Home: I came to Brainerd in 1962 from Germany. My husband, Leo, who was stationed in Germany in the Army for three years, was from Brainerd."
Your first impression of Brainerd: "I didn't know what to expect. I was scared to death. I came by myself by plane and I couldn't speak English. I used a dictionary at first and then I taught myself how to speak English by watching TV.
"I didn't like Brainerd my first year because I couldn't speak the language well and the living situation here was different than it was in Germany. But by the second year I liked it and I've been here ever since."
Have you kept up any of your German traditions: "I get together with about eight other friends who are from Germany and we make German cake and we stick to the language so we don't forget it. I always make black forest cake."
A childhood memory: "Christmas. Our tradition was that on Christmas Eve we (the children) had to stay in our rooms while our parents got the house ready. They'd set the table, put our unwrapped presents under the tree and then at 7 p.m. they'd ring the bell to let us know that we could come out of our rooms. I usually got a doll, an orange, an apple and a cookie."
What brings you to the Lakes Area Senior Activity Center: "I teach Bone Builders three times a week. The class is 45 minutes long and the I've had as many as 24 seniors in class. Some use weights in class, some don't.
"I've always stayed active in my life. I walk, bike and lift weights. I bike four miles on the Paul Bunyan Trail twice a week."
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