Tuesday, October 4, 2011


For the last week or so we've really been enjoying what Germans call "Old Women's Summer" (Altweibersommer, though apparently it actually has more to do with spider webs.) In English I guess we call it Indian summer, though I never had much use for it since in California everything is either summer, Indian summer, spring or six weeks of torrential rains and mud slides. How's that for variety?

To enjoy it while it lasts we spent yesterday (which just happened to be Tag der deutschen Einheit) at Cecilienhof in Potsdam. We certainly weren't the only ones. When we were there we saw this ridiculously beautiful couple....

....the young and middle-aged....

....the middle-age middle aged....

...and of course the elderly. This is just a side note, but why do a lot of older Germans look like they spent their entire lives hauling sacks of potatoes and the only time they ever had fun was when their mother let them haul a ten pound sack instead of a 20 pounder? You can't see it so well on this picture, but when you zoom in this couple have such dour looks on their faces. In real life they weren't quite so bad. I think they even smiled at Miss Mia which, for a German, is almost like winning Miss Congeniality.

As much as I complain about Berlin winters (and, I assure you, I will again) if I ever were to go back to California I would miss autumn. Such beautiful light, crisp air, vibrant colors. California doesn't have autumn. The leaves on the Eucalyptus trees just dull a little. And then it's spring.

Needless to say, the girls had fun.

Right here they are getting excited because they just discovered a roly poly crawling across the bark. They are so my children.

Jasper's grandmother was once a lady-in-waiting at a castle a stone's throw from Cecilienhof. How did a California lass like me whose heart will always beat a little hippie end up with a Prussian count with aristocratic roots up the gazoo? Life is, indeed, full of surprises.

Fall light and Old Women's Summer we will miss you. Do come again.


petoskystone said...

your girls have grown so much this summer! grandchild #1 has a pair of sparkly red flats, also. :) our indian summer is wet, this year.

Henner SF said...

Actually, the 'Altweibersommer' has nothing to do with old women. The term comes from spider webs you see on meadows at that time of year (old German word for 'weave' (such as a web) = 'weiben'). So it is not quite as sexist as it sounds at first.

And yeah, living in California, I am missing German Herbst as well.

Schaufensterbabe said...

Yeah, they have gotten pretty big, haven't they. Henner, thanks for the tip. My husband didn't know that and had me going down the wrong track.


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