Family Sayings, mostly my Father’s 9/23/2008
Some of my sisters and brothers have helped me with these sayings. That gave me a number of them more.
Here is one that is corrected:
16. „Wenn es dem Esel zu gut geht, dann geht er auf das Eis und bricht ein Bein.” (”If things go too well for a donkey, it goes skating on ice and breaks a leg.“)
Here are six more:
38. „Du hast kein Sitzefleisch!“ (How to translate that? “You have no flesh to sit on!”Father would say this when we squirmed on a chair and could not remain still and seated.
39. „Ich muss mal gehen wo der Kaiser selbst zu Fuss geht.“ (“I have to go, where the kaiser himself has to walk and do it himself,“) that is, go to the bathroom.
40. My father would stroke his mustache and say, „Nur eine Kleinigkeit!” (“Just a detail!”) I’m not sure what he meant by it.
41. „Noch einen Spatenstich!“ (“Dig one spade more!“) My father always said this when my youngest brother was digging the garden and he didn’t dig a full row.
42. „Acht Tage Schwanheim!“ (“Eight days of Schwanheim!“) Whenever we did not like our food and complained or did not eat it all, someone would say that. We starved so much in that UNRA camp in Schwanheim, that baby James died, and we would eat anything we could get our hands on. I remember eating apple peals thrown into a hole behind the guard house at the entrance of the camp.
43. „Nichts ist schwerer zu ertragen als eine Reihe von guten Tagen.“ (“Nothing is harder to endure than a series of good days.”) This saying my father said often. It’s a little like Lake Woebegone.
Two more, Sept. 27, 2008. They keep “popping” up in my head. My brain keeps “fathering” them.
44. „Studenten Jahren sind keine Herre Jarhen.“ (“Student years are not the years of Lords.”) My father said this to emphasize that being a student was hard work, drudgery, poverty, slavery. In graduate school they said, “If you live like a lawyer when you are a student, then you’ll live like a student when you’re a lawyer.” That referred to taking out student loans. What happens if you take out such loans and you remain unemployed? Sigh!
45. „Ich bin ein geplagter Eheman!“ (“I am a tormented husband!“) When my father had to do housework or deal with criticism from my mother. I say this to myself when I do the dishes.