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Sometimes the little things became suddenly a challenge. For example, lighting a candle. The long thin ones are not a problem. But the short thick ones....

Basically a simple thing: keep the flame to the wick and already the candle burns. That's no big deal for Stargardter as long as the wick is visible. But with short thick candles, it sinks gradually into the candle and a rim of wax remains. This is intentional because the light of the candle gets a special touch when it shines through the wax. If the flame is out it gets difficult: To see the wick, I have to move really close to the candle. Too close to share the remaining space with a burning match. I risk to singe my eyebrows or burn the tip of my nose. The fingers already count with that destiny.

It becomes really complicated if the flame that needs to light the wick sits on a two-meter-long pole. How come? Well, in the village where I grew up, it was a tradition that the young men when they turned 16 had to light all the candles in the church at the  Christmas service. That included the tree in the centre of the church: a real tree, about five meters tall, with real candles, not plastic with electric lights. To reach the candles on the upper half of the tree, a burning candle was placed on the mentioned pole. One needed to hold it up slightly tilted to an unlit candle. Well, in my year there were three of us. One colleague did not show up, so we were two remainings. We took our designated seats in front of the nave, and while the pastor entered the church accompanied by the introductory organ play, my colleague said to me: - Listen, you have to do that today. I've just taken something and am completely high. I'm seeing somehow everything double or triple ...

Great. Before I could reply anything, we received the signal from the Church servant to do our task. So here were a practically blind and a completely stunned that had to set fire to four dozen candles, if possible without setting ablaze the whole tree. The lowest part of the tree war relatively simple: once the candle was found, it was lighted quickly. But then the famous pole entered the scene. Spotting a small candle in four meters height is hard enough, but hitting it with another burning candle so that the wick catches the fire... Well, it's bound to take a long time. In some cases I even succeeded, in the majority however was hopeless. My colleague was discreetly kidding behind the tree, where the community did not see that he was even clumsier than me. Finally, a neighbour, a couple of years older than we, had mercy and came to help us. Incidentally, he was also the chief of the village fire-fighters .... 

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