Rick Gregory, Writer

Translating Messages From Heads To Hearts

Nähkiste – (Still part of Day 9) AND Day 10

I know. It’s a funny word, right? But it is the name of the house in which we’re staying here in Monschau. According to our host, Wolfgang, this town was at one time a thriving locale for the production of textiles for the region. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, his family worked and lived in this house. He translates the word nähkiste as “sewing box” or sewing house. The direct translation from German to English is “workbox.”

Looking out our bedroom window onto the town below and the incredible hills above. If I’m not careful, I allow the disappointment of the commerce of greed to overtake my recognition of the beauty of God’s creation here in Monschau!

From this window, I can see the cemetery off to the right, the old ruins at the top left and the city coming alive for the morning. Oh and the bells! They ring every quarter-hour from the church starting at 6am!

Laying in bed listening to the bells, it made me think of the drums in Africa. The drums “speaking” told the villagers that some event was happening and it was time to “move.” I wondered if these bells weren’t part of the same movements of life for the villagers before wristwatches and clocks.

on the hunt for
Kaiser Karl's Bettstatt

They told us it was time for us to move too! After breakfast (Sherry will tell about that!), we headed out on a trek to find the Nature Preserve where Kaiser Karl’s Bettstatt was to be found. We thought it meant where he was buried, but we were quickly corrected by some other hikers, who then proceeded to show us where the Kaiser was REALLY buried (I couldn’t find it to link here. Sorry).  Turns out the Dear Kaiser’s Bettstatt is nothing more than a giant rock, which you can see below . . .

Getting to the Bettstatt was no easy task. Here’s a short video we did while we were hiking. If it’s bad, I’m sorry. Just getting the hang of this blogging (and vlogging?) every day! I’ll try to make sure the videos improve over time.

We started out following a map, and I think we walked about 30 minutes out of our way – on major highways no less, most of the time without sidewalks. Once we got to the place where the Preserve actually began, it was again magical. We were walking through unbelievably beautiful fields and marsh. Note the little wooden path. It was about 2 feet wide through most of the areas, and built over what we were told was terribly marshy ground, where there were lots of sinkholes and quicksand. Overall, we walked over 4 hours straight and our “reward” was a giant rock. That’s all Kaiser Karl’s Bettstatt was. And it was giant, as you can see from the size with me laying on it!

2 thoughts on “Nähkiste – (Still part of Day 9) AND Day 10”

  1. I am with you regarding the church bells ringing throughout the town. As a kid my family would visit my moms cousin in Oxnard and there was a church will bells that rang every 30 minutes. Your Blog reminded me I’d that. Ding Dong, Ding Dong……. Ding Dong, Ding Dong ….. was on the half hours and on the hours it was the same but followed by a DONG for each hour of time it was. It was great because we knew what time it was. …. 9 DONGS….. 9 O’clock…. Loved them. I wonder if the still ring or they are politically incorrect or offensive to people because they are “church” bells…

    1. Yes! I hope they’re still ringing! Even here in Europe where the Gospel is too often forgotten in favor of “self,” the bells still ring, maybe just because they’re beautiful?

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