Monday, February 25, 2019

More Layers

 Again on my walks I was drawn to the many-layered fungus on the old tree stumps which remind me of my life.

As I work to recover the lost chapter, improve the writing process, rearrange the text, search and research, I continually uncover and discover new or forgotten things from the past.
For example, I learned a lot about snails after reading about them in one of my father's letters.

 Several weeks ago after a rain we noticed that our patio was just covered with snails. We had known that we had snails, but we didn’t realize that they were as the sand of the sea. They are this oblong type of snail. Which one sees in the water, but they have a round shell. I called them wood snails when I saw that at home. We began asking our hired girl if there was some powder or liquid which we could buy to kill them. She didn’t know about that, but she thought she could get someone to gather them. In the afternoon a little boy came to gather them and was he ever tickled. He must have gotten about two or three quarts of them. Those slimy, squashy animals were just wallowing all over each other. I asked him what he was going to do with them. "Voy a comerlos." What? You’re going to eat those things? "Sí, son riquísimos." [they are delicious]. . . He was perfectly welcome to them. They serve them as a delicacy in the better hotels here.  I later learned that the owner of the house had brought those snails here to multiply for himself. [October 19, 1946]
I was as ignorant about the delectable escargot as my parents!

This week I also enjoyed listening to long-forgotten music, events, lectures, stories - all taken from obsolete cassettes and gathered as digitized files on one single DVD. Among the voices that stirred so many memories:

  • our young children in a Saturday morning program on the ship Doulos 
  • Mike and I mingling our own singing voices with all the others in a musical performed at Easter--Breakfast in Galilee
  • the Doulos Singers repertoire
  • Marion and Walter, our dear Austrian friends' songs
  • the Bus family songs  
  • my uncle, Dr. Herman A. Hoyt, giving a lecture--"Daniel and the 70 Weeks"
  • cousin, Dr. Fred de Rosset, being interviewed on Moody Radio for their Spanish program--"Imágenes de Cristo en la narrativa"

And there is much more to come.

Another rescued artifact is this 16mm film on a 3 1/2" reel. In one of those early letters my mother  listed the contents in detail. My parents were so eager to share with family all about their new life - the sights, sounds, people and places. And, of course, a large portion was two-year-old me running around, being cute.

February 21, Thursday, marked six years since Daddy's passing. Immersed as I am writing about that first year in Argentina, I chose a few photos from then that show him with me.
Rockefeller Center, New York, September 1945

Rita's conjunctivitis (1946)
On the back of the photograph in my mother's beautiful handwriting:
This is Rita when she had pink eye. We just took it as she was. Didn't even comb her hair. Notice the handful of rosebuds she had. That's her favorite task, picking flowers.
Dad and Mom's 4th anniversary cake (August 1946)
Vacation in Embalse del Río Tercero
Fast forward ninety years, I wrote a poem about those last moments with him:

Dear Daddy, 
You lingered long years and days waiting for the trumpet call.
Months back when I asked how you were, you could barely whisper
"I'm just waiting." Those were the last clear words I remember.
Your tired body did not hold out, your spirit eager to go.

Yesterday, I talked to you and touched your soft shoulder.
You shuttered and sputtered, breathing was not easy.
I started to sing. I needed to reach you somehow.
The 23rd Psalm came to me, oft sung to my children.

When I came to the shadow of death verse,
I sang loudly "I will fear no evil for Thou art with me."
And again at the end, "I will dwell in the house of the Lord,
forever, forever, in the house of the Lord forever. Amen."

"Lord, take him home," I prayed in my heart. And He did!
Your passing was so gentle, almost imperceptible.
Mother said, "You put him to sleep."
We hugged and cried, so grateful to be there, so sad to be left.

¡Hasta pronto, papá! See you soon, Daddy!

February 22, 2013

A noteworthy event this week was Bag Day--the deadline for wrapping up the robot. There is a mad push in the last week to make sure every aspect comes together and works, so Michael was gone most days till late.  
Here is a video of the final tests before the bagging--

Son Sam is looking on. He was in attendance as one of the parents. Elijah is on the team this year.

At home, my focus is to write, and a diversion is to do art. I am joined once a week by a couple others and we attempt to follow online tutorials on Let's Make Art Together.


  1. Aw - little Rita is just so adorable! I haven't gone back to see if you answered your FB question, but my guess is the statue at Rockefeller Center :)

    1. Hmmm. . . that was a good guess. I had to look it up. The statue dates back to 1934.
      What I was referring to was the metal film reel has an imprint: PAT. IN CANADA 1930.


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