Stirpes, Volume 34, Number 1, March 1994

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fun fishing, swimming, water skiing and doing many other things together. Our most common
vacations are to Austin, Corpus Christi, Lake LBJ and Serbin, Texas. Serbin is a small town
between Austin and Houston. In 1985, my father was looking at the possibility of getting a job
near Serbin in a town called Giddings. It was here that we met a man by the name of R.J.
Nitsche. While visiting Giddings, we decided to look for a hotel room, but Mr. Nitsche
insisted that we stay the night at his ranch in Serbin. We accepted his offer and arrived there to
find his beautiful 800 acre ranch. We loved it and have visited there for the past seven years.
Here we can hunt, fish, drive jeeps and four wheelers and take part in numerous activities. I
have also been on other vacations. I have been to places such as Six Flags Over Texas and
Schlitterbahn. In the summer of 1990, my family traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, to visit
my relatives there. We had fun seeing the town and water skiing in the bayous. In the summer
of 1991, I went deep sea fishing with my family near Port Aransas. I didn't catch anything, but
it was fun anyway. My vacations have always been very enjoyable and memorable experiences.
Holidays and customs are very important to my family. We celebrate national and
religious holidays and some more uncommon holidays. On Easter we attend an Easter sunrise
pageant in Austin, Texas. This is how the celebration of Easter begins on my paternal side of
the family. After the pageant, we attend church services and then get together with our relatives
for lunch. Traditionally, we eat Cornish game hens on Easter. We then have an Easter
Egg hunt for the younger children and we play egg toss, fly kites and just visit. We celebrated
much in the same way with my mother's family. However, since my mother's father was a
pastor and had to hold church services on Easter Sunday, our celebration took place on the day
before Easter instead. Another custom my family carried on was the making of Easter Nests.
We would get a small dish and decorate it with bluebonnets and other wildflowers that we had
collected. The next morning the nest would be full of Easter eggs, candy, and other treats. My
family's Thanksgiving celebration is held at my paternal grandparents' house. After church, we
eat lunch, play games, and visit with our relatives. Christmas is very much celebrated by my
family. On Christmas Eve, my immediate family attends a worship service after which we open
gifts. Our traditional Christmas meal consists of sausage and often sauerkraut. On Christmas
morning, we gather with my mother's family. We eat our Christmas meal and open gifts. We
also sing carols and play games. On my maternal side of the family, the Christmas celebration
is usually held on New Year's Eve at my grandparents' house. We sing songs, eat together,
play games, and the children often shoot fireworks at midnight. One unique holiday that we
celebrate is Vogelhochzeit. In German, Vogelhochzeit means "Birds' Wedding." Vogelhochzeit
takes place on January 25. The custom was that young children would leave out bread crumbs
for the newlywed birds and in the morning, they would find treats left for them by the birds.
Since I live with two brothers, it is not surprising that I have had many sicknesses and
injuries throughout my life. I have not had any serious illnesses, just common sicknesses such
as colds, strep throat, the flu, and other such minor ailments. Strangely, enough, when I had
the chicken pox, I had only one sore! However, I have had my share of bumps and bruises.
One of the earliest I remember is when I was three years old. I was in the car with my mother,
and I had gotten loose from my seat belt. I was sitting between the two front seats of the car,
and my mother had to stop the car very quickly. When she did, I flew forward, hitting my
head on the dashboard. It was not a serious injury, but I had to have stitches put in my forehead.
Another of my earliest memories is of a time when my older brother and I were playing
in the living room. He pushed me, and I fell forward and hit my nose on the wooden frame of
our sofa. When I looked in the mirror, my nose appeared to be crooked. My mother took me
to the doctor, and I found out that my nose had been broken. Another incident occurred in the
same living room with the same brother, only this one was slightly more humorous. My
brother would lie on his back and put his feet up. I would sit back on his feet and he would

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Texas State Genealogical Society. Stirpes, Volume 34, Number 1, March 1994. San Antonio, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39868/. Accessed September 22, 2014.