Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Morning Memories of Das Maus Meister

Look what was on the ground yesterday morning when we awoke after the Sunday Oktoberfest party. Yes, that is a heavy frost on the grass that you see in the top two photos. That made me think of a phrase my dad used to use on the farm this time of year: "Annie, there's frost on the pumpkins." Back then we probably had some pumpkins growing between the rows of the corn field and there truly was frost on the pumpkin.

Ever take your fingers and brush the frost covered blades of grass?

Here is an authentic Christmas creche made in former East Germany that I have already set up in the dining room for the holidays. Notice the short red candles. There are four candles spaced around this creche and when you light them the heat rising from the burning candles moves the paddles of the wheel up above making it turn round and round. Then the paddles are connected to a mechanism that turns the Christmas creche scene. Jack and I used to see this type of Christmas creche scene in all the shops in Germany. So of course, we had to buy one before we left Germany. You will need to click on this photo to see all this up close. I think this type of creche symbolizes Germany's engineering mindset. They know how to build a Porsche or Mercedes to run well and they know how to make a Christmas creche revolve.

Drum roll please!

Presenting the one fellow who came to our party in a Halloween costume. This is Das Maus Meister playing the part of a German Mickey Mouse. When he made his appearance Grandpa quickly grabbed him and put him on the granite kitchen island so he could show off his "maus moves" with black ears flapping and little black tail trailing behind his behind.

The maus meister spent some time in the hood and some time out of the hood of the costume. Either way he kept Grandma and Grandpa and all our guests enchanted with his antics. In the photo below is when I think he was about to make his great maus escape thru the back door but luckily he just proceeded to mess up my door shade and the oil painting on the wall. Grandma found it hard to scold this charming Mickey impersonator.

Look below now. I took some mums to make flower arrangements around the house. Here I used two Fort Belvoir Oktoberfest beer mugs for floral arrangements. We used to go to Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County for Oktoberfest sponsored by the U.S. Army. Since 9/11 when just getting thru the army gates at Fort Belvoir is a major security nightmare I don't know if they still do an Oktoberfest weekend. I used to cut through Fort Belvoir on a road to go to school librarians' meetings at schools in the Alexandria part of Fairfax County. 9/11 the great divide on how we go about doing anything in America.

Below is my very favorite beer mug that I got while teaching in Germany. This one even has a nickname: Uncle Shorty! The short and stout man with the big grin reminded me when I bought it of my mother's brother, Lawrence "Shorty" Dapore of Willowdell and Fairborn, Ohio. My Uncle Shorty was my very, very favorite uncle because he was always so kind and always so friendly to everyone he ever met. He was a strong supporter of the Fairborn Lions Club and Fairborn High School and one year was the grand marshall of the Fairborn 4'th of July parade. Our family loved to go to Uncle Shorty's 4'th of July barbecue.

You need to lift the head back to reach the head on your beer. Many authentic German beer mugs have this feature. Long ago some German beer bars would let you keep your personal mug by the bar on a shelf and if the lid was down no dust fell in the mug when it was not in use. I think the Germans invented cleanliness and I also think I inherited that trait since I am 1/4 German. The rest of me is French.


fishing guy said...

Joanne: What a neat post, I have never seen such a big mouse running loose. Little Jack looks neat in his costume. Your flowers look beautiful in the mugs.

DragonQuilter said...

Now this is the kind of mouse to have in your house!!

Anonymous said...

Fort Belvoir still hosts Oktoberfest, the first weekend in October every year. It's open to the public. Hope you can make it next year. A German Army band travelled from Germany to play the opening night this year.

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