Home again, home again: Completing another circle

Trip Start Oct 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 27, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Thursday, October 27, 2011

Once again our aisle-window reservation gambit paid off: the middle seat was ecstatically vacant. We populated that seat with the best of Britain: a bloomer loaf, west country cheddar, salt and pepper crisps, Digestive Biscuits, and Bramley apples.  It was a 10-hour picnic.

On landing in Seattle we snapped into yet another reality, another life.  Like the wheels of a slot machine, our neurons spun round until the payline clicked in: "dollars--drive on right--have a nice day."  Thus our brains were reset and ready for action.

The ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island evoked thoughts of my grandfather's similarly nautical arrival in America.  But the mode of transport and the country of destination were the only common features.  I was ending up where I started, returning to the comfortable and the known; grandpa Klein was walking the gangplank to a new and wholly unfamiliar life

How daunting it must have been: eyeing the profoundly alien shore, not speaking the language, not knowing the customs, or even the food.  Was anyone waiting for him at the dock?  What would he say to the immigration officials, if he could say anything at all?  And he was only sixteen!  In comparison, I’ve lived a blissfully unheroic life.

My grandfather’s arrival in America was the first arc of an uncharted journey, a journey that, 106 years later, would lead to my walking off the ferry, to return home.
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ann power on

just finished reading your final entry and what an enjoyable way to spend the evening it's been. thanks much - ann

Hillary on

What a poetic way to wrap up your beautifully-written blog, Papa. I'm so glad I was able to finally read it through all the way. I loved how descriptive you were (pictures were lovely and redundant!). :) I also loved your playful jokes about the towns of "bag" and "tata" in one of the last entries. I also loved the description of you and Carole taking the four species from the rabbi - what a special experience! I can't wait to talk to you about things in person, and to see you only a week from today! Hooray!

Dan Allender on

To write for any to read is more than heroic it is foolish. What an honor and joy to walk with you and Annie through the threads of mystery and the beauty of pictures to be captured by a brave man and his equally brave grandson.

Julie on

I'm so glad I read all the way to the end. You and Grandpa came full circle-wonderful end to an amazing trip. I think I would have given up at the very first daunting border crossing.

Happy Holi-days to you both, Emily, Hillary, and the whole bunch.

Carole on

As if what you wrote before this grand finale wasn't enough, (Deyanu!!!) the story continued- and so beautifully wrapped up with your musings about grandpa walking past the grapevines of his village for the last time, and disembarking from his boat for a new life which became the source of ours. Just lovely and funny, and a real enjoyment! Thank you again for doing this, deat cuz.

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