Road Trip 2013
This year, Hans Einar and I decided to take a trip to the Pacific Northwest region of the US and Canada. For him, the anthropologist, it was a destination for learning about the American Indians (or, as Canadians refer to them, the First Nations). For me, the nostalgia buff, it was to be a trip down memory lane with a visit to Portland, Oregon, a city that was my home from age 4 until 6 days before my 10th birthday, when we immigrated to Canada. And then there were friends and other sights to visit in-between.
Mum at 80
Our trip started separately, when I left Hans Einar at home to spread the word of health promotion to young nurses and flew to Houston to visit my parents. It was a short trip but a special one. The highlight was a “surprise” birthday party for my mother to celebrate her 80th birthday. Mum has been a docent at the Holocaust Museum of Houston since it opened in 1996. Every time I visit the museum, I meet staff and docents who tell me what a wonderful woman my mother is, how kind and knowledgeable she is and how proud I must be of her (which I am). I wanted to allow all those people to celebrate her and I wanted to be there. Suzanne Sutherland, the Museum’s Director of Visitor and Volunteer Services and a good friend, was my partner in crime (she made it all happen). On Tuesday, 17 September, Mum walked into a room full of colleagues, docents, friends and family who yelled, “surprise”and, from that moment on, Mum cried…
There were songs sung in her honour, tribute speeches, warm hugs, and a cake decorated with tulips, her favourite flower. Dad stood by proudly, happy to let Mum be the centre of attention. It was a formidable tribute to a formidable woman.