Knowing How to Enjoy Life in spite of New COVID restrictions in Germany, April 2021

Today, further restrictions have begun for schools, doing sports, and the placement of a curfew from 10pm – 5am. None of them affect me. Even if they did, it is quite easy for me to adjust my life style accordingly. That’s what I learned from living in foreign countries for almost ten years.

Since the COVID situation is not getting any better, I have opted for ‘Outdoor Isolation’, which means we have picnics (restaurants are still closed for indoor and outdoor dining) as often as we can. This way, we are isolated from others, but not from sight. It is nice to see ordinary people passing by without a mask.

Today, we went to the Maasgrund Pond in Oberursel, where we have not been since our kids were in primary/elementary school.

Maasgrund Pond in Oberursel

What’s this swimming in the water..? This is a nutria (or: coypu), a native from Louisiana, USA.

It fetched something in the water to eat it on the bank.

After our picnic of British Tea sandwiches, fruit, cheese, crackers, and white wine (not for the driver), we took a stroll around the pond.

We can see St. Ursula Church in the background. It was a beautiful sunny late afternoon.

A new initiative to save the bees is taking place in Oberursel. The yellow vending machine sells bee food for 50 cents. On the left, there is a container collecting the empty capsules for recycling.

Oberursel has many half-timbered houses, but this one is a half-timbered villa.

Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

This is our first Beer Balcony photo of 2021. Last year, I had only one visitor – in November.

Here I’m sitting with our son, Thomas from London, who is working remotely in Oberursel. With the current Covid situation in London, he was also granted an extension to continue working from Oberursel.

The sun was just about to set, and the light was really beautiful. By the time, we got our coffee (!) onto the Beer Balcony, the light had completely changed.

“Every possession and every happiness is but lent by chance for an uncertain time, and may therefore be demanded back the next hour.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

Snowy Oberursel in January 2021

The snow has finally arrived. Yes, I’ve been waiting for it.

As a child of the 1960s, I remember snow and going sledding as early as late November. Going out in the snow was so much fun, but coming home to the wood stove in the kitchen was very pleasant too. We had to rub our hands to get the prickly sensation out of it. Growing up on a farm, we had no central heating back in those days.

This photo was taken at 7:30am from the 4th floor balcony overlooking the Rosengärtchen area, which is also in walking distance to Frankfurt International School (FIS) and between the high rise buildings, we can also sometimes see part of the Feldberg Mountain.

Nevertheless, there won’t be much walking to school as of next week with updated lock down restrictions in place once again.

The view below is onto the former military areal of Camp King. The walkway in front is the line which separates the former military areal (which has become a German housing area in 2000) from our old housing area (established in the early 1970s).

Winter forms our character and brings out our best.

– Tom Allen

Snowy Oberursel in December 2010

It seems our winters are getting milder, and with fewer chances of snow, so are the snow photo opportunities.

This one I took in December 2010. That winter was a good one. We were the only ones in our apartment building (8 parties) to have a snow shovel, and ours was in high demand.

Of course, snow shovels had already sold out.

Snow in Oberursel, 2010

Snowy Oberursel in December 2020

On the morning of 1 December, we were blessed with the sight of the first snow in this season. This was taken from the Balcony, a.k.a. Maria’s Beer Balcony. Right now, the beverage to be enjoyed on the balcony is Glühwein (mulled wine).

I sent the same photo to my adult children right away. They both live overseas. Well, the one in London lives just over the seas, but with the U.K. and its looming Brexit, the country is moving even further away from the continent.

This was the response from London. This is Southwark, along the river Thames.

This was the response from Tallahassee, Florida, to our snow in Germany. Thunderstorms moving in.

Tallahassee, Fl

Last, but not least, these two metal birds are a symbol for both birdies having left their nest.

For more about kids leaving home, see Chicken Soup for the Soul: Empty Nesters.

Click here for a selection of metal birds for your balcony or garden,

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