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:
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Steven’s Baptism was another very important event on our busy schedule in July, 1971. It was only a bit more than one year before that time, that we had joined Faith Lutheran Church on Tates Creek Road in Lexington. Besides singing in the choir there, I also joined the Lexington Singers, which was a community chorale group of about one hundred singers. I mention the singing here, because that was the only thing, other than my teaching job at the University, that I remember! The Ludwicks came for the ceremony as Steven’s Godparents. Adriane and Larry were teaching then at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Steven was not very cooperative that morning. It was clear that we had disturbed his sleep, which was very upsetting for him. We had to take him out in the middle of the ceremony. He was fine later, as long as he could snooze in someone’s arms while we were outside to take some pictures:
Sunday, November 4, 2012
In July, I had to take time out from my hectic schedule to drive by myself from Lexington to Johnson City, Tennessee, to look for a house for the fall opening at ETSU. Since Steven had just been born, Janice did not want to travel down with me to look for a place to live with two young children. We decided not to rent a place if possible as we seemed to get quite comfortable with a house and mortgage. I drove down on a Monday and looked with an real-estate agent for three days, but could not find a place to buy. I called Janice on Wednesday afternoon and told her that I did not have the luck to buy a place and I had to drive back to attend an oral defense of a student the next day. She told me just to do my best. After the call, the agent told me that he had a friend who had told him at a party the week before that he would like to sell his house. He called the fellow who had been once the mayor of Johnson City. He was home and said he would consider selling his home. So we drove to West Maple Street to see this old style house. I liked it and told him I would like to buy. He gave me a figure, I told him that was fine. After he talked with the agent in the backroom for a while, even though his wife was not at home and children were not back from school. We signed the contract and sealed the deal. I did not stay much longer and happily hurried to drive back to Kentucky to report my success. We are still wondering today how surprised his family members must have been when they got home later that day! Yes, I did realize that we might have paid a bit more than the house was worth, but who would care if we lived there for the next thirty five years!
Friday, November 2, 2012
In Lexington, the neighborhood where we bought our small house was very young. Besides the boy Jeff from our immediate next door, there were quite a number of boys and girls around. Pan-pan did not have much problem to find playmates nearby. There was a big backyard shared by many houses in the area. Our house was on the bottom of a hill, and the shared yard was huge. There were maybe more than ten houses with half at the top of the yard and half at the bottom, and all with their shared backyards in the middle. Some had some small gardens, most were grassy and well maintained weekly by the owners. It was really a heaven for kids, as they could play in the “common” yard. Pan-pan was the center of the attention already at two!