Dixie Peach: Bringing it back

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bringing it back

When you're close with a quadriplegic one of your assignments in life is to go outside and then bring back to them what you saw and did while you were out. Bring descriptions or pictures or both but bring back to them what they can't get out to see. This is for B and for Mikki.

Yesterday afternoon I went for a walk down to the Elbe. Since it's been below freezing for over a week now the Elbe has been piling up more and more with ice floes.

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The view from my MIL's livingroom window. The scene changes once you get down to the river.

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Now you can see there's a lot more ice on the river than it appears at a distance.

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All this floating ice becomes round somehow - I assume they bump along each other and round off their corners. And it all makes a loud hissing sound as it flows down the river.

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The ducks were amusing. They'd swim between the floes and then occasionally hop up on one and ride downriver for a while before hopping off again.

This part of the river has old churches lined up along its banks. Farther up the river is the cathedral of Magdeburg and the monastery and on the other side of the market square are these churches.

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This is the Magdelena Kapelle - just a little chapel. I love it but I've never been inside it. I'm not even sure if you can go inside it. I just like that it's so small.

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This is the Petri-Kirche - the church of St. Peter.

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This is Wallonerkirche - the church of the Wallons. See that tall, thin tower in the middle? That's where the Regenmacher, the rainmaker, lives. B grew up about a block and a half from the Wallonerkirche and his father would tell him that the Regenmacher would come down and steal little boys that misbehaved and whisk them away to that tower so he'd better mind himself if he didn't wish to be stolen by the Regenmacher. Until he was about six years old he'd run at top speed every time he had to pass the Wallonerkirche to avoid the chance of being snatched up. Probably not the best idea to tell a little boy such a tale but I reckon it made B behave.

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This is a view of the towers of the Johanneskirche - the church of St. John. The spire on the tower on the left is very new - it had been destroyed in the bombings during the war. The church in general had become heavily damaged during the war and afterwards the communist government left it that way. It wasn't until later that the church was restored. Anyway, when B was about 15 he and some friends went inside the church at night and climbed up that tower on the left - a completely stupid thing to do because it was very dangerous and it was very forbidden to be in there - and peed off the top of the tower. This is proof that the Regenmacher story is made up or he surely would have been snatched away for that.

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The view from my kitchen window. Back home again.


Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

What beautiful pictures. The more blogs I read from across the pond the more I think I need to get over to Europe some day...

11:56 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Definitely come visit. Everyone needs to visit Europe.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was a beautiful post, Dix!

1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, that is SO cool! I LOVE the pictures! How fun it's almost like I got to take the walk with you. Thanks!

5:34 AM  
Blogger leon's life said...

I love those pictures of the frozen river, very interesting !

9:00 AM  
Blogger Mikki Marshall said...

I hope that my post is legible as I write with a voice activated program and it is difficult to speak through tears.
When I was a little girl my father was stationed in Germany; I was three and don't remember much of the period. I never thought that I would be going back to visit. But have done so this morning.
And I could never have imagined baby ducks taking rides on rounded blocks of ice down a river...but they do, I have seen it with my own eyes. Thank you Dixie, thank you.

5:41 PM  
Blogger sari said...

These are beautiful! It's great to see the things you do, I hope someday I can see them in person!

I love the pictures of the ice floes with the ducks.

PS The peeing off the tower is funny, such a boy thing to do.

6:44 PM  
Blogger BarefootCajun said...

Only boys would think to climb up a tower of a church and pee out of it. I bet had E been there he'd have been peeing right along with them. Oi!

Those pics are gorgeous. Can't wait to visit Magdeburg in person one day. :-)

7:20 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Awwww Mikki - you're making me tear up too. I did it all with you and B in mind and I'm glad you both enjoyed it.

I'm glad all of you enjoyed seeing where I live.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Mimey said...

Personally I don't think any of us can live enough lives. Thank you for adding a bit of colour to mine.

It took me a long time to understand or accept my german heritage, in a way, although in other ways I totally got it from day one. It's good for me to find out more and I don't have much of a visual sense of Germany anyway, so again thanks. What a lot of churches!


7:03 PM  
Blogger henri Banks said...

hey dixie those pics of that ice i love it cool shots !!!

12:33 PM  

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