Journal, January 10, 1977 AM

I am sitting on my Northwest jet, which has just begun its mechanical whine. I have had my last whiff of cold, fresh Wisconsin air for about a year. It felt entirely as refreshing as my first whiff December 10.

It has been an odyssey, this 30-day break in my foreign service. At times I have had to stop & carefully reassess my situation in order to reassure myself that what was going on around me was not only very real, but also logical & understandable given the people involved, the limits of their experience and perspectives, and so forth. Each of my family members, my friends or acquaintances is engrossed completely in a life which I have not been a part of for two years, and will not be a part of for another year. My visit was like being in a time warp. I was privileged to get a brief glimpse of changes in progress that will partially determine future events in the lives of my world of acquaintances.

I went to my cousin Rosemary Krejchik’s wedding on Saturday. It was a perfectly done, unpretentious, modern, religiously very proper Catholic wedding. She had a chorus with guitar accompaniment in the church, yet a simple, peasant-style wedding gown she made herself. She wore a crown of roses, and the brothers and sisters of the couple carried flowers to place in a basket on the altar. There were two priests on hand who took turns quoting scripture and calling for the ritual audience responses.

The Krejchik relatives come to weddings & funerals, and this was no exception. From Arkansas, Arizona, & of course Illinois & Wisconsin, they came to wish the last of Charles Krejchik’s children (and his only daughter) well on her wedding day.

The reception was a perfect lunch of excellent food, a little punch and lots of reminiscing among folks who hadn’t seen one another in 5, 10, 15 or more years. There was no alcohol and no need for any. The Krejchiks continue to be non-drinkers. I felt relaxed around them. They tend toward easygoing conservatism and impressive practical intelligence. Among them there is none of the tension and expectation of imminent personality clash you find in any gathering of the Jeffersons.

Rosemary’s husband (sister Donna reports) is a Californian who is a grad. student at U.W.-Madison {University of Wisconsin} and a math whiz who will soon go to Europe to show some folks a theory he’s developed. He doesn’t look his age. I felt a funny clairvoyant surge as he (name: James Wilson) and Rosemary stood before the altar. I interpreted it as a premonition that Rosemary would perhaps have some strong future influence in my life. After learning from Donna about James, I think perhaps I will come into contact with him in my academic future. I usually place no faith in such “rushes,” but now it is recorded in case anything comes of it.

I saw Bruce play basketball yesterday with his men’s league team. He is a player who has developed his limited abilities very well using his intelligence. (Bruce is extremely sharp. I am convinced he could be a 3.5 GPA student if he devoted his mind to that end.) Bruce hustles and plays intelligent ball; he is unselfish, yet a decent shooter. His team won handily. I hope he learns to do other things as systematically as he plays & manages his team. Like Mom & Dad, he tends to have “too many logs in the fire” consistently.

The skies are clearer now, you can make out features on the ground easily, and there is no snow. I hope we don’t get to Miami too late for me to make my connection. Atlanta GA is on our left, says the pilot, but I see only green country on the right.

Tonight (assuming the best!) I will drop into a whole other world of folks with expectations & obligations directed at me. <I hope Sofia has taken my absence well.> I received no word from her after my birthday card, & at that time she had received no word from me & was nerved up about my neglecting or even forgetting her. When will she learn to trust me?

I bought the canned asparagus for Doña Carmen’s mother in a market in Portage {WI} enroute to the wedding. I will be surprised if she is ever again well enough to enjoy it. Still it was an obligation.

<I have cheese & sausage to please the natives, & two big chocolate bars, plus special chocolates for Sofia.> If I make it through customs intact, it will be a pleasant “homecoming.”

I bought a shortwave radio / cassette recorder combination in Madison. <It will be entertainment for Sofia & I when we are on our own, and I expect I’ll be able to resell it when I leave Costa Rica.> I have a Carly Simon tape & a blank. I will try to buy some good material in Spanish to take back north with me.

We are passing over Plains, Georgia, home of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, & a brand new tourist attraction!

<I still feel basically right about my decision to marry Sofia.> It will be a tough first few years both financially & in terms of social adjustment, but she values honesty & fidelity as I do, & I think she’ll amaze everyone with her adaptability to new situations. My task will be always to point out the beautiful & interesting things, and keep her from getting uptight by giving her my faith & love.

No comments: