A House in a Village

There was a house in a village near where we lived that was of great interest to me.
It was a big farmhouse with lots of property around it. I guess you could call it an estate.
When I was a child I did not mind the walk to the big house to buy some milk. This milk was richer than the milk we bought at the store. But the main reason I went there was that I was intrigued by it. It was called “Gut Drei Linden”, relating to the trees that grew around it. (“The three linden”)
My grandmother had told me the story of the big house and the tragic circumstances surrounding it.
I was always listening to her stories and this one began:
The owners had a beautiful young daughter who fell in love with the hired hand. He wanted to marry her when she got pregnant, but the parents did not allow it. Somehow he was not good enough for their daughter. I always felt sorry for the young girl who was in love with a young man she could not have. I was drawn to the place, because there were other reasons as well.
This young woman gave birth to a baby girl on January 16th 1860 and died in childbirth. Her parents did not want the baby, so the young father took her home to his parents where she grew up.
This special baby was my grandmother! Her name was Anna.
This house in a village could have been my heritage, had it not been for the unkind parents of my great-grandmother.
Lydia Ehmcke


After Christmas

Christmas came and Christmas went
We all had a very good time
All the family got together
The excitement was not just mine
The ohs and ahs of Sebastian
Made all the wrapping worthwhile
I sat and watched him open gifts
Had to be reminded to open mine
The grownups had their surprises
Santa was really great
Or somebody in the family
Must have known every body’s taste
I even got a Christmas stocking
For the first time in my life
Filled with goodies and chocolate
I could not believe my eyes.
On Christmas Eve Sebastian
Had certainly stirred me to tears
When he read a German poem
Which took me back some years
When every child in the family
Had to recite a Christmas rhyme
In front of the tree shining with light
And hung with decorations sublime
During the week I kept busy
Had walks or invitations for tea
The neighbours’ cookies were tasty
The Geneva as smooth as could be.
The New Years Eve was spent with friends
We had lots of food and wine
We talked and laughed and had some fun
And all sang “Auld lang syne”
Now we are open for new events
As the New Year is already here
We won’t sit still, but take our fill
Of friendship, love and good cheer.

Lydia Ehmcke
January 2015