Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A number of happenings

Sometimes a lot of things happen in a short period.

On the weekend, my wife and I drove to Seattle to meet a cousin whom I hadn't seen in 52 years. She was visiting one of her daughters, who had recently moved there. Other than exchanging a few emails in the last year, we hadn't really connected in a meaningful way.

The last time we met face-to-face was when we were both in our early teens, before I emigrated to Canada from Berlin. Later, she married an American in the armed services, became an American citizen many years ago, and moved to Texas.

In any case, we reconnected on Sunday, caught up on family history, took some pictures, and promised to visit each other more often.

It was a significant, and happy day for both of us.

On Monday, my wife decided that it would be nice to have an intimate dinner with Derek, Airdrie, Marina and Lauren. Since they all live next door, it is easy to get together. We had one of my wife's specialties (rouladen) and various greens, rice, pudding. My wife is a wonderful cook (I married her for her cooking and her money - well, and because I love her, too). This recipe she learned from my mother; my mother always said that my wife made it better than she herself.

So, we had a nice evening.

Yesterday, I finally managed to take a short peek at comet Holmes; a short peek because I saw it through holes in the clouds only. It is very bright, and easily seen with the naked eye as a fuzzy star. It looks magnificent in binoculars, if a little unusual - I did not see a tail; it appears like a big, fuzzy ball. It's a shame that our sky is covered in clouds, and predictions are for more of the same, and lots of rain. Well, this is the Pacific Northwest - what would you expect at this time of year?


This morning we had some sad news. My wife has three close friends, two of whom she has known since they all were kids, another "joined the club" more than fifty years ago. They all live in the city, and the four of them get together often; they celebrate their birthdays, and find many other reasons to have "a night out" with each other. They've gone through the ups and downs in their lives more-or-less together; two of them are widowed. I have known all four of them since before my wife and I got married (nearly 43 years ago). They all were bridesmaids at our wedding. The four of them are part of our family, and join in and contribute to most of our family get-togethers.

One of them, Sonia, whom my wife has known since they were both children, died this morning. We are all very sad. Her health had not been the best in the last years; none-the-less she travelled often, enjoyed her food, and was always "open" to life. It's a great loss to us all. Derek has written an eloquent note about her.

So, life has its happy and sad moments.