March 30, 2016

Extended-Family Reunion

University of Wisconsin—Madison Arboretum, March 20, 2016. Everything will be fine if you stay on your own rock.


University of Wisconsin Baraboo/Sauk County, Baraboo, Wisconsin, April 1994. I don't remember which dance this was, but I recall it was fun.

March 29, 2016

Piratical Shore

Amalfi, Italy, May 1984. It's not a welcoming spot, but it makes for a nice drive.

Another Party at the German Villa

Kaunas, Lithuania, April 26, 1927. The American Consul to Lithuania wrote:
This storm had abated somewhat when Professor Ranzoni and I went to the Morahts' where we were invited for the dinner they were giving President and Mrs. Smetona and the Minister President and Mrs. Voldemaras. Lily was unable to go . . . There were again 13 persons at the table, my second experience of this kind within 24 hours . . . this was the President's first appearance in a private gathering since his election. Mrs. Smetona has always wanted to accept such invitations, but the Foreign Offie steadfastly objected on the ground that it would be improper for the President to appear socially at legations since by so doing, he would be obliged to accept all such invitations, whether he wishes to or not. But Mrs. Smetona finally had her way, as usual. She accepted the Moraht invitation on the condition that the party should be informal; so to keep up the fiction of informality, no invitations were send out and the guests were requested to come in afternoon clothes. Everybody did this but Professor Voldemaras, who wore a Tuxedo. The party was rather stiff at first, but after the first glass of wine, everybody became lively and the animation became greater as time passed. After dinner, the ladies played bridge. Mr. Moraht retired to a quiet corner with the President and talked for over an hour. Professor and Mrs. Voldemaras left and midnight and the President and his wife an hour later. Mr. Moraht compelled the professor and me to stay one. We left at about half-past one after a very enjoyable and interesting evening.
 Thanks to the Consul's Granddaughter for making this photo and narrative available to us.

March 28, 2016

An Earlier Variation

I realized after I published "A Gift for a Guardian Angel" that I neglected to post photos of sweater I earlier had knitted for one of my cherished physicians. It was a big project: the recipient wears extra-long garments, and the finished sweater measured 50 inches across. It took about eight weeks to knit itat a pace of about four hours of knitting per day.

(The most common two remarks people make about knitting: "How long did that take?" and "If I buy the yarn, will you knit me a sweater?")

Madison and Verona, Wisconsin, October 2013. This design is Alice Starmore's "Alba" from The Celtic Collection. I changed the colors to the same 15, undyed natural colors I earlier had used to knit the same sweater for Mr. Irene.

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The design also is available, as a kit, here.

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Oh! And I knitted the original design, way back when, for myself:

A Traveler's Traveling T-Shirt

When our Toronto Cousin and Toronto Al visit us here in Wisconsin, we sometimes visit a Black-Earth store, The Shoe Box. Toronto Al once picked up a T-Shirt there.

Black Earth, Wisconsin, January 2013. The shop still sported its seasonal decorations.

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St. Lucia, March 2016. My Toronto Cousin and Toronto Al recently vacationed in the Caribbean. I was delighted to see several photos of Toronto Al in which he wore The Shoe Box T-Shirt.

March 27, 2016

Easterscapes, in Three Takes

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Suburban Chicago, Spring 1965 or 1966. My Best Friend's Mom, Louise, decorated the house for every holiday.

A Last-Minute Project

Suburban Chicago, March 1970. Happy Easter everyone. (Here's a color image from the same day.)

March 26, 2016

Hoarfrost Reunion

Verona, Wisconsin, March 24, 2016. It was a monochromatic morning.

A Friend's Mother

Kaunas, Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, November 11, 1978. This is the mother of my Mom's friend Joy. On the back of this photo, Joy wrote, "This is my Mama, Marija, in Kaunas when she reached her 80th birthday. From 1941 she endured 17 years in the Siberian prison camp, along the shores of the Laptev Sea. We survived those years in Stalin's prison listening to propaganda."

Anniversary of the Later Deportations

March 25, 1949.

Here's an (English-language) account of the 1941 deportations. More here.

March 25, 2016

Alcatraz, in Three Takes

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San Francisco, August 1993. I sent a few trip photos to Mom and wrote, "This is Alcatraz prison, the spot where I caught my vacation cold."

Related by Marriage: A Spot to Rest

Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois, January 1958. Attendants at the wedding of Mr. Irene's Parents relax between their duties.

March 24, 2016

Cracked Reunion

Pompeii, Italy, May 1984. Beware the snake lurking underground.

Garage Sale

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Door County, Wisconsin, August 1999. There's harmony among friends.

March 22, 2016


Verona, Wisconsin, March 2016. She's a patient spouse.

Ball "Boys"


Hello Dolly, in Three Takes

After my Mom retired, she moved in 1991 from our Suburban Chicago home to Madison. Mom's former physician colleagues treated her to a "going-away dinner" at the swank restaurant at the top of the Hancock Tower. Mom found the dinner a bit pretentious—she ordered Quail and reported it felt like she was eating a toad. The highlight of the meal, however, was the location of the women's table: they sat behind a group hosting Dolly Parton.

Suburban Chicago, October 1991. Mom is ready to depart.

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Chicago, Illinois, October 1991. Mom didn't get a photo of herself with Dolly Parton, but you can see Ms. Parton sitting behind Mom's group.

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Chicago, Illinois, October 1991. Ms. Parton was most gracious when Mom took her photo. Mom—who is quite tiny—still remarks about how small Dolly Parton was.

March 20, 2016

March 18, 2016

A Gift for a Guardian Angel

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Madison and Verona, Wisconsin, March 2016. I knitted this for one of my "keepers." The design is Alice Starmore's "Luskentyre" (also available, in different shades, here as a kit).

Awaiting Instructions

Madison, Wisconsin, January 26, 1992. Mr. Irene and I await final dance instructions before we head to another performance.

March 17, 2016

Laundry Line

Venice, Italy, December 1983. There's room to hang things.

The Life Box (Part 29)

Sparks, Nevada, October 1979. A friend worked at a Reno, Nevada, casino as a stage lighting technician after he graduated from college. I was scheduled to visit him, and I bought tickets for the Liberace show. Circumstances later prohibited me from making the trip, but I saved this ad.

March 16, 2016

Volcanic Reunion

Naples, Italy, May 1984. It's Mount Vesuvius.


Hanau, Germany, about 1946. My friend Nijole has brought a doll to the scouting ceremony.

Thanks to Nijole for making this photo available to us.

March 15, 2016

Local Flavor

Madison, Wisconsin, March 15, 2016. A Napoleonas is one of our favorite desserts. When I am too lazy to make it (even the cheater's version), then we order it from Omaha's Lithuanian Bakery.

Word recently spread on Facebook that a local grocery store now carries a version of Lithuanian Bakery's Napoleonas. I've never seen it with strawberry or cherry filling (apricot is the usual), but we look forward to trying it.

In-Flight Entertainment