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MISTY WATER-COLORED MEMORIES
21 December 2006
With the camera cord broken, I've had to turn to other sources of video for my self-imposed goal of posting a video a day.
I thought I would re-record the video of my father's last Christmas, now that I can rip it from a CD and not just videotape the television screen...and I did (and will probably write a journal about it in a day or two). But that was the year 1987 and there is a lot of noteworthy stuff on the video, even though the picture quality is crap (thank God for editing software which makes it easier to improve the quality to where it is viewable!)
In watching the shadowy images from my father's house, I was trying to remember which foreign students were with us that year. For many years, we had foreign students to share Christmas with us. Mostly it was the kids who were living with us, but occasionally there were former students who came back year after year to be with us for Christmas (I am thinking particularly of Ndangi from Zaire and Chieko from Japan, who became like brother and sister, and who each returned from wherever they were (Ndangi was working in the U.S. and Chieko was able to travel to the U.S. for her job), for 3 different Christmases with us together, and then when Chieko no longer traveled to the U.S., Ndangi continued to come, now bringing his wife and, one year, his new twin daughters.
One year we had not only Ndangi and Chieko with us for Christmas, but I believe we had people from a couple of other countries as well. I got this bee in my bonnet that everyone would make something from his or her country to contribute to the Christmas meal. That was a bit of a disaster, as I recall. Chieko decided she wanted to make tempura, only then had to confess that she had never made it before, and didn't really know how to cook, so I had to find a recipe for her and we learned together how to make tempura (as I recall, it wasn't really great!)
In 1987, the year of this videotape I found, Vince was here. Vince lived with us for three years, all through high school. His father had come to Davis to get his Ph.D. and the family was returning to Malaysia, but they wanted Vince to get a better education than a Chinese boy could do in Malaysia, so they went to our local Catholic church to find out if there was a family who could keep him for 3 years. Monsignor Coffey called us, we agreed, and Vince moved in here and became a real part of our family. He probably moved in in about 1985. (The adult Vince, who still lives in Davis, now with his wife and children, looks remarkably like Yul Kwon, who just won Survivor!)
In the summer of 1987, friends of ours mentioned that they were working with a minister and his wife in a small town in Mexico and that there was a young girl of high school age whom they knew had great promise, but they felt she needed to come to the United States to finish high school and attend college. Our friends asked if we knew of any family that could take her in, and so Marie came to live with us too.
Marie had dual citizenship, since her mother was Mexican, but her father (who had died several years earlier) was American, so for her there was no need for immigration papers or anything.
We could easily accommodate male visitors without difficulty, since we could always set up an extra bed in "the boys' room," and frequently did (at one point we had two bunk beds and one or two single beds in there). But girls were more tricky, since Jeri's room was only big enough for one, and since Jeri had moved out, I think Paul was living in it that year. So Marie moved into our living room, where she lived for a year. I don't remember whether we built a door for her so she could have a modicum of privacy, but mostly it was a pretty open room.
By Christmas she was still in the "settling in" phase and trying to decide how she felt about this big noisy family that she had joined. I don't think it was until after the first of the year that I pushed her out into the street during the day and told her she would improve her English more quickly if she actually got out and talked to people.
She took me at my word so well that she got a job with a local crêpe restaurant and has said more than once that it really changed her life.
But at Christmas time we were still trying to find ways for her to blend in, and so when she decided she wanted to learn how to make pumpkin pie, I was happy to teach her. Today's Video of the Day is one that I made while Marie was rolling out her very first pie crust.
That was nearly 20 years ago and what is Marie doing today? She and her husband live near Sacramento and run an award-winning restaurant.
And to think--at one time, I had to teach her how to make pie crust!
Featured Holidailies Entry: Write Me a Letter by Miss Meliss. Another soulmate!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Peggy is now working with a
woman who rescues
This is little Jules, who has no tail.
He's cuter than newborn
This is entry #2457