice week. Mariette.

    1. Dearest Janey,
      Just read about your trip and that must have been great as well.
      Yes, growing veggies, whatever kind, is a tedious and never ending job!
      But we treasured such one-day outings so very much and photos do rekindle the memories.
      Hugs and happy 242nd Independence Day to you and yours.

  10. What lovely memories with your mom and dad. You are so sweet to help them out. They look very happy in the photos and I really love how your mom dresses so elegantly. Siegerland looks such a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing your fond memories xo

    1. Dearest Tamago,
      Thank you for your warm comment! Yes, those are fond memories and it was worth it for helping out to let them enjoy short day-trips with us!

  11. Da wart Ihr noch so jung, liebe Mariette, die reinsten Kinder! :-)
    Jetzt sind meine Kinder schon älter und noch nicht verheiratet.
    Ja so ein Ausflug ist zwar schön, doch wenn man viel und hart körperlich arbeiten muß, kann es für manche Menschen auch eine Zusatz-Belastung sein, insbesondere, wenn man kaum schlafen kann. Hui, so heiß, ja im Glashaus heizt es sich doch sehr auf! Da mußte Deine Mum, Deine Eltern sehr viel leisten! Kein einfaches Leben! Meine Mutti kannte auch die Landwirtschaft und mußte auch als Kind schon schwer arbeiten und sogar einige Kühe täglich vor der Schule schon melken. Sie hat sich nie danach gesehnt, aber zu der Zeit war es leider so, weil sie bei Pflegeeltern lebte, da war sie gezwungen ...Deutschland war zu der Zeit noch Agrarland und viele arbeiteten damals in der Landwirtschaft.
    Schöne Erinnerungen, die Du hier festhalten kannst! Ich lese sie auch immer wieder gern, dann kommen auch bei mir manche Erinnerungen wieder hoch.

    Alles Liebe auch hier

    1. Liebe Sara,
      Kinderzeit lag aber Jahre hinter uns und die nummer dreizig in der Nähe!
      Nein, meine Eltern und besonders meine Mutter, da sie daheim noch ganz alleine für 9 kochen und waschen musste. Mit sauber machen haben meine jüngere Schwester und ich mithelfen müssen. Hier war meine Mutter schon fünfundfünfzig Jahre und die meisten waren schon ausgeflogen... noch nicht alle verheiratet.
      Aber beide haben sehr genossen von diese Ausflüge da normalerweise sie nirgendwo kamen. Bei der Oma, Mutter vom Vater, erzählte jeder von seine Sommerferien und nur der Papa konnte da nie mit reden da es ja die Hochsaison war im Gewächshaus und auch für Rosenkohl und so.
      Ja, meine Mutter musste schon mit vierzehn aus dem Haus und mit eine Bauernfamilie leben zum mithelfen auf dem Land und auch das melken von Kühe, genauso wie deine Mutter. Einfach war das Leben damals nicht; so unendlich verschieden von heut zu tage!
      Ja stimmt, es sind wunderbare Erinnerungen und mit die Bilder die wir davon haben, macht es etwas sehr wertvolles.
      Liebe Grüße und Dank für deinem Besuch hier!


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