The Region
Around Küsel

After our late afternoon Pilsner, there was one remaining birthplace left to visit, that of Margaret Mueller, wife of Abraham Fickeisen. Buborn is only 3 miles from Gumbsweiler. We drove to the cemetery and looked around a bit, but there were no Müllers names on the tombstones. I strained to see if I sensed Margaretha's spirit hanging over this place. And maybe I did. I would have gone on down into the town, but it was very late at the end of a very long day. I knew my guides were tired and wanted to return home. But I will always cherish this brief view of my great great grandmother's birthplace.

It was time to say "Auf Wiedersehen!" to our German friends, first Michael and Rita and then Heinrich and Erika. I felt profoundly greatful to our guides for their help in finding our ancestors' birthplaces. I know that all of us, Vicki, Tom and I told them that if they ever traveled to the U.S.A., they would have a welcome place to stay in our homes.

We decided that night to dine at the local inn in Dittweiler. The food and the Pilsner were good as usual. After that, we rather quitely did our final packing and went to bed. We had told our landlady that we wanted a lighter breakfast at 5:30, because we had to drive to Frankfurt by 11:30. Vicki and I had to pick up our plane that was flying out the next morning. One very sweet thing that our landlady did was to give us all memento commemorative plates with wild birds on them.

The next day, we kept on schedule. Only two problems occured. I had drunk too much of the landlady's strong tea, and it made me so nervous I had to stop and pace around in a rest stop for a while. But I got over that. The other thing that bothered us was that Tom's plane didn't fly out until the next day, and he was clearly making plans to sleep in the airport. As it turned out, Tom made a lot of friends that night, and was fine.

I don't think we will ever be the same after this trip. I know at one point, I think it was when we were visiting our Belgian relatives in Binche, I had the strange thought that the entire gene pool of Fernand Andris was returning to his parents' birthplace. I think I even said as much to Vicki and Tom. I just hope it's not the last time we are able to do this.

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