Shared Memories

Stories that are shared.


Memories from Colorado Last night I woke up to the wonderful smell of baking bread in our house. Earlier this week, because of the Texas 2021 Winter Arctic Outbreak, all the stores and businesses in our area had closed down, and we had run out of bread. So I started a loaf in our bread …

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“Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…” — W.B. Yeats

I will update this blog as more happens. First came the pandemic. Second came the insurrection at the United States Capitol. Third came letting the power die over a large part of Texas…. Yesterday, February 15, 2021, at the beginning of this adventure, we did have power for a few more hours than some of …

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Snow in Austin, Texas ! ! !

Our reaction to the first day of snow in Austin. This was followed by a week of extremely cold weather that brought cripple Texas .

USO Party

Marilyn and Gary’s Courtship

By Marilyn and Gary Pickens Arriving in the Bay Area Marilyn’s version: As a background to this story, I was living in San Francisco almost by accident. The Vietnam War had been going on for several years when I had applied for the job of U.S.O. Mobile Units secretary in San Francisco. It was May …

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Mira-Dera in San Diego, California

Once upon a time…

Once upon a time, long, long ago there lived, far away on the prairies west of the mountains, a strong, tall dark-haired young man who was intelligent and brave. As he grew up, he learned the ways of farming in his land. He drove tractors and trucks from a very young age. He learned how …

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Stadtpark in Hannover Germany

When we were in Hannover visiting our daughter and her family in May 2018, the Stadtpark near their home was our favorite place to play. The grandkids and I would go there at least once a day, to run over the grass, play with a ball, and annoy the ducks and the large goldfish in …

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Helena Reciting a Poem

Helena, almost 7 years old, has learned a poem by heart as a school assignment. She is proudly reciting it for her grandparents in Texas, giving them some good advice in German.

Helena Learning to Swim

Helena and Grandpa bought swimming tickets for the pool in the Congress Hotel Am Stadtpark, which was near the Freiermuth apartment in Hannover. They went over every day for a practice session, and by the time the tickets ran out, Helena could go all the way around the pool. She stayed close to the edge, …

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McDonald Observatory

On my return trip from Denver, after I had been up to visit my mother in Colorado in 2011, I diverted my route home in order to visit the McDonald Observatory and Big Bend National Park, in the far reaches of West Texas. It made my trip three days long, rather than the usual two …

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Big Bend National Park

After I left the McDonald Observatory, I proceed to Big Bend National Park which was 130 miles to the south. This fact was not known to me when I left, on the map of Texas, it appears to be a short distance. But I had a worrying problem, I was running low on gas, and …

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Helena’s Birth Story

This is Larissa’s story about her first childbirth experience. It is presented here, in a slightly edited form, by Marilyn. Sept 21, 2010 Around noon, I was putting away the dishes in the dishwasher, debating whether to have fish sticks or a Kaho-smuggled box of Annie’s Mac and Cheese or (more likely) both of them, …

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Bike Ride with Julian

On Friday, July 31st, I joined my daughter’s English friend Julian on a great bike ride through the countryside south and west of Stuttgart, Germany. It truly was a beautiful ride; within minutes of leaving his house in the village of Vaihingen we were riding through lush green farmlands and forests, quite beautiful to my …

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2009 Trip To Europe

This was a visit to newly discovered family we had never met, combined with a trip to see our daughter and her husband. Meeting the Margutti cousins in Essex, England for the very first time! 2. Hanging out with Larissa and Hans Georg in Stuttgart and vicinity. 3. Speyer Cathedral, consecrated in 1061, has been …

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Kaho’s beautiful wedding dress creation stars in Larissa and Hans Georg’s 2008 Summer Celebration in Ludwigsburg.

After a simple civil marriage ceremony in Switzerland in the autumn of 2007, Hans Georg and Larissa moved to southern Germany. It is the custom in Europe to have both a civil ceremony and a church ceremony. The civil ceremony is always first, because the church ceremony has no legal standing. The church ceremony is …

Kaho’s beautiful wedding dress creation stars in Larissa and Hans Georg’s 2008 Summer Celebration in Ludwigsburg. Read More »

nicholas, st nicholas day, christmas

How did St. Nicholas become Santa Claus?

St. Nicholas (ascetic Bishop of the early church in Asia Minor, feast day Dec. 6th, known as the patron saint and protector of children) became Santa Claus (jolly old elf with red suit, a big round tummy and a chuckling laugh, flying the world on Dec. 25th with 8 tiny reindeer)

Trip To Switzerland for Larissa’s Civil Wedding

Getting To Switzerland Our beloved daughter Larissa is getting married to Mr. Hans-Georg Freiermuth in Zürich, Switzerland on November 24, 2007! After receiving that news, of course we begin making plans to travel to Switzerland. By the end of September, we have airplane tickets and a hotel reservation. (At this point, $.60 = 1.00 CHF) …

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Luckenbach, TX

In October 7, 2007, Marilyn and I were out for the Luckenbach run with the Volkssportverein Friedrichsburg. Here are some of the pictures that we took. I had heard about Luckenbach, which is just a few miles from Friedrichsburg, for a long time. Both places started as mid-19th century German settlements in the Texas Hill …

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Edinburgh, Scotland in June, 2000

Edinburgh Castle Cramond Kirk tour with Willa Stewart Edinburgh was a special treat because we visited it with a native! Marilyn’s college friend, Moira Lees, often called Willa Stewart her “oldest friend” because Willa, at age 12, had braved the wartime blackout (without telling her parents) and had ridden her bicycle across town to see …

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Marilyn Visits Larissa: Bristol, 1995

Larissa’s Study Abroad: University of Bristol Marilyn’s Version: In 1995, Larissa chose to attend the University of Bristol for her year of study abroad from Scripps College. Bristol was an English-speaking university, and she could easily transfer the credits to Scripps. Another student, whose name I don’t recall, was also going to Bristol. Larissa’s friend …

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Claire’s Visit to America

Back in the late spring or early summer of 1990, Rodney called our house in Austin and asked if Larissa would like to accompany their family on a camping vacation, driving west from Texas to Arizona and then Nevada. We told him that Claire, an exchange student from France, was going to be visiting us …

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Climb Mount Baldy

In the summer of 1973, Marilyn, Tom Benton, and I drove out East of LA to climb mount Baldy. We drove as far as we could go, then hiked the rest of the way. It was slow going but the scenery was pretty. I found this very detailed web page about climbing Mount Baldy today.