Here I am up at 5 a.m. to do some writing. The 300 word biographies are due today. I finished Ian’s a couple of days ago. Mine is somewhat incomplete. The first half is o.k. but the 2nd half needs to be altered. Instead of writing about my work experience I want to write more my other interests.
Nice as life was in St. Lucia, there were lessons learned in how to keep one’s spirits up in a monotonous hot climate. When we were anticipating going to Fiji, I decided I wanted to learn to weave. In Nimble Fingers, a toy shop in Stillorgan in Dublin, I spotted a small children’s loom made by Spears. It was packaged in a small box – perfect to add to our packing for Fiji. Yes! Months later when we were finally settled in our house in Suva I unpacked that Spears box and I embarked on my weaving career. Weaving on that small loom soon lead to a wish for a bigger tableloom, which I could order from New Zealand. And months later I ordered a heavier floor loom from New Zealand. Finally I was set up to weave floor rugs. And I had sources in New Zealand for buying the necessary yarn and other supplies. I was becoming a real weaver.
The Fiji Arts Club, of which were members, had exhibitions several times a year. These were very popular events. I had joined this club partly because I attended a Tuesday morning outdoor painting group. An exhibition was coming up and for the first time they were going to include crafts. With fear and trepidation I submitted 5 rugs. Much to my surprise they sold like hot cakes! I was launched!! One person in particular was raving about my rugs. Jill was a popular artist and we became friends – a friendship which has lasted for many years. One of her paintings is hanging in our apartment here at Ida Culver.
It was the middle of June when they left Seattle in 1960. She can’t remember very much about this trip. Janet had a 4 door Ford which could easily accommodate a passenger. What car did Rachel have?? Rachel’s parents Miriam and Phil were wonderful companions.
They reached Yellowstone National Park and marveled at Old Faithful. Rachel knew Yellowstone well as she had worked there several summers before as a laundry girl with Lucy another mutual Middlebury friend. The foursome carried on across the plains to Minnesota where she parted company with the others. She stopped in Grand Marais Minnesota to visit with a couple whom she knew in Cambridge.(when she worked as a secretary at A. O. Wilson Structtural Steel Company). From Grand Marais she proceeded alone to Newark Ohio to visit her sister Nan and family. After a few days she headed for Boston. She had a new passenger – nephew 7 year old Bobby, Nan’s oldest son. Bobby was going to visit his grandparents in New Britain Connecticut. A brief stop to deliver Bobby and then finally home to Belmont Massachusetts. Another cross-country trip completed – her 4th in 8 months and not by air.
On July 4, 1978 our family was granted membership in the American Club, Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh. A bumper day. Membership in the American Club opened up our world in Dhaka. It was such a significant venue for making new friends, the opportunity to play tennis and squash, a place to dine out, a place to swim in an outdoor pool, a place to celebrate special holidays, etc. Open that gate and in we tumbled – and spent the next 4 1/2 years.
I said postcards could stir memories of long ago. This card is from a dear friend I had when I was a student at Berkeley in the turbulent ’60’s. A friend who went back to when I was growing up in Belmont Mass. In Berkeley she was like a grandmother to me. A lively grandmother with whom I had lunch occasionally on the terrace. From Berkeley I went to Kenya to do the research work for my PhD thesis. What a surprise to receive this postcard from my lively grandmother traveling the world. I think she must have been in her 80’s – as I am now.