Today feels like summer. Fans are spinning, doors are open, the sun is warm, very warm. Not a good day for a wool scarf, that’s for sure. Not even a good day to lay your almost-finished afghan across your knees to knit. Too hot.
Well, they finally tore it down. Winkelmann’s, that is. The famous German restaurant that stood through the 70’s and 80’s, into the nineties. They had superb German cuisine. I best remember it as a one-story place complete with a butcher shop and liquor store. It was always crowded! Their sauerbraten and schnitzel with spaetzle was just the best! We lived about a mile up the road from Winkelmann’s; many was the Friday night that my husband would drive down for some beer or whiskey sour mix with one of our children in tow. Frank, who worked in the bar, would always give them a free bag of potato chips. He was a friendly guy; middle-aged, crew-cut, always a cigarette in his hand.
By the time Hermann Winkelmann dreamed a dream of a Bavarian Village, bankers and politicians were already standing in line to smash his castles-in-the-air. The restaurant had been expanded into this (below) and it was beautiful. All Mr. Winkelmann was waiting on were the clock-work figurines that would spin and twirl every hour-on-the-hour, on the second story clock tower, just like they do in Munich.
In the meantime, the bank where his mortgage was held decided to call in his loan. Sure. There was no angel from heaven to help him. No Clarence to the rescue. Eventually, Winkelmann was gone from his restaurant and it became known as the “Chateau Grand.” We attended a few events there; it was very nice, but it never attained the popularity that it should have or would have with Winkelmann in charge.
All too quickly, the restaurant closed. It just sat there; this huge monstrosity on Rt. 9 in Lakewood, looking like it was pleading for help. Hermann Winkelmann, in the meantime, lost his business, his family, and even his sanity for a while. He died, I’m sure, a broken man, in 2009. There’s just so much one person can withstand in this life.
Now his dream is razed, too. Very sad. I never met the man, (I did see him occasionally at the bar) but heard what a generous, caring, GOOD man he was. Maybe, that is really all that matters.
I’ve had my share of troubles, too. Financial, personal, familial. Things, circumstances, I would NEVER have imagined. Who could, when you are ten years old with your whole life ahead. Negativity, greed, smallness, these things don’t ever enter into your mind-set.
My husband and I have endured, have come out on top, if you will. You see, every day you wake up, is a triumph. THIS is the day that counts. No yesterday, because yesterday is gone. Not even tomorrow with its promises of financial and retirement satisfaction. Tomorrow is an illusion, today is a gift; that’s why we call it the present!
That’s why I knit. Knitting is good, very good, for the soul! It’s calming, and serene, even in the midst of a chaotic day. Just the thought in my mind that soon, I can sit down and pick up my knitting once again, is sometimes, all the consolation I need. I’ll bet you feel like that too some days!
I’m still working on my pretty easy lace scarf and the Gossamer Morning lace scarf, too.
In-between, I knit afghans for Etsy. White, blue, ombre, sparkly red. Colors that speak to me of the day or the time or the season. For my grand daughters, my children, for charity. There’s always someone somewhere in need.
We all dream dreams; every generation since the beginning of time has done just that. That’s why those who die young are the real tragedies in life; all of their life in front of them, and all of it cut short. Blessings abound for each one of us. It’s in the silence and simplicity that they are to be found. In knitting, in yarn, in stitches, and patterns. In the lovely things we’ve created by hand. Our hand.
Keep your dreams close to your heart and these will be the ones that will succeed. Every time. Guaranteed. In ways you can’t possibly imagine.
Instead of being just a huge pile of dirt where a dream used to be.