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.