I feel like Billy Keene when he would periodically take over the responsibility for the Family Circus cartoon for his father ,Bill Keene. Jeri has commissioned me to do the weekly communication/blog for this week so here goes.
I was taking my morning walk this week and taking pictures like I do sometimes which caused me to consider how amazing my experiences are here. It was a clear day and the cooling tower in Warne Münde was putting out a great plume. The cool thing about that particular tower is that it is part of a plant that creates power and a centralized heat that is pumped all over town.They call it Fernwärme or distant warmth. It is a hold over from the East German times. It is in harmony with the whole idea of collectivism.(workers of the world unite!) Central heat created in one place and distributed throughout the city. There are places that have their own heating systems but many of the apartment buildings are heated with the central heat. Ours is for example.There is no furnace . So no worries about carbon monoxide poisoning or the furnace breaking down.Of course you have no control over when the heat comes on (October as I remember). We really weren’t cold though since the temperatures here are moderated by the Baltic Sea.There are these huge pipes running all over town bringing heat to our little world here. So isn’t that kind of amazing?
And while I”m on the idea of hold overs from the GDR(East Germany) times it is interesting to hear the comments from the people in and outside the church about those times.”It wasn’t all bad”.That is to say that there were things they missed like people caring about each other, working together,helping each other, free education, cheap housing, free childcare.They said the greatest downside was just not being able to travel to the West.They could go East if they had the money . Of course the other downside was the State Security (lovingly called the Stasi).The Stasi had the art of control and intimidation down to an art.If you wanted to get along in the GDR you had to cooperate with the Stasi which meant keeping an eye on your neighbors and reporting anything that could be considered to be a threat to the GDR. Every LDS congregation had a member who had to report on the leader of the congregation(Branch President) and probably anyone one else in the congregation that the Stasi was worried about. But really most people didn’t have problems with the Stasi and that is why the people in general weren’t concerned with the Stasi. I could go on about this situation all day but I won’t because Jeri would delete it.
So okay back to my walk. We had ice in the harbor that day. The weather here as I said is moderated by the Baltic(which they actually call the Ostsee or East Sea) but it has been cold so it was iced up.That will not last long though . I have been enjoying the colder weather ,Teens and 20’s . We did go to the Baltic a couple of days ago when it was cold and we saw these paddle boarders out in it and all of the people walking on the beach.They are just plain hardy folks up here. I mean the weather is fairly mild but there is almost constant wind especially on the Baltic and it is always damp which makes even moderate weather chilly,none the less they paddle board ,walk the beach, ride their bicycles with no gloves and sometimes no hats and are just generally always out in it.
I like the harbor which leads to the mouth of the Warnow River as it empties into the Baltic. There is a real beauty to it. There are large research ships ,all the private boats and the larger sailboats. It is just all very picturesque. There is a circus set up along the river right now. As I was walking I noticed a small pony from the circus had gotten loose and was being chased by one of the workers.There was also an outside pen where the circus yaks were hanging out.I wasn’t sure what circus yaks do but I’m pretty sure what ever they want as long as it is in a herd. I dont think I would want to try to train a yak. Anyway I thought how this just adds to the experience here. (A dear friend of mine, Richard Mudd, who really knows his animals emailed me back and kindly told me these are Scottish Highland Cows not yaks...he is RIGHT!)
One of the several old beautiful churches still in good working order here in Rostock.
The bottom line is it is cool to live here.It is a great place to visit or to live for a while. I suppose I am too much an American to want to stay for ever but what it has offered me is simply outstanding. Upon our return I will be glad to regale all who dare to get me started about the details of our experience. Jeri has about 10,000 pictures on her phone so we could do a pretty scary slide show too. Hope your week was as good as ours.
"Behold are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?" (Mormon 9:16)