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" (32)

  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!

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

  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.

    Liked by 1 person

  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!

    Liked by 1 person

  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.


  13. Bethany @ Journey to Ithaca said:

    Marlene! You are still blogging! ❤ ❤ ❤


    • Good to see you, Bethany. Yes, I’m still here like a bad penny. Just keep turning up every few weeks. Hope you are doing well and back to writing as well.


  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.

      Liked by 1 person


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