In the back of the vegetable garden was a very old and quite large beehive that my parents had trans­formed into a store and playhouse for us. They painted the outside of this shack green and helped us sew red-checkered curtains for the windows and doors. We spent hours in our store, buying and selling and using the old scale my mother had found in the basement. Sometimes we were allowed to take our dolls and sleep in the play house. It was safe. Our neighbors were friendly, and we knew them well. Once we bedded down, Eva told us stories and got angry if Helga and I fell asleep before the tale ended.

This house also served as the sukkah—shelter needed during the Jewish festival of Sukkot. During the festival, we decorated it with nuts and wheat. Nor­mally, we did not mow the area surrounding our little house. Bachelor buttons and yarrow grew in the tall grass along with poppies and yellow mustard. We were allowed to pick some of these flowers. We sold them to each other and used them to decorate our store. We hid in this meadow, caressed by the wind and touched by the sun, and studied the sky.