Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 6-Day of Relaxation in Marzahn-again!

Today dawned foggy and rainy and was a good day for ‘relaxation’. Uschi and Harald were going to be unavailable today so Gerhard had me for the traditional breakfast and some relaxing watching the news on TV which included many US political pieces. It was obvious that the German people are very interested in our upcoming presidential elections.

Following this, Gerhard showed me some of his collection of items from his grandfather, Johann Colberg, brother to my great-grandfather, August. One of the items in Gerhard’s possession is an old 1931 calendar book of his Opa, Johann Colberg, in which Johann Colberg had detailed the history of his family and all the birthdays of his family members including his parents and brothers with notations on the brothers who immigrated to America. It is a real treasure and Gerhard was proud to have it.

Every day of my trip has been wonderful and full of lasting memories. But this day, viewing Johann Colberg's diary, was very special. Even though I knew that my Kolberg family in the US and Gerhard's C/Kolberg family in Germany were indeed all part of the same family of Friedrich Wilhelm and Amalie (Kautz) Colberg, seeing this journal of Johann Colberg's gave me a shiver to actually see, in the German handwriting of Johann, actual verification of the family C/Kolberg and documentation of each brother's birth date with documentation of the migration to America of 5 of these brothers. I cannot express the feelings that filled me in seeing this journal and Gerhard assisted me in photographing these pages as the book is very fragile.

Following this I returned to my apartment where I wrote out my postcards and worked on my photos. This was a good break on this gloomy day. I went back to Gerhard’s for lunch which he had prepared with boiled potatoes, cauliflower and hollandaise sauce. He is a very good cook and manages his household well since his wife passed away several years ago.

We then decided to take a walk through the gardens to the computer store so I could purchase a thumb drive in which Gerhard would download from his computer multiple genealogical pictures, graphs and other items that he has created which I could then install on my laptop. This was a lengthy walk and I was finding myself dragging at the end as this body is not used to the amount of walking that my German cousins think of as nothing. Did find a thumb drive and came back to the apartments to download all the files and images.

At 5 p.m. again had to take a break for cake, tea and coffee. It would be really easy to get used to this treat of different torts or cakes every day.

The remainder of the day was spent with photos, video tapes, viewing of a wedding tape from the recent marriage of Uschi & Harald’s son and general visiting followed by dinner of the breads, cheeses, sausages, etc. Then back to my apartment to unwind or “chill” as my niece would say.

When I reflected tonight on this day, I had to marvel at my 30 year journey in tracing my Kolberg family. All of the research, all the letters back and forth to archives, the maps and atlases that I had pored over, the senior members of my Kolberg family that I had questioned on their memories all culminated in the living room of Gerhard today when I saw the entries in his grandfather, Johann's, diary. To have made the connection between our families and to have proved this connection was satisfaction enough but to have actually connected with a cousin who was just as passionate as me about genealogy and to be able to share in the archives and keepsakes that he had was more than I could ever have envisioned.

This was truly a wonderful day!

Above photos - Copyright © 2008 by Cheryl Schulte


Apple said...

What a treasure! It photographed very well and I'm happy you got to see and touch it.

I think all of the walking would have done me in. It's too bad all of your internet plans didn't work out. We take for granted being able to get online anytime, anywhere.

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Apple. You are right about technology and our dependence on it. There was an Internet Cafe near the apartment I stayed in but I didn't notice it until the day before I left to return home. It all worked out anyway.

T.K. said...

Wow, Cheryl, you lucky girl! What an awesome little book, and you did a great job on the photos.

I'm delighted that you were able to nab some time for yourself to work on posting more of your trip. I'm enjoying every bit of it, cuz! And I bet you're enjoying it again in your head as you reread and upload your trip journal. Good stuff!