Spring has finally arrived, though it will be a few weeks until the tulips bloom. March weather can be iffy in Oregon but this week has brought sunshine and warmth and the urge to wander through the nursery and get out the empty pots for filling. It’s a welcome distraction from the chaos that dominates the airways.
I hope you find time to get outdoors, take a walk, welcome a tree back from hibernation. This is the season when nature is most noticeable and available, even to those of us who are surrounded by cities. You don’t want to miss it.
Wishing you springtime joy.
—If you've ever thought of "escaping" to some remote place, this book will certainly give you the courage and perspective to live your dream. As you near the final pages, you'll find yourself wising they'd stay a bit longer, linger just a bit more, head out to the islands just once again. It is a book you'll more than enjoy! —Charles S
—When I travel, I always try to imagine myself living there. Certainly as a resident, even for only a year, the relationship with the natives would be different - more companionable, less as an economic "opportunity". It is possible, if you are in the know, to try to dig behind the opportunism and find the real folks. The tea, the aggressive salesmanship, all becomes part of the local color. The reader can immerse in this couple's experiences and appreciate the fun and the challenges of doing what they did: break from the normal hectic pace of life, adapt, accept what you cannot change, reconnect with people at an elemental level. Thanks to the authors for writing this. I loved it. —OLGrey
—I loved reading “Camping with the Communists: The Adventures of an American Family in the Soviet Union” by Karen Gilden.
Karen, her husband Ray and young daughter Jennifer, did what I wished I had been brave enough to do, but she took me there in this enthralling little book and introduced me to a country encased in mystery and fabrications, yet populated with everyday farmers and workers. They struggled with Soviet bureaucracy, KGB spies, border guards, lack of facilities for tourists and the scarcity of toilet paper as if they knew what they were doing.
Just as Americans wondered about the Soviet people back then, the curious townspeople they met along the way from Leningrad to Kiev asked them if Americans really wanted to kill therm all by dropping nuclear bombs. I’m guessing the Gildens were better ambassadors than those appointed by governments to ease tensions between peoples. I highly recommend this book to anyone who remembers those times or wants to know what life was like for those who were convinced America was the Evil Empire. —D Goble