Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Completing 69 years

Yesterday I successfully completed my 69th year and this morning, as I will now every morning the day after my birth,  I recall the death of my older brother, Donald Jr., a year ago this very day. We differed in age and temperament, rarely saw things "eye-to-eye" and seemed to argue about nearly everything and anything -- when we saw each other, which was rarely. We did agree on two things: our love and concern for our father and that we were brothers; he will always be my big brother, the teenager who looked out for his baby brother, and in the end that was all that mattered.

Feelings of melancholy aside today, yesterday was grand and Susan treated me to a very special birthday: first off, she had ordered up gorgeous weather for us here in western Michigan. I was treated to a late breakfast at Nonna's in Ada, then Susie and I stopped at the Grand Rapids library to browse -- one of my most favorite pastimes ever since I found myself virtually alone in the small town of Canby, Minnesota.

From the library we drove to the Grand Rapids Public Museum, which, being a Tuesday we seemed to have nearly all to ourselves. After  an hour or two strolling the nearly empty galleries we drove to Dick's Sporting Goods along the infamous 28th Street shopping strip where I got a new bike for my birthday! Thanks, Susie!!

The day, or I should say evening ended with birthday supper at my mother-in-law's condo -- right across the street from ours -- a meal that consisted of Bernice's Swiss Steak, mashed potatoes and green beans and cole slaw, finished off with ice cream for dessert. A delicious ending to a simply wonderful day.

Thanks especially to Susie and Bernice for a wonderful day,  thanks, Pop for giving me such a deep and profound love of ice cream and steak and thanks to Don for being my brother and taking care of me when I was little!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Take a tour of the ghostly Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale in the Bois de Vincennes

Join Adam Roberts of Invisible Paris blog as he leads a tour of the exotic Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale in the Bois de Vincennes:

"As part of the worldwide Obscura Day events on Saturday May 6 I will be hosting a tour of the ghostly Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale in the Bois de Vincennes. The Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale was originally the site of an experimental nursery that searched for ways to improve the cultivation of tropical plants and trees that would then be sent out for planting across the empire. The hothouses in the gardens were filled with exotic trees including coffee, cocoa, banana, and vanilla, and attempts were also made to grow these plants outside on site."

 To read more about the gardens or for information about the tour and to make a reservation visit his blog.