Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fifth Grade Camping!

A very important event was held every year at the University School for students in the fifth grade: a camping trip to learn about and study nature. In 1980, Margaret was in the fifth grade. She and her friends talked about the trip for a long time. And finally the day came! They were all very excited. Margaret and, I am sure, probably everbody in the class got up early and were in front of the school building before the assigned time, with all their bags and other stuff. The fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Polly Taylor, was there to take pictures with all the students in the class. Later I took a few more pictures at the camp ground nearby Johnson City.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Birthday Party

Margaret's eleventh birthday in the middle April fell, as usual, during the spring time in East Tennessee. And spring time is certainly one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. She celebrated her birthday with her good friends at home, and I took advantage of the beautiful weather to spend some free time with both of our children while taking pictures with them around campus. You can now see what a beautiful place we lived in and how lucky we were to be able to walk around the campus during those spring days!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Older Relatives in Boston Area

The third event usually came a day or two after Christmas. We drove to visit older relatives in the area. In the earlier years, we went to visit Janice's Great Aunt Sister Anthony and her Great Uncle Jimmy. However, in 1979 we were only able to visit Janice's favorite Great Aunt Flo, who was living in a Catholic retirement community in Quincy, a Boston suburb. We were there for a couple of hours to let her have time to talk with our kids and share their stories with her. I am very proud of our children as they never made any complaint about spending time with older relatives and answering their questions repeatedly. Of course, the relatives were also impressed by their behavior. The pictures below were taken in the guest room at the retirement center. Both Janice and I are very happy to possess these memorable shots.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Second event during Christmas

Nothing is really a typical event during Christmas, as Christmas only comes once a year and many things change in a year. We usually met close relatives in the late afternoon on Christmas day to have a cocktail hour before we had dinner together. In 1979, there was a dark shadow in the back of our minds, as we had learned that Aunt Dot had been diagnosed with lung cancer before we drove up to Boston. While we had our drinks together and took these pictures below, we were thinking that this kind of occasion would be very limited in the near future. That was indeed the situation, as Aunt Dot passed away in 1980. The pictures I took were the last ones in my possesion when she was alive. Of course, we did not know what would happen and when exactly and how any event would turn out. We were living always in the present!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Christmas Celebrations in 1979

One seldom stops to think about whether the things in your life are typical or unusal. Our celebration of Christmas in 1979 was a case in point. We sometimes went to Boston for the holidays and assumed that we would continue to do that from time to time. However, life's changes have a way of interfering with plans! That year, we drove up to Boston as soon as our children finished their school. We enjoyed Baba's cooking, of course, and during the visit we always had three things to do in the following sequence. First we opened the gifts early on Christmas morning. After resting a bit, we then had dinner with Uncle Fran and Aunt Dot. Finally, beginning the day after Christmas, we would drive about the surrounding area to visit other relatives. I will show you these three in sequence as they took place in 1979. In this blog I will show you the opening-gifts part. (The last picture below can give you an indication of how tired our kids were after opening gifts at the crack of dawn!) In the next two blogs, I will show you pictures of the other two parts of the holiday. In 1982, Janice's father passed away and her grandmother became bed-ridden. It followed that our assumptions about future Christmas celebrations changed. Of course, life changes constantly, sometimes in ways which are unexpected, and we must be ready to adapt and accept what comes next!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

We started early!

I have always been interested in music. In junior high, I had a very caring music teacher, Mrs.Bie(畢). She liked me and I performed well for her. I won the first prize in the singing competition for my class. And later, in senior high, I had another music teacher who cared for me. His name was Ouyang(欧阳.)Again I was named the best in a school competition. A caring relationship with a teacher is very important, and I had the benefit of that advantage many times in my life.
When our children were in school, they had already started singing early in our church children's choir. Certainly they enjoyed singing in school as well! In 1979, there was a singing performance in their school after Thanksgiving.  I am glad that I had some pictures taken to show you that singing was something the Huang family started early in their lives. Steven is in the middle of third row in the top picture and Margaret is in the front row on the right side of the bottom picture.