Chrissie's Reviews > Thanks to My Mother

Thanks to My Mother by Schoschana Rabinovici
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's review
Mar 31, 11

bookshelves: soviet-union, bio
Read from March 27 to 31, 2011


Having now finished this book my head cannot drop the following question: Do you rate a book by the seriousness of the topic or simply by asking yourself honestly, how much did you like the book?! If you go by the first criteria all holocaust books will get five stars. Thenhow does a reader choose which to pick? I have followed my emotional response to this book. I liked the book, so three stars. Please, please remember this does not mean people should not read the book. In fact I think this book shuld be read by everyone. I am still giving it three stars. I hope those of you reading this reviews understand my line of reasoning.

I think it is very important to read books about the holocaust, books that depict the lives of particular survivors and what they lived through. The language in this book is matter-of-fact. You will understand exactly the horrors that this author experienced. I have below given you excerpts so I believe you understand how the author expresses herself. The writing is wiped free of emotion. It is the events that suck you into turning page after page.. The author's lack of emotion is perhaps a result of who she is having endured these experiences. Nevertheless, the author's inability to express her emotions made this book difficult for me to read.

The author draws pictures of people, facial characteristics, such as the shape and size of the nose, how the eyes are placed, how an individual holds his body, the color and shape of the eyes. This may seem excessive, but think about it. Those who have been in concentration camp must look at the human body with different eyes! How do we look with our hair shorn off, emaciated, deathly ill, covered with sores? Do you see? Wouldn't you be attuned to the length of the leg, the shape of the head? So as a result, I have come to perhaps understand why such descriptions are necessary.

There is a very important reason why this book should be read, even given all the holocaust literature from which one can choose. Look at the title. "Thanks to My Mother". I am not going to give spoilers, but you should read this book to find out what the author's mother did to save her child. The author was only 10-11 years old and she survived. I am sure you have read other holocaust literature. You know how the weak, the young and the old were those killed first. You should read this book to find out about this amazing woman, the mother of the author! But why is it important to know about her? It is important b/c, against all odds, she suceeded. She didn't give up. She saved her daughter. And what more does this say? It says loud and clear that what one individual does is important. One person can make a huge difference. One may never think that ones's own choices are insignificant. And that she suceeded proves that when you think all is hopeless, there is still a chance of happiness and hope at the end of a long dark tunnel. You can never let yourself give up. Sometimes this has to be banged into your head.

Through page 100: My preious criticisms are unjust. From page 63 you simply cannot put the book down. There is no distance whatsoever between the reader and the author and her mother. Wait until you have the chance to mee Raja, tha author's mother. On first appearnaces you will see a beutiful woman, but there is much beneath the surface. Beauty is only skin deep. Wait until you know what she is capable of doing. What strngth and determination. I am going to add a quote from the lips of this woman:

I lay in my mother's arms.....My mother comforted me and talked quietly with me. I asked how those mothers could have thrown away their infants, there on the heaps of bundles. My mother tried to explain it to me. She said, "Susinka, they are young; it is important they survive. Together with their children, they had no chance to save themselves. The war will pas; the horror will end; and these girls and young women will have new children. It will be good; they will be free and happy. And never forget, you cannot judge them. No one may condem them that hasn't been in their situation."

Then in that car, on a journey into the unknown, I learned that people in extreme situations can behave completely differently from the way they usually do. No one can know how he would himself behave. Many who give the impression of being strong might allow themselves to become discouraged, and weak ones might become heroes.

I think the last line spoken by the mother is something all should remember. The last paragraph is also noteworthy. Time after time, I have run into this observation, particularly when reading holocaust literature. You do not know how you will react in an extreme situation. You may think you are strong, but you could easily be one of those who crumbles. This is another reason why one should not judge others.

Through page 73: I have read eleven more pages, and I must add that my heart is pounding b/c what she is experiencing is heart-wrenching. Ughh, one mustn't have claustrophobia! Me, I am happy to be able to breathe fresh air. It doesn't even have to be fresh, as long as there is plenty of it. I wrote "no spoilers", so I cannot say more.

Through 62 pages of 246: There is certainly nothing wrong with this book, except that the prose style has no magic....... All the facts about the times and family members are very clearly presented. It is just that the families are huge and every single member is described meticulously from the inside out, from their toes to their hair tips. I had to start over and write down who was who, there are so darn many family members. Something is wrong b/c as yet my heart is not really drawn to any of them. They are described rather than felt. The book is concerned with the author's Jewish families, both her father's and her mothers. Her parents were divorced, and this is where the narrative begins, what happened the day she found out that her parents were henceforth divorced. She loved both. The families of both remained a central part of her life. Both families lived in Vilnius, Lithuania, which had been Polish, but Russian troops marched in on September 1939. Thereafter, on June 22, 1941, the Russians fled and the Germans took control. This book is about the author's life and her families' lives in Vilnius while history played itself out over their heads. It is about life in the Jewish ghetto. Well, that is where I am now.

There are poems throughout the narrative, and these poems were written by the author when she was a child living in the ghetto. They have not been altered. They are beautifuly expressive. There are photos of the family members. There are number of those killed on this day and that day and the following week. They are just numbers until one of those became a family member. The author, even as a child, is aware of her retinence. She lies on her bed, face to the wall, to escape the world around her. Maybe this is why the reader feels a distance between themselves and the people in the book. Maybe this is why she expresses herself as she does?! I will quote a bit to give you a sense of how the author expresses herself. The following is from pages 46-47:

I often saw an old man sitting on the steps of our house. His clothes were dirty and torn; he had a wild gray beard and he clutched a broken tin plate beneath his padded coat. I heard the adults talking about him; they were discussing what they should do about him.

I was sorry for him, and one day I gave him my shawl. I was very surprised that my mother wasn't angry at me for having done that. I asked her who the man living in our stairwell was. I learned that he was an uncle of my mother's - an older brother of my dead grandmother - Great-Uncle Miron......

My mother liked him very much and took the trouble to make sure he got one warm meal a day; that was all she could do for him. All that spring our uncle stayed in that stairwell. When the "old people's action" took place, he disappeared, and we never saw him again.

An action was the term used to depict elimination of a certain group of people from the ghetto..... in oother words death. Strange, look how people shy away from saying outright what is going on!

At the start of the war between Germany and the Soviet Union, over sixty thousand Jews had lived in Vilnius. One year after we had been sent to the ghetto, after all the "actions" we had survived, we still numbered about eighteen thousand Jews. (page 50)
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 63) (63 new)

message 1: by Emily (new) - added it

Emily Great review. It is being added to my list. I have that same dilemma you mention about how your rate a book - is it on your personal reaction to the writing style, plot, content, etc or do you have to automatically give a more serious subject matter a higher rating than you would something lighter and more fluffy?

Chrissie Emily, I rate by my personal reaction. I am sure many reviewers do not do this! Holocaust books tend to have rather high ratings. That is nice you liked my review. Thank you!

message 3: by Irene (new)

Irene "...Some scholars maintain that the definition of the Holocaust should also include the Nazis' genocide and mass murder of millions of people in other groups, including Romani (more commonly known in English by the exonym "Gypsies"), Soviet prisoners of war, Polish and Soviet civilians, homosexuals, people with disabilities, Jehovah's Witnesses and other political and religious opponents, which occurred regardless of whether they were of German or non-German ethnic origin. By this definition, the total number of Holocaust victims would be between 11 million and 17 million people...

While I may not be in the majority, I concur with this definition. Let us remember that the "...German Nazi planners had in November 1939 called for "the complete destruction" of all Poles. "All Poles", Heinrich Himmler swore, "will disappear from the world". The Polish state under German occupation was to be cleared of ethnic Poles and settled by German colonists. Of the Poles, by 1952 only about 3–4 million of them were to be left in the former Poland, and only to serve as slaves for German settlers. They were to be forbidden to marry, the existing ban on any medical help to Poles in Germany would be extended, and eventually Poles would cease to exist. On August 22, 1939, about one week before the onset of the war, Hitler "prepared, for the moment only in the East, my 'Death's Head' formations with orders to kill without pity or mercy all men, women and children of Polish descent or language. Only in this way can we obtain the living space we need." Nazi planners decided against a genocide of ethnic Poles on the same scale as against ethnic Jews, it could not proceed in the short run since "such a solution to the Polish question would represent a burden to the German people into the distant future, and everywhere rob us of all understanding, not least in that neighbouring peoples would have to reckon at some appropriate time, with a similar fate..."

I read/have read much on WWII and the Holocaust in an attempt to more fully understand my Polish mother's experiences as an involuntary laborer in Germany. On that fateful day, she did not obey her mother's orders to return home directly from school. Instead, she stopped at her favorite aunt's home, knowing well that a special treat would be waiting. Her quick movements to compensate for lost time attracted attention. Aware of the truck's sound, she slowed her pace. Too late, without a moment's notice, she was ordered to board an uncovered truck already full, but with a speck of room for a 13-year-old girl. Neighbors warily peeking from their windows watched in silent horror as the stunned and reluctant cargo began its journey from Chelm, Poland...

message 4: by Chrissie (last edited Apr 01, 2011 11:28AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chrissie Irene, thank you for adding this information. Particularly the Poles have a horrific history. Thank you for telling me about your family experiences. It is so hard to comprehend how low people can go. For this reason it is also important to recognize good people, too. Otherwise you just feel like giving up. And where does that leave us?!

message 5: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Chrissie, this is a wonderful review. Have you ever taught? You are so thorough!

Yes, many Poles have an horrific history, but many were complicit in elimination of Jews. Antisemitism was rampant.

message 6: by Chrissie (last edited Apr 01, 2011 11:37PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chrissie I know, Antisemitism is part of the Polish culture. I read a very good book about that made this point. I think it was the following:
A Day of Small Beginnings: A Novel. Although this is fiction, it brought the message home loud and clear.

Barbara, no I have never taught - except my kids of course! Thank you.

message 7: by Shomeret (last edited Apr 01, 2011 09:36PM) (new)

Shomeret It is because anti-semitism was so endemic that the exceptions are so impressive. That's why I absolutely loved The Zookeeper's Wife in non-fiction and The True Story of Hansel and Gretel in fiction.

Chrissie I agree completely.

I think I gave the The Zookeeper's Wife four stars. I do not unsderstand those who don't like this book. I also loved the family's relationship to animals.

I just went and checked (and lost my previous message, grr).The True Story of Hansel and Gretel is available on Kindle. I will buy it. I want to have some Kindles lined up.

message 9: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Well, and that's why the Nazis put all their death camps and so many of their concentration camps in Poland. Because they'd face less resistance than in some places because of the anti-semitism.

message 10: by Chrissie (last edited Apr 02, 2011 12:46AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chrissie Why is antisemitism so strong in Poland? Is it based on the flight of Jews from Russia into Poland years before? Is it xenophobia rooted into the Polish culture?

As this and numerous other books show, it is against all people who are a bit different. Furthermore, such hatred is not just restricted to Poland, although it is so very strong there. This surfaces in the book I am currently reading, Smuggled. Gypsies are clearly just as terrible as Jews and homosexuals and dwarfs and...... OK, I admit, I am an emotional person. Sometimes it feels as though the human species is just too terrible to be part of. Again I will say, I have to hang on to those individuals who dare to be kind and good.

message 11: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret Xenophobia is based on the conviction that a group doesn't "belong" in that country. It is usually directed at the most recent arrivals according to cultural memory. Jewish cultural memory may be at odds with Polish cultural memory. While a Jewish village may see themselves as rooted in Poland because they'd been there for generations, the surrounding Poles may see them as recent invaders.

Consider Japanese Americans during WWII. They experienced themselves as Americans. The surrounding population considered them to be enemy aliens and interned them.

Chrissie Shomeret, I agree with your analysis of xenophobia! My questions were really rhetorical. History is not forgotten. It redirects all future events. That is why history is so important to read, not for the dates and battles and generals' names.....

And look at the hatred between Chinese and Japanese!

I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to tell me you appreciated my review, and I love the discussions that take place afterwards!

message 13: by Irene (new)

Irene Lisa wrote: "Well, and that's why the Nazis put all their death camps and so many of their concentration camps in Poland. Because they'd face less resistance than in some places because of the anti-semitism."

The camps were placed in Nazi OCCUPIED Poland. Less resistance? Many Poles also died in these camps.

message 14: by Chrissie (last edited Apr 02, 2011 06:53AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chrissie My belief is that a primary reason for so many of the concentrations camps being situated in Poland is simply that there were many Jews in Poland. Poland was the core for the Jews of the Pale. After the annexation of Austria, it was Poland that was invaded first. This also played a role. However the strength of a particular country's Résistance WAS certainly dependent upon the attitude of the people. The Poles had been anti-semitic for generations. Look at the Italians. They simply did not look at the Jews with the same eyes. The Italian Résistnace reflects this. In ALL countries it is not only the Jews who were persecuted and placed in camps. Nobody disputes that.

message 15: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Chrissie wrote: "Look at the Italians. They simply did not look at the Jews with the same eyes. The Italian Résistnace reflects this."

Chrissie, A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell is a book I really enjoyed. It's a historical fiction book about Jews in Italy during the Nazi era.

message 16: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Ah, I see you've read it. Many of my friends here have read it! I read it for my book club a while back.

message 17: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Irene, I've read tons of Holocaust books and the non-Jewish Poles were certainly victimized. None went to the death camps though, although some did die in the concentration camps. I've read a lot of history and many experts have said the Nazis did put the death camps and many of the concentration camps in Poland because so many Poles were anti-Semitic. And, you're right that the Nazis were no fans of the Poles. They hated many peoples besides Jews and Poles. Gypsies, gay people, mentally ill people and the list goes on & on of those they considered dispensable.

message 18: by Irene (new)

Irene Lisa, Though I may not have read "tons," I have read many Holocaust books, but I beg to differ with your belief that "non-Jewish Poles...none went to the death camps..." I believe I also mentioned the inclusion of "...those they considered dispensable." Perhaps, this link may be of interest to you; if not, so be it.

My primary intent certainly was not to merely disparage the magnitude of the Holocaust, but to recognize the millions of Polish Gentiles, who also were victims, a point you mention in passing. Yet, the focus remains tethered to Polish "anti-Semitism." Shomeret's comment offers a valid point.
It is not unreasonable to suggest that some of the Holocaust literature's objectivity may be skewed; not intentionally, but emotionally. I readily confess culpability in my emotional encroachment upon what I write; how can one not?

message 19: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Irene, and I'm not saying that many gentile Poles weren't murdered and that Hitler tried to murder more.

But I don't think any (at least not targeted) went through the death-extermination camps (Belzec, Chelmno, Sobibor, and Treblinka). There were plenty of non-Jews in the concentration camps, and other horrendous places, and many millions were murdered in there too. And lots of people suffered. A novel I love, that showed a lot of what non-Jewish Germans went though during WW II is The Book Thief. And, obviously, if you're being killed or made to suffer, for those millions of people, they suffered, no matter which group they belonged to. But, Hitler's biggest goal did seem to be to kill all European Jews. He wasn't even willing to try to win the war by slowing down the killing. A maniac who had enough followers to cause a tragedy. Anyway, I've read about plenty of victims who were not Jewish and the suffering and deaths by members of any targeted group, or individual, including those who tried to resist and risked their own lives, they're all tragic. Human beings are really something sometimes. I take great solace form all the good people I know. Otherwise, I'd be in the depths of despair knowing what some human beings do, including in today's world.

message 20: by Irene (new)

Irene "... I take great solace...I'd be in the depths of despair knowing what some human beings do, including in today's world.

Lisa, this is so true...

message 21: by Rose (last edited Apr 07, 2011 03:21PM) (new)

Rose Irene said, "I read/have read much on WWII and the Holocaust in an attempt to more fully understand my Polish mother's experiences as an involuntary laborer in Germany. On that fateful day, she did not obey her mother's orders to return home directly from school. Instead, she stopped at her favorite aunt's home, knowing well that a special treat would be waiting. Her quick movements to compensate for lost time attracted attention. Aware of the truck's sound, she slowed her pace. Too late, without a moment's notice, she was ordered to board an uncovered truck already full, but with a speck of room for a 13-year-old girl. Neighbors warily peeking from their windows watched in silent horror as the stunned and reluctant cargo began its journey from Chelm, Poland..."

Your mother's story mirrors my mother's but took place in Kiev, Ukraine. I don't put it as nicely as you did. It was SLAVE labor in Germany.

Documentation is lacking on how many people were simply shot in the head because a Nazi guard was in a mood. We never could trace my mother's mother, sister or brother.

Chrissie Irene and Rose, you each tell of your family horrors. I sit here and I shiver and there are no words to say.

message 23: by Elli (new)

Elli The Holocaust and anti-semitism, the mindsets that allow for the hate and violence seem to be part of the human condition. So many of the books are good and important, however because of how I often feel when I read them, I make sure they are well interspersed with other literature.

message 24: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Elli wrote: "make sure they are well interspersed with other literature. "

I used to immerse myself in the most upsetting books; now, I have to do this too.

message 25: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret I overdose on any type of book if I read too many of the same type one after the other. The books will lose their impact for me due to overexposure. Moderation in everything is best. So I always try to vary my reading.

message 26: by Elli (new)

Elli Am still batting around in my own mind whether, or really, when to read this book. Now is not really the time for me. But yesterday saw the movie, The Concert, which had a very similar transfer of an endangered baby out of the country except this was Brezhnov's Russia, the child of what suddenly found themselves Jewish dissidents. The child was transferred to France, via a cello case. The movie was well done, although some might find a "lack of respect" complaint. I did not. Either laughed or cried through the whole movie. Behind all, a major conductor and quite a few musicians lost their status because of an anti-semitic act on the part of the powers that be. Think I may be getting the book you have described and fitting it into my reading schedule, soon.

Chrissie Hi, I am back! Me, a little tanned and Oscar has had all his swimming muscles exercised. Watching him enjoy himself brings me great happiness. He crashes into waves and chases after butterflies and insects on the ground. Retrieving his float Kong is THE BEST!!!! The super-buber best.

I agree with you guys, it is so very important to vary the reading topic. You can be drowned otherwise. The best book I read on vacation was Portrait of a Turkish Family. I have written a review, but haven't had a chance to enter it yet! I will do it now. This is not about the holocaust but it is about a Turkish family that lived through WWI. Beautifully written.

Ellie, could you give me the link to the book you mean - The Concert. I cannot find which you mean......

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Welcome back, Chrissie!

message 29: by Elli (new)

Elli The Concert was a movie. I know I read a very similar book some time ago and enjoyed it. But I can't remember the name of it!

message 30: by Irene (new)

Irene It is based on a story by Hector Cabello Reyes and Thierry Degrandi:

message 31: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Welcome back, Chrissie! It sounds as though you and Oscar, and hopefully Per, had a wonderful time.

Yes, variation is ideal. I just finished a very funny mystery, have started an art/biography book, and am about to start a speculative fiction book for one of my online groups, and the next six in my queue are all different from these and each other. Perfect!

message 32: by Chrissie (last edited Apr 27, 2011 04:58AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chrissie Irene, thanks!Le journal de Lisa Manin à Venise must be what you mean. Right?

Does this book ring any bells for you, Ellie?

Lisa, look at all the different books I read while in France! They took place in the US, Nigeria, Turkey, Italy, Belgium, Egypt... Variation is the spice of life. Well, at least I can get it in reading. Of course living in europe really, really does help pique interest in different cultures.

Jeanette, I am always travelling between homes; each has its special characteristics. Here I have an internet connection.

message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

It just suddenly dawned on me that I hadn't "seen" you in a while. I wish I had a home near a warm beach. *sigh*

Chrissie Jeanette, warm, it wasn't! Oscar went swimming, not us. Brittany is windy. It is not the tourist trap that you get further south. The southern coastline is warmer, and thus you get many more tourists and bathers and kids - not good for walking and dogs. I don't like crowded people beaches. At the tip of Brittany you get the rock cliffs; they are not so good either for dogs! We really researched this before we chose.

message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Sounds wonderful anyway! Washington State and Oregon have some wonderful coastlines, too, but I've always visited in Spring or Fall, not sunbathing weather. I just love being near the water. Growing up in Michigan, with so many lakes, I miss the water.

Speaking of dogs and water: John, on Comfort Reads, changed his profile picture. I think you should take a look... :)

Chrissie Thanks for the link. Wonderful dog pic. Mikka and Oscar they would have fun together. That I am sure.

Oh and I lived on Lake Michigan too for awhile. In Milwaukee and Chicago suburbs.

message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

I knew you would like the pictures of Mikka. She has such a beautiful face, in the second photo.

I grew up in Detroit, so we could drive to any of the lakes as a day trip. I love visiting the UP. Lake Superior always amazes me!

Chrissie Thanks again!

message 39: by Irene (new)

Irene ...thanks!Le journal de Lisa Manin à Venise must be what you mean. Right?

No, Le journal... is a book with illustrations.

I know that the movie is based on a story, but I do not know the title of the story/book.

Chrissie I have enough to read anyway.......

message 41: by Elli (new)

Elli Chrissie, Isn't the coast of Brittany where the "menhirs," the large mysteriouus rocks that were supposed to be so like those at Stonehenge in England. The legend that says that once a year they move, but God help anybody that tries to dig up the treasure when they move. It's been so long since I've told stories, tales, and legends that I've kind of forgotten...

Chrissie Elli, yes, there are lots of menhirs. And their are lots of tales about them too. Many of the tales are in Gallic prose. These stones are placed in an intereesting patern usually. They are much smaller than Stonehenge. You usually find more of these on the southern side of the peninsula.

message 43: by Elli (new)

Elli Your life of travel sounds fascinating. Ours is not near as wide or as varied, but we always have liked to cover the territory as much as possible by inches...

message 44: by Chrissie (last edited Apr 27, 2011 11:09PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chrissie Elli, Europe is fascinating b/c of all the different culture, but you know America is not homogenous either!!! I lived in the US and never even got to the west coast..... The distances are so far. Nevertheless, you certainly get a huge variety in the physical aspects of the landscapes. I think I would love the northwestern coastline of the US, and I haven't seen that. And you know there are beautiful country walks everywhere if one just puts on the shoes and does it. None of us are getting any younger....... I remember when we walked 8 hours a day along the Brittany coasts with Skye. We don't do that anymore. Honestly, eight hours of solid walking. The most important thing was stopping at cafés to get water for Skye. "What, you don't want a drink?" Reply: "No, I just want some water for my dog........"

message 45: by Elli (new)

Elli The U.S. has it's spots, too, actually many if you go beyond what is obviously there right now...we try to cover cities by inches, too. The museums, older areas, galleries, bookstores, etc....zoos, arboretums, neighborhoods of interest, etc. And the downtowns. The pacific northwest is a great area, especially the coastal. Seattle, Portland, Vancouver are fascinating places. Portland has a bookstore to die for! Both Seattle and Portland have underground cities of past times available if you know where to get down there to explore. Actually CA is great, too, but it is overcrowded and can be difficult. Have not been to Europe, or rather, have only been through my reading and people I've known well from various areas there.

Chrissie Exactly, there is omething intersting everywhere, if you just take the time to look.

message 47: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan I'm dying to go to Powell's in Portland. When I was in Portland for more than driving through (decades ago) I didn't know it was there, and I wasn't vegan then either; there are great vegan restaurants in Portland. And gardne and museums, etc.

I love Seattle. One of my close friends lives there so I've been up there quite a few times.

Vancouver is one of my favorite cities I've ever been too. So beautiful to look north from a height and see Stanley Park surrounded by water. Just gorgeous. I like Victoria and Butchart Gardens too. Was last there to visit a friend 4 1/2 years ago.

And I do love San Francisco too, despite its expense and congestion, etc. It's got great culture and it's so easy to get away in minutes, including within the city, to (near) wilderness.

message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

I have a GR friend who works at Powell's; I want to shop there someday1 I'd love to visit the West Coast again. Seattle was a beautiful place to live. And, I've always enjoyed visiting San Francisco. Living in the middle of the US is a bit more limited, landscape-wise.

message 49: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Oh, if I lived in Portland, I'd be at Powell's way too often. Getting an employee discount there would be very cool!!!

I've lived in every part of the country and I guess the west coast is my favorite, but I wish I could travel more, outside the country too!

message 50: by Elli (new)

Elli This "workamping" time in our lives really has been one of the most rewarding times of my adult life. Living in the RV (it's self contained; space is small, but well organized and usually comfortable), part time working (have done so very many things, hosting at forest campgrounds or protected areas of interest is the most prominent) for a season. Just living there, in wonderful areas, covering by inches.... has been great! For the here and now, what's prominent are the rose gardens...there are two exceptionally beautiful in Mesa, AZ...all part of metro Phoenix. One is at the junior college in a trafficked area yet, is so well designed that it could be a meditation type of garden with paths, of course, visited and inhabited by birds, birds, & more birds. Another is on the outskirts of a large housing and apartment area with lakes going through. Both, their own world...small enough to be, but big enough to be a separated entity of its own. Saw a wonderful Broadway play last night at Grady Gammage auditorium, Billy Elliot, a musical. Grady Gammage is older and round...designed by Frank Lloyd Wright some time ago. And it's getting hot here. Two or three years ago about this time of year I met in particular several people from northern Finland at a culturural festival featuring Scandinavian arts including the culinary. And they seemed to be making it just fine the summer. And I guess if people from northern Finland yet, can make it through a southern AZ summer, anybody can...

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