Archive for June, 2014

I am putting some photos in this post which I looked at on my computer while we had no internet and I wandered through my “library” of pictures….
Two of them are from the chapel at my brother in law Franz’s retreat house near Kronach, Germany. I will probably never see it again, though one never knows. It is a dear memory.


On Monday a tree I could only call giant crashed down on all our power lines, cable, and landline phone. A big crash. But luckily it fell away from the house and no one was hurt…And we never totally lost electricity, though the voltage fluctuated between 64 and 128 according to Andy’s excellent Fluke Multimeter. We were asked not to use any major appliances and yesterday all electric power was restored. This morning the Time Warner Cable repairman came out and fixed their service so we have tv and internet again. It’s always a bit dismaying to realized how much we use such things! Luckily Andy and I both enjoy reading and playing Chicaneuse, a double solitaire game I’ve mentioned before here. We learned it from my mil who learned it from her grandmother when she was a girl growing up in pre-WWI Hungary. But it is wonderful to have TV and Internet again….When the tree is cut down, in about three weeks I hope, TW Cable will return to tighten up the very low cable. Tomorrow we should have my landline back. I feel a bit ambivalent about it since I don’t usually answer it. It’s always a political call or someone who wants money and I don’t choose where to donate by who calls me on the phone.


When the internet wasn’t working I could still use my computer to watch dvds, play games, and look through my seeming thousands of photos……I think we are all very spoiled. But I loved looking at the pictures of my grandchildren from their earliest days forward…….

Haus Gries window in the chapel

Alice, Nathan, and Stephen are at Emily’s dear friend Diana’s home in Falls Church at the moment. Emily, Sofia and Clara are there too. Tomorrow they will be at the Smithsonian Folk Festival were they were last year when Hungary was a featured country…The real purpose is for Alice to bring the little girls back to Ohio. Emily and Ingmar are packing furiously, filling a tractor trailer with their goods and chattels. It will be taken to Canton, Ohio where they can store it for a month. They are moving to Chautauqua for the month of July.Emily begins work at Cleveland State in August. It looks as though they will be renting a house in Ohio and renting their house in Maryland for a time…..I hope someone buys their Maryland house soon, and they find one to buy here and become more settled…These in-between-times are very stressful!

Rose stanwell perpetual

The rose above is my much loved Stanwell Perpetual which I first saw at Black Creek Pioneer Village in ’75. It has a wonderful fragrance and is from the family of Scottish roses. I’ve had it for years and it never did much, but suddenly in the last two years it has become much stronger with more blooms. I think perhaps the roots have reached a deeper level, but whatever the reason, I am grateful for it.

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Welcome to the Lake!

Alice and her family are enjoying a weekend at Lake Chautauqua. They got the boat into the water and headed off to the Italian Fisherman for lunch. This boat, which we sadly never really named though several ideas were tossed about, is in its 29th summer! We bought it in 1985 after our first sabbatical year in Budapest. We felt a bit rich, though this was a modest boat in price. We had rented out home in Bath, and our cottage at the lake for nine months and were provided free housing in Budapest from IREX, the International Research Exchange group that hosted us. Paul and I took many trips in it even that last summer of 2005 before his illness became so much more acute. It brings back wonderful memories of water-skiing, going to church by boat, exploring the lake all the way up to the Chadakoin river outlet, and, of course, taking it to lunch or dinner.

chautauqua 2013 view from our front yard alice foto june 12

When Andy and his friend Istvan readied the boat for winter that year, they put special winterizers into it which probably account for the minimal work it needed more than six years later when it was able to be put in use again.

Next week I’ll be at the lake. I’m a trustee of the Point Chautauqua Historical Preservation Society and we’re having a meeting. Point Chautauqua is on the National Historic Register, and I think everyone who has a home there loves the place. Our neighbors are the fifth generation of their family to live at the lake, or summer there. In July Emily and her family will be there, and the rest of us will be coming up throughout the rest of the summer…..I think Andy and Istvan are coming for at least one weekend… I’m so glad all my children and grandchildren are so attached to it.

nathan june 2014 Alice and MIke on our 29 year old boat.

Nathan june 2014 on the boat heading to the italian fisherman for lunch........life is so good....paul would be so happy

Nathan june 2014 lunch at the italian fisherman june 21

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Yesterday and today were so perfect, at least in my eyes……The weather was sunny but a bit cool. And the thousand shades of green are still so fresh. The dustiness of later summer has not touched them. The long shadows lay across the grass. There were little breezes cooling us and inviting the wind chimes to make their special music.

Stephen had some fun in the river yesterday. That boy does love the water – not to mention the mud.

Stephen June 2014 at CVNP having fun in mud

Stephen June 2014 at CVNP more fun in the river

I began this post two days ago and hit a snag. So I need to begin by saying it’s a tad too warm this afternoon. However, I know I live in paradise when I read about the horrors taking place around the world and will not complain…

Sunday Alice and her family took a great bike ride in the National Park nearby. At the end when they were ready to turn around they discovered a farmer had set up a neat self-serve station where he was selling inexpensive snacks and ice cream treats. There was a bowl of water in case any pets were along and steps for little kids to get up to the cooler to see what was inside. He’d cobbled it together from various things on hand. Alice had a chance to talk to him for a bit.

Nathan June 2014 Fathers Day after the bike hike

I feel like humming a few bars of “In the Good old Summertime, In the Good Ole Summertime…”

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Busy Days of Summer

These days are lush and beautiful and not really too warm. The flowers on the deck are flourishing. My dear daughter Emily is in town so that her dear daughter Clara could attend Bath Safety Town as her aunt Alice did in 1980, the year we moved into this house. And Alice, Andy and Nathan all attended Safety Town here, too. It’s a great program and Clara seems to be enjoying it a lot.

Bath Safety Town

Bath Safety Town 2

These are random photos of Bath Safety Town, none of my grandchildren shown.

On Tuesday we celebrated Andy’s 2 to the 5th birthday…We hope he will celebrate 2 to the 6th, but all agreed that 2 to the 7th is unlikely.
He had an all vegetarian feast of Gardein Roast with vegetarian gravy. (The store that carried his Field Roast does so no longer and I’m trying to find a local source for this. Maybe they only have it during holidays? He also had mashed potatoes and peas with this. Andy chose the menu. We also had small bowls of cherry tomatoes and black olives on the table… And I made him an Angel Pie such as the one I blogged about for Alice’s April 30th birthday. It was delicious, but the day was VERY humid which makes dealing with meringue quite a challenge.

When she can, when Clara is at Safety Town or napping, Emily looks for houses. And looks and looks. I cross my fingers and hope there will be some finding soon!

At home in Maryland, Ingmar and Sofia attended her graduation and he took some awesome photos of her which captured her real joy at this event. I will try to share them with you.
Sofia is wearing the t-shirt with sea turtles.

Sofia june 2014 happy graduate

Sofia June 2014 so happy graduating

Another landmark in her life!

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All of creation swirls and streams around us and this time of year when life rushes back to my part of Ohio, and I think if I look away for a second the bud that I had been contemplating has become a flower when I look back, it’s little overwhelming and I wonder how anyone wants to do anything but just LOOK! Just be part of it all…

Here is a poem from Mary Oliver which has a little bit of that….

Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world–

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?

– Mary Oliver, The Sun


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It’s Really Summer Now!

How is it that I always forget that when the weather begins to be warmer there is a lot more work to do outside! After so many years in the garden, how can this still be a big surprise? And I have a much smaller garden these days. Mostly on the deck…..I do minimal work in the rest of the garden, though it’s much better than last year. And puttering around outside in the way I do is very relaxing and so peaceful….Alas we are noticing that three baby ground hogs are grazing just out from the deck. I hope their family is not underneath it….Though they are far more to be desired than skunks!

Emily sent me two photos of Clara’s graduation from pre-school….Such events did not really exist when my children were that age, but I find them very nice. Especially when my own grandchildren are in the cap and gown. So a picture of Clara and one with her teacher Miss Vicki and Clara.

Clara May 2014 preschool graduation 1

She is actually beginning to seem quite grown up in a way, but this picture shows the little girl side of her, with her almost Eloise Wilkins cheeks. My darling Clara who loves to think of herself as a ballerina and is still quite attracted to Princesses…….

Clara may 2014 preschool gradtn 2

Andy and I went to look at a house which had not been open for viewing when Emily and Ingmar were here last weekend to look at houses. They saw the outside but not the inside.
I like is and I think they will like it too. There is a lot of very old style wallpaper up which I know they would want to rip down. And the lamps in the upstairs hallway would not do for Ingmar, a bit over 6’6″. Andy is 6’2″ and called me to look at him standing beneath one and observe that it was touching his head! But I think this house would be good for them. The property is just under four acres and there are a lot of nice trees. I hope they can get it for a reasonable price because it is too high at the moment. They set it higher than the range the real estate agents suggested for them….

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