Reflections On Turning 70

This is supposed to be one of those “milestone” birthdays.  Even the Bible mentions it, ominously. “Three Score and Ten” is the measure of man’s life.  But I’m not feeling like I’ve passed a milestone.  Other birthdays were different. When I turned 7 I felt that I had finally made it, out of first grade, into second.  I got a Roy Rogers sweat shirt for … Continue reading Reflections On Turning 70

Thanksgiving in Albania,1995. With Bob Dylan

1995, Tirana, Albania The Rogner Hotel in Tirana had a big Thanksgiving feed this year.  We took our neighbors Vera, Syri and Eda with us.  They often express curiosity about this hotel, so we saw our chance. No one understands why Syri, Vera, Suzi and I have become such good friends.  They don’t speak much English, we don’t speak much Albanian.  We communicate in a … Continue reading Thanksgiving in Albania,1995. With Bob Dylan

A 1993 Albanian Bus Adventure, Tirana to Vlora and back

It’s Throwback Thursday. This is a letter from November, 1993.  I edited out the middle of the letter, where I talk about our time in Vlora, for reasons of length.  But I remember we went swimming in the Adriatic Sea on the last day in October.  The return bus trip was on Halloween night and there was a full orange moon.  At least that’s what … Continue reading A 1993 Albanian Bus Adventure, Tirana to Vlora and back

A Trip to Northern Albania, 1993

This is a letter from 1993.   I pulled it out of my digital files because an Albanian friend posted pictures from this area on Facebook.  I got into a Facebook conversation with several Albanian friends about the pictures and this trip.  I decided to post it on a “Throwback Thursday.” Here is the letter.  Since I first posted this I have found more of the … Continue reading A Trip to Northern Albania, 1993

Albanian Municipal Election Day, 1996

  This coming Tuesday is primary election day in Alaska.  I’m beginning my “Throwback Thursday” posts with my family letter about being a municipal election monitor in Albania.  Albania was a new democracy and people took their newly won privileges seriously, including dressing up in their Sunday best to hike an hour to get to a polling place.  I wrote this letter on: October 29, … Continue reading Albanian Municipal Election Day, 1996

New Year’s Eve, Albania — Anchorage

New Year’s Eve is not my holiday.  I’ve attended New Year celebrations in lots of places, but mostly as an observer, not a celebrant.  The forced gaiety makes me uncomfortable.  This year I observed New Year’s celebrations in Anchorage.  Each year the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) sponsors Anchorage “Fire and Ice.”  It includes a carved ice playground with rides made of ice that … Continue reading New Year’s Eve, Albania — Anchorage

Albania Flag Day, Letter from 1995

November 28 is Albania’s Flag Day, marking its declaration of independence in 1912.  The Albanian Community in the US is celebrating Flag Day on November 27 so it does not conflict with Thanksgiving.  This is from a letter I wrote from Tirana about Flag Day in 1995.  November 28 is Albanian Flag Day, the day the republic was declared in Vlora and the red double … Continue reading Albania Flag Day, Letter from 1995