Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

At first, I found it hard to believe that this is my first Beer Balcony of the year. On the other hand, this is the year in which COVID-19 dictates the rules for socializing.

This is November 2020, and we are in our second wave, but gatherings for two households are allowed at the moment. So it was time to welcome my longtime friend Martina, whom I had not seen since last year November.

We also enjoyed our first taste of Glühwein (mulled wine) for the year.

Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

My friend, Bea, and I share the longest friendship, which goes back to the early 1970s. We both lived in the same Franconian village, and have been friends since junior high. For many years, we only communicated via handwritten letters across the Atlantic.

With the advent of the internet, we started communicating more often again. In the past, we used to have only one day together, before she had to return to the USA. This time, we had three whole days to spend together. We both refreshed our Franconian dialect in no time.

Bea from McAllen, Texas

Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

On this rather windy Sunday evening, my friends Chihyun and Hyein stopped by for a get-together. I had not seen Chihyun since he left Germany in January 2014. Hyein, being a next-door neighbor, I see on a regular basis. 🙂

Chihyun An and Hyein Han from South Korea/대한민국

Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

My favorite spot in the world is right here on the balcony, where I’m surrounded by birds singing, dogs occasionally barking from the nearby animal shelter, seeing a squirrel climbing up a tree, and once in a while on a warm day, you can hear the clatter of dishes in someone’s kitchen.

… if you are at peace, you are living in the present.

– Lao Tzu

Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

This get-together happened on a short-notice visit in July.  In the early afternoon, I found out that Jinsuk was in town, and he first checked  with me to make sure I was still around – take that any which way you like 🙂 .

The last time we had seen each other was in 2009. In the photo below, this was the first time with him as an adult, and so we were able to add beer to our conversation.

Jinsuk Park from Seoul, South Korea

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