Christmas letter 2001


Christmas again! The year 2001, which was so turbulent for us, is coming to an end. A year in Chemnitz is over, meanwhile we have gotten used to the rough winds here and are now using the time to look back on the past few months.

It all started with the move from Müllheim to Chemnitz in the run-up to Christmas last year. In a record time of just four days, we were able to get hold of a nice apartment in the Art Nouveau district on the "Kaßberg" in September. The move had to be organized by Tina alone, because Heinrich once again relaxed on a course. Despite a few reservations, everything worked out.

We were also able to organize the Christmas tree in a hurry; was men's business again. The new year began for Max in a Saxon elementary school. We quickly realized that Saxony needed a quantum leap forward in terms of academic efforts compared to Baden-Württemberg. Our poor Max, who up until now had only scribbled with a stylus, had no idea about mental arithmetic and still saw reading as a strenuous, tiresome and unnecessary part-time job, had to realize that the changed environment in Saxony also made a number of things different at school.

It took us at least three months to get him somewhere in the middle at school. It's been a horrible time and we're all glad Max made it through. But the price was high. From this we learned never to move in the middle of a school year.

Konstantin spurned the kindergarten place we were given. Nothing could persuade him to use this space. Mum Tina couldn't really blame him either, the kindergarten was just too terribly different. After three months on four waiting lists, combined with the hope of maybe getting a place in September, we finally found an opportunity in the Waldorf kindergarten. After Heinrich had given up his resistance, Konstantin was able to find happiness there and we with him. Max is currently educating himself musically more or less voluntarily with the "keyboard", while Konstantin sings to it.

After all these months, we're still struggling to come to terms with the traditional after-school care system here. Almost all the children in Max's class are in after-school care in the afternoons; That means they eat lunch there, take a midday break, do their homework and are then cared for until late in the afternoon, when their parents come to pick them up after work is done. Inviting friends over to play or visiting them regularly in the afternoon is only exceptional.

One notices everywhere that just an "Ostlohn" can hardly feed a family. But many “Eastern women” are just as used to being with their wives at work and with their families in the evenings and at weekends. It's a tough life. But it's healing to see how well we're actually doing. In order to better fill our initially boring afternoons, our children now play basketball, which means they had to give up handball.

They now train twice a week. The baskets may be hanging high, but the enthusiasm continues. We will see how long it continues. We spent half of our traditional four-week summer vacation this year at home in the "Ländle" and used the last two weeks to discover Saxony. A beautiful country with many castles, a paradise for our children.

In late summer, after a slight kick from her husband, Tina decided to carefully inquire about her professional market value. The employment office only had two hard punches in the stomach ready for you, which resulted in a premature "mid-life crisis". But then - oh wonder - Mr. Beyer, thanks to her job advisor, opened the door to the longed-for training heaven.

Tina has now landed a one-year course, which will one day, more precisely on October 30.10.2002th, XNUMX and what a coincidence, on the birthday of the gods husband, she will be released into the lowlands of a new professional independence.

Since Tina is now out in the morning, the apartment is now only cleaned once a week in the team. If you then turn a blind eye and simply let the apartment be your apartment, everything is fine. The men of the family are currently completing a household crash course followed by a long-term internship.

For Heinrich, everyday professional life did not bring much that was new; however, the beautiful apartment had to be bought with a good half-hour drive each.

He found relaxation from the long working hours at the beginning of August when he was allowed to attend a three-month course again, this time in Hamburg. Since he was traveling there by train, he was able to rave about a sightseeing tour of Berlin twice a week, which took place on Sundays at night and on Fridays during the day. Berlin, a city that is now within our "sightseeing range" and is the attraction for us next to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.

At the end of the year, the profession came up with two surprises. On the one hand, his employer refrained from sending him into action again and, on the other hand, even more surprisingly for everyone, with the long-awaited promotion to major.

Looking back on the year 2001 we can book many new experiences and new friends on our life account.

With this unexpectedly positive end to the year, we are now hoping for a calmer 2002.

To world peace, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

"The trouble with death is not that it changes the future, but that it leaves us alone with our memories." 

Peter Hoeg, Miss Smilla's sense of snow (2004 [1992]: 344)

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