Thursday, April 4, 2013


"The Plan" today was that Tiana and I would get up at 8a and leave at 8:30a for The Louvre.  At 8:10a I asked her if she wanted to get up - and she replied: "{mumble mumble} sleep" so I went back to bed. I later got up and fixed fried eggs and bacon(!) for breakfast at 11:15a.  Donna, Tiana, and I left to stroll the 2 miles from the Louvre to the Arc d'Triumph.  Photos.  Donna was really tired but was a great trooper. That's Tiana in front of the Obelisk. 

Along the way we passed through the 15th anniversary of the L'Oreal (cosmetics company) awards to women of science around the world (photo) before meeting up with Shannon and Grey at the Arc d'Triumph. All of the crew but me went to the catacombs.  I went to find a movie as I've been there before. We reassembled at the apartment to go out to dinner - a treat for the cook (me) then home.  It has been 2 months since I've seen TV: there is so much to see and do here. 

I'm headed off to Warsaw Sunday. This morning's weather report says that there is 5" (12 cm) of snow on the ground.  The good news is... who cares if it snows?  I'm going to see my son!  Then to Vilnius to visit in the homes of my friends, and by then the snow should be gone. Then to Paris to gather our stuff and my lady Then home.  Sounds great!  I'm ready.  I miss my friends. I miss my volunteer work. I miss my Hasty and Canton kids.  Mostly I miss home and Rollin and James (Tiana is just down the hall and I'm going to see Trevor in 2 days; as always, I miss my son John).

As I wrap up this blog, and this trip, I have a thousand photos taken by me and others to sift through, a thousand wonderful memories to prize and save, a thousand times Donna and I have "touched" those we love.  We are truly blessed. My parents are long gone.  Mom's been dead nearly 3 years.  Dad has been gone 23+.  But their sacrifices enabled us to have this trip. The money I inherited from Dad through Mom is now gone. I believe they would approve of spending it in this grand celebration with 20 of our family and friends, of life: our children's' lives, our lives, and their lives. Thanks Mom and Dad; Trevor, Eleanor, Shannon, Grey, Rollin, Megan, James, Tiana, Alan, Melissa, Eugene, Claudia, Vladas, "Ugi", Robert, Dorothy,Tyree, Sheryl, Dan, Kim, Mr. & Mrs. Stankevicius, Audrius, Jurga, and Jone for adding your presence to this great celebration!

Soon back to work. I took off a month from school and home 4 times in the 1950s and 60s with Mom and Dad traveling around America and Europe. I took off 6 months in 1973 with Randy in my 20s and spent all I had traveling around Europe. Again I did it for 14 months in 1990-1 in Europe and New Zealand with Tina in my 40s. But this trip of 2 months with Donna in my 60s has clearly been the best: life's battles with ex-wives seeking to deny me time with my children, and blessings of loving those children, and (eventually, mostly) winning those battles have taught me how to love and how not to fight.  God's relentless love brought me - late in life but not an instant before my heart was ready - the wife to share that love and knowledge and experience, together with life's adventures.

Now our kids are grown and out on their own and - maybe the greatest gift: they are learning from us about loving each other (how to BE a husband and wife) and giving and sharing. It was not too late!!! 

Unmerited favor! 

Ha me shalom. 

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