The reason I am writing about this Christmas is because it was the first time I considered that I was truly settled in the USA. As a new immigrant, you feel that all is temporary. It just takes quite a while to feel that you have your own place in this world, which is no longer the one to which your parents belong. While we did not grow up celebrating Christmas at home, we certainly felt the coming of the Holiday season. Also, in recent years we had plenty of commercial as well as social influences helping us to experience this season. Another reason that this was a special year was that Dean’s family was at our place (the only time) for Christmas and it was Ed’s first year in the US. Seeing the pictures of that year makes one feel that life is swiftly passing by and life is short! While they were all in Johnson City, we went to Watauga Lake and Roan Mountain to see our beautiful area. The last picture below is the whole group on Christmas day 1971.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Right after Thanksgiving, it became a tradition that we, the whole family, would spent a weekend together, to take pictures of our younger generation for the Holiday cards we were to prepare for the year. The year 1971 was the first one that Janice and I had both of our children and that was our plan for the size of our family. In other word, it was out first year that our small nuclear family was complete and present. I do not remember which one we finally used for that year, but some samples below, which we did not use, will give you a glimpse of the basics of our card. From that time, every year we would make a picture of our children as the primary center for our holiday greetings!
Since I had been at ETSU before, there was somehow an urgent desire to show Janice some of my favorite places in the area. The Smoky Mountain National Park was my favorite place which was furthest from Johnson City. I finally got a chance to drive the whole family there during Thanksgiving vacation for a short visit. We had a picnic there and Pan-pan was able to enjoy some of the Indian exhibits at the North Carolina side of the Park. As you can see, sometime before Thanksgiving, we got our first dog, Princess, from the area Human Society. She was part of our life from then on.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
I do not remember when exactly I applied for USA citizenship. I applied for Permanent Residence (a Green Card) while we were still at the University of Illinois. After receiving the Green Card, there was a fixed time period to wait before you could become a USA citizen. I applied for citizenship when I started to teach at the University of Kentucky. It became official after I moved to Tennessee. On the day of October 28th in 1971, I went to the Federal Court in Lexington to be sworn-in as a citizen. That weekend, Dr. Nicholson of the Chemistry Department at ETSU gave a reception party to celebrate the occasion. The Sells family gave us a US flag, which is still the one used when we have the occasion, such as on July the 4th National Day and other special days. A copy of my certificate is shown below:
I am only one of the many Taiwanese who benefited from the US immigration policy. When you take a look at the number of graduates from National Taiwan University, it is notable that, for about 15 years, the majority of science graduates considered going abroad to the USA as the best opportunity. In my Chemistry class, we graduated a total of 32 students and about 28 of them came to the USA. And this was a very typical example.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Pan-pan said this phrase “ I want to hold him” repeatedly, as soon as Steven was born and came home. Janice was always very careful only to let her hold him just for a short time. Certainly this was not enough for her most of the time. Actually Pan-pan was always very careful and paid full attention. We appreciated her effort and the attention she gave to developing the relationship. She was not only curious, but seemed to have a genetic instinct just to get close to her brother. And Steven was responding too at a very young age!
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Not too long after the Ables helped us to move to Tennessee, they came to have a second visit so that we could have a more relaxed atmosphere to enjoy our friendship. This time, we not only had our bookcase built, we had our aquarium filled and had some fish in it. Jeff enjoyed Steven as if he had a brother. We had a chance to show them our Johnson City. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, we had little communication with them again – at least enough to make our friendship continue. Lindsay and Jeff came only once later, when they had tickets to attend the Bristol Car Race and could not find any hotel rooms in the area. We value the pictures we have in our possession, which are recorded below:
Monday, December 3, 2012
Janice’s Brown University friend, Elaine, has been the most regular visitor since we have been married. She came to visit us at Illinois, then in Lexington, in Johnson City, and later in Delaware with her husband.
After we moved to Tennessee, she was one of our earlier visitors and we took her to Watauga Lake, which was our favorite lake from the beginning. We consider it the most beautiful lake in the world! I will talk about this lake more later. Elaine came by herself for this first visit in Tennessee. It was Pan Pan’s and Steven’s first time there and we had a great time. These were the few slides we kept.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Steven was very much attracted to and interested in two activities. One was taking a bath while trying to communicate with Janice. He very much enjoyed that time, at least that was what I thought. Another thing was to chat with the plastic reindeer, just like Pan-pan had done when she was given the same toy to play with, during our time in Taiwan. They behaved quite the same, at least the way we remembered. The curiosity generated by that reindeer was a delight for both children.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
In August, 1971, we rented a middle sized U-Haul truck and, with the help of our great neighbor couple, Lindsay and Joyce Able, along with their young son, Jeff, we moved to Tennessee. Who could imagine that this would turn out to be our home for thirty five years! Who could predict that such close neighbors and dear friends would gradually grow away from each other. Life is very hard to predict! We certainly did not think that we would stay in the Maple Street house for most our life time. And we certainly could not imagine that the Ables would drop out of our lives almost completely They helped us to load the truck, to drive the truck, then unloaded it the next day. They even drove the truck back to Lexington, so that we just had to rent the truck locally. We certainly appreciated their friendship! Unfortunately the slides I took for the move were not clear, I can only give you some vague images to remember this turning point of our lives.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
In Lexington, KY, whenever there were out of town guests staying in our home or visiting, we would drive to the horse farms nearby to show them around. It was no exception when Ed came for a few days after leaving Taiwan, before he went to West Virginia to start his graduate studies. We took quite a number of pictures, while Steven was sleeping in the car. We did not want to wake him up!
As you can see, Janice had her hands full during those months before the start of school. We were planning to move to Tennessee very soon and the real estate agents were busy trying to sell our home, which we had owned for only one year! Janice was trying to keep the house presentable at all times! At the time, we did not have a washer and dryer, which meant many trips to the laundromat with two children! It was great that we were young, as I do not remember how did we handled everything. We just did!
Friday, November 16, 2012
On the way back from Urbana, IL, to Lexington, KY, we drove on two of the oldest Interstate highways, I-74 and I-75, both of which had several rest areas. We stopped at one of the rest areas and had a picnic lunch. It was the first time for a rest-area picnic for Ed and for Steven. It was a nice beautiful day. We certainly enjoyed the outing. Ed was 23 then. He was old for this experience, but in Taiwan we did not have the chance to have a picnic in a highway rest-stop. On the other hand, Steven was quite young for this outing as he was just a bit less than two months old.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
The year 1971 was an important one for my third brother, Ed, as he finished his service in the Taiwan Military Police Force and was granted a scholarship at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown. He was the third person in our family who was supported by an educational institution for graduate studies in the United States. He first flew to Chicago, where he was picked up by my second brother, Dean, who was trying to complete his final thesis defense in Urbana, IL.
Janice and I took the two young kids and drove to Urbana, from Lexington, KY, to pick him up so that he could spend a little time with us and with Dean’s family before he went to Morgantown and before we moved to Tennessee. We three brothers met in the small apartment in Illinois for just a couple of days, enough time for us to take some nice pictures of our reunion, and for Ed to meet a new nephew: