Once again, the year has rolled around and it is a German Holiday.

For me – the late 1980s seems like just yesterday, but for the youngest three in my family – well they have grown up with a single Germany, an absence of the USSR and completely different political influences in their lives.

I sit in my studio and think of traveling to the divided Germany on the duty train on our first tour with our young child and crossing the border at Check Point Charlie just to say that we had been to East Berlin. Not shopping for comforters, but instead buying children’s books; George and Shana warm while I froze in my mandatory uniform without name or insignia.

A later trip when Nina was not even a year old when it took almost 11 hours to make the four hour journey about 1/2 of which I was taking care of a retiree with chest pain who did not want to be dropped off in the East, even for medical care.

And now, I am the retiree.

The roadside is no longer littered with Ladas and Traubies broken down on their drive west exceeding both speed and distance from their design specifications. The autobahns are full of trucks from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Baltics.

The world is no safer. But I can buy yarn from Estonia.

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