Friday, May 5, 2017

Story Time Friday #1

Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom and I chatted briefly this morning about her new Friday feature, Story Time, and when she agreed to open it up as a meme, I was delighted.  I've mentioned before that my blog is a form of personal journal where I write about what's going on in our lives, things I enjoy, hopes, dreams, and the like, and the prospect of journaling my life story in 1000 posts (lol, just kidding) in a regular feature that may someday be turned into blog books was really appealing.  I find I am most creative when my fingers are flying across the keyboard so here goes.  Perhaps my grandchildren will enjoy reading the books, at least I'll know that after I'm gone, most of the answers to questions they may have can be found here.

Just a little backstory - my parents, Herb and Sylvia, met in Paris where my father was stationed with the U. S. Army and my mother worked as a British civil servant for Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI), most likely the British equivalent to the Exchange/Morale, Welfare and Recreation services that are available on military bases today.  My father said in his eulogy at my mother's funeral that she did not have much time for American servicemen.  Apparently, my maternal grandmother had housed some American GIs (GI = noun, a member or former member of the U. S. armed forces) in England during World War II and tended to give them the best of whatever was available, short-changing my mother in the process!  My father eventually overcame her dislike of American GIs because they were married in 1956.

1960 found my parents stationed in Germany.  They didn't have any children and were resigned to the fact that, for whatever reason, they were most likely not going to have any.  Infertility was just something that couples lived with in those days.  At sometime during their time in Germany, they befriended a German woman, Walli, who confided in them that she was pregnant and that she was not able to keep her baby.  She was unmarried and already had at least one other child (details are sketchy - another one of those times that I regret not asking more questions when my parents were still around to answer them).  Anyway, they were thrilled at the prospect of adopting Walli's baby.

I arrived earlier than expected, as evidenced by this lengthy receipt (42 items) from the Post Exchange of all of the essentials needed for a newborn for the princely sum of $36.90 dated on the day I was born!  How I would love to see the list of items.

When my parents left Germany and moved to Boston in 1961, I traveled on my German passport.  I became a United States citizen in 1962.  My German passport is still in my possession although it expired in 1966.  Two years ago, when I went to work for the federal government, I was asked to surrender it.  I was very much relieved that I didn't actually have to turn it in, I merely had to consent to have it voided which is evidenced by the hole punched in the top right-hand corner of each page.  I am so glad that I was able to hold on to this piece of my heritage.

2 weeks, 5 days old

More to come on the early years in Germany next week.  Please join us - the link is here.


  1. Oh My WORD Pamela. I have known you over the blogs for so long and I had no idea, number one that you were German, or adopted, or that your mother was British and your grandmother used to house GI's during the war. I am so beyond thrilled that you are joining in my new feature as I can just tell that I'm going to love learning about your heritage and reading all your family stories. :)

  2. This was so interesting, can't wait for the next installment.

  3. What an incredible story...I look forward to reading more. I'm so glad you were able to keep your German passport as a memory of your unique past. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  4. That's such a fascinating story! I'm so glad they didn't try to take your German passport. I can't imagine how awful it would have been