“A knife wound heals, but a tongue wound festers.”

No weather report today. Day after day is always the same. It’s depressing. The only bright spots are the large numbers of green shoots in my front garden. They give me a bit of hope.

When I was a kid, we lived in what we called the project. The houses were all duplexes, one side the mirror image of the other. Living there was only open to veterans and their families. Kids were everywhere. We first lived around the small rotary which the last of the duplexes circled. Below those duplexes was the field surrounded by woods. A long fence in the backyards separated our houses from the privately owned houses behind us. I used to climb the gate by the parking lot as it was a shortcut to my aunt’s house. I never once, in all the year’s we lived there, see the gate opened. No car ever used it. No car ever really used the parking lot either. Most cars were in front of the houses. My dad always parked his on the side road as our house was on a corner with the hill on one side.

Most times nothing much happened in the project. In the summer you could, now and then, hear people yelling at each other through the opened windows. We always listened. At supper time, mothers yelled out the doors for their kids. Once there was a fight between two men who were neighbors. I remember one man was a photographer who took pictures for the local newspaper. I don’t remember who the other man was. I do know the fight started because the wife of the photographer was German. He had met her while he was in the service on duty in Germany. This was in the mid 1950’s, and most of the men in the neighborhood had served in World War II. The guy I don’t remember called the wife a Nazi and a few more choice names and then the fight started. They rolled and wrestled on the grassy hill, and I remember the photographer’s sweater vest was pulled over his head so he couldn’t see to defend himself. Everybody was out watching. I don’t remember how the fight was ended. I figure neighbors must have grabbed the fighters and separated them as I would have remembered the police coming.

That fight was the talk of the neighborhood for the longest time. The men never spoke to each other again. The photographer and his wife and son eventually moved. That is the only time in my life I have seen adults physically attacking one another. Burned in my memory is the image of the two men rolling down the hill trying to punch one another. I remember the sweater vest had the argyle pattern popular in the 50’s. The son of the photographer wore glasses.

It is strange what our memories hold on to and what is lost over time.

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6 Comments on ““A knife wound heals, but a tongue wound festers.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    A thought for our friend Birgit

    Birgit, it is with very much sadness that I read that children from the Joseph-Konig school in Haltern were on that plane this morning. I know that Haltern is in the Ruhr valley and terribly close to Bochum

    Prayers for everyone and their families.

    Love from Hedley in Detroit.

    • Birgit Says:

      Thanks, Hedley. Really sad news. It was a rumor since noon but now it was confirmed that 16 pupils and 2 teachers from this school in nearby Haltern are among the victims. The 10th grade Spanish class spent a week together in Barcelona. Flight destination was our main regional airport so many people are anxiously watching the news. There’s not even a slim hope that someone has survived this terrible crash.

  2. olof1 Says:

    59F sunny and no wind here today, tomorrow will be cold and both rain and snow will fall, typical early spring weather 🙂

    I grew up in an apartment building in a house called barnrikehus, that would be something like “rich in children” house 🙂 and so they were, no money but lots of children 🙂 I don’t think I ever saw any grown ups fighting but lots of older teenegers 🙂 I remember especially one fight when two brothers started fighting and after a while they started to throw out each others belongins through the windows 🙂

    Swedes were called “Little Germans” during and after the war so we never had any arguments about anyone coming from Germany 🙂 After all it was our fault the war went on for so long since we kept on selling iron to the german bomb makers, even though we by then could have defended us against any attack. It took a long time until Swedes could say they were from Sweden after the war, most said they came from Norway 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      It was 36˚ so I envy you your 59˚. Tomorrow will be in the 40’s and rain is on its way tomorrow night and Thursday.

      I never even saw kids fight. That was only the fight I saw, the one between the two men. Mostly I think they rolled around on the ground. Few fists were thrown.

      I didn’t know about all the iron Swedes sold to Germany. I can understand claiming to be from Norway rather than being called Little Germans.

      Enjoy your evening!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    That’s an unpleasant memory. The guy you don’t remember sounds like he may have been an asshat.
    My neighborhood was all single family houses except for one. Mostly I didn’t hear arguments from any of them except the one on the corner. That man had a loud voice and very colorful language. His two boys absorbed all that colorful language and used it frequently. I was waiting for the day when their mother said something along the lines of not knowing where they picked it up. Because I was going to tell her. 🙂

    It’s sunny and lovely today. The dogs and I made it to the actual lake shore. The snow has compacted enough that it wasn’t too hard to clamber over it. We couldn’t do much once we got there but we were there.
    And I have a flower in my yard! One lonely crocus has bloomed. Yay!

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      It is strange in that I remember so much and so little about the other guy. He was on the other side of the duplex. That’s all I remember.

      The winter was quiet. It was when the screens were down that you could even hear the TV’s from other houses. Any kid who was getting yelled at got teased the next day.

      The sun was here for a few hours. It was also really cold. Rain is coming and so is the 40’s.

      I have several blooming snowdrops in my front garden. I had to stop and smile when I saw them.

      Have a great evening!


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