November 30, 2013

The First Tracks of the Season

Verona, Wisconsin, November 2013. The tracks show the deer are again active.

Cold Feet

Near Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1936. My Dad's older cousin, Henry, and Henry's wife, Suzanne, take their daughter, Kaunas Nina, sledding.

Thanks to Kaunas Nina's daughter—my Kaunas Cousin—for making this photo available to us.

If you fall down, then get up.

Suburban Chicago, January 1964. This photo dates from the time when it still was possible to skate on Silver Creek. Homes in the Winston Park subdivision stand along the creek.

Related by Marriage: Pose by the pump.

Chicago, Illinois, 1959. Mr. Irene's Mom models her beaver coat at the Forest Preserve.

November 29, 2013

Snowy Trail

Glacier National Park, Montana, July 1968. The interesting paths usually feature some obstacles.

Afternoon Visit

Suburban Chicago, Winter 1965. My friend Kris drops by for a visit.

"Femen activists show up at Vilnius Summit."

A member of the "scandalous organisation" popped out of a "car with 'Ukraine to EU' written on her bare chest. The police knew about the possible action and, therefore, was ready to react."

Lithuanian-language story and more (some probably NSFW) photos here.

Another Workday

Suburban Chicago, April 1960. Mom again heads out to the office.

Walk off that big meal.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, about 1950. Toronto Al's Parents look stylish as they enjoy a warm day.

Thanks to Toronto Al for making this photo available to us.

November 28, 2013

Until-Next-Year Reunion

Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, September 2011. There are few roadside hazards in this area.

After-Dinner Letter

Verona, Wisconsin, November 2008. Mom and Mr. Irene's Parents read a letter from Lithuania.

Related by Marriage: After-Dinner Glow

Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois, November 1957. From left to right: an unrelated boy; Mr. Irene's maternal Grandfather, Stanley; Mr. Irene's Dad; Mr. Irene's Mom, and; Wally, the husband of Mr. Irene's maternal Aunt Martha.

Happy Thanksgiving

We're grateful for so many different things.

Verona, Wisconsin, November 2007. Mr. Irene is in motion today.

November 27, 2013

Frozen-River Reunion

Thatcher Woods, Suburban Chicago, February 1965. The Des Plaines River has risen above its banks.

A Guided Hike

Glacier National Park, Montana, July 1968. Dad catches Mom's attention while we listen to the Ranger's presentation.

I blend in with the rock wall.

Glacier National Park, Montana, July 1968. It looks like we were on this hike.

A Bonded Cat

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Spring 1963. Here's my Toronto Cousin with her wonderful cat, Mitsė.

"Cats recognise their owners' voices but never evolved to care."

Study confirms "that although pet cats are more thank capable of recognizing their owner's voices they choose to ignore them."

November 26, 2013

Running Reunion

Verona, Wisconsin, December 2007. Move quickly; the gun-deer season isn't over yet.


Thatcher Woods, Suburban Chicago, January 1963. Dad remembered to bring the sled.

"Draugas" goes online.

The Lithuanian newspaper, "Draugas"—in print since 1909—today launched its online, English-language edition.

He kept his head warm.

Suburban Chicago, January 1961. It's time to post snow photos again.

Related by Marriage: Menfolk

Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois, November 1959. Mr. Irene's Dad, his maternal Grandfather Stanley, and Wally—the husband of Mr. Irene's maternal Aunt Martha—have finished the meal and moved to the living room.

November 25, 2013

Short-Days Reunion

Verona, Wisconsin, December 2009. We're getting adjusted to the change of seasons.

General Manners: Learn to ignore the camera.

Suburban Chicago, January 1961. I am not yet accustomed to living with a shutterbug.

Snow season has arrived.

Kaunas, Lithuania, 1940. My Dad's twin sister, Jonė—second from left—is out with her friends. Jonė could have used some boots. (Recall the photo in which Jonė had boots, but wore no coat.)

Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

Another November Birthday

There are many November birthdays in our family. Today is the birthday of my paternal Grandmother, Tatjana.

Suburban Chicago, 1965. Tatjana is satisfied. She's standing in the side yard, between our home and the neighbor's house.

November 24, 2013

Late-Night Eats

The Cooking Channel's "Eden Eats" tries Cepelinai at Baltimore's Lithuanian Hall.

ADDED: Hey—that's the potato-grating machine we use.


When I saw this photo, I remembered the Easter when my Best Friend's parents gave her and her sister chicks as a gift. The girls received the chicks at a time when live Easter gifts were not yet verboten, and well before Bobos started erecting chicken coops in their suburban backyards.

I sent the image to my Best Friend, and here is what she wrote:
Yes, we got three chicks for Easter that year: Becky (who liked to hop up on the Rec Room toilet seat to lean in for a drink of water), Specky (who had speckles), and of course, Pecky. They didn't last long though. Specky ended up getting sick and dying first. (Were those speckles really a sickness?) then Becky—on one of her toilet adventures—slipped in and drowned. That left Pecky, who was a rambunctious little guy. He pecked everyone. He'd hop onto my cousins dog's nose and peck him on it (do you remember Laddie?) Then he'd wait for the kids to come home from school to peck their ankles as they ran by, and finally the last straw was when he pecked my sister on her face. That combined with his morning "cock-a-doodle-doos" caused my parents to give him away to a farm (or so they said ... ?)
Suburban Chicago, 1968. Pecky stands in my Best Friend's backyard.

Stepping Stones

High Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, about 1950. My Dad's twin, Jonė—on the left, wearing the navy-blue dress—and her friends spend a Sunday afternoon at the park.

Pipe Smoker

Lake Nipissing, Ontario, Canada, July 1964. Dad has stepped off the dinghy.

Cigarette Break

Colombia, about 1952. My Dad's friend Casey—in the plaid shirt—meets with fellow immigrants on his coffee-bean plantation.

November 23, 2013

The holiday season can be tiring.

Verona, Wisconsin, November 2012. Baci supervises the Thanksgiving table.

Related by Marriage: They meet in the city.

Vilnius, Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, 1978. Mr. Irene's cousins meet him in the capital.

Exchanging Portraits (Part 12)

Probably Seligenstadt, Germany, about 1946. My Mom's friends wrote, "Think of us every now and then, too."

The Birdhouse Project

Lithuania, about 1929. This is the classroom of Vladas, Toronto Al's Dad. The image reminds me of this photo.

Thanks to Toronto Al for making this photo available to us.

November 22, 2013

Vintage Dolomites

Near Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, June 1955. My Dad's friend, Casey, sent this vacation snapshot.


Suburban Chicago, 1959. Dad's in the living room, next to the bay window. This is the watercolor hanging behind the floor lamp.

"Russian" Knitting

A recent exhibit featured stockings, socks, gloves, and mittens. The Russian Museum of Ethnography's description shows that organizers still think of the former Soviet states as part of their empire: "To protect wrists from the spring and winter winds peoples of the Ukraine, Byelorussia, northern-west part of Russia and in Baltic states wore knitted armlets, which looked like wide, ornamented cuffs."

Many of the designs look Baltic.

We had a dusting this morning.

Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1932. Soon it will look like this. Here are Suzanne's father and nephew.

Thanks to Suzanne's Granddaughter—my Kaunas Cousin—for making this photo available to us.

Another Birthday for the Twins

November 22 is the birthday of my Dad and his twin, Jonė (see here and here).

I posted this photo earlier; I repeat it today because it's a favorite.

Kaunas, Lithuania, 1939. My paternal Grandfather, Vytautas, likely took this photo.

November 21, 2013


Brookfield Zoo, Spring 1968. He'll grow into those.


Near Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1943. My Mom visits with her painter friend.

Exchanging Portraits (Part 11)

Mariampolis, Lithuania, March 24, 1937. This is a school portrait of my Mom's friend, Joy.

After Lunch

Kačerginė, Lithuania, Summer 1940. My Dad's twin sister, Jonė, and her older cousin take a boat ride after lunch.

Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

November 20, 2013


Lake Nipissing, Ontario, July 1965. The Samoset Lodge chipmunk is ready to store his stash.

Pigtails / Piglets

Brookfield Zoo, Spring 1968. Those twisty-bobble thingies always pulled my hair.


Chicago, Illinois, May 1962. I don't know what occasion this image recorded, but Dad thought the snapshot was important enough to include in the 1962 photo album.

"Don't dress your age."

A documentary about senior style choices.

The Top Five University Towns in the World

Madison, Wisconsin, is one of them.


Related by Marriage: Sun Puppy

Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois, 1952. I hadn't realized Mr. Irene's Mom had had a dog until I found this photo and the one I posted earlier.

November 19, 2013

The Attraction Outside the Exhibit

Brookfield Zoo, 1962. Seals relax near the Seven Seas Panorama.

Many to Move

Haunstetten, Germany, 1951. A neighbor boy (standing, on the left) joins the five children of my Mom's paternal Uncle, Zigmas. The family emigrated to the United States one year later. (The youngest child wears the harness once common in Europe.)

Winter Weather

Schweinfurt, Germany, about 1947. My Dad's twin sister, Jonė, and her fellow scouts look cold.

November 18, 2013


Glacier National Park, Montana, July 1968. We're on the Highline Loop trail again.

Fishing made me happy.

Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, July 1962. But I never liked the life preserver.

Old Friends

Kaunas, Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, June 1958. This photo turned up in the new batch of images my Kaunas Cousin. Kaunas Cousin's maternal Grandmother, Suzanne, stands in the back, just right of the center. I think this photo was taken the same day as the snapshot my paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, received—likely from Suzanne.

Consider how our perception of aging changes as we grow older. These women were of Tatjana's generation, so most of them—probably with the exception of the woman on the far left—here would have been in their late fifties or early sixties.

Thanks to my Kaunas Cousin for making this photo available to us.