Another Trip Down Memory Lane... Life In Germany...
The largest city that I've ever lived in is Berlin, Germany. We went to West Berlin in 1988 with my husband's job in the Army-Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), and by the time we left in 1991, Germany and the city of Berlin had been reunified and most of the infamous Berlin wall had been torn down.
It's interesting to me that in 1990, just a year before we moved to Kentucky, Berlin's population was 3,433,695 (East and West Berlin combined) and the entire state of Kentucky's population was 3,685,296.
|A band at the Zehlendorf|
Christmas market in Berlin
For the Christmas market, streets were closed to traffic. Merchants set up tents and booths and sold all sorts of Christmas crafts, gifts, baking ingredients, and holiday decorations. Sausages and bratwursts, gingerbreads, and other holiday goodies were sold by vendors, most notably the spicy gluhwein (glowing wine,) served hot to warm cold fingers and toes. Children could ride a carousel or even a little pony.
|Shepherd at the Christmas|
market animal exhibit
The shepherd was watching over a little pen of sheep. Keely was a preschooler, just the right size to be fascinated by the sight of real sheep. I remember we stood by the sheep pen for a very long time before she finally had seen enough of them. Before we went home, I bought a carved rolling pin for making springerle, a souvenir of the Zehlendorf Weihnachtsmärkt which I have to this day.
While I was writing this post, I looked for the website of the American Church in Berlin (ACB) and learned that it no longer meets at the historic Alte Dorfkirche, just down the street from the Paulus Gemeindehaus. They've moved to a much larger church that's closer to the center of Berlin, near the area where the church was located before World War II.
I'm happy for the American Church, both because it has grown and because it has better facilities, but I enjoy my memories of the old village church in Zehlendorf. Worshiping in that historic Christian meeting house and attending Sunday School in the Paulus Gemeindehaus helped me feel like Zehlendorf was my home too.
The last Christmas we spent in Berlin, I sewed a dozen angel costumes for the ACB Sunday School Christmas program. I tried to make them sturdy so they'd last a long time. I hope they're still in use at the new church this Christmas.