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Nancy's Visit and Other May Activities

May 20-31?, 2015
Written May 25+

Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,
OK, I have to get this diary going.  In fact, I plan this to be a two-week record, more or less, in part because making a bunch of little parts seems distracting.  The small parts of our normal life may may not be record-worthy, I suppose.  (The sum of the parts may also be too small for much of a record, but we do it anyway!)

Our first "event" was a visit by Nancy, a friend from the Kiev days a decade-and-a-half ago.  She and husband Steve live in the DC-area, but have visited us wherever we have lived since we first met.  This trip was Nancy alone, probably because Steve had just returned from work in some exotic part of Africa and just wanted to hang around home.  Understandable.

As I recall Nancy's visit now, I'd say most of the time was just spent talking, but in four days I don't recall stories repeating much, from either this or past visits.  That's remarkable, but not much for a photo record!
Our one real tourism excursion was a visit up to Sequoia National Park and the big trees.  It's just a couple of hours from home and always impresses. 
Our first stop was Grant Grove, where Nancy went inside a tree that had fallen over 100 years ago and had attracted tourists ever since.  It really is remarkable how sturdy the wood from these giants is.
Our other stop was at the Giant Forest Museum, guarded by the Sentinel Sequoia.  The sign notes that this giant is just "average" among its nearby contemporaries.
We did manage one neighborhood event during Nancy's visit.  Annie and Deb had invited neighbors over for a start of the Memorial Day Weekend and "self-made" pizzas. 
With just the minimum of instruction, several people jumped in on preparation.  Jon ran his small pizza oven and Gene won the award for most-complex pizza.
But, here too, the primary activity was conversation.  That's OK too.

d150523_40_goodbye.jpgFinally, it was Saturday and Nancy had to leave to drive to Sacramento where she would visit her 90-something uncle.  I'm sure the conversations there would be as animated as there were here.  Thanks Nancy and we will try to accumulate enough stories for another visit -- soon.

After Nancy left, we picked up Mamo and left for a gathering of the local Hungarian community up at Shaver lake.  These Old World parties happen two or three times a year and follow a pretty set pattern: food, conversation (in Hungarian), singing, and speeches (also in Hungarian).  However, today's event was extra special. 
Food, conversation, music.
The most special part of the afternoon was the certificate presented by the Hungarian Consul to Mamo and Elemer, her deceased husband.  The official recognition brought a real smile to Mamo's face.
Others received certificates and Val, the local organizer, even received "the gold medal", with a certificate signed by the president of Hungary!

We finished our Memorial Day weekend with an almost-impromptu Bocce tournament in our own back yard.  The idea for it had come up at Friday's pizza party and a dozen folks had Monday evening free enough for a little sport, and a lot more talking.
5 pm and we were ready
Bocce is a great game, in part because it's fun, no matter what the experience level.
Reportedly, Susan also beat Jon at table tennis.
But, mostly, everyone had another chance to talk, have a drink and a bite or two, and show why Cambridge Avenue is such a special neighborhood.
7pm and the Cambridge Crew walks home.


So, what else would happen in our two-week diary?  We REALLY had no idea, and mostly it was non-memorable. We decided on a last minute long weekend up in Sonora, but that trip ended up warrenting its own diary.  Next!

John and Marianne


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