Moments - Welcome to the Heart of Europe

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Great Times > Remembering
Clinking glasses of "summer dream" on a sunny day at a local wine festival.
Take a Few Moments... Lean Back. Instead of always sweating the small stuff in the hassle of daily family operations, it can be worthwhile to lean back, take a deep breath and then symbolically clink a glass on what has been achieved so far. Whether or not it was sufficient, one may only know, when it is time to slow down and hand over... to the next generation. A good friend of mine often used the Austrian slang expression: "Na, Moment!" Which stands for "Just a moment," "Wait a minute" or "Excuse me," indicating reconsideration or even disagreement. A request to someone else to stop saying or doing something, to hold it and give it another moment of thought before proceeding further. Let's be calm and once in a while take time to think of situations, we would like to keep in good memory. Which occurrences meant something to us and why did they? OK, time's over. Let's go back to hectic life and work! Or would you really like to stay on this page for another while and consciously pause for a moment, take a deep breath and have a further look? Be my guest...

Valiant Tailor. They say, people were very strict in the old days. Such were also the few stories I heard of my great-grandfather. One day an uncle of mine took me to the main street of my hometown. A dust cover of a construction set showed a picture of the historic house front from a time when my great-grandfather had had a clothes shop there, a "Kleiderhaus." That lyrics of a Springsteen song come to mind: "He'd tousle my hair and say, son take a good look around. This is your hometown..." "Someday I'll just stay there  leave everything behind, walk away from home for good..." is a song by the Austrian trio STS that makes you longing for the faraway, be it a deserted beach or elsewhere. Back then, when I heard it for the first time on the radio, I didn't really plan to leave my hometown, a sheltered upbringing, and my youth behind. Over the years living more and more in an international environment, due to the language barrier it is almost impossible to raise an understanding for local Austrian pop music that had meant so much to us. Losing friends is hard, be it to illness or distance, or both. Keeping those days in good memory is one of the things I'd like to do on this page. Not forgetting your roots, where you came from and what you liked to do back then, wherever you may be now.
Construction set with house facade from the past.
A family photograph from the 1940ies. Four kids died at high age in four consecutive years.
Family Roots
Final Gathering. Then and again, you would discover an old yellowed photograph with familiar faces. It may puzzle you, how much children look like their parents, come time and age. As early as a baby is born, everybody tries to find a commonality, like a nose from the great-grandaunt, a chin from the sibling, the eyes from a parent, or the thinker's brow of grandpa. Over time, characteristics in behavior as well as in look develop further, and then a face may show deep furrows, signs of despair, or laugh lines, signs of a sunny personality. "Then something happened again," as Wolf Haas would start his novels. Sad news arrived, when I returned from a business trip to Germany: The last grand-aunt had passed away, just like her brother and two of her sisters in the three previous years. "As if they had agreed upon it," someone said at the funeral. A whole generation had vanished, although we know that it lives on in us and our own children. As Christians we hope for them to be reunited in afterlife without any more quarrel, just as they quietly assemble around their parents in the photograph from a time around World War II, which I tried to fix by removing the crack that had covered half of my grandfather's face. While modern technology may help us to pep up an old picture and make it look fresh and almost as new, it cannot help us with one thing: Bringing those back we have loved and lost.
Moving On... (and on)
Private Project. What represents change better than a move? After years of international project management, you catch yourself preparing a very private undertaking, taking measures in an empty kitchen that needs to be put in. One of those empty rooms at a new place to live in, to be filled with life still. The kids would be running through it, getting their meals, their drinks, their fun time. Until everyone moves out again, many years later. As projects at work required less travelling for a while, we took the opportunity to relocate to a bigger place closer to the kids' bilingual junior high school (no, not to learn Zulu and Viennese, but English and German). We'd especially like to say a big thank you to all those relatives and friends, who helped to make this big step possible. A move is a typical project. It has got budget restrictions and a time frame for activities to be laid out and planned to ensure that certain targets are met. Within the build phase, corrective actions with walls, doors, and floors may become necessary. After handover, the ahead ordered furniture deliverables kick in. A cleansing activity helps to reduce the amount of packing. As we already thought, we'd be mostly settled with the move and ready to celebrate Christmas in the new place, in the night before Holy Eve the lamp in the living room went down, luckily catching itself at the electricity wire. A bigger hook was quickly organized and the small problem fixed. So much for last minute Christmas preparations...
Bigger family – larger crawl space.
Halloween – misspelled it results in
"Hallo Wien" or "Hello Vienna."
Go to next page about real Friends.
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