To the left: In early June 2021, the Livermore Cooks and I celebrated Son and Grandson AJ's graduation from Jr. High. He'll be a high-schooler come fall! Later that month the Texas Cooks joined us, and Frank flew in from Idaho for a family reunion at the Livermore Cooks. Among other things, we belatedly celebrated my 80th birthday. We did the same for my 70th, when we gathered in Frank and Beth's home, who still resided in California then.
Now it is July and California suffers through yet another horrible fire season.
,After obtaining both Covid vaccines, I ventured to Walter, my eldest and family, in Texas, while my youngest, Andy and children, were visiting also, end of March to early April, 2021. Here are some pictures: Andy on Walt's tractor, Grace and Walt riding; AJ and Grace near the horses' pasture; Grace and AJ riding.
Below: with my California son and family, November 2020. A photo of Andy, his two children, and yours truly. The other photo is of the children et moi.
To the right:My new set of wheels, a Toyota Prius Hybrid with four-wheel drive that switches to two-wheel at a certain speed. I owned a Prius once before and loved it, so this is like returning to an old friend. It drives like a dream, fits me like a glove, and has an astounding number of safety features.
My oldest grandchild, Colton Cook, graduated as infantry from Ft. Benning, GA, earlier this month (July 17, 2020). Below he is awarded Soldier of the Cycle. Colton is now in flight training. I posted a similar notice on My News Log page.
With my California grandchildren in February 2020. Above is Grace holding a champagne flute (plastic) filled with orange Juice. Behind her, their dog's hindlegs are just visible.To the left is her brother AJ who, at almost fourteen, is taller than his grandma. While visiting the children and their parents California enacted stringent COVID-19 regulations. The children are now getting long-distance schooling and their parents work from home, mostly via teleconferencing. It makes for a noisy household. While there i helped wit meal preparations and taking the children to the library on the last day it was open.
AJ misses his baseball practices and tournaments-- to some degree, his piano lessons also. Grace missis swim practice and -competitions and dance classes. The piano and dance is now offered long distance but it's not the same.
Above: Amanda and her friends getting ready for Senior Prom, late February 2020. Amanda's dress is hardly fit for dancing, but that's what she wanted. The girls are dressed up as if for a wedding.
Below are photos of the home I built in 2015 on acreage near Wheatland, WY. Though leading a solitary existence, I love it here. Directly below: Playing guitar in living room; my dog Abby is by the railing.
Below: It's Cherry Blossom time in Tokyo, and I celebrate the memory of visiting friends there by playing "Sakura" on my guitar. Above: My house when it was built end of 2015.
My California grandchildren during one of my visits in Livermore.
Above:Grandchildren and a friend visiting at my place near Wheatland, Wyoming.
Below is the high tunnel constructed on my property in November 2018, to be used for growing veggies, herbs, etc., that won't thrive outdoors in Wyoming's harsh winds. I look forward to producing veggies next spring.
Above, right: the hunters who stayed at my home on the Wyoming prairie in October 2018. Two are my sons; one is my grandson. Two others are men my sons and I have known since our days in California, when they were boys in second grade. to the left is my new high tunnel aka greenhouse. Above is a beginning stage is its construction.
Please click on each photo below to enlarge and view the text that goes with it
Grandson AJ snoozing with puppy Lola, now a grown yellow lab. To the right: In the backyard of my former Cheyenne home, June 2015. Abby has come to live with me.
The entry to my newly-built home on my defunct wheat farm. I moved in at the end of October 2015. Below: Protesting the Keystone pipeline.
Granddaughter Amanda in my garage when she was about seven years old. She and her parents now reside in Texas.
With Grandsons Colton and Brett in California in 2012. All three of my adult children grew up in California. The oldest left for Wyoming but the middle and youngest still reside in the state of their birth. Addendum: My middle son, Frank, and his family moved to Idaho a the end of 2019.
Above: Visiting Lake Tahoe and Yellowstone Park with my friend Qi Deng, who has since returned to live in China. I visited Qi in Beijing in April 2013.
Above: Helmut at his high school graduation in Santa Clara, California, circa 1969. Next to him: Our youngest brother, Reiner, four years old when our mother died. Here he is starting school at not quite six years old.
The only time Vati, our dad, visited in California. Thanksgiving with Vati, Helmut and Karl in 1968--Darold took the picture. Barely visible under the table: my clenched fist. To the right: We are seeing Vati off at the train station. He is on his way to Cleveland, OH, to visit his much younger stepsister Hilda in January 1969. Vati is hugging Franklin good-bye. Walter is in front, wearing a coat I sewed.
Below left: Helmut's sons Jason and Kris in Germany with Karl's spouse, Shirley Jean. To the right: Helmut next to his truck at his home in California a few months before his death in 1981. Helmut, like our youngest brother Reiner, took his own life.
Below: The three beauties.
Above: With Nancy and Isolde on a hike to the Lorelei. We took a river boat to get there. On the way back, Darold and I met on that river boat. To the left: On a beach in California when we were young. Annfried, then an airline hostess for Lufthansa, visits from Germany with her husband, circa 1971.
Above: Darold and I after Walter's birth. To the right, I am a new mother trying to feed Walter. Next to it: Darold at Morro Bay Harbor. He loved boats, and eventually bought a 16 ft Glastron for us.
The picture to the left shows Helmut's son Jason playing with our son Andy in our backyard in the Lopez Drive home in Arroyo Grande; both about two years old, January 1972. A few months before Helmut had taken his small family to Germany. He was trying to help our brother Reiner, with whom he was close.
Above: My parents a few months before Mother's death. To the right: My dad with Reiner when the boy was about eighteen, shortly before his death.
Below: My family in front of our business. This was a few months before our mother's death in 1959. An automatic cigarette vendor ismounted on the wall behind Helmut. In this picture Reiner is four, Helmut eight, Karl fifteen. I am seventeen. How tense I look!
Above left: With braids when I was fourteen, about 1955. Soon after I ran away from home and had my braids cut off. In the picture to the left I have short hair.
Above right: my cousin Edith with her mother, my Tante Anna. This was in Neibsheim, where Edith still lives. Her mother's death in 2000 hit her hard.