Archive for March, 2011

My uncle, my dad’s older brother, has lived in Cairo since Nixon was in office.  Since he is  a quick just-over-two-hour flight away, he has been here for our wedding, to see the boys when they were babies, and then last night, for a tasty dinner on the banks of the Bosphorous.  I asked him last night how long he had been in Cairo and being bad with numbers I can only ever remember the Nixon comment he made many years ago.  I know that it has been a long time since I remember from kindergarten when Reagan was elected.  The answer was about 30 years, a long time to be away.  Being a fellow expat, we had a lot to talk about: the revolution in Cairo, raising kids outside the US, the meaning of home, and of course, Ali and Omer and his own lovely girls.  For as long as I can remember, I have always admired my uncle and was intrigued as a child by his choice to live overseas.  A smart, funny, stand-up guy with the dancing bright blue Irish eyes synonymous to me with my red-headed grandmother and the Murphy-Prior-Desmarais family, it was good to see him last night.

He is here for work so our visit was short but we made plans to visit Egypt next year once things settle down and to meet up this summer when we are all stateside.

On our trip  to drop him back to his hotel, Koray pointed out a bumper sticker on a car in front of us. After a slight pause, we all knowingly laughed at the odd coincidence that we would see a bumper  sticker, in English,  on the car in front of us referring to one of my dad’s favorite singers.  “A message from dad,”  I said only half-jokingly. I know my dad would have enjoyed the evening spent together, talking about the present, past and future, with Ali and Omer’s innocent and sweet perspectives augmenting and enriching the entire evening. I do not look for celestial signs, but when something like this happens, it does make me pause in wonder. To say the least, it made me smile to think that  maybe dad is cavorting with Johnny and the rest of the gang.

Our remaining time in the car we listened to stories about Uncle Dick as a young man living in Australia.  The evening passed with plentiful amounts of laughter and introspect, and I feel lucky to have  spent  such a grand evening with  such a stand-up guy.

It was a good night.


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A Love Poem

“Dancing in the Eye of the Moon”

by Annie Özsaraç


Beautiful baby boys

grown into little creatures

who question, play, laugh and giggle,

test the limits, scrape their knees.


Tiny little bird babies,

vulnerable with delicately tiny hands and feet

snuggled into the world of their crib,

now big boys,

vulnerable to the bigger world.


Fleshy little crawlers,

exploring through mouth and hand,

now tall  lean school-boys,


on wheels and quick-moving feet.


Perched atop wobbly walking legs,

fiercely clinging to parental protection,

now striding out the door, good-bye kisses

a second thought.


My baby boys,

still and always,

my precious little kittens.


Happy 5th Birthday to Ali and Ömer

March 16, 2011


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Sounds of Silence

My life, our life, is a cacophony of sound.  Sound begins early in the morning when the boys rouse from their sleep and leap into our bed, expending the energy they spent the nightlong re-charging . This melds into the sounds of school with bells, students, meetings, announcements, then back to the excited noises of little boys recounting the details of their day.

So this morning, on my way into the city to chaperon  a speech competition, the absence of human sound was striking. A car came to fetch me before the boys left for school and the stark contrast of five-year-old high pitched conversations to the whirring of the car engine invited me to reflect on the constant presence of sound in my life.  Having children has made me relish and cherish the quiet moments in my life, something I took for granted before these amazing little creatures entered the scene.

At dinner last night our dinner guests, two strong ladies who raised their children on their own, reflected on their own periods of noisy times.  Their children now grown into adults and moved out of the house, they miss the noise of their childhood.  I feel lucky to have a plentiful amount of people in my life with grown children who nostalgically offer up advice to treasure the precious and fleeting moments when children are small.  I know from offering up my own nostalgic advice to my high school students, advice that often falls on deaf ears, that there is something to hear from people who have been through it.

I am thankful for the noise of  little boys and rowdy high school students who color the landscape of my life.  They enhance those stolen  moments where I  become lost in my own thoughts. I dream often of a time when I have enough energy to stay up past 8:30 or 9:00 to focus on the simplicity of my lungs as they exhale and inhale.  But for now, these unplanned gifts of silence the universe sends will do.

The snow is falling outside and I hear the sounds of heavy boots, rosy cheeks and snow soaked mittens quickly making their way towards me. Time to relish in that joy over a cup of hot chocolate while listening to dueling stories about the day’s events.

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Here we are!

The blogspot.com site was blocked here in Turkey apparently because someone was posting football (soccer) game highlights less than forty minutes after the game finished. I guess there is some rule about that. I never really got the lure or obsession of organized sports, so this tidbit just adds to my misunderstanding.  This also means I have to use an additional web site to circumvent the block when I want to read some of my favorite blogs. Bummer.

Anyway, if you want to follow the shenanigans of the O Clan, this is the place to be.


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