Monday, January 04, 2016

Happy Birthday, Ellen!

Happy Birthday, Ellen!

Sorry that I'm one day late. I hope you had a great day. Are you 50 now? I can't remember how many years younger you are than me.

I didn't know you had breast cancer. Cara told me two summers ago when we were in Chicago. She told me that you were in remission. I was relieved and didn't think anymore about it. I know several breast cancer survivors and I assumed you'd be one too. A week later I heard from Holly and Cara that you had passed away.

How come you never told me that you had cancer? But then, you wouldn’t have. It would have been too negative and you were too positive. You knew how to fun and how to make fun. It’s like Cara said, while imitating you, “We got lost, but we’re having a great time!” I know this is cliché, but you knew how to take lemons and make lemonade. You could take a boring or annoying situation and turn it around for the better. You could also find joy in the simplest things, like the gumball machines that are all over Erlangen. I ignore them, always have, but you, while visiting us, couldn’t resist putting your extra change in and getting a gumball or a piece of stale candy or a plastic ring. You found these silly things fun.

I remember while in Bamberg you made Cara ride the seesaw at the playground with you. And you laughed and laughed as if you were a little girl riding a seesaw for the very first time.

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. It seems that all these memories are flooding back. Things related to you that I thought I had forgotten are suddenly popping up in my brain. For example, for the last couple of weeks I’ve been humming and singing “Jump,” but not the van Halen version, the Aztec Camera version. You introduced me to them. You made me a mixed tape with “Jump” on it and I started listening to more of their songs. It’s sad, but I can’t find the tape.

I miss you, Ellen, very, very much. And I'm sorry I wasn't better at keeping in touch. I just assumed that we would see each other again and it would be as if we had been apart for only a day or two.

I love you. Always will.


Monday, August 24, 2015

The Best of Poland

This summer the boys spent two weeks at Wood Skateboard Camp, near Radom, Poland. While they were in camp, Bob and I toured Poland. Before dropping the boys off, we stopped to see the Göltzsch Viaduct, the world's largest brick bridge, the Basteibrücke, near Dresden, and the town of Görlitz, where The Grand Budapest Hotel was filmed, on the German-Polish border.

After dropping the boys off, Bob and I drove to Warsaw. There we saw the Palace of Culture and Science and the Stare Miasto (old town),

as well as the Monument to the Warsaw Uprising, Praga, and the remains of the Warsaw Ghetto Wall.

From Warsaw we went to the Masurian Lake District, where we visited Swieta Lipka,a pilgrimage church, and Wolf's Lair, Hitler's home and bunker from 1941 until 1944.

Our next stop was Kazimierz Dolny with a side trip to Prostki, where Bob was born.

From there we traveled to Zamosc and Liski to visit Bob's aunt and cousin.

Then we were off to Lublin to visit Przemko, where we watched the Perseids meteor shower from his garden.

After picking up the boys, we spent our last night in Poland in Wroclaw.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Hawaii and Chicago

Turtle Bay, Oahu

Sunset over Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay Resort

Bob and Will on Oahu

Bob on Kauai

Ha'ena Beach, Kauai

Alex boogie boarding at Ha'ena

An Aloha Beer on our lanai at The Cliffs Resort, Princeville, Kauai

Philip at Hanalei Bay, Kauai

The Na Pali Coast, Kauai

Hanakapi'ai Beach, Na Pali Coast

Hanakapi'ai Falls

Hanakapi'ai Beach again

Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Waipo'o Falls, Waimea Canyon

Maha'ulepu Coast, Kauai

Gillin's Beach, Maha'ulepu Coast

Pu'u Poa Beach, Princeville, Kauai

Alex in the St. Regis Princeville Resort pool

On the St. Regis Princeville Resort lanai

Alex's 13th Birthday on Maui

Wai'anapanapa State Park, Road to Hana, Maui

Lava tube at Wai'anapanapa

Swimming in one of the pools of Ohe'o Gulch, Maui

Haleakala from the Pi'ilani Highway, Maui

Molokini Crater, Maui

Sailing to Molokini

Alex steering the Trilogy II catamaran

Sunset from our lanai in Lahaina, Maui

Halema'uma'a Crater, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island

End of Chain of Craters Road, Volcanoes National Park

Hiking in Kilauea Iki Crater

Halema'uma'a Crater at night

Kahalu'u Bay, Kona Coast, Big Island

Green Sea Turtle, Kahalu'u Bay

Boogie boarding Kahalu'u Bay

Our swimming pool in Kahalu'u

Sunset on Mauna Kea, Big Island

Millennium Park, Chicago

Chicago from the Hancock Observatory

With Cara on Michigan Avenue

My cousins and Aunt Mary

The boys with their cousins

At Great America with Max

With Baba and Digo and the cousins

The Kozan Family