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A Family Interlude


In the early 1930s, my mother’s parents moved in the middle of the great depression from Nebraska down to Texas so my grandfather could take a job in the chemistry department at Texas A&M. Both my mother and aunt were born there, and for that reason my aunt, cousins, one brother & my nephew all returned four years after my mother’s passing to Texas to enjoy time with each other and think about memories and family history. When we made it to the campus of Texas A&M, Aunt Judy was delighted to notice a bench dedicated to the memory of a professor whom she recalls my grandmother mentioning often when she was younger. The family moved on in the early 1940s to Long Beach, CA, and hasn’t had any ongoing contact with Texas A&M or as a state since, so it was fun to realize that our grandfather would near-certainly have taught in that very building you see, since the plaque says it was opened in 1929. 🙂 Also, we found the address they lived in at one point (us all on the porch of a house), though we suspect this building was built more recently. And as you see above, we did recreate our own new family photo in a field of Texas bluebonnets, in tribute to the photo of Mom & Judy as youngsters, likely by the side of the road as we are here.


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From a building façade in Austin. The marvels one can enjoy when wandering the streets!


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This, friends, is the ranch house at the LBJ Ranch, also known as Lyndon B Johnson State Park & Historic Site. While LBJ (a great Texas democrat, lest we forget that such have existed) was president, this building was also informally known as the Texas White House. The county we’re viewing here, in case you’re curious, is Gillespie County :-). As you’ll deduce, the historic site includes an earlier incarnation of Air Force One; my cousins felt it might be fun to photograph me attempting a presidential-style wave from the stairs, with my nephew beside me after the tough flight 🙂

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A number of small wonders from the lovely days in Texas with my extended family, to which I introduced our readers in an earlier post. These photos were all taken on (as you may deduce) a cool, slightly-rainy morning at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. Above, a flower I can’t identify; below, bluebonnets many times over. 🙂


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A bit of downtown Austin

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Yes, we’re mixing it up for the coming weeks, as I catch up with photos taken during my recent extended trips out of Amsterdam, as well as some that I took during my hiatus in NL and elsewhere. As usual, if you’re curious what it is, there are metadata attached to each post which you’ll be able to see if you “view full blog” rather than the light phone version. This post celebrates the glorious wildflowers we saw in Texas :-).


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And Now For Something Personal

Above, my mother (older) and aunt around 1942 in a spring field of Texas bluebonnets near their then-home in Texas. Four years ago today, Mom passed away, so I and a number of close family have gathered in Texas to appreciate these and other lovely spring wildflowers of Texas in her honor, and to create new memories with each other, and with my aunt, who’s now 80+ years more experienced that she is in the (colorized: this photo was originally taken before photos came in color) photo above. It was on the morning of March 30th four years ago that I posted an earlier Ode to Mom, which I’m revisiting now myself because our loved ones do live on in our memory.

We don’t yet have a photo of all of us now gathered here in Austin, but in the days or weeks ahead I hope and expect I’ll have a chance to show you more. But for the moment, for any friends and readers who’re curious how and why pics from the US have begun to reappear in this li’l ol’ blog that’s been sleepy since January…this is why :-).