Wednesday, February 27, 2013
It all started in 1972. We started to use summer vacations to drive west as a family, and yes, that included our dog. Over the years, we took the unique advantage of an academic position which provides a summer vacation flexible enough to be used for long trips. We drove to the west coast many times, using different routes so that we could visit various places in the US. Before Pan-pan and Steven went to college, they both had visited most of the states in the country. In 1972, Dean took a teaching job in Dodge City, Kansas, and our father decided to come to visit the US with Kai, who was coming to graduate school in Kentucky. We decided to drive west to pick them up in Kansas. We started in late June. Our first stop was in Knoxville to pick up an air conditioner for our new station wagon. We had been sweltering in the heat during our long first day! With a child mattress in the back, and the rest of back space for our dog, Princess, here we went on our first big family trip to the west!
Monday, February 25, 2013
Everyone who lives in East Tennessee knows about Roan Mountain. It has the highest peak (6,327ft) in the area. The Appalachian Trail passes its peak right at the Tennessee-North Carolina Border. Every year there is a Roan Mountain Festival which celebrates the Rhododendron blossoming time, in the latter part of June. In 1972, we went there for the first time as a family, without anyone else, just the four of us and our dog, Princess. It was a glorious day. We enjoyed this place many, many times over the years. Every time, we had the same feeling - that we were lucky to live in such a beautiful place.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
After we moved to Johnson City in 1971, we joined the Lutheran Church quickly. Both of our children were confirmed there, I was involved with the choir. My desire to search for “God” was still strong. There were a lot of life’s experience ahead of me and there were a lot of areas that needed to be explored. I was pretty convinced that I would find what I was looking for eventually.
“Thou shall seek to find!”
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
It might not have been a very important day for Steven himself from his point of view, especially at the time. But it was certainly very important for the rest of the family. Grandpa and Nana came from Winchester, MA, just to help celebrate. Dr. and Mrs. Hsu were there as well. Pan-pan was very excited, as she knew what birthdays meant! There were quite a number gifts. Steven did get more excited than usual. Since I have quite a number of pictures, I will only show you a few that were taken on that one day! I will show you more pictures later which were taken during the Birthday-week!
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
As you might have noticed, music has certainly been an important part of my life. In both junior and senior high schools, I won the top singing prizes and that had kept me interested. While I did not get the proper education to learn any formal music, I always tried to absorb what I could. I learned something in the church choirs, by being a singer in one choir and directing another one, while I was in Taiwan. In Johnson City, TN, and in Urbana, IL, I still continued my music life, singing in choirs for seven years. Certainly I learned a great deal when I joined the Oratorical Society in Urbana. Our group sang in the opening concert at the University’s Krannert Art Center. See program below:
You might not believe that I kept this program booklet. Yes, I even surprised myself when I found it! As you can see, I considered this event important enough not only to file it in my memory but also to keep the program!
When we moved to Tennessee, we joined the Our Savoir Lutheran Church immediately. In 1972, I first started to direct the Junior Choir. Later I took on the responsibility for conducting the Senior Choir and did so for more than a decade. When my birthday landed on a Wednesday, which was the choir practice night, I would get a birthday card from the choir. See below:
I do not need to tell you how important music has been in my life. I could say that music has always occupied a central role, bringing me joy and much happiness!
Monday, February 4, 2013
It did not seem to take long for Pan-pan to turn three! She was very happy to tell everyone “I am three'”, while trying to bend her thumb together with her pinky so that she could show her three other fingers straight. It was certainly one important accomplishment at her age. Dr. and Mrs. Hsu came for the celebration. Pan-pan was very happy to share the cake and open the gifts. Yes, I took quite a number of pictures.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
When both Pan-pan and Steven were young, (somehow we did not use Steven’s nickname Bing-bing for very long) we traveled quite a bit. At that time, our dog, Princess, also traveled with us. We drove with both children and the dog in the back of the station wagon. When we traveled long distance we even put a baby mattress in the back so that the children could take a nap. There was no car seat or seat belts to worry about. It was a different time. We have certainly changed a lot since then and very fast! Unfortunately, I could not find a good picture to show you here. The picture below, was the only one we have now which shows our dog and Steven in the back of the car. Steven was in a car seat but without a belt. The purpose was to raise him higher so that he could see outside the car! Was Steven a cute baby!