In my last post, I mentioned that I thought I had mislaid my parents wedding photographs. Once I found them, and breathed a sigh of relief, I sat and looked at them. I never really knew my father – he was a creature of legend both good and bad. When I was young, my Mum tried her best to paint a balanced picture of Dad despite the unpleasant comments from family members. These photographs were never displayed but I had seen them many times. I was fascinated by the glamour of a professional shot and thought they were both attractive. As a youngster I really looked much more like my father with our dark Mexican roots.
As I gazed at the shots, I realized that neither my Mum nor Dad looked happy. They married after a couple of months of meeting but they were in their late 20’s, more than capable of making a sensible decision. My theory is that they were pregnant with me and I know that my dad asked my mum to have an illegal abortion. I had admired these photos for years, longing to have similarly glamorous wedding shots, but had never noticed the lack of happiness in their eyes. The social mores of two Catholics not marrying after a pregnancy were overwhelming. My mum told me that a distant relative offered to adopt me so the circumstances must have been dire. Eventually my mum divorced my dad in 1976 on the grounds of mental cruelty. He had already remarried in the States.
Then I found a photograph of my mum with a previous American boyfriend above. If anyone recognizes him, you might have been my sibling!
My mum had mentioned that he was a really nice guy, Italian American, but that she hadn’t fallen for him. Maybe she wasn’t ready but my mum looked truly happy in this simple photograph. How I longed for a normal father like him when I was young. As the years have passed I have come to terms with my Dad probably having some mental health and addiction issues (as did my Mum). I have so enjoyed meeting members of my Dad’s family – seeing distinct resemblances both in appearance and also personality. My mum’s bridesmaid, who has stayed close to me, told me many times that my Dad had a fascinating charismatic side that I had inherited. To the right is a photograph of Teddy and I signing the register 38 years ago – now that’s a real smile.
We had not a single professional wedding shot…❤️
As most of you know, I am obsessed with finding new family members. For the most part, they are long since deceased but within the last few weeks a new, and very much alive, cousin has come into my life. Sarah’s great grandmother was my paternal grandfather’s sister (Nelle and Raymond Dellinger) so we are Dellinger 2nd cousins, one generation between us. We have been excitedly sharing information and photographs to help build a picture of our most interesting family. Sarah had never seen a photo of Raymond, or I of Nelle, so that was very exciting. If you look at Sarah’s gravatar image you will see a resemblance in our smiles. To my astonishment, Sarah thought that I look like a Dellinger. As an only child with little connection to my paternal side, this is all manna from Heaven. Curiously, we both have WordPress Blogs and write similarly. Now we are pondering whether the writing gene comes from the Dellinger side…and why do we have so much Swedish DNA???
Please enjoy this beautifully researched genealogy post below on Sam Houston Dellinger (my great-grandfather) and have a look at Sarah’s blogs – Stories of my Family and A blog dedicated to my love for books
The Dellinger side of the family is full of of fantastic stories. Samuel Houston Dellinger and his wife, Lillie (née Dillingham) were quite the characters and it is not surprising that their independent, pioneer spirit rubbed off on their children (though it manifested quite differently in some of them).
via Sam Houston Dellinger — Stories of My Family
This is a reblog of the post about my book. For a limited time, it will be free to KindleUnlimited readers if you would like to download it. It is short and an easy read.
I finally did it and my first book, Letters from Cairo by Kerry Duncan is now available as an EBook from Kindle/Amazon from both the UK and US sites as well as other European countries. For a brief moment it was the best selling guide to Cairo when it had only sold 10 copies – I guess no-one wants to go to Cairo… It is a short book and the title says it all, ‘This is a memoir not a travelogue’. There is another book with the same title but it is much more expensive than mine and I bet it’s not as funny! The current price is $4.49 – about the price of a Venti Latte. It is published on Kindle Select so they may reduce the price at times to market the book. It is available on a variety of Amazon sites including Amazon UK.If you don’t have a Kindle you can download it to your PC or other small device with this app – https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page?ie=UTF8&ref_=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd
It is a poignant, hilarious and revelatory memoir about our expatriate posting to Cairo during the second Gulf War between 2002 and 2004. Some of you may empathize if you have been to third world destinations but the essence is about my battle to deal with illness in a foreign country during a very stressful time. The book is short, despite 10 years of writing, editing and agonizing about writing a memoir. Although I had worked as a research writer in the old country this time gave me an opportunity to hone my writing skills for pleasure. Writing this blog has opened my eyes to the joy of sharing with other writers and photographers. Thank you, all my followers, for giving me the confidence to finally publish. A very special thank you to Ed Mooney, my very first follower, who encouraged me and taught me WordPress etiquette.
This is the link to the book on Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/Letters-Cairo-This-memoir-travelogue-ebook/dp/B015JFY1F0
If you read it (some may be able to borrow it) please give me a review.
I have been unwell for the last few days and so tired that you could see my drooping eyelid from an old scar. Then Teddy gave me a backhanded compliment today. His stats on Flickr had been down but his photograph of me was popular at least. Was that a compliment?
Anyway this is a photo of me on our wonderful trip to Baha in December and two photographic groups asked Teddy if they could include my photo. I immediately checked that they weren’t ageing swingers (there have been some weird stalkers of me on his site) but one in particular touched my heart.
The site is called Beautiful faces of women, men and children
For most of my life I have felt unattractive, most of it is part of my mental illness but some of it real, and today this made me smile. The other site was mundo global de photografies
I have been nominated for an Epically Awesome Award. If it was in Scotland it would be the Pure, Dead, Brilliant Award. Anyway, lets get on with it before my head gets any bigger… 🙂
1. You are awesome; tell us why.
Surely it’s obvious – just look at my blog! I rarely feel awesome but I do appreciate that my writing affects people. In real life, I try very hard to be a good person with a peculiar mix of tactlessness and compassion. I think it works.
2. You are my friend; tell us about other friends.
I have so many friends and am lucky to have them. I have friends from childhood, college, work, neighbors and groups. It is so important to keep in touch with people if you want to maintain friendships (and Facebook doesn’t do it for me). Blogging has opened up a whole new world of friends who I share my deepest secrets with although it is a public forum. It’s a conundrum.
3. Be creative, but it’s ok if you are having trouble with this one/ There are no direct questions to answer; let yourself run wild!
Nature in its simplicity and grandeur warms my heart and makes me glad to be alive. My photographs of critters fill me with joy because I was lucky enough to share some private time with them and then share their beauty with the world. Gracias little Ibis.
4. Now notify your nominees and thank the blogger who nominated you.
Thank you to Callum at Student in Snowdonia for nominating me. Callum has a beautiful blog with very nostalgic photographs of North Wales. My husband and I spent our first two married years there and we weren’t much older than Callum.
My nominees are
Southern Georgia Bunny because her mom and my mum must have been spiritual sisters – awesomely weird and hilarious.
Hot Mess Memoirs because she made me laugh out loud at her story of an 80 year old pervert.
Samara’s Muses because, like me, she talks to weird people at airports and writes with poignancy.
On the Road Cooking because Pan cooks the most amazing food on a tiny wee oven in a truck!
Carmen from Escapades because she is taking midterms and yet still has an esthetically fabulous blog.
It is the birthing of a new season and the dying of the old. Both exist together as they do with every species. This tree fern has a whiskered texture as the leaves prepare to feed the ground below. Summer is in decay, humidity and heat dissipating likewise the cicada chirps. Autumn is sprinkling it’s magical orange fairy dust as the nights close in.
The Sweet Gum leaves are not ready to surrender to old age and the invasive Tallow bewitches us with it’s exquisite oriental leaves in every season.
Yet, the seasonal food is naturally colored for autumn and contrasts so prettily with the ancient rock and lichen.
My only memories of the Korean War are that it was immortalized in the series MASH. It seems ironic that we remember the series so well, especially the theme song, ‘Suicide is Painless’ much better than the actual war. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M*A*S*H_(TV_series)
On our recent trip to Little Rock, Arkansas we stumbled on a beautifully serene memorial to the Korean War which lasted from 1950 to 1953. It was a complicated political situation after WWII and North Korea was annexed by the Soviet Union and South Korea was surrendered to the Americans from the Japanese who had invaded Korea in 1910. We know, all too well, today that this has not been a perfect solution and North Korea remains an unstable and worrying nation. I don’t think democracy is right for every nation but totalitarian dictatorship is the opposite of what most people desire.
This memorial really opened my eyes to the reality of the Korean War – how unfair it is that we have forgotten both the military and the civilians who were killed. Our hearts break when we see two very old relatives who occasionally get the opportunity to see each other after more than 60 years of separation. I was astonished by how many disparate nations worked together under the UN banner to achieve peace in Korea and dearly wish that we could come to some consensus on what to do about Syria. The global lack of decisive action has led to President Putin assisting the reigning, if despised, Syrian government and indiscriminately bombing Syria (and also Iran, accidentally).
We worry relentlessly that we will be infiltrated by ISIS terrorists if we accept more desperate refugees when we have much more to fear from domestic terrorism. There are many sensible ways for us to determine if refugees are legitimate but we react so quickly to media panic. Are we really still asking if President Obama is Muslim – AND WHAT IF HE WAS? There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a Muslim, Mormon, Catholic, Jewish or Atheist President. All they need to do is understand our constitution and abide by it.
I would never have visited this memorial if it were not for my friend GP Cox, fellow blogger ‘Pacific Paratrooper’ and I hope he enjoys it.
Click on this link to see the rest of the post. THE FORGOTTEN WAR
This was taken in the Presidential Holiday Inn in Little Rock. The lobby was like a little museum with photos, articles and other presidential memorabilia – both Republican and Democrat. My husband has a Flickr and Getty Images website https://www.flickr.com/photos/zeesstof/ Don’t look at his photographs – they are better than mine. 🙂 He often posts photographs of me and I was highly amused that he had to block yet another person who ‘liked’ me a little too much… He blocked the person (who was female!) when he looked at her R (X) rated site. I know I am wearing shorts (expensive J Crew shorts) but it was very hot in Little Rock. It was hardly ‘Reader’s Wives’!