The family had gathered in the parlour for breakfast. The room was illuminated by a chandelier hanging above the long wooden dining table. Its lights were flickering on the dark green walls. The pictures of her parents vaguely seemed to be moving, if you didn't look closely and the trees in the large picturesque landscape with happy farmer and cows seemed to be swaying in the wind. The room was already getting warm from the fire Maria, the maid had already started earlier in the high tiled stove, which stood in one corner of the room, like a square pillar of light brown pottery.
The curtains at the windows were open, revealing a view of the houses at the opposite side of the street and the sky slowly getting lighter. Standing close to the windows, one could look down to a crossroad, which was slowly filling with life. Gas lamps illuminated the streets and the white snow which was covering most of it. Very soon it would turn into a dirty slush under the feet of people and horses.
Of course the stove in the kitchen was also lit already and so coffee was served by the maid. Six year old Michael and ten year old Magdalena each got a cup of warm milk. Elisabeth poured some milk into her coffee, watching the cloudy patterns in her cup. Then she picked a cube of sugar from the sugar bowl, let it drop into her cup and stirred. They chatted while drinking and dunking their bread rolls into their coffee.
After breakfast they left Maria to clearing up. Everyone put on their coats and boots. They left their apartment on the first floor of a two storey building. New snow covered the courtyard but had already been swept away from the open walkway which connected the family's apartment and the two others in the house with a covered staircase. They made their way down and the children were sent off on their way to school.