Looking for answers to life's questions

Frau Zanker was a long time friend of my mother’s. We had apparently (I was too young to remember) lived close by when I was quite young. She had raised her two boys quite well. One of the Zanker boys was several years older than I and the other closer in age. We spent a great deal of time together in those early years prior to our leaving Germany for the three years my dad was stationed in other places. The friendship resumed on our return and they came to visit often.

With her two boys in tow, Frau Zanker had convinced my mother to let her take my sister home with her for several weeks. She knew I was needed as mother’s helper with two more babies in our home. Frau Zanker thought she would be borrowing a younger version of me. My mother relented, not having the energy to continue explaining to Frau Zanker that my sister was a larger handful than she could imagine. What could go wrong, right?

Augsburg was only 25 miles or so from our home and my mother had not learned to drive yet. Frau Zanker was going to bring her home and we were going to get some much-needed rest. Mom sent her off with six pairs of jeans and shirts. Of course, there were a few of the mandatory dresses all little girls wore.

Shortly after the incident with the neighbor lady accusing my sister of painting the bicycles in the basement, my mother got a call from Frau Zanker asking if mom could come and get her right away and please bring more clothes for her.

Mom had dad drive us down to Augsburg to get my sister. Their house was surrounded by a huge wrought iron fence and gate with pointed arrows at the top of each post. The fence was over six-foot-high and my sister was well under that at the age of three. She was safe inside the yard.

When we arrived, there was no sign of my sister. The distraught Frau Zanker said my sister had figured out how to get over the fence and disappear into the city leaving bits of torn clothing behind…daily.

It looked something like this.

I was sent to find her once again along with the younger Zanker, who had been hunting her down each time she escaped the yard. He had an idea of where she might go. We walked quite the distance and across a very busy street until we found the park. It took awhile and I was getting frightened by the large city traffic, noise and large amounts of people. We did finally find her and brought  her back in another pair of torn jeans covered in mud she found somewhere in her adventure.

Mom thought Frau Zanker was kidding when she said my sister needed new clothes. Every pair of jeans and all her shirts had been ripped as she climbed the fence or the trees in the park. My sister was on holiday and enjoying herself very much. She was having fun but not pouring paint on bicycles.

The one thing I can say about all those years with a sister like mine,  it was good preparation for when I had a daughter very much like her. Fearless little Houdini’s that could disappear in the blink of an eye over the tallest of structures. I wish I had one iota of that fearlessness.

 

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

Comments on: "SUZY Q The Iron Gate" (58)

  1. I know that actually you do have that”iota of fearlessness.” Your little sister wanted to get away. A lot. Good for her. I am so glad she succeeded.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Still can’t fence that one in. 🙂 I did a lot of things that were scary at the time and survived them but had the good sense to be scared. Thanks for stopping by, Cindy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good grief… Your mother must have had nerves of steel!

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  3. Oh my word! Did she scale that fence? 🙂 I’ll bet your daughter is enjoying these stories as much as we are.

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  4. That child! These stories get more and more outrageous!

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  5. Goodness! You also have nerves of steel…just to go find her.

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  6. What a story, Marlene! I can’t imagine a young child climbing that fence every day. Wow! Like you, I was not fearless at all. I was the quiet rule follower. My sisters were braver than I, but not like Suzy Q. Thanks for another wonderful adventure of your sister.

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  7. What a naughty! I am glad it worked out well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my goodness! I’m the oldest in my family, so I can relate to the “helping” part, but none of my siblings were quite as precocious. Wait, maybe they were! Great stories, Marlene. I hope you sister is enjoying them as much as we, your readers!

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  9. Don’t we all love a free spirit – as long as we don’t have to be responsible for them 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Marlene, I can picture these adventures knowing both of you. I am really enjoying getting a glimpse into your early years in Germany! I hope all is well with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What delightful reminiscences Marlene – thoroughly enjoying reading them, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Another great installment, Marlene. My goodness she tested everyone’s nerve. I admire her free spirit, but as a parent, I would have been at my whits end.

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  13. Bethany @ Journey to Ithaca said:

    Marlene! You are still blogging! ❤ ❤ ❤

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  14. Well Marlene-a-go-go, I might have to retired that nickname and pass it along to your sister, HA! Glad everything was ok and no one poked an eye out. Isn’t that the biggest worry as a kid? Adults seemed to think so. Had a three year old left a yard now, the authorities would be inclined to issue an amber alert. How scary for your friend to have offered to sit for a week but constantly at a loss for wear. Kind of a rip-off that your sister got a little holiday for being naughty and you had to stay home and be a helper. Crime doesn’t pay…..yah right 😀 xo K

    Liked by 1 person

    • I probably had school too. It was a vacation for me as well by not having to chase after her all the time. Our town was much quieter than the one she visited. Mom got to say “I told you so” to her friend. She was the slippery one for certain.

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  15. You have the funniest stories! They’re so wonderful to read! AND…I MUST know. What did Frau Zanker do after you got your sister back? Send her back home to never invite her over again? Or…I imagine, she probably loved your sister, didn’t realize the handful she was, and still loved on her but never volunteered to take her to stay at her house again. HAHA.
    Ohmigosh! Did your sister end up traveling or otherwise end up in an occupation conducive to adventure? I hope so because you all have more stories about funny things your sister did and little adventures, much to the chagrin of everyone else! HAHA. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We did take her home that day and she did not go back to stay without my mother. Even her two boy were easier for Frau Zanker. My sister’s whole life was an adventure and still is. Still a few more stories. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. I’m still in catch up mode.

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  16. Marlene, I continue to be awe-stricken by your sister’s adventures! My boys had a bit of this spirit, the youngest most of all, so I have an idea of what your Mum was dealing with. And you! Still, now that time has passed, these stories are certainly entertaining! I can just see that wee ragamuffin . . . I am amazed, too, that she didn’t come to harm, all things considered. I think I would have had grey hair by age 30 if I’d been her Mum. But, as you say, your Mum had the war to prepare her . . . sort of . . .

    I hope you are doing better and that your sister is alright, too. Still thinking of you both.

    Much love and warm hugs to you. ~ Linne

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Linne. I know we had Angels watching us as we traversed through all the pitfalls. She had important work to do here on earth. We are both still holding our own and hoping for more tomorrows. Trying to get the writing done quickly.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Oh my! Sounds like your sister had a great time! 😁 Poor Frau Zanker though 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I am loving these stories, Marlene. Thank you for sharing them!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Celine. It’s important for me to get these stories finished soon. Part of why I am so far behind with everything else. I have to go a long way back in my memory to find the details. Have a wonderfilled week.

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  19. Oh, my Lord. She was quite the daredevil.Reminds me of my sisters and me.

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  20. Oh my, how wonderful you are recalling such stories Marlene, and what a handful your Suzy Q sister! I would be worried sick! What a spirit of adventure. Did she grow up and climb Mount Everest or something similar? The boys you describe in Germany remind me of the three Australian boys I befriended who lived for a time down the lane from us in my English village. But that’s another story for another time 😉 Great reading you my friend…I will go back a couple of posts and see what other treasures you have waiting for me 🙂

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Sherri. I’ve been a little bogged down myself. You have a real reason to be bogged down, I’m just lazy some days. 🙂 No my sister never climbed mountains expect the social kind. She did end up working for the forest service for several years. More on all that later. Have a wonderfilled weekend. Hope you new home is everything you wanted. Hugs,M

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      • Lazy is good and necessary sometimes 🙂 Looking forward very much to more of your stories Marlene. Thank you, and you too- wonderfilled, love that! – and hope to get more updates up here and there. Bless you my friend, see you very soon! Hugs back ❤

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  21. Marlene I love to read the stories of your sister, what a bundle of energy she was.. Such a free spirit. not to be tied down or penned in lol.. Amazing adventures..
    ❤ xx

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    • I have to get busy and write the rest while I still remember them. She’s quite the character. Thanks for the visit. I know how pressed for time you are. Happy Easter and spring, Sue. Hugs.

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      • Love and Blessings my pleasure Marlene.. xxx
        Oh and while I am here, have you heard anything from Lois?? last time I paid her a visit to her blog, it was Jan she posted.. And I had a strange email from her that only was a link which I did not open.. I thought her email had got hacked again and reported it. Hope she is well..
        Sending You lots of love.. xxx

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      • Lois is well last I heard and her e-mail did get hacked. Her son had her computer and was working on it so she is without. We e-mail on occasion. She just finished a project for me that I must write about. I’ll pass on your concern. Love and hugs, M

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      • Thank you Marlene I appreciate that. and happy to know she is ok.. And yes she emailed me some years ago over something .. So I was on her email list for the hackers.. I thought it was not from her.. Sending LOVE.. xxx

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  22. Oh my, I thought I’d had my hands full with my youngest when he was little but I can laugh now and realize I had it pretty easy compared to your mother.

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    • I so agree, Lois. I didn’t like my mother much as a child but then realized all that she was up against and finally “got it”. She was so unprepared for what came her way. My sister was like having a tornado in the house and everywhere she went.

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      • Your mother definitely had her problems and the tornado probably added to her problems. It’s good that you were able to try and see things from her point of view and not carry a grudge through your life.

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      • Grudges are heavy for the person carrying them, Lois. I learned that one early. They don’t bother the person you are carrying them about. I came out the winner that way. Hugs to you as I’ve been thinking about you and just saw you had a new post. Trying to get there. 😉

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      • We both learned that lesson. No worries I am so far behind with everyone’s blogs I don’t know if I’ll ever get caught up.

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  23. You answered my question, which was, “Did Frau Zanker revise her dreams of what it would be like to have a little girl in the home?” Suzy Q: teacher of life lessons.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You never know what you are going to get. My brothers were more passive and easy going then my sister will ever be. Frau Zanker never regretted having boys after that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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