Monday, June 14, 2010

German Farmer Meets Curiously Dressed American (Me!)

Just outside of the Neunkirchen am Brand city limits, I stomped on the breaks, making a spontaneous stop at the roadside stand for some farm fresh strawberries. Though the berries looked wonderful, what really drew me here was an old German lady in her traditional farmer's apron and soft purple head kerchief. With her few remaining teeth she gave me a heart-warming half-smile as I stopped.

We went on to have a conversation in German about the beautiful unpaved country road I had crept along from the town of Langensendelbach to her tiny town of Ebersbach. I told her that I was from America and she said she knew, responding with the German equivalent of „it doesn't matter“ [referring to the fact that I was wearing a traditional German dirndl, or dress]. I explained that my husband is from the area and I was just meeting family for a Sunday lunch, adding that, “if I didn't wear it on Sundays it would just sit in my closet. What a shame!”

She is the last of her generation, which is why I was hoping to photograph her. It's no secret that in 20 years, when our kids are grown up, people at roadside stands will look more mainstream. What a pity! Though I told her she looked beautiful (and I meant it!), she asked that the photo not have her in it. Ducking behind the wooden door of her old stand, she waited until the I was finished, then shuffled over to my car to proudly present the kids with a couple strawberries each.

The berries were sweet and just firm enough, which explains why Lukas finished half of them in the 8 minutes it took us to get back to our home.

How wonderful. We got (intentionally) lost along a gorgeous country road, bought farm fresh strawberries, spoke with a charming local, met up with family, drank locally brewed beer, and ate a perfectly prepared Schnitzel with German Potato Salad. A fine adventure for a lazy Sunday afternoon in lovely Franconia, Germany. Wunderschön!

No comments: