Monday, January 05, 2015

Memories of my life before my 4th birthday aka the birth of Nik von Schulmann

I have a very clear images of my life as a little kid but before I was five I had no idea of date or times.   I can within my mind connect a narrative of my life that starts somewhere around two and runs to today.  

I did not know dates or time because my parents did not teach me to read or even to understand numbers.    September meant nothing to me, 8:00 am meant nothing to me, 1968 meant nothing to me.  I have all manner of images in my head but for most of them I can not be certain of the date.  Most images I can date I can only do so because of some event related to it.   My mind is full of day to day things that happened when I was very young but I could not tell you the date.

I can remember being a little kid and wearing shorts and rubber boots with no socks, I can still remember that feeling of running through damp grass and feeling the cool go through to my feet.  I can remember riding in the car in the front seat without a seat belt and standing up while driving so I could look out the window.

I can remember my second birthday.  I also remember my third birthday.

On my second birthday my mother wanted to take a picture of me at the little table where I had my cake and presents.  I stopped her and ran and got a ratty half chewed up toy to put on the table along with my presents.  I understood that she was documenting the moment with the camera and it was important to me to have this toy on the table as well.

For my third birthday I invited my best friends, Paul and Dina von Hahn, Robbie and Bjorn Turmann and Peter who's last name I can not remember.  

I can remember going to the Hahn's in Richmond before I spent a number of weeks the summer of 1968 but it is that summer of that year I can date because it was when my aunt Nata dropped in with my new born cousin Andreas.    I can remember not really having a reaction to him as such but the living room Nata was in was dark the curtains were drawn and the lights were off it was also a wood paneled room.   I was on the south edge of the room maybe on the couch?

 I can not remember staying with the von der Lindens which was for a number of weeks either in 1966 or 1967.

I can remember Paul von Hahn's birthday's in 1968 and 1969 but the two are conflated together.    I can still remember the placement of things in the backyard especially the all important sandbox

I can remember dinner at the kitchen table before Nik was born, both in June when the sun blinded us at the table and in the winter when it was dark outside by the time we ate.   I know it is before Nik was born because I am only at the table with my parents and sister.  

I remember two places where my grandmother lived before she became the housekeeper for the old doctor.  One was on the water near Jericho.  The even older one was a craftsman house in Vancouver in the area around 13th near the hospital.

I can remember our dog Tiger very well and he was put down before Nik was born.  I have no memory of Hundi who died not long after we moved to Tsawwassen in 1966.  I can remember the day Tiger broke his chain and caught the newspaper boy.  I can remember Tiger scaring men that came into the house.  I have an image of one of my uncles standing against the kitchen wall near the door trying to be away from Tiger.   I think it was Lorenz but it might have been Nils.

I remember the addition to the sundeck, which was before Nik, as was building the bedroom downstairs.  I can remember moving from the smaller upstairs bedroom to the larger one.  All these events would have been at some point in 1969.   I sort of remember the accident with the girl that fell through the plate glass window, but the details are very fuzzy.

I have memories of the Okanagan that are very early and from a trip my mother says I should not remember because it was in the spring of 1966.

I remember my first trip to the airport in the summer of 1967 to pick up my aunt Sabine.  This would have been before I was 2.  This was the old airport terminal in Vancouver on the south side of the airports.   The new terminal opened in 1968.

I do not have any memory of the trip to the Okanagan with my family, Tante Sabine and Helmut in 1967.

I can remember my first ferry trip which was in the year my grand parents came to visit the summer of 1969.

I can remember getting our first colour TV but I am not sure what year that was.  I can remember my father and Beatrice playing around with it during the time I wanted to be watching cartoons.   I can remember the managed to damage the instant on feature on the first day.

I can remember the highchair I used because of the feel and smell of the vinyl of the chair.  Also the feeling of the strap between the legs.  I can remember someone tipping the chair sideways for a picture at Christmas, which when looking through the photo album I see that was 1968.   It means I was still using at age three.

I can remember various changes in furniture but not when, only one orange chair that spun around can I date to when it arrived, Christmas 1968

I do not remember the Jolly Jumper I used at age 9 months.

I can remember an Easter thing at the Schillings in Vancouver in 1968.   The main thing I remember is being lifted to sit on the edge of dining table.  The table was near the entry to the room which was on the right hand side as you came into the house.  I have a memory of Beatrice looking dressed up or older.  

I remember a trip to Bowen Island that I was told was in the summer of 1968

I can remember when I was about 5 pointing the clock in the kitchen and saying my bed time should be later.   I knew it showed time and the hands were the indication of it so I told my mother my bed time should be when the long hand pointed to the bottom left.   In my mind I can still see the clock and where the long hand was.  I can see the light in the room and that my mother was standing to my right and behind me a bit.  My sister was in the kitchen as well.  It was after dinner and still light but the light was fading.  What I can not make out are the numbers on the clock.

I can remember the built in bookshelves and stereo system going in, but which year that was I am not sure.

I have no memory of July 1st 1967 or the moon landing in 1969.  Events of the world did not impact my life at this age as far as I can tell.

 I can remember the trip to Demmit Alberta around New Years 1967-68.  It was the first time I ever really felt cold or experienced deep crisp snow

I remember my favorite stuffed animal being stolen by a dog and my mother needing to chase in the car to get it back.   This was before Nik was born but how when I do not know.

I can clearly remember Christmas 1968 and getting my first Brio set.   I also got a wooden farmyard set and marvelled at the smooth feeling of the flat painted animals

I can remember the first time I was at Kinderlager - a week long camp for Baltic German kids held at the Baltenhaus in Hope, I was allowed to go in the summer of 1969 when I was younger than any of the other kids there because I knew so many of them.   I am trying to remember the details of what we did, but I went to Kinderlager each year till I was about 11 years old so it is hard to remember what happened in what year.

I remember my first Halloween in 1968 and hating the feeling of the mask on my face.  The material of the costume was also one I did not like.  I was a skeleton.

I can remember the building of Roberts Bank, especially the overpass on Highway 17 as well as Highway 17 being double laned.  I remember the hanger on the old airbase being used for skating but I am uncertain when I went there but the dates it was in use predates Nik's birth.    I have no memory of Beatrice being badly hurt skating

I remember the corner of 12A and 56th in Tsawwassen having a four way stop.

I have no memory of being very ill when I was around a year old - I had pneumonia

I do not remember the big dead trees in the front yard being taken down.   I do remember the planting of the Doug Fir, but that was I think in the spring of 1970.

I am have no certain memories of Christmas 1967.   I think I got a Tonka cement truck and a red tricycle.

I can remember Christmas 1968 because of the Brio train set and farm yard I got.  I also remember my sister teasing me, sort of, with the slip she got.  I can remember not liking the feel of the material.

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