Thursday, September 13, 2012

ringing in thankful thursday

 this last week has been a long one.   the kids started school, my 3 year old started school, and i started school.   all great and wonderful, happy to have the opportunities that school brings.   everything worth having has it's down side as well.   the kids have to be there before 8.    ugh.    that means we have to get up at 6.   double ugh.   i am so not a morning person.   this morning, my alarm went off at 6 and i wished i could roll over and go back to sleep, but i'm a responsible , however unwilling, but responsible parent and i rolled out of bed to wake everyone up instead.   thankful thursday has become a habit now so i'm always thinking about what i can be thankful for. this morning, no matter how much i dislike what time my alarm has to go off, i thought about how grateful i am for it.   so, today i am grateful for bells.   alarm bells, jingle bells, cow bells, door bells, sleigh bells, tinker bells, church bells, school bells, bell flowers, wedding bells, bell peppers, musical bells, ice cream cart bells, call bells, telephone bells, emergency bells.   most of those things have now been replaced by digital alarms of some sort.    maybe that's why i am grateful for the ones that are still around.

i thought this might be a good time to show you some pictures of bell towers.   every town in germany has a church.   the church tower is generally the tallest thing in the area.   each tower has bells to toll the hour, each quarter hour.   some, like our town also rings for events like weddings, mass beginning, funerals or to announce the birth or death of someone in the town.  each town has their own way of doing things, their own things they toll for or not.    our town is really old.   seriously, it celebrated it's 850th birthday in 2011.   so it has some old traditions, it does all of those things and it rings for morning and night and lunch as well.   it was for the farmers a long time ago, calling them to wake in the morning, come in for lunch, and come home from work at night.   that's a lot more than most towns, but very cool.

here are some of the bell towers we've seen here.    the first one is our home town of forst.   it's the one you see the donkeys getting blessed on the front porch and probably in the back ground of a few more here and there.

  the next ones are all bell towers in bruschal.   not all bell towers are on churches some are just left overs from warning systems or look out towers.   the first ones are part of the castle.   this is the corner of the main part of the castle.   it's pretty loud.    it started ringing when we were standing here.   wow!   the castle has actually had to be completely rebuilt after the war.
this is the main church in bruschal.   there are several and they ring at sightly different times and not very loud to avoid tolling over each other too much.

this is another church in bruschal, not far from the main one.

this one is actually the oldest tower in bruschal.   it's the only tower to have survived both world wars.   the roof had rotted and has been replaced but other than that, the bell and structure itself are still in great condition.   they have done some repairs, filling bullet holes and such.   so says my towering teen from a tour they did in school.   how cool is it that they can do a walking tour and see things like this?

his is a shorter, more modern bell, um, sort of tower in upstadt
this is michealsberg church.   it's pretty cool because it overlooks the whole valley.   it doesn't toll very often because it's a place people come to enjoy the scenery.

this is a tiny, really tiny church tucked back in behind trees on a little back road on the way to michealsberg.   i don't know if it has a bell, but it has a steeple, traditionally, churches here have bells.   it's kind of a major deal for the church to have a bell even if it doesn't ring very often.
now, i can't remember where these are.   i'm such a slacker!
this one was cool.   i don't think it has a bell anymore but it's in the middle of restoration so it will at some point.

this one was in speyer.

this is in heidelberg
this is a modern one in karlsruhe.   i like the more traditional ones better
these are bells on the town hall in karlsruhe.   one of these days, we'll hear them ring but they were pretty quiet while we were there.

the next few are in france actually, and not germany.   the same thing seemed to be true of most towns in france, they generally had a church steeple sticking up out of the town.

this is one under construction in switzerland

a very large clock and bell tower in switzerland

my favorite bell.   cow bell!    everyone needs more cow bell!    in idaho, cow bells are for making a ton of noise at bsu football games.   go bsu!   but the ones like this cow happens to be wearing in switzerland, actually serve a purpose.   they are not horribly loud, and every cow and sheep has one on.  it is just a constant quiet clinging in the alps so they can be found.   

this is a video that my towering teen took in the swiss alps.  (he knows his mama loves cows) you have to listen carefully because the wind is blowing and the kids are yakking, but you can hear the cow bell in the background.

so, i love bells.   i love jingle bells and here i really love the church bells.   still not a fan of alarm clock bells, but something has to get me up in the morning.   i'd rather it be bells than my little blond curly boy getting into things.     we'll settle for bells.

a few of the sites that i used to remind me of some cool bells and some lists and details of other famous and fun bells in the world that i have yet to see

famous bells
famous bells in england
more famous bells
world heritage site


  1. Love the cow. Love the scenery. I need to get out to visit you guys ... I have always wanted to see Europe, and now that I have friends in The Netherlands and Germany I have "connections." Have a great day!