Coming to America

Pictured is Connie Bock with her “Birds of Alabama” book.

Connie Bock has only lived in America for close to one year, but says it feels like home. Bock lived in Germany most of her life and lived the last 11 years in Switzerland. Her husband works for a corporation that occasionally calls them to move.

“One thing I have really enjoyed about America is the hospitality,” Bock said. “It feels so good to be a part of this.

“When it comes to differences between Europe and America, I have found the bread to be different,” she said. “Here, people eat a softer, sweeter bread and I am use to a firmer bread, sort of like sourdough bread.”

Bock said she is accustomed to homemade bread.

“I just make my own bread at home the way I like it - problem solved.”

She also said she makes her own jellies and jams, which are a less sugary more fruit-based jelly.

A good variation she has discovered is that it cost less to have her hair cut in America, a difference she was happy to find.

Another distinction she pointed out is how areas of the country are referenced.

“In Germany we do use the word state, but also province,” she said. “In Switzerland, the areas are divided into cantons and here we just say states.”

Bock said she carries her phone with her and when she needs help understanding an English word she is quick with the translation app.

She said moving from the eastern hemisphere to the western hemisphere has allowed her to enjoy one of her hobbies in a new way. Bock is a bird watcher and she keeps her bird feeders full and her bird book and a camera, with a zoom lens, at the ready.

She said she loves filling her computer with pictures of her new feathered friends.

“I am enjoying finding ways to volunteer in the community,” Bock said. “I look at Facebook and read the Times-Journal to find out how I can get involved.

“I recently joined in on the Little River Canyon cleanup. This made me realize that I could do this near my home and on another day I went up and down my own street and gathered up four bags of garbage.”

Bock said she looks to stay in the area for a while.

“I hope we get to stay here for a long time,” Bock said. “I really like Fort Payne. We lived in a small village in Switzerland, so I like a smaller town.”

She said while living in America, the family hopes to travel whenever possible and they especially want to see the autumn leaves in New England.

Connie Bock’s motto: “Home is where the heart is.”

— Marla Ballard’s Who’s Who appears each Tuesday.

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