Holiday Greetings 2018

25 Nov




This year has been particularly tumultuous, with good and sad times, so I’ll just cover the highlights:

The photo shows our happiest moment:  Big Brother Lyle meeting his Little Brother, Louis Seely Boeck, for the first time.  Louis was born August 19, a day ahead of the planned c-section, just as his brother had been, but with less worry because they realized what was happening more quickly than last time. He was born with bilateral club feet, which we thankfully knew about ahead of time, so were all prepared for the necessary procedures.  We were in Denver in September, so were able to drive Dottie & the baby to Anschutz Children’s Hospital where a splendid team takes wonderful care of him. He will be out of casts very soon, and then will wear braces and a bar between his feet for a while. We are so grateful for medical technology, and that the family has been able to receive the best of care.  Louis will be perfect in no time. He IS a beautiful baby! Meanwhile, Lyle at 2 ½ has become a little boy instead of a toddler and talks amazingly well. He names nearly every one of his stuffed animals “Tomatillo,” and he loves big trucks and backhoes. Max and Dottie are champs as parents! We are so proud of them all.

The year has been one of “procedures” for me: none of them serious and each of them successful. The three little operations, however, each required 6 weeks of recovery, so a lot of sitting-around time for me.  Thank goodness for the internet, and a book project about which I had to do research reading.  “Three German Women” will, I hope, be ready for publication next year.


My altar for Dia de los Muertos: Vale, Leonardo, Giorgio, and Margaret.

Sadly, we lost three dear friends this year:  Leonardo Chalupowicz, Giorgio Perissinotto, and Margaret Brown. We were grateful to have been able to participate in a memorial service for Leonardo, at his and his husband Michael’s beautiful house in the Silver Lake Hills.  In memory of his Argentinian roots I read a poem by Borges. For Giorgio—who we have known for more than 40 years—we were in Mexico at the time of his celebration of life; I lit a candle for him in the Querétaro Cathedral. And Margaret, who offered me wise counsel and friendship in Australia, I was able to include in my Dia de los Muertos altarpiece. We loved you all, may you rest in peace!

Once again, in our probably vain attempt to hold on to our Pasadena home, we have rented it to a Huntington scholar for the academic year, and have sought less expensive accommodation elsewhere (yes, California really is that expensive!). We spent September in Denver at a friend’s house (thanks Don & Cyndy!) while seeing the family as much as we could.  In October we returned to Mexico: a little while in Ajijic on Lake Chapala where we were last year (thanks, Leslie Edwards and AirBnB!) and then, the highlight of the year so far, a visit to Querétaro, to see my cousin’s family–thanks to Robert Jones and son Roberto, and especially to Deborah Baro Peruyero, who took us to San Miguel Allende and Guanajuato to meet daughter Jenny!). We loved Querétaro and the wonderful people we met as our AirBnB hosts there. We also spent two magnificent weeks in Mexico City, where, despite the altitude and a bit of the turistas, we were enthralled by its fantastic museums and unbelievably good food.  I honestly think Mexican cuisine is the world’s most diverse and therefore best!

Now we are staying for several months at my sister Robyn’s house in Oakhurst, 20 miles from Yosemite’s South entrance. Mark & Robyn are travelling in their 5th wheeler around the country, so we are here minding the house and their five cats! We are very thankful for this arrangement, and hope that I’ll be able to get some writing done while here. Fingers crossed! In the spring we’ll go to Europe–again through the kindness and generosity of friends–to do final research in Vienna and Berlin.  Oh, to be in Europe again!

ee&gbincoyoacan_oct2018 Here we are in the lovely Mexican village of Coyoacán—home of Frida and Diego, but for us, more importantly, Leon Trotsky’s last residence.  As you can see by our smiling faces, all is well!  We wish everyone the best of holidays and a serene New Year. Despite the world’s dilemmas, we should remember all that we have and all that we are grateful for.  We hope that we get to see you all some time in the next year.  Really!

You can always contact us by email: And as many of you are aware, I am an inveterate Facebook user, so look for me there if you’re not afraid of Zuckerberg et al!






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