On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall Fell: A Personal Childhood Experience of Visiting East and West Berlin and the Wall

fall of berlin wall 1989

(An edited repost)

For the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 9, 1989), I am posting a short piece I wrote three years ago in my creative writing class that is a true story about my experiences at age 10 or 11, to the best of my recollection, in West and East Berlin and Checkpoint Charlie.

allied checkpoint charlie

Our tour bus rumbled to a stop at Checkpoint Charlie. It was a bitter cold day, and the gray sky promised an outpouring of heavy snow.

Just beyond the checkpoint and its red and white striped arm stood a white guard tower occupied by East German soldiers with machine guns. Behind us, the museum on one side of the road and the pizza parlor on the other emitted liveliness and the typical aura of a well-visited venue for tourists — the West Side of Berlin.

As my family sat waiting in our seats on the bus, a man in a military uniform climbed into the vehicle with a scowl on his face. “Passports! Passports!” he shouted.

The man’s crimson face and bulky, rigid figure frightened me.

 I was sitting next to my mother, closest to the window. My dad and sister sat in front of us. Mom clutched our passports, waiting for the man to get to our row. I slid down the seat, hoping to disappear. He then stood over my mother. She quickly showed him our documentation. He continued down the narrow aisle, his boots punching the floor.

Finally, he left, and the bus chugged through into East Berlin.

As dreary as the pewter sky were the drab brown buildings on either side of us. Few people walked the sidewalks. Our bus passed one person sitting on a lone bench, bundled up in a coat that seemed to mesh into his surroundings.

This childhood experience of East Berlin made a lasting impression on me that I can still see clearly to this day, over thirty years later.

berlin wall piece at RR Pres. Library
(A piece of the Berlin Wall at the Ronald
Reagan Presidential Library)

Who, Me?

liebster award for blogging.png

A couple of days ago, I was notified by a sweet fellow blogger, Julieanne A Girl and Her God, that she’d nominated me for the 2018 Liebster Award.  I am so touched that she thought of me when thinking of so many extraordinary bloggers out there.  Incidentally, a little tidbit on what little I knew about this award until now.  I saw this award mentioned on a few bloggers’ sites in the past couple of years and thought how wonderful for them!  They are true talents in blogging.  I was new to blogging at that time and didn’t really know how to navigate and run a blog, but over time, I learned, and I still have much more to learn.

I feel blessed to have met via Word Press so many fabulous, fascinating bloggers, and Julieanne, a Christian woman, wife, and mother, is definitely a standout with her encouraging and uplifting posts about faithfulness, steadfastness, and courage.  There is a lot of wisdom in her writings that I believe can be helpful to many people who may need a dose of spiritual medicine.  I know I need it daily.

The official rules and backstory of the Liebster Award can be found here: The Global Aussie.

liebster award 2

Included in the rules are those nominated and participating in this blogger chain-like event must answer questions given to them by the blogger who nominated them, and in return, they must nominate bloggers and create questions for them as well.  So, on to the questions given to me by Julieanne:

  1. What are three things found in your kitchen or office “junk drawer” that tell your story?  Well, presently, I don’t have a junk drawer in those rooms, but my nightstand drawer would be a good substitute.  It’s filled with various random items.  The ones that tell my story are:  A) my journal, which has been filled out sporadically with no set schedule, and this reflects my personality, especially in the past five or so years–pensive, anxious, and struggling with the menopausal/peri-menopausal life.  B) Orthodox Christian Study Bible. I look to this for prayers and reading Scriptural verses, which I should really more often.  It represents my Christian faith and beliefs and my daily walk toward full union with Christ.  C) Bookmarks.  You can never have too many when your nightstand surface is stacked with in-progress and to-be-read books in my genre and spiritual books of interest.  They are paramount to my being a writer, and the ability to create and write my own stories.
  2. What is one recipe you know by heart?  My meatloaf recipe that was handed down to me by my mother, and to her from the Lipton Soup folks on the back of one of their boxes of dry soup mixes. 😀
  3.  If you had the chance to relive one moment, with the hopes of changing the outcome, would you do it?  No, because what’s done is done, and the past is part of our good and bad experiences by which we learn and grow, cultivating us into who we are and will become through our continued journey on earth.
  4. What organization would you want to donate a life-changing amount of money to?  This is a tough question, Julieanne, because there are so many!  But I’ll give it a shot.  I’d donate to the Children’s Hospital of Seattle where my son had three brain surgeries for resection of a portion of his brain tumor discovered at age thirteen months.  My husband and I will never forget the doctors and the nurses there, and in conjunction with that, the Ronald McDonald House where we stayed two months our first visit and five months the second for our son’s surgery and radiation treatment.
  5. What is a piece of advice you received as a child from a parent/grandparent/mentor that you have already passed on to someone else?  My father always taught me to be honest and do the right thing.  This shows integrity and honor, for which my dad had in abundance.  I passed this along to my sons, and we’re all doing our best to practice this.  Glory to God!
  6. What celebrity would you like to read and comment on your blog?  I don’t follow celebrities, but there are people I consider true stellar figures in our society.  I would really like Abbot Tryphon to read my posts because his daily morning podcasts and posts on Facebook are a huge blessing to me and my family.
  7. What is the meaning of life in ten words or less?  “God became man so that man can become like God.” – St. Athanasius

The incredible bloggers I’m nominating for the 2018 Liebster Award are:

N and C Video Game Reviews

AB Guy

Irregular Ideation

Their blogs are very informative, unique, and interesting!

Here are my questions for these nominees if they wish to participate:

  1. What place on this earth gives you the most comfort and peace?
  2. What is a food’s texture that bothers you enough that you avoid eating it?
  3. What are three songs that remind you of your childhood?
  4. Plane or train?
  5. Coffee or tea?  Your favorite brand?
  6. Do you have a phobia?  If so, what is it?
  7. What is a foreign language you’d like to learn?
  8. Do you store anything under your bed? If so, what?

The Blogosphere is pulsating with the energies, creativity, and dynamic talents of many, many bloggers.  Discover them!