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This and That:

Flat Stanley's Travel Adventures

Flat Stanley's Journal (Part 8)  

Adventures with Jane and Bob Miller
November through December, 2004
By Sarah and Wolfgang Blauen

December 19, 2004
Langen (Wilfried) came to visit. “Langen” is German for tall and this is the right nickname for him since he’s 6 feet 6 inches tall! He was with his youngest son, Nicolas, a two year old little energy bundle. I was careful not to show him how well I can slide down the banister; if Nicolas tried there might have been an accident. 

December 20, 2004
We grouted the tile in the Party room. My knees and bottom are sore from crawling around on the floor scraping the wet grout between the tiles and then wiping off the extra grout when it dried. Don’t think I’ll take up tile work as a new profession; it is way too hard on the knees! The floor and backsplash look great if I do say so myself.

December 21, 2004
Christmas Shopping is finished! 
Mr. Bob, Miss Jane and I went into Erkelenz to buy the last presents. I got to see their German “home town” in the day-time. Erkelenz is a busy little town of about 18,000 people. There is a historic City Centre with a big, old church and the remainder of an old castle within walking distance from the Miller’s house. On the way to town, we passed a pond. It was partially frozen but there were still four swans swimming (in the Christmas carole there were 7 – guess you can’t have everything!) Outside the church is a tower of bells. They play a song every hour and you can even hear it from our house. We walked all around the square, in and out of different shops. Just like in Rheydt, the entire area is paved with bricks and cars can’t drive there. Lots of mothers with little children and their dogs were out shopping, too. Mr. Bob and Miss Jane split up to go buy each others gift. They were supposed to meet back at the main bus stop, but Mr. Bob sneaked up behind us when we were on our way to another store. Good thing we already had his present! 
When walking to lunch, we passed a store with old black and white photos posted in the window. They were pictures of some of the buildings before and just after they were bombed during World War II. It was very interesting to see how Erkelenz used to look. It was also sad to see the destruction of war. The three of us were glad so many of the old, old buildings survived because they are quite pretty.

December 22, 2004
We woke up to a frosty morning. Everything was white but it hadn’t snowed. The white on the plants was just the frozen moisture that had condensed on all surfaces during the night. I tried to skate on the pond but the ice wasn’t thick enough. Mr. Bob carefully tested that for me. They really take good care of me. Imagine if I would have fallen into the water… brrrrrrrrr!

December 23, 2004
It started snowing in thick white flakes, today. Too bad the temperature warmed up, the snow melted immediately when it touched. The ground here is very green, mostly because of the moss that grows due to all the rain they get here all year. Don’t think we’ll have a white Christmas after all. Boo hoo!

(read on ...) 

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