Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “family and friends”

Family Traditions “German Holiday Songs”

When I was a kid my all of my aunts and uncles, cousins (distant and close) would get together on Christmas day in the afternoon to have the “family” Christmas party. Our German heritage would always mean great German food & pot luck including ham and German potato salad and so many other assorted eats including my grandmothers handed down German spice cake ( potato torte).

After everyone had their fill of great food and a bunch alcoholic drinks had duly been consumed, there was time to sing some songs. The whole family would join in to celebrate. Many were many Christmas traditional tunes “O Tannenbaum” and “Stille Nacht” (Silent Night) were inevitable. But also were a few Bavarian drinking songs ( at least it felt like they were from there). Not as Christmas oriented but certainly part of the tradition each year.

My focus for our family this year will be to recall and embrace those family traditions that got us to this Christmas. I hope that my children will better understand the rich and varied heritage that got us to the yule-tide celebrations we do now.

There was a song called “Mein Lieber Antone“. Thanks to my brother I have the words for it, but have not been able to find the actual tune on any search I have made via the Internet.. I would be grateful if anyone had any information about it.

The other song was a song about a Schnitzelbank. With assorted other farm implements (among other German things). A traditional drinking song for sure, complete with the sing-along poster as each time you added something you had to repeat the rest. What great fun, and definitely with a beer or other concoction in your hand while singing it.

Here is the poster we sang from:

schnitzelbank Song Sheet









Here is a rendition from You Tube ( so you can get the idea).

What were your traditions? What songs did you sing over the years that have become the standards for your personal soundtrack?

The Value of Friendship

Loves ConditionMy wife and I have learned some valuable lessons in our lives. Those lessons have come to provide us with the insight and wisdom of being older. Unfortunately not everyone learns at the same pace I guess, while others may totally ignore life’s lessons and make no use of them in the course of their daily living.

One thing we have learned is that all things equal friends are something to be cherished more than any possession or place in life. Long lasting relationship kind of friends… they enrich your life, remind you that you are there for more than just treading though the 24 hours  that exist each day. More than just accumulating money or possessions or fame. We are not rich by any means, but God has provided all that we are allowed, and that is enough.

Those lasting friendships bridge the gap of distance and time. They are sturdy and durable. They have meaning beyond words and create bonds that are stronger than even actions or deeds. I thank God for those friendships. My wife and I have some of those friendships and even when it would seem things have drifted apart  by years of time- they are still there. To lend a kind word, to genuinely be concerned and provide caring to the wounded souls that we all can become.

This week some of our best and most recent friends in our journey have moved to another city. Far enough that even through the promise of visitations and constant contact …there will still be 1000+ miles between us. But no matter, we are richer in our lives for their entire family being in it. We enjoyed many holidays and weekends over the decade with their family and ours. We will always be best of friends with or without the distance.

In the past admittedly my family would be the one that would be leaving (we moved multiple times in our lives) and we would always be sad for our departure because of those friendships. But in the end those very dear friends we came to know along the journey are still there in our lives. Still calling on the phone, writing long emails and texts,sharing each others happiness and sadness, dropping a thoughtful note or just being in each others prayers (can use a lot of that lately). There may be gaps along the way where we don’t talk (sometimes long ones) but when we reconnect it is just like it was yesterday.

So I am thankful for that. Our life’s reflection is better for all of those truly genuine friendships. Perhaps you feel the same.

No Drama Zone

No Drama ZoneThere are days when it isn’t welcome. The drama and urgency of others hits you square in the head. You just want to leave it alone, let it be something someone else needs to know, someone else needs to deal with.

It’s really not that you don’t care, close family and friends deserve the critical points that make up drama in their lives as much as anyone. We all have those moments, those days, those situations that put drama in our lives.

Sometimes it seems it is self inflicted – we can attract drama in our lives like a magnet.  We even are unaware and unconscious about it coming and are surprised when the drama arrives. Things do go another direction than we expect, things find their ways into our lives that just make things so much more difficult than we are expecting, than we are wanting.

But there are times when our friends and family want to share drama. Even more unexpected than our own, it comes with the needs and wants of their expectations, which sometimes just.. aren’t… yours. You just can’t deal with it and you take a deep breath. Because after all it is a loved one… you have compassion for their plight. You understand your dilemma but it just isn’t something you can deal with at that time. Maybe some other day, but not today.

So then you feel like you don’t care. It tips the scales on the things you are dealing with at the moment, and makes it even worse in some ways because you want to be there for them. But it is that moment when you can not. It feels wrong.

As a person who cares about things (like most of us do), especially your family and close friends… it feels frustrating -yet is probably better for them that they know there are those points in the day, week, month. moment that it just has to be a… NO Drama Zone.

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