Category Archives: Culture

Don’t Forget about UN Day … Not This Year.

  For twenty-two years my late husband worked for an international organization, the Asian Development Bank. He and his colleagues, men and women from every continent except Antarctica, devoted themselves to the economic development of developing countries in Asia. As … Continue reading

Culture, expatriate life, holidays, Philippines , , , , , ,

Meet John Kang, my Online Chinese-American Friend.

After publishing Tiger Tail Soup, my novel about WWII China, I’ve made quite a few online connections with writers with a focus on China. John Kang is one of them. Born in the US, John had to grow  into his … Continue reading

books, China, Culture, Xiamen , , , , ,

Mall Shopping on a Saturday before Christmas

“You’re not going shopping tomorrow, are you?” My hairdresser swung the scissors away from my head and gave an open-mouthed look of incomprehension to our reflections in the mirror. “Not the best plan,” I admitted. Sure enough, when I left … Continue reading

Christmas, Culture, holidays, winter , , ,

“Loving,” the Movie, and the Crime of Interracial Love.

  I had no idea. In June of 1967, Eugene and I were putting the finishing touches on our wedding plans. At the same time, the United States Supreme Court was preparing to release its decision in the case of … Continue reading

Culture, interracial marriage , , , , , , , , ,

Whoops! I Missed UN Day.

United Nations Day was October 24. I’d forgotten all about it until I turn the page on my calendar. And there it was: UN Day. For many years–thirteen to be exact–it had been the biggest school celebration for my three … Continue reading

Culture, expatriate life, holidays, Philippines , , , , , ,

The Pleasures of a Summertime Farmers’ Market

Last weekend my daughter and I visited the Edmonds Summer Market. No grocery cart at the market. No checkout stands. Just fresh produce, crafts, music, and a festive atmosphere. This bakery table had some yummy looking cupcakes for sale, don’t … Continue reading

Culture, life, summer , , , , , , , ,

The National News Is Not My Life.

June 12, 2016. My clock radio wakes me to news of a terrible tragedy in Orlando, Florida: the worst mass murder in US history, fifty people killed, as many injured. A hate crime committed by a terrorist. Oh, my god! … Continue reading

Culture, family, life, walking , , , , , , ,

Do “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”?

On a recent walk, huffing and puffing my way uphill and down, I found myself noticing fences and walls and the frequent lack thereof. If you haven’t read Robert Frost’s poem, Mending Wall, since high school or middle school, you … Continue reading

Culture, home, walking, Washington State , , , , , ,

Narcissus, an Ancient Myth with Modern Significance.

Narcissism is much in the news of late, so I decided to brush up on the myth. The classic version of the story of Echo and Narcissus is found in Book III of the Metamorphoses, a Latin narrative poem written … Continue reading

Culture, myths, People , , , , , , , ,

Reverse Culture Shock & PTSD

 When we lived overseas, we didn’t talk much about culture shock. At first, we were newcomers busy adjusting to the new country. After a year or two we were old hands. When someone did bring up culture shock, almost invariably, … Continue reading

Culture, home, Philippines , , , , , , , , , ,