Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the arrival of my German interpreter, aka my mother, in America. At 17, she fully committed herself to being in America, despite a difficult transition. She learned the language and chose to become a citizen.

After 50 years, my mother is decidedly American. Though, along with her accent, her German heritage is still evident by the number of occasions that must be celebrated. In Germany, if you build a shed in your backyard, the finished shed must be celebrated. A party must ensue. Food and beverage must flow. So a 50th anniversary of anything is at the tippy-top of a long list of excuses for celebration.

Last evening, my mother received red roses with spangled ribbons and dinner out for steak. Next month, when the 50th anniversary broadens to include my twin Uncles and Grandmother, aka my Oma, the celebration will go from modest to loud and proud. Friends and relatives will be invited from all points on the compass. 50 years of love and gratitude for America will be joyfully expressed in food, wine, stories and song.

I love this cultural quirk. This finding of any excuse to gather and glory. This inner need to celebrate. Because the world needs a balancer and a balm for all the misery and mayhem that parades across the nightly news. The world needs a joyful party. The world needs every birth and graduation and recovery and shed to be celebrated. And it is up to each individual, each family group, each collection of kindred souls to add to and keep the party going. Until the swelling of love and good will and food for all becomes the only parade on the nightly news.

{ My mother and me on the observation tower of St. Michael's church in Hamburg, Germany. Celebrating a windy and wonderful day.}

1 comment:

  1. I love your website. It has a lot of great pictures and is very informative.


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