During my early life I thought we were quite well off or even rich. After all, there was that box with billions of Marks in a corner of our attic.
We lived like peasants in medieval times, compared to village life today. My feelings must have been triggered by the love and protection our parents gave us, – we never wanted for anything, except perhaps candies, cake or cookies every day, these were just for Sundays. But, we did not know better. We accepted life the way it was. We did not know that water could come out of a faucet on the wall instead of going to the pump outside. We did not know what it would be like to have constant warm water without starting a fire and heating a kettle.
We did not know what a toilet within the house would be like because our outhouse had a box under the seat that “things” just fell into. We played tag, we played hide and seek, we skipped rope, we played hopscotch, we played ball against the house wall in a certain sequence with different movements, we played with marbles (the glass ones were very special and were traded carefully), we played with a spinning top and we rolled and ran behind a hoop with a stick. We were kids, in the truest sense of the word. No radio, TV, no texting, no electronics. During winter evenings our parents had more time; it was a time of storytelling, sing-alongs, and board games.
The approximately one-thousand people in our village all lived a similar life. Sunday Church was a time for meeting and talking to the others; the male folks would go to the pub; the women would go and water the flowers on the graves of the dearly departed. There they would chat, and exchange the latest gossip. The big time politics in the cities would not affect this laid-back life. Nobody was divorced and nobody lived “in sin” or had affairs. We also had our “village idiot”. That is a term not acceptable today either, – just as all those other activities have no place in our society anymore. I dare to say all the Stresow families were happy, just like we were.