Monday, May 11, 2015

Where was I?

My blog posts keep getting farther and farther apart and the readers have noticed. Traffic to my blog site has gotten limited and I feel a little bit bad about it. But not too bad: I’ve been busy!

We began April with a few days of delightful springtime in Minsk. Then we flew to Boston via Istanbul, hoping to see the tulip festival. At the last minute, I threw a wool hat into my luggage because the weather forecast for Istanbul looked a little chilly. Good thing: The cold reached well beyond “chilly.” Undaunted, we left our hotel with all of our clothes on and walked to the park where we wanted to see the tulips. The park’s main gate was closed, but I led Alla through a pedestrian gate and got fifty meters inside before a guard came rushing over to ask what we thought we were doing.

We tried to negotiate with him, saying that we’d come to Turkey specifically to see those tulips and we had only one day. Finally, we talked him into letting us spend one minute beside the nearest bed, but he worried that strong winds would knock tree limbs onto our heads and he wouldn’t allow us to sneak behind him. We went into Topkapi Palace instead, where they had their own tulip garden and views over the park we couldn’t enter. We enjoyed the palace until we finally got so cold and wet that we went indoors to enjoy e a leisurely lunch, and we hung out indoors for the rest of the day.

Fortunately, we had enough time the next morning to walk the park end-to-end and enjoy the tulips before we rushed off to the airport.

There’s not much to say about Boston. It’s home and we like it, but we didn’t have any special adventures and I don’t want to bore you. At one point I wanted to write about how spring hadn’t even reached Boston when we got here and we still found a few piles of snow. I would have showed you the picture I took the day the parks service finally started putting water into the pond in the Boston Common. But now it’s spring and I feel like I missed the opportunity to make its absence into an interesting story.

Meanwhile, I went off to California for nine or ten days. I wanted to meet a couple of newborn cousins and had a very good time with much of their extended family. This coincided with a college reunion, so I saw a whole lot of people and reconnected with some whom I hadn’t seen in a long time.

By the time I got back to Boston, spring had finally arrived here. The city has been ablaze with flowering trees since I returned, and our social life has been ablaze in its own way as we attempt to reconnect with friends. It was a busy month.

If something surprising happens to me in the next few weeks, I’ll try to tell you about it. Meanwhile, I’m focused on my book, where I’m making much more progress.

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