|The Hall of Mirrors, Versailles|
The role that women have played in my life is extraordinary. I cannot imagine my life without their sisterhood. As a teenager and young adult, I attended an all female high school and an all female college. Single gender institutions are more rare in today’s world than they were in the 1960’s. But the chance to be in an all female environment that supported and nurtured female independence – at a time when women’s liberation was a very new concept – is one that I will always cherish. My family moved to the United States in 1964. I was just 15 years old. It was a turbulent time in history – the Civil Rights Act had just passed – and a turbulent time in my own life – who goes through adolescence without trauma? During those formative years I struggled with developing my identity and independence, defining a career, adapting to demanding academic institutions, a new country and a shifting culture.
|Jeff in the Place des Vosges|
|Fishing in the San Juans|
In retirement, I have the freedom to spend time with the important (men and) women in my life – go for a walk with a friend, visit my sisters, or, as happened these last three months, help my sister-in-law recover from breast cancer. Time is a gift. I try to use it wisely.
|The Sky Mirror|
|The Other Side|
The end of 2015 was full of many journeys - in addition to my trips to Portland to help my sister-in-law. I went to my aunt’s memorial service in London and visited with my English sister and many other family members; with my husband, my sister and her husband, I visited Paris and Versailles – where we saw the gilt and glory of the Sun King and Anish Kapoor’s amazing Sky Mirror; thankfully we left the day before the terrorist attacks -- we were lucky; others, equally innocent, were not.
|The Witt Winter garden at Washington Park Arboretum|