Sunday, January 15, 2017

More Activities at Yellowstone

We had quite a few activities at this wonderful National Park. We walked many trails and we took a horse back ride along the rims of several canyons. We certainly appreciated how hot this place was in the month of August! We ate most of our meals at the park cafeteria where some of us enjoyed the grilled  trout from the local waters. We took a few guided tours, including one under the moon light on a path where you could hear the geysers hissing and bubbling in the dark!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Yellowstone National Park

Before leaving for China, we had reserved a small cabin in Yellowstone National Park to celebrate Steven's tenth birthday. On our way back to Tennessee, we stopped there - driving our station wagon which by then had an air conditioner, installed at the beginning of our trip in Knoxville, Tennessee. We stopped at the Yellowstone River Water Fall and everyone took a picture there. We walked around the whole area. It was a very good experience for all of us, individually and as a group. Both of our children were at a great age to appreciate the beauty and the natural wonder before their eyes. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Our family friends Ginger and Bill Francis

Our old friends from Illinois Graduate School time, were living in Salinas, CA. We went to visit them whenever we could. They were not only friends but also our daughter's God parents. In 1981, after we came back from Taiwan, we went to see them and they took us to visit the Monterrey area. It is a very beautiful place near the California coast. We drove along the ocean, ate some great sea food, and picked up some shells and rocks. We had a lot of fun there. We also visited the harbor where there are many activities. We took a few nice pictures to remember the day spent with our old friends.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Last family trip to Taiwan

After our trip to Mainland China, we flew to Taiwan via Hong-Kong. It turned out to be our last trip as a family to Taiwan. When we said good bye to my mother at the end of our trip, it would be for the last time for all of us, as she passed away in 1984. These are the few pictures we took when we said good bye to her and others.

Later in August, my father joined us in Los Angeles, California. We took some pictures with him while he was there visiting with Shou Jie at her children's place. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mr. and Mrs. Li, 李毓芳

We had quite a number of "family" friends, who had maintained a close relationship with my parents since the beginning of the war with Japan, even before I was born in 1939. Mr. and Mrs. Li were a couple who, in particular, were very close to us. They lived nearby us in Taipei also, only a couple of blocks away! When we visited my parents during  our many trips to Taiwan, they always brought a few dishes of cooked food to help my parents and to treat us. They were also my parents mahjong friends. They would often come to play with my parents, especially my mother, although she was not in their caliber of very good players. Mrs. Li was especially skilled, so good that she was able to read her tiles by using the tips of her fingers to feel them. Yes, she would read her tiles just by touching their surface! The Li's were like our extended family. Both Janice and our children were very used to their visits and took pictures with them on a regular basis.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Our Shu-shu, our "uncle"

Our Su-su came to join us sometime after we moved to our new place in Taipei in 1954. He was a refugee in Hong-Kong from the same county where my father was born, which was Huangpei county in Hubei province. Somehow my father recognized that he had come from the same place and made all the arrangements for him to join us in Taipei. My father also arranged a job for him in the University. We were told to call him "uncle" in Chinese. The picture below was taken in 1981.
When we stayed at the Guest Professor Residence area, Su-su was the person who took care of all the arrangements for the professors living in the compound. One of the families staying there as residents was part of the extended family of Confucius, in fact part of the 79th generation of direct descendants. Su-su asked the head of the family to do us a favor by writing the doublets shown below as a gift. He agreed and later presented us with the beautiful calligraphy. 
The words on the right side of this doublet state that this was written for our enjoyment with our names specified. On the left side is the signature of the calligrapher. In the middle, the two panels paint a picture in words. Each individual who reads the poem will have a different interpretation and envision a different scene. That is the interesting part about calligraphy!  The scene can even change for one individual over time. In this case, the words on the two panels are matched, in that nouns, adjectives and numbers are all paired with a similar structure on the opposite side. Here we have 
on the right side: "Flat bridge, wild stream, two thousand pages of poems"  and 
on the left side: "Far tree, isolated village, a moon across one curtain".
I hope that you will enjoy reading these words written by a direct descendant of Confucius.
 The doublets have been a treasure in our for home many years!

Monday, November 14, 2016

It was a great gift!

The gift to us from Sanlu and Taotze, that afternoon at Yangming mountain, was very special because it required much time and energy to organize. The afternon swim in the hot Taipei weather was just the starter. At that time, they were living and working in Kaoshung, which is at the southern end of Taiwan, while Taipei is in the north. I do not remember now if they took the train the day before or came by train that same day. Regardless, they had to take a long train ride to get there and then spent the entire day together with us. Every time we went back to Taiwan they made similar arrangements. When we say that we are good friends, we really mean that! On this particular occasion, we all had dinner together at White Cloud Village (Baiyun Mountain Place), which was then also a resturant. That made this get-together perfect! I forget what we ate, but all of us enjoyed a wonderful day!