Nov 2, 2014

Grapefruits and Aurich, Germany

Friday morning I had a grapefruit.  Seems like a simple activity, I'm sure many people have some type of fruit for breakfast. 

For me eating a grapefruit is never simple. This food is a significant emotional trigger, there is a sense of order and respect that always presents itself in my heart and mind when I eat a grapefruit. Call me crazy, but I am telling the truth. 

I have a special gadget to cut the the individual sections or walls of the grapefruit - this practice of precise cuts I learned from my DAD. He cut a grapefruit perfect and always !  And by perfect I mean you could easily scoop out each section and get all of the grapefruit pulp and juices.  I loved eating grapefruits cut by my DAD, he never missed a section, he never cut one too deep or too shallow.  When I say perfect I mean perfect.   And he used to cut up 3 or 4, so we always had enough for all of us and then some. 

In Panama we had grapefruits from Linda Vista, my Grandpa and Grandma Arosemena's finca and they were the best ever !  The most vivid memories I have about the Panama grapefruits are my Grandma Minnie from Iowa enjoying one everyday during her annual visits to Panama.  She commented every year that the fruits in Panama were her favorite treat.  The local store in Rockwell City, Iowa, she said, "never had grapefruits" like this.   When my Grandma Minnie ate her grapefruit half - there was nothing left but the empty vessel. There was never any pulp, parts, walls, nothing.  She was not going to leave any of the tasty, juice, delicious, citrus fruit to waste. 

Grandma Minnie far left, Grandma Chichi next to her, 
My MOM is at the end with hat in her hand. 
The children, Carlos, the baby, and Roger, Elena and Ana
with Grandpa Rogelio.  Photo circa 1961 or 1962. 

=========================================== Friday while I was enjoying the grapefruit, thoughts, memories, images of my childhood raced in my mind and heart. I thought about my Grandma Minnie and her trips to Panama, how adventuresome she was - flying in propeller type airplanes making the long journey via car from Iowa to Chicago and then by plane from Chicago to Miami to Cuba and then finally to Panama.  

That 5 or 10 minutes of memories on Friday prompted me to do a Google search this weekend on the name RODEWALD, my Grandma's married name and I hit the jackpot. 

~ ~ RODEWALD ~ ~ 

A cousin of mine, going back 4 generations, someone I don't know personally has done years and years of research and has it all documented, linked by names, locations, lineage, photos, births, deaths, it's amazing.  In 15 or 20 minutes I was able to trace back my MOM"s family on her Fathers side all the way to Aurich, Germany and May 1832.  

My Mom's DAD, Carl Rodewald, born in 1897 in Illinois. 

Carl's Father:  Siebelt Adden Rodewald, born in 1859 in Leepens, Germany. 

And his Father: Johann Christoph Theodore Rodewald, born in 1832 in Aurich, Germany. 

My Mom's Dad had 10 siblings, Carlos is named after Carl and my brother, Toby is named after Uncle Tobe Peter. 

The website has all the information you can imagine. I will be able to create and trace family records and learn more about my German family connection. The  person who put this all together confirmed that most everything is now available via internet.  When he was doing the research over many many years, not everything was as accessible. We are related by our great-great grandfathers, they were brothers. 

When I traveled to Brooklyn a few weeks ago, I sat by a Peruvian lady who lives in New York, she was traveling to Peru to visit family.  She told me one of her favorite places in the world to visit is Germany.  She spent 15 minutes telling me all the places she visited and how beautiful the countryside is. My sister Ana and her husband Parker were there last year and Ana said similar things - and the photos they shared were awesome.  

One day soon, Aurich, Germany may be in my future travels.  Based on Google maps, Aurich is 278 KM from Amsterdam and can be reached by car in about 3 hours.  There is also a city named Wittmund close by that Siebelt was born in. 

I am so excited at this discovery and yes it was all prompted by the Friday morning grapefruit.  

Rodewald Siblings: JoAnn, Kermit and Arlene