I've been getting a gift for my dad on the internet, but not by shopping. Howie is eighty-one now. He doesn't need stuff. He needs connections and memories, challenges and things to anticipate.
Everyday this week, Howie will receive at least one envelope in the mail. I am meeting my parents in Santa Fe in August, so I have sent the information about the O'Keeffe Museum and the MOIFA (Museum of International Folk Art) schedules and special exhibits. We'll be attending the Santa Fe Opera, so I sent all the info about the opera venue, and about "Don Giovanni". I also mailed info about Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, but I'm not sure if my parents will be able to get around on the trails to see the petroglyphs.
I'm planning to reread Willa Cather's Death Comes For the Archbishop before the trip, and to visit the Santa Fe Cathedral. My ancestors were Catholic a few generations ago. That got me to wondering more about particulars of their change to the Congregational Church. I've been researching in http://www.rootsweb.com/~neethnic/czechs/. I wrote my questions for Dad on post-it notes on the print-outs.
You may know I posted some of my dad's WWII letters and stories, and I thank you for your comments. I've collected them for him. He will appreciate knowing that many people still understand why Americans fought in the war.
I found information on-line about the young Czech Nebraskans who died in the WWI fighting and influenza epidemic. My dad had two delightful spinster aunts who lost their boyfriends to that horrible war. Just reading all the Czech names transports me back to sitting around my Grandma's dining table telling stories after a wonderful dinner of roast duck and sauerkraut...Mastalir, Liska, Synovec, Turek, Havlicek, Hvorka, Kovanda, Korinek, Novak, Folda, Kubysta, Lundak, Broz, Pospisil..
I hope this will give us lots to talk about when we get together. Besides, what would he do with a necktie?