It’s a Small World After All

Have you ever had one of those “life comes around full circle” moments? Add a dash of “deja-vu” and a pinch of whimsy, . . .  and there you have it.

Ten years ago, this coming Thursday (11/04/11), I married my Finnish Viking in Northern Virginia along the banks of the Potomac River, near Mt. Vernon. We had a small wedding ceremony, with a wonderful larger party that followed. It was filled with Beatles music from a friend’s tribute band, a scotch and cigar bar, international tasting menu, and a fun photo booth. 

My Viking’s “clan” had come over from Finland and it was their first time to America, so we decided to take them along for part of our honeymoon. Now here’s where you might ask “Why the heck would you bring 14 people with you on your honeymoon?” – well, we were both middle-aged when we got married, and there were children involved.  I was also just getting to know my new foreign family on a deeper level. My folks had both passed and so it was important to start the next chapter of my new life on the right foot.

The day after the wedding, all 14 of us boarded a train bound for Savannah. We picked up our rented vehicles, introduced the Finns to Southern cuisine for lunch, and spent the day sightseeing.  Divided into two passenger vans, we headed for Orlando. 

We had booked two vacation houses in order to accommodate the large group and split up – older folks in one house and teens with parents in the other. Lovely 4-BR houses including pools that overlooked open fields with plenty of birds and wildlife. The Finns were amazed at the sizes of everything in America, especially the houses. 

Being their first time in the U.S. and Florida, we had to educate everyone on cultural differences and safety issues. The family had to be set up with SIM cards for local calling and kids were instructed to never go anywhere alone without telling someone; this is significantly different than life in Finland. Safety is not a necessity to the same degree there; in Finland, young children use mass transit for school and take the Metro unaccompanied. It’s just different.

The whimsy of this trip was watching them acclimate to American culture. Our first trip to Walmart was amusing to say the least, watching my MIL and her elderly cousin navigate the electrical carts through the store. They got in them and took off, and we had no idea where they were until we heard – “clean up on Aisle 12.” They were amazed at how cheap things were, and bags and bags filled the vans. 

The next learning curve were the toll booths. My husband returned one day with the rental van missing its rear bumper, which was located inside the trunk. Apparently the “Exact Change” lane was confusing to him, and he learned quickly that it meant coins and not a credit card. When he tried to back out of the lane, the van and a pylon had a disagreement, and the toll booth won.

We did the parks – all of Disney and then Universal too, as the teens were in search of the holy grail of scary rides that would thrill them. Their vote was for Universal over Disney, and so, that was that. I had purchased Disney passes for a week, Park Hopper option, no expiration. Ten years later, we still have days left on our passes, and the kids, who are now in their 20’s can still use their days left, if they come visit from Finland. 

Fast forward to 10 years later, and here we are in Four Corners/Davenport. We landed here from South Carolina for work and because we have friends in Clermont.

The other day, thanks to Facebook Memories, old posts started to appear memorializing our wedding and honeymoon plans. It was then I realized our “full circle moment.”

The houses that we rented for the Viking Clan and our honeymoon, are literally 10 minutes away, in the Orange Tree development, and were on Egret Hill St. and Blossom Hills Loop – both in Clermont. What a long, strange trip it’s been to be back in the vicinity of that location when we arrived in the dark that night, November 5, 2011. 

The other flip side to this deja vu is that our friends in Clermont who I mentioned above, would have been living just up the road from Orange Tree, and yet we did not know them at the time in 2011. We met on a Viking riverboat cruise in Germany, four years later in 2015. We’ve been fast friends ever since.

We have come FULL CIRCLE.

FCTRY – another fun site I track

Over 6000 people backed our Kickstarter campaign to turn Dr. Fauci into an action figure! If you’d like to preorder, now’s the time.

We created a unique link for you. When you use the link below, you’ll get a $10 coupon. If you place an order and I’ll get a $10 coupon too.

https://shop.fctry.com/a/refer-a-friend/redeem/r2gihv9zepafpasc36ohsay1z3saoypwjf766sjc/4217

100 years today. My mother the centenarian.

Edith Amber Klofanda Green 3/7/1921 – 6/13/2009

Today she would be celebrating her 100th birthday. I decided to take a stroll with her, through what various memories come to mind.

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Born in New Holstein, Wisconsin, March 7, 1921. Middle daughter to Royal and Lydia. Her father was the local veterinarian and her mom a housewife. She had an older brother, Royal (Jr.), an older sister June and Alyce was the baby. Born of Czechoslovakian, German and Bohemian ancestry, she was a second generation American. 

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(from left: Edith, Alyce, June and Roy (Royal Jr.) in the back.


My mother was a writer, pretty much all of her life. She kept a diary and from what I’ve discovered, as early as sixteen (that would have been 1937). She journaled throughout her life. I have a steamer trunk filled with her writings and would love someone to help me tackle it someday. I’m sure there is a lot of historical reference there as she lived during WWII, and subsequent wars, and travels.

She finished high school, then college and went onto to get both a bachelors and masters in primary school teaching. Much preferring younger children, and her love of elementary school, she was known for dressing as Mother Goose; celebrating every holiday with specialized decor and activities; making cotton candy from our own machine (we still have); and lots of story time complete with naps. We used to tease her that she had never graduated kindergarten. She taught school into her 80’s.  

She was even my third-grade teacher in Jordan and that was not a pleasant year for anyone in our household, but that is a story for another day. 

My mother suffered with asthma and allergies. So, after college and during the beginnings of her professional career, she, upon doctor’s orders was sent to Tucson, AZ to do her teaching there, for the benefits of health in the dry, desert climate. It was there that she met my father.

At a U.S.O. dance one evening, she and her girlfriends decided to go out for a bit of fun and a twirl on the dance-floor with some of the Air Force personnel. Little did she know that things would go down a different path and her life would take a turn. She was engaged to Frank back in Wisconsin and from what I gathered, my father, being the great dancer that he was known to be, swept her off her feet, and soon FRANK was getting his ring back in the mail, with a “Dear John” letter to go with it. They were wed November 30, 1946.

After my father retired from the U.S.A.F. in 1961, their world travels under U.S.AID and the U.S. State Department Foreign Service followed, for over thirty-some years.

My parents had a difficult time having a family, and therefore only my older sister Debbie (6 years older) and myself, are the surviving offspring. I have a brother who did not survive and as I, in recent years discovered, is buried in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was born sometime between Debbie and me. I hope to one day find more information about his whereabouts.

As the years following, my mother followed and supported my father’s career. After U.S. AID, he went on to join the United States Foreign Service and lived in many “hardship posts” for reasons I hope to discover in my research. My parents lived in such locales as Pretoria, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, Amman, Athens, Lahore, Montreal, with many travels and excursions in-between.  

There were so many parties and diplomatic events that their life never seemed mundane. Not much for socializing, my father did his part, learning the art of hosting, gourmet cooking, bartending (which I took to at the young age of six, in order to help out) and being a constant student of the world in which he lived and worked.

My mother followed from place to place; making homes as she went and keeping alive American customs in order to maintain a sense of “home” no matter what exotic location our family was assigned. There were many birthdays, Christmases, Easter egg hunts, and so on. Her box of costumes and decor grew as the years passed, but she always kept the family in a well-run home. I admire her so for that fortitude and her never ending energy to keep things as “normal” as possible, when you are a diplomat’s wife.

For those that knew her well, knew that she spoke her mind. But she loved hard, and with many, many hugs. She baked for neighbors and friends. Attended Lutheran church faithfully every Sunday. She played hand bells in the Bethany Church Choir. Her favorite movie was “Dr. Zhivago” and her favorite tune was “Laura’s Theme.” Watching daytime soaps were her guilty pleasure and she always had treats hidden in her desk drawers. She collected stamps and small silver spoons. Her pet canary in Kenya was her pride and joy, the way he sang to her every morning. The only time I ever saw her smoke a cigarette was in front of the Taj Mahal, because the mosquitos were attacking. She rode an ostrich in the races in Nigeria and filmed our lives for over 30 years.

I inherited over 12,000 feet of 16 and 8mm film which I have had digitized.

My only regret is that I didn’t appreciate her enough and tell her while she was still here. 

More of her life will unfold through my stories and writings here and as I discover additional letters, papers, and start the journey through her diaries. But for today, let’s just say this was a wonderfully strong, resilient woman, who loved strongly and was loyal to all her loved family and friends.

So Happy 100th Birthday Mom!!!

An incredible woman in the ever-present red lipstick. 

She might actually still haunt me for telling you her age.

Shift in Perspective

What have we become? What has this year taught us? Maybe something. Maybe nothing. 

2020 has given us an abundance of time for thought and reflection.

Without delving too much into the gory details that we all know transpired this year, I know, for myself, I was angry. More angry that I’ve ever experienced and at times, actually shocked myself. I don’t need to splay myself for the amateur psychologists that might be reading this….it’s way above your pay grade. But let’s just sum up the year and all that went with it, as . . . THE SUCKIEST YEAR EVER!!!!

For me, I live in my head. A lot. 

My dreams and nightmares are cinematic. I look at things with microscopic attention to detail. I see textures in surfaces and negative space in most surroundings. Often during conversation, word association will pop into my head in a musical game of “Name That Tune.” Yesterday, Sam was saying something, and my response was “You asked for it, you got it.” – then tagging my response with – “Toyota!” (lots of explanation was needed after that one).

2020 has brought some loneliness. Though I’ve adapted to solitude a fair amount due to my illnesses and life in Finland, but, people were very MIA and in self-preservation mode (with due cause). I miss my friends. Those who have stuck by in good times and bad, I have not forgotten. I might be remiss in keeping in touch, but that street goes both ways. I no longer give time to those who have no time for me. This Pretzel is tired. 

I’m tired. Bone tired. Tired of moving. Tired of being in pain. Tired of faking it. Tired of this body which sometimes has forsaken the spirit that remains kicking inside. Tired of our life. T-I-R-E-D. Tired. 

But if anything, this year has had me reflecting on times gone by. Perhaps it was working this blog and going back in memory through letters and memorabilia, but one thing is for sure … I miss the GOOD OLD DAYS. 

That’s what keeps me going. Telling my stories. Making someone laugh. Being a sounding board, or just a good friend. Taking it one day, one moment, one breath at a time. 

So I encourage you to share your stories. Pull out those yearbooks. Find a box in the attic. Open those dusty photo albums. Remember when things didn’t seem as hard. Toys were more fun. Music touched your soul. People lived by their word and honor was a real thing. 

We need to remember what used to be good. 

We need to find our way back, while going forward. 

With that, I pray for happier, healthier times in the coming year. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

1966 Green’s Christmas newsletter

Here We Go Again!

By Edith K. Green

(Nigeria to Kenya via Madrid and Egypt)

SALAAM NYINGI SANAN (Swahili for Greetings and Best Wishes) !!!

Yes, the “Trail of the Traveling Greens” has now led them to East Africa – Nairobi, specifically, the Garden Spot of Africa. But before you join us on this safari, let’s catch up on the highlights of the year of 1966.

Hardly had the Christmas and New Year bells stopped ringing, when on January 15 everyone in all the four regions of Nigeria were awakened at 4:00 AM to the rat-tat-tating of machine guns and the site and smell of burning houses, cars and properties. The first military coup had begun, destroying the unpopular political regime then in power with the assassination of the Federal Prime Minister Sir Abubaker Balewa, the Sardauna of Sokoto from the North , and Premier Akintola in the West, and house arrests of many, many other leading politicians everywhere. Europeans were not involved in anyway unless they were out and quite unexpectedly got caught up in a mob, so Americans were told to keep off the streets and stay home, which we did willingly. Night curfew lasted about a week and then Life returned to normal as much as possible after this war on nerves.

In February, the Greens were delighted with a visit by the Mertins – Susi and Manfred – who came all the way from Afghanistan to visit Pan Am  friends in Conakry and then us. Our Bonnie is their “adopted” child whom they took care of at the age of 1 while Ede taught school during our tour in Kandahar. We had three years of “catching up” chatter to do, as well as having them meet all our dear Ibadan friends, so there was never a dull moment.

The next four months saw serious packing, sorting, disposing of effects, along with plans for Home Leave, last-minute wardrobe adjustments, a monthly TV appearance on WNTV for Children’s Hour, including a special Easter show complete with egg dyeing, an Easter rabbit with colored eggs in his basket, an Easter egg tree and other decorations typical of the yearly American preparations. It was such fun, as my Nigerian audience were so receptive and appreciative. And then the lovely “farewells” of all our wonderful friends there whom we didn’t say goodbye to, but, “see you again, somewhere, somehow.” June 30th was our last day in Nigeria.

Now, onto Madrid, where we had five glorious days packed with the bullfights; the famous Prado Museum filled with magnificent works of artists like from Rembrandt, Goya, Rubens, Greco, Rafael; the Royal Palace of over 50 rooms dating back to 1800; a tour to El Escorial, a huge Monastery located on the slopes of the Guadarrama range of mountains which was built by King Philip II as a memorial for the victory of St. Quentin battle and dedicated to St. Lawrence, and then to the Valley of the Fallen where 16,000 soldiers of the Spanish Civil War are buried underground tombs and marked on top with a 460 ft. high cross which makes a beautiful silhouette in the sky to be seen hundreds of miles. We saw “Madrid by Night” complete with flamenco dancing with Florence and Bob gotten who had arrived from Nigeria on R & R; and then later had a most unusual meeting and wonderful evening with ole South African friends, the Beckleys, whom we had known and loved in Pretoria back in 1960. CROSSROADS IN MADRID!!!

Now T.W.A. flew us safely at 39,000 feet and 500 miles per hour to New York, where again a reunion with a grand American friend, Margaret Thomas who had been with us in Ibadan. Hated to leave her wonderful hospitality, but on we pushed to New Jersey where more beloved friends, ole A.F. “buddies”, the Baumans, met us and kept us in their lovely new home. Washington D.C. next for two weeks of physicals, shopping, and more reunions of dear friends we hadn’t seen in years. More ole A.F. sweeties, the Longs, insisted on a week’s visit in their roomy Maryland house, where tongues never stopped wagging and hospitality never ceased. Wouldn’t have missed a minute of any of it!!!

Again, with 11 pieces of luggage we pushed on to waiting, anxious grandparents and family in Wisconsin. Two weeks were all Marvin could spare before scooting back to Washington for five weeks of school, but we green girls loved our stay in Chilton, seeing more dear ole school friends, visiting with relatives, shopping, sneaking in card games with Dad (Grandpa) while he was in the hospital the entire 7 weeks we were there, and finally packing up again for our long trip on Sept. 17 to Chicago, New York, and on out across the Atlantic once more via Nova Scotia, headed to Athens, Greece, a city of two million. We gained 6 hours in time, used drachmas for money, walked around the city’s center called Constitution Square, and then headed straight for the famous Acropolis. What history these ancient ruins could tell, also the guides, books, and the magnificent “Sound and Light” production at night filled us in with more than we could absorb. Our 2 1/2 days there were not enough, but again TWA and on east we flew to Cairo, the land of the Sphinx and the Pyramids. Here is a fabulous city of Mosques dating back to 1354 with beautiful alabaster and marble walls and in which we walked barefooted or in rented canvas boots quietly respecting the kneeling figures of those at worship. Then came the Perfume Palaces with names like “Thousand and One Nights” filled with the essence of fragrances of every description such as Jasmine, Narcissus, Lavender, Violet, Heliotrope, Lilac, Carnation, Orange Blossom, Sandle Wood, Frankincense, Nefertiti, etc.. Next, the beautiful Abdeen Palace where King Farouk and Queen Narriman lived before the Military leader Nasser took over in 1952 and some of their personal things still remain, and then to the Manial Palace built by Prince Mohammed Ali, Farouk’s cousin, complete with sunken baths, crystal chandeliers, and harem rooms.

High above the city looms the Cairo Tower, in which the upper section contains a revolving restaurant that revolves a complete turn every half hour while you dine, giving a panoramic view of entire Cairo. Of course, our tour to the sphinx, which is 65 ft. high and 125 ft. long, carved from one piece of stone with a woman’s head a king’s face, lion’s body, and to the 7 pyramids of Giza was the Highlight. It took 30 years to build the largest pyramid, with 200,000 workers. Two tombs are in each pyramid, and climbing steep narrow steps 128 ft., straight up, clinging tightly on to a hand rail in dimlight (going like going down into a mine) strained leg and arm muscles we didn’t know we had! Each single piece of limestone in the pyramid was at least 2 1/2 tons. Debbie was happiest while riding a camel, donkey, and a horse, and later helping row all of us out in a small boat until the sails caught the breeze for a moonlight ride down the Nile. Our stay was too short, but soon a Sudanese Jet took us on to Khartoum, Sudan we are more ole friends waited with a full schedule of visiting-eating-talk-No Sleep!

Then a GRAND CLIMAX to our travels – a 4:00 AM flight to avoid the terrific desert heat of the day so these big jets can get safely off the ground, we arrived four hours later in Nairobi – our “home” for the next three years. House hunting and learning our way around is first priority with us now, hoping that the holidays will find us settled-in to enjoy Christ’s Birthday and see the New year in. Hotel living isn’t bad, but we love our own home.

So, dear ones all over, we hope 1966 was as blessed a year for you as it was for us. Do let us hear from all of you real soon.

MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A MOST WONDERFUL NEW YEAR. GOD BLESS!

THE 4 GREENS – Bonnie – Debbie – Edith – Marvin.

Don’t spit into the wind

Food for thought:

Everyone is chomping at the bit to reopen and get back to normal. The thing is, we may not be normal for a very long time. Not only because of the thousands who have died and the losses to their family and friends, but how can you go back? The things we’ve seen, read, and adapted to have left a mark. If they haven’t, then they should have.

In many ways our leaders have failed us, but communities took up the banner and came together. Neighbors and strangers all getting by and helping where they could. Some have gone above and beyond, while others were selfish. Checks and balances; good and evil; right and wrong. It is the human condition. 

But we are not ready to resume normal, because in the shadows danger still lurks. Until there is a vaccine for the virus, and preventative immunization, we’re not out of the woods. There is no solid cure for COVID-19.

Some think being outside is okay, even if you social distance. Well then you best be downwind, because if you can feel that ocean spray from a distance then imagine a cough, or sweat, even saliva from open mouths breathing, will always be in the air you’re taking in. Think for a second – would you walk behind a runner even 12ft. away on a breezy spring day? Go on.  Take a deep breath. Now go and kiss your grandkids. Open those beaches and parks. Go mask-less. 

Some countries had a second wave. The all clear has not been rung by qualified health professionals. 

I choose to wait, watch and keep myself informed from many sources. I don’t always agree with many on their choices, but I pray it doesn’t bite you later. 

For those who wish to read further – here.

Design on a Dime

Front of card. Open card to see full lion. Open lion’s mouth – SURPRISE!!!

Back in the day, we used to have to design our own Christmas cards, mostly due to living overseas and also life with Mom.

Being that she was a teacher for decades, she used to encourage us girls to use our artwork for various projects. Christmas cards were one. I can’t remember what year this was for, but based upon the “lion theme,” and the photos enclosed, I’m guessing I was around six, and still living in Kenya ’66.

Much of my childhood was lived with rhymes in iambic pentameter; puns; storybook characters and a mother who dressed for her students as Mother Goose.

It is only fitting that on this, her 99th birthday (in heaven), I take a moment to reflect and add yet another on from the Edith Christmas Note files.

1965 Christmas newsletter

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Season Greetings

As 1965 comes to a close, our thoughts are once again busy with Christmas activities, and first on the list is our annual newsletter to all our dear friends scattered around the world, filling in the year’s happy night happenings of the Green family in Africa. Yes – this is our third Christmas season in Nigeria, with a big ??? ahead of us as to where our new home will be after July, 1966. Oh, for a crystal ball!!!!

But let me tell you about this most populous country in Africa, with a citizenry totaling over 55 million, and geographically covering over 350,000 sq. miles. Nigeria is made up of four regions, beginning with the Northern area of almost entire desert country; the Mid-West and Western Region of wooded grassland in the savannah belt;  and the Eastern region of tropical rainforest. There are two distinguishable seasons, the dry season lasting from November to April, and the wet season from May to October. In the dry season a dust-filled wind known as the harmattan comes from the Sahara Desert in the north spreading a general haze over the country.

Nigeria became independent in 1960, and a republic within the commonwealth three years later. As a democracy, the central government is largely influenced by the country’s four self-governing regions. Although there are 250 language groupings, there is a tribal dominance in each of these regions. The Hausa are pre-eminently the tribe of the North, the Ibo of the East, and the Yoruba of the West. However, English is spoken almost everywhere, as Nigerians have been dealing with European traders and missionaries for over 150 years. Most Nigerians are farmers who produce cocoa, ground nuts, palm oil, cotton, bananas, rubber, timber and hides, which account for about 85 percent of the country’s exports.

Our home is in the largest indigenous town in Africa, with the population of about 700,000 people – the capital of Western Nigeria, Ibadan. It originated as a war camp of the Yoruba people who gathered to defend themselves against invaders in the tribal wars of the 19th Century. Located in the heart of Nigeria‘s cocoa producing area, Ibadan has developed into one of the most important commercial centers in West Africa. In the last decade it has also become famous as the intellectual center of Nigeria because of the very modern University of Ibadan, the first university in Nigeria, along with a vast teaching hospital, the University Hospital. Ibadan also boasts of being one of the first areas in Africa to introduce TV to its people. The favorite color combination of these Yoruba people here is blue and white, hand dyed into material locally cold “adire cloth.” Many wear it – the man with baggy trousers called “sokotos” and a full flowing rope on top called an ”agbada”; the women with long, wide-sleeve blouses (bubas) and long skirts (iros), with a lovely head-wrap (gele) like a turban wrapped so that the ends of the cloth stand out like small sails.

Buying and selling takes place everywhere in Ibaden. Traders bring eggs, meat, fruit, vegetables, baskets, carvings, etc. on foot or bicycle to your door. Three markets – Dugbe, King, and Oje – boast of stalls that sell everything from cow dung, ju-ju “weirdies“, beads, junk jewelry, fresh fruits and vegetables, china, used clothing, hand-woven cloth, plastics, live fowl and animals, meat and fish, baskets, pottery, charcoal, metal ware, etc. and hear the shopper is expected to bargain. The Nigerian pound ($2.80), the shilling (14 cents), and pence (penny) are used as currency, and “bargaining” takes a good portion of one’s shopping day. A most common site everyday of the week is the market women, men, and children balancing on their heads boxes, baskets, and bags heaped high in the air with every conceivable thing imaginable, and the women usually with a baby bound on their backs as well. Several European stores supplement our shopping, complete with their “cold stores” that contain frozen meats, vegetables, and fruits, so even though it’s very expensive, daily living for the European is quite comfortable. The streets are black topped, but because there are no sidewalks they are used by pedestrians, bicycles, goats, Fulani cows, chickens, devil-may-care taxi drivers, wagons, buses, and beggars alike.

IMG_6197The Greens themselves??? Our 41/2 year old pixie, Bonnie Lynne, is now in proper Nursery School and loves it. Her insatiable curiosity has never diminished, so peace and quiet or rare when she’s awake. One of her favorite expressions is, “I didn’t break it, Mother, isn’t that happy?”!! We adore her.

Debbie will be 11 in January and already stands 5‘2“ tall. She is our tomboy, always preferring to wear jeans and long-tailed shirts, ride horses, and swim. She is taking piano lessons for a year and a half now and we are proud of her progress. In September she started 6th grade in a new school run on a high-school schedule, so is finding having a different teacher with each subject quite fascinating.Mother Edith has had a year heavy on the knitting side. Three afghans will be ready under the Christmas tree in December, as these air-conditioned bedrooms get mighty cold during the night. Countless Barbie doll knitted sweaters, skirts, dresses, coats, hats, ski sets, etc., will be waiting for the girls, some for their friends, and some for the American booth at the Nigerian Red Cross Bazaar held in November every year. There is a large variety of beads in the market and from traders, so bead-stringing has also been learned for corals, moonstones, mosaics, cornelians, jasper, and glass, and its been such fun using fish wire, dental floss, nylon thread, hat elastic and whatever else we could find to string on. An International Women’s Group has opened doors among all nationalities of women and proved most challenging; the American Women’s Club has a never-ending appeal for charity work; Wednesday morning bridge; the constant battle with buttons popping off and the ups-and-downs with hems; Story Hour every Friday afternoon at the USIS library for children ages 3 to 12; learning new Nigerian dishes to help provide a variety in official entertaining, has all made in 1965 seem like a whirl-wind year.

There’s no such thing as a work-day ended completely for Marvin, as his personnel and administrative work follow him home via telephone and personal visits. He has been the “middle man”, troubleshooter, and coordinator between the Consulate and AID offices all year, holding down three men’s jobs until replacements finally arrived. Special mention must also be made of his gallant “battle of the bulge”, and up to date several notches in the belt have been drawn in to show his slimming-down. A fourth love has developed with an Akaii (Japanese) tape recorder, with the consequent making of new tapes from records and other friends’ tape libraries. Other recorder fans are constantly being discovered, with a consequent endless stream of enthusiasts, sharing and enjoying each other‘s knowledge and know-how.

So, for the G‘s in 1965, Life has been good and we have been showered with more than our share of blessings. We hang our heads in shame when we realize how neglectful our pen has been all year in our correspondence with Everyone, but we have thought of all of you so often and wish so hard that our paths will cross again real soon. God bless and keep you and yours. Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A MOST WONDERFUL NEW YEAR.

The Four Greens

Anniversary #8

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As life circles around, certain dates mark repeated memories. For me Fall through Winter, is that period.

From the 9/11 anniversaries comes my first fiancé, Tom’s birthday, in October. I prefer remembering the day people entered the world more so than the day they left.
Then there is Halloween.
Early November brings both mine and my parents’ wedding anniversaries and Thanksgiving. Followed by Christmas and so on and so on.IMAG1392
As my 8th wedding anniversary approaches on November 4th, I never wain in my appreciation in being blessed in finding love a second time.
I know I’m not an easy task for whomever chooses me as their partner. I am not easy to love.
 
Some days our lives resemble that of Liz and Richard Burton in Taming of the Shrew, others days Virginia Wolf comes to mind. For the most part we are most like Lucy and Desi (both husbands having accents and all) 😉.
Luckily the days resembling the War of the Roses are few and far between.
But, at the end of the day, I am reminded why I selected this man.
November 4, 2011: Alexandria, VA -- Bonnie Green and Sam wedding.
As we walk this life together, we each have our idea of what we want in a mate. Mine shifts from decade to decade. Mostly I’ve only wanted love, support and honesty.
 
November 4, 2011: Alexandria, VA -- Bonnie Green and Sam wedding.A husband should be one‘s best friend. They should have your back no matter what. They hold you when you’re hurting and on those hard days when there are tears (we’ve had a lot of those lately). He tries to cheer you up in his own quirky way and it’s the little things that mean the most.
On the flip side, we laugh almost every day. Although, usually it’s me doing the making. However our ”left field” still holds the occasional surprise delivered by him when you least expect it. Yep, Sam is slowly finding his “Murican.”
Let’s face it people, marriage is work.
At our ages cat pawing can become full on sparring very easily, because when you’re our age, you’ve become good at it. Life, especially ours, remains stressful and unsettling. I have moved a fair amount with this man, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping. All you can do as a couple is communicate, be as understanding as possible and  hold on for the ride.
 
Therefore, In keeping with our true form,
 
This year our first choice for a Mediterranean foodie-fest was not available (closed on Monday), so we opted for a place that serves my fav, lobster. Did I say I wasn’t high maintenance? Hope not, but I do like a great tail.
I also tried to get tickets to The Time Warp (a 60’s thru 80’s music review) at the Carolina Opry, but apparently the Christmas show has already started. Ugh Christmas already???
 
Then the idea sparked to go to a romantic movie.
 
Therefore, . . . we are continuing our anniversary with tickets to “Terminator – Dark Fate,” cause nothing spells romance better than blowing shit up.
Tails and Terminator. Here’s to another year H(h)o͞os-band.
 
LU ❤

November 4, 2011: Alexandria, VA -- Bonnie Green and Sam wedding.

November 4, 2011: Alexandria, VA — Bonnie Green and Sam wedding.

Don’t Piss off the Stage Crew

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IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) – Labor union representing the technicians, artisans and craft persons in the entertainment industry.

In broader terms – “Union guys.”

During my many years working in the Technical Theater field, I experienced a broad range of “life-stories.”

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(photo credit: AgnosticPreachersKid)

One such memory was when I was working for the Washington Ballet as stagehand. I was a free-lancer, and would be hired to load-in/out their various performances at Lisner Auditorium, on the GW campus in Washington, DC.

I used to enjoy those gigs because they were half union (IATSE) calls, and the rest of us were contractors. To a non-union techie, that meant that we were given regular breaks, and would not have to slave a ridiculous amount of work hours.

During my time with the Washington Ballet, a few stories emerged as usually happens when working backstage – ANYWHERE.

It wasn’t the time that the plastic front closure on my bra broke, during an all-male work call, and I had to decide between using the pneumatic stapler, or a hot glue gun for a quick fix.
Nor was it the time that a newbie techie dropped 100 lbs. of lighting cable on me, instead of the canvas utility cart, because he wasn’t watching what he was doing.

It was This hysterically funny moment, during a particular load-out, that has stuck in my memory all of these decades.

One night, after one of the many Washington Ballet’s performance runs, we were brought in tear down the set, roll-up the floor, pack it, and load the truck.

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photo credit: Media 4 Artists – Theo Kossenas

Now as I mentioned above, the benefit of working with union guys is that you know you’re going to be finished by a certain time of the night. You HAVE to be; otherwise they go into overtime, and nobody wants to pay that.

We were loading the truck, when somebody came inside and announced that a sports car had been parked in front of it by someone at the university, and he had no idea where the owner had gone.

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Th
e truck was parked at the rear loading dock, and there was a small park in the same alleyway between the rear of Lisner Auditorium, and the next university building.

A few disgruntled union guys decided to get together, and handle the situation. The next thing I knew, we were all called outside to see what they’d done.

Somewhat similar to the photo below (but without all the scaffolding), they had lifted the guy’s car, and set it inside the park, within the cement benches that surrounded the perimeter.

Needless to say, this forced its owner, upon his return, to come and  request that his car be released from its cement jail.

When you’re standing in front of a group of about 30 large guys, this poor man ate crow, and had to apologize to the whole stagecrew for his stupidity.

I doubt he ever parked near that building again.

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Living the life of a stagehand was rewarding at times; brutal for the most; and yet life in the theatre is something you have to love; but is NOT for the faint of heart (or body).

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