Monday, February 12, 2018

The best time to visit!

We took advantage of the facts that we were in the western part of the USA and that the ages of both Margaret and Steven were just right for traveling. We were in many famous and beautiful places in the world. We visited Hawaii, stayed at the Diamond-Head hotel, and swam on the beach. And, of course, we visited many places in California - the beautiful National Parks and the large wonderful trees in the area. We did a lot of driving and spent quite a bit of time, appreciating what the USA could offer to us. The pictures below can gave you a glimpse of what we enjoyed during our travels. We certainly took advantage of the opportunity to see some of the best places in the world!

Monday, January 15, 2018

My Final Connections to Taiwan(II)

I started my fourth grade for the second time when I arrived at Tzoling Elementary School for the first time. Since the school at the time was using the Taiwanese dialect, which I could not understand, I stayed in that school only until the Navy Elementary School started to accept more students. So I started my fourth grade for the third time to continue my education there! All my basic education was thus done in Taiwan. I went to many schools, including the famous National Taiwan University, which has had quite a number of reunion meetings in the USA. However, there has been only one reunion of my Chemistry Department class which took place in Ohio. 
Most amazingly, after we all retired, my class at Banqiao Junior High School has had many class reunions, several in the USA. Even more amazingly, one of my classmates from Junior High School has been my best friend continuously over the more than sixty five years since we graduated. Even though we have never lived in the same place since I left Taiwan, we have kept in contact.  Our connections have been as strong as any human relationship, and involved not just two of us, but also included our two families! In 1984, we met again to continue our Taiwan connection! The following
pictures were taken during that visit.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Final Connection to Taiwan (I)

The word "final" may be too drastic, but it is actually very realistic and, looking back on it now, the  most appropriate. It was just before my tenth birthday that I arrived for the first time in Taiwan, after traveling by ship from Shanghai to Keelung Harbor. It took more than 12 hours on the train to get from there to my uncle's place near Kaohsiung. It did not bother me and my brothers very much, but, for my younger sister who was less than seven at the time, it was the beginning of her nightmare.

In 1984, I went to Taiwan in March, when my mother passed away. Later that year, while Janice was in San Francisco with our children, I came back a second time to make arrangements for my father to immigrate to the US. He was facing his final days in Taiwan and I began to feel that I, too, was making a change in my life. My "jump" to the United States was becoming more permanent, as I could sense that my connections to Taiwan were becoming less and less important!

The relatives in Taiwan would, however, continue to be a part of these connections. The uncle in Kaohsiung, my mother's brother, was our first family member to arrive in Taiwan. He and his wife had one daughter and two sons. I took a picture of my uncle, together with his two sons and his grandson, and my father, in 1984. Somehow his daughter was not in the picture:The next two pictures are of his sons' families. All the pictures below were taken during that 1984 visit.

Our other relatives in Taiwan arrived later than my uncle in Kaohsiung. In fact, most of them followed us after we left the Mainland. In 1984, my father's nephew, Taobin, and his family were the only relatives still in Taipei. Taobin and his wife had one son, Hong-Tai, who was also married with a baby daughter in 1984.  There was one other person living in Taipei who was somehow related to my father. He came from Huangpei county which was my father's birth place. We we called him uncle, "Susu", and in the pictures below we are having dinner with him and his wife and playing some mahjong together.

Monday, January 1, 2018

All kids went to a Rodeo

In the summer of 1984, we drove to Dean and Maria's place in California. Since I had to fly to Taiwan to get my Father ready to come to the US to live with us, Janice and our kids stayed with their family. Unfortunately, Dean had just had a car accident and his knee was injured, and Maria was traveling for her job. So Janice was "in charge" of all five kids! During the visit, Jonathan had been acting like a typical four year old! When Janice decided to take everyone to see a rodeo, she told him that he had to behave there and he promised that he would! They went to visit Ginger and Bill Francis who went with them to see the show. It was a very long program! Several times Jonathan asked "is it over yet?" but he never complained and sat with the others quietly. When it was finally over he announced "I did my best Aunt Janice" and he certainly did! We always remember that occasion and frequently quote him, saying "I did my best Aunt Janice" whenever it seems appropriate. All in all, it was a very successful visit in California. We even got to see Deanna play in a basketball game. Unfortunately we have no pictures of that!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Suddenly they grow up!

The ages of my second brother's first two children were within two years of the ages of our children. In 1984, when we went to visit them in California, I felt that they had all suddenly grown up! The four of them decided to visit the city of San Francisco by themselves. The pictures below were taken in the city. We certainly enjoyed looking at them - they were so happy with not a care in the world!

I have more to tell you about that summer which I will do in a later blog. But for them, that summer, everything seemed to go smoothly. There were no worries of any kind - it was just a great time to be together.
I very much appreciate that moment and I want them to remember those times. Take a look at some more pictures taken in those summer days!

Monday, November 13, 2017

The heavy event in 1984!

My mother passed away on March 10th, 1984. All her life, she complained about how bad luck had followed her from the time when she was born in the poorest county in China, Huangpei. As a young wife and mother, she had to survive during the Japanese invasion of China, which lasted for eight years. Then she went to Taiwan for what she thought would be a brief visit with her younger brother but turned out to be a permanent change in her life, due to the Communist takeover of the mainland. The next few years there were very difficult as my father was not able to follow her for quite a while and, even when he managed to join her, they had to struggle to survive while Chiang Kai Shek's government was getting established in Taiwan. Eventually things got better, but she always missed her old life in China. However, her fortune had changed a great deal by the time of her death. She died in her sleep that night, after watching her favorite shows on TV until the end of the broadcast for the day!
The funeral was held three days later in a Taipei funeral home. Amazingly, all three of her sons made the trip across the ocean in time to attend her funeral. The event was well attended by many relatives and friends! The pictures below were taken that day and will give  you some idea of the ceremony. All of the pictures were developed the day after the funeral, on the 14th of March, 1984.  The first picture below is of the Taipei Funeral Home. The next seven pictures were taken inside during the service. The last picture was taken at our home after the funeral and include my mom's brother, whom we called Yauyau, my father,  and some other relatives. The calendar had not been changed since the day mother passed away! That was a heavy day in my life!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Driving West and a stop at Grand Canyon

Our family had already driven west many times by the year 1984. We started in 1972, when we drove to Dodge City, Kansas, to visit Dean's family and to pick up my Father and Kai, who had just arrived in the states. Then in 1975, 1978, and 1981 we, the whole family, drove to the west coast and then flew to visit our Taiwan home, and, in 1981, also visited China mainland. We tried to take different routes for each trip so that we could visit as many states in the USA as possible. In the summer of 1984, on another trip to the west coast, we tried to visit more national parks and stopped first for a longer vacation at the Grand Canyon. For the first time, we each rented a horse for a horse back visit of the canyon scenery.  The pictures below were taken to remember that experience:

We then stayed there for a couple of days, just to see the great scenery there (see pictures below). We enjoyed the whole trip very much! The only regret we had was that we were too hot to try to hike   down to the bottom and not strong enough to carry enough water for the hike!