After the end of World War 2, Germany was in disarray. Millions of people died and thousands of homes were destroyed. The year was 1945, several months after the war ended in Europe, when my grandmother, Ada Murken, was born. Luckily, my grandmother lived on the West side of Germany. She grew up in Nienburg, a small town on the Weser River in Niedersachsen. She lived with her mother, grandmother, and younger brother. As a small child, her family lived in an older lady’s house because homes were hard to come by. As time progressed however, they moved into their own house. Her grandmother ran the house and her mother worked as a salesperson for women’s clothes. In 1961, the Berlin Wall went up. People in the West weren’t sure what was to come. As the years went by, nobody thought the two sides were ever going to be united again. Around the holidays, food drives were conducted at schools to help out East Berliners. My grandmother, along with many others, feared that the Communists were going to attack West Germany. Her childhood days weren’t always filled with fear though.As a child she loved swimming, hiking, and going for bike rides. She enjoyed going on the school trips, where they would learn about nature. When she was older, she started gardening. Her family had a small vegetable garden. Twice a week, they would go to the farmers market and buy other food like chicken. You would think that growing up after the war would be a life of poverty, but for her family it wasn’t. Her mother would knit and sew clothes for her kids. They always had everything they needed and more. My grandmother attended the Realschule. She graduated at the age of seventeen. She told me that her teachers wanted her to go to Gymnasium, but it was too expensive for her family. When my grandmother was almost eighteen, she got a job as a translator/operator for the British military. Her days consisted of answering calls from soldiers who spent to much time at the bar and needed assistance getting home, or from family members of the soldiers. On November 22, 1963, she went to a popular hangout with a schoolmate. There, she met Ernest Spear, my grandfather. He was twenty-four years old and used to work as a technician for the American Navy, but now worked for Federal Electric on a U.S. Army contract. My grandmother invited him to her house for tea and cake one day. Funny enough, that was the only time her family met him before they were engaged. They dated for a little over a year before their engagement. My grandmother was eighteen at the time, so her mother still had to give consent. Her mother accepted Ernest into the family even though she wasn’t thrilled at first since he was a foreigner. My grandparents were married in Nienburg and lived there for a little while before moving to the United States. Before they moved, they honeymooned in West Berlin, where they saw the Berlin Wall. According to the Cold War Museum, the Communists had already started building a second wall to prevent anyone from escaping. Because of this, my grandparent’s chose to fly since it was safer. After the wall was torn down, my grandmother was able to get a small piece of the wall. That piece is still at their house to this day. On February 8, 1965, they entered the US in Chicago. A story that my grandmother laughs about was when she was at the immigration department in the airport. When she was getting processed, the lady there told her, “Now, you do know Mrs. Spear that the streets here in America are not paved with gold.” My grandmother gave her a look as if to say, “Well of course they’re not! I knew that.” They lived in Kansas City, Missouri, with my grandfather’s family for a few short months while my grandfather found a job. That was the first time my grandmother met his family. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like- to move to a whole new country and then have to meet your husband’s family for the first time. They then moved to Texas because my grandfather found a job at Texas Instruments. They started a family about a year later and moved around Texas before settling in Plano, where they currently live. They have two children, my mom and my aunt. On May 1, 1970, my grandmother got her United States citizenship. Years later, she got her driver’s license. When I was asking her why she chose to get her U.S. citizenship, she told me that it was really important to her to be involved in this country, since it was now her home.Being in a family with German culture is really quite special. When I was little and spent nights at my grandparents’ house, my grandmother would tuck me into bed and sing lullabies in German. To this day, I still remember them. We would also pray in German. At the dinner table, we always say “Guten Appetit” and “Danke gleichfalls” before eating. My family culture is also influenced by the food my grandmother cooks. She makes Spaetzle, Sauerbraten, and Rote Gruetze. We also eat Marzipan and gingerbread Christmas cookies. Growing up with German culture has made me think about how lucky I am to be in such an accepting, loving, and supportive family. My grandmother also inspires me to be more religious. As a Lutheran, it was important for her to get Confirmed. Because of that, I also got Confirmed at my church. In addition, my grandmother loves to garden. When I was younger we spent a lot of time in her backyard. My grandparents are also really active. My grandmother walks four miles on the treadmill everyday. When I was younger, I would ride my bike at their house and play indoor soccer with them.