Our last name is German, although technically we don’t have any German blood in our ancestry. It is an adoptive name–but surely the one with which all the family clings to. A great deal of genealogical research has been done on this side of the family (none by us–because so many extended family members have taken an interest in family history)! While making plans to go to the grand Schwerin Castle, we were reminded by Jared’s mother that we were very close to the town which our great ancestors used to live. Many generations had lived here, so we took a trip 1 1/2 hours out of the way to find this little place! On the way, I’d begged Jared, “Can we turn back?! I’ve got to take a photo of that chapel!” And we did. This sweet little chapel seemed like it was out of commission. It was so quaint! I love the thatched roofs you find in Germany. Apparently they last for decades, if not centuries (although I just learned they are rotting faster than normal), and it’s fun to see big fancy houses that still employ this kind of roof! It seemed that all the electronics decided to conspire against us as we entered the city limits of Patow, Germany–home of our ancestors. I was about to take a photo of the city sign, when the camera battery went dead. I pulled out the iPhone, and it also immediately died (it wouldn’t even take one photo)! We continued into the city, and then I remembered the iPad. I was able to snap a few photos throughout town…whew! (I know…big first world problems, huh?) Patow is a small farming town without a church, cemetery, or any businesses. We found a woman walking her child through one of the perhaps 6 streets in town (yeah, it’s THAT small), and we asked her if she’d heard of our family name. She turned around and pointed at three houses, “Yes-the Grandma lives here, and two of her sons live in the next two houses.” We went to the last house she mentioned and Jared walked to the front door and knocked. No answer. He then noticed a plaque on the door that gave a different variation of what we thought our last name should have looked like in German. Maybe it wasn’t the right family, after all? We shied away and decided not to knock on the other doors. We drove down another street that had some old cute farmhouses, and stopped to take some photos. A very old farmer came out, wonderful what we were up to. Of course, he was speaking all in German and we had no idea what he was actually saying. We finally wrote down our family name on a paper, and showed it to him. He nodded and started pointing down the street, saying more. It was all lost on us. We didn’t speak German, and he didn’t speak English (although he probably spoke Russian, due to this being part of old Eastern Germany!). Finally, we gave up and slowly drove away, snapping some more shots. At least he seemed satisfied to know we weren’t psychos taking photos in the neighborhood. “Honey, can you go down to the cellar and get me some more jars of jelly?!” There was a small plot of land in the center of town with only some trees and a funny memorial with a big rock on top. I snapped a photo of its plaque. It looks like a memorial to those who lost their lives in WWI. Nope, our ancestors are not on there. I guess the next time we go hunting for long-lost ancestors and relatives, we better have a better plan. Or…a plan in general! Or at least some translations on hand to help us communicate better!