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My Uncle Fritz didn't get to know his Anneliese via carrier pigeon but as a pen pal through the mail. Illustration of a carrier pidgeon with a love letter

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 32 – Love

That summer I got to know and love Heidelberg and its surroundings. Illustration of a family strolling through the Philosphers' Way in Heidelberg

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 32 – Love

A Day to Celebrate Love

All over the world, the 14th of February is celebrated as St. Valentine's Day. The Day of Love. There is a famous song about Love, 'I Lost my Heart in Heidelberg'. (Ich habe mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren) The first time I heard it, it was during a snowy winter in Upstate New York during the Christmas season. The song was on a cassette I got from a distant relative whom I'd soon call Uncle Fritz. We came into contact when he was researching his genealogy and looking for my paternal grandmother.

Uncle Fritz originally came from a small village in the Palatinate and was a pilot in World War II. There were penpal programs ran by the Government at that time, but also by aid organizations to make the soldiers on the front feel less lonely. *  It was through one of these programs that this young man met a young woman from Heidelberg. Her name was Anneliese and she came from Heidelberg.

My Uncle Fritz didn't get to know his Anneliese via carrier pigeon but as a pen pal through the mail. Illustration of a carrier pidgeon with a love letter
My Uncle Fritz didn't get to know his Anneliese via carrier pigeon but through a penpal program through the snail-mail.

Their letters helped them get closer and closer until one day Uncle Fritz appeared before the hair salon where she worked. And then, he told me, he fell in love with her-just as in the song-"bis über beiden Ohren" literally meaning up to his ears. I would say he fell for her hook, line and sinker.

Love will show You the Way

The cassette that Uncle Fritz sent me included letter that changed my life. I have always been curious about Germany because I have German roots. Even though he and his wife only knew me through my letters, they sent me an invitation to Germany and 100 USD-which was a lot of money for me at that time-to visit them in the coming summer. I accepted the invitation immediately, planned the trip and arrived on the Fourth of July.

That was just after my 17th birthday.

At that time my Uncle Fritz was bound to a wheelchair because of a serious illness, but his son and his wife took care of me and showed me the sights of Heidelberg: The Heidelberg Castle, the city centre, the church and the Philisophenweg. And I'd made many friends that summer. We went to the municipal pool, joked around, and rough-housed in the garden. That summer I fell in love with the German way of life and the city of Heidelberg.

Nine years later I met my husband in Café Heidelberg (where else in the world?) in New York City. So the song is true for me, too. (Only that you have to quickly insert the word 'cafè' into the lyrics when singing it). For me, Heidelberg means love.

What is Love?

There are many forms of love. Love of your partner. Love for your child. Love for your passion, such as music or art or sports. And there is Love between friends, just because they know each other for so long.

Find the Love

I'm giving you a search and find picture puzzle: Here are a few examples of love from my wimmelbook. Can you guess where they are? As I have said, there are many forms of love. How many examples of love can you find in my wimmelbook, 'Heidelberg wimmelt' and where? And how many forms of love do you experience every day? Write your solutions and stories in the comments below.

Playing the game is easier if you have the fun search and find book, ‚Heidelberg wimmelt‘ which you get from your favorite bookstore, the Silberburg-Verlag Publishing House or the online booksellers of your choice.

The Puzzle of Love

He was in up to his ears in love with her and invited her on a trip to New York City. He chose to propose to her at the top of Empire State Building – because if she had said "no", he would have jumped from the building, he told me - his eyes twinkling. Luckily, her "yes" shot out of her mouth like a bullet from a gun. Illustration of a family of 4 in the Heidelberg Zoo
He was in up to his ears in love with her and invited her on a trip to New York City. He chose to propose to her at the top of Empire State Building “ because if she had said "no", he would have jumped from the building, he told me - his eyes twinkling. Luckily, her "yes" shot out of her mouth like a bullet from a gun.

The lovers who kiss each other on any occasion; The selfie-lovers who make selfies at every opportunity; The musicians who live their passion for music and the love for joy of life, represented here by the little boy.
And here are many examples of love. How many do you know? Do any look familiar? The lovers, the self-loving selfie makers, the love of music and the love of the joy of life, represented by the little boy.

Here's a mama giving her daughter a pink heart balloon. Illustration on the Old Bridge in Heidelberg
Here's a mama giving her daughter a pink heart balloon

These two bachelors are over 100 years old and have only each other. Illustration of giant tortoises
These two bachelors are over 100 years old and have only each other.

(* I would like to make it clear here that I am only reporting about the past. The atrocities, destruction and hatred that were spread by the Nazis cannot be justified and should never be repeated – although if I fear that the world is currently back to this point of its cycle. The world needs more Love) 

Wimmel mit! The Online Wimmelpicture Project

Because I have decided to teach my readers how to draw and develop these Wimmelpicture stories, I want to give you the unique chance of participating and being drawn in my 'Wimmel mit! Online Wimmelpicture Project'. Apply here.

Don't let the formalities scare you off. Your privacy is important to me (and I try to comply with the strictest interpretations of European law). I will not share your email address. You will receive an email with a download link from me. The linked form explains legal stuff and has room for you to write about yourself.

Download it, fill it out and send it along with your photos back to me. There are no costs for the selected participants. That's it. Pretty simple. Become part of Wimmel mit! The Online Wimmelpicture Project!

See you next week!

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Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 31 – The Kudus go for a knock-out!

The Kudus-Get ready to rumble!!! This illustration shows two kudus roughing it up and a raven as referee

Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsuchtipp of the week 31-the Kudus and a new 'Wimmel mit!' Online Wimmelpicture Project

The Kudus Go for a Knock-out

As a Wimmelbook-illustrator, I sometimes have to invent small, credible tales for my picture stories. In my book 'Heidelberg wimmelt' there are many little stories that are just waiting to be discovered by the reader. Actually, there are so many that I can barely count them.

When my youngest sister read the book for the first time, she told me that the referee made her laugh out loud. I admit, I was quite puzzled. I had to ask what she was talking about which was

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Heidelberg wimmelt – Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 30 – The Wimmel Family

Heidelberg wimmelt - Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 30 - The Wimmel Family

Heidelberg wimmelt - Wimmelsearchtip of the Week 30 - The Wimmel Family

The Wimmel Family

Every search and find book needs a 'wimmel family' with children who wander through the stories just as in my wimmelbook, 'Heidelberg wimmelt'. The three siblings of my wimmel  family are based on my neighbors' kids, of course.

Some would say, well, then you don't have to invent faces, but it's not that simple. When I invent a figure, I invent hair, nose, mouth, shoes, clothes – I create everything. But if a character is built on a real person, how you draw them works a little differently. The person wants to recognize themself in the pictures.

It is not enough to draw directly from a photo... I did this for 'Heidelberg wimmelt' in a few cases, only as an exception, on special request if someone could not be present during the event drawings.

How are the figures developed, then?

Although I photographed my neighbor's children for my hidden image book, I spent time with them in their garden, watching them play, experiencing who was the quietest or who was the most spontaneous child.  But not only then. I see them every day when they pass my kitchen window or when they come by to visit our bunnies. I get to watch them grow. I see their gestures, their facial expressions, I hear them laughing and I occasionally experience it when they are not in such a good mood. But the bad moods are rare.

When the family moved into the neighborhood, the boy was just a little round baby bump. The parents bought their house with idea of having three children.

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