Greetings! We are back in the States on a six-month leave from our boating adventure.
We last emailed you on August 21 from Goiania, Brazil. The next day we flew to Brasilia, where we changed planes. We had to show George’s birth certificate four times to get him out of the country! Then we flew to Atlanta, Georgia where our old friend Larry was waiting for us.
It was a hot and buggy time of year at their home in the eastern suburbs, where we occupied our old bedroom and got the Isuzu pickup running after two years dormancy. We soon realized that two adults and a child don’t fit on it’s small bench seat, so we sold it to a firm that has exported it to Egypt! We then bought a 1996 Volvo station wagon complete with advanced (for Steve) technology and countless luxury features, like airbags! Woo!
Having been out of the country for two years, we appreciated the little things we had missed like overflowing, cheap supermarkets, and plentiful cold water fountains. We bought a cell phone and prepared ourselves for our stay in the U.S. Larry has retired now and has many interesting ham radio and boat projects.
On September 8 we drove to St. Louis where we stayed with friends Lena, Jesse, and Violet. Violet, now a precocious and adorable five years old, eagerly played with George. After an all too brief 9 days, we got into the big cross-country drive, going across Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, sleeping in rest stops, abandoned lots, and unfenced farmland. Each night we moved our gear onto the roof of the Volvo and made up the bed for sleeping.
We arrived at Ginny’s mom and grandmother’s house in Los Angeles on September 26. Ginny and George stayed there while Steve backtracked to New Mexico then drove down through Chihuahua state to seek his best friend Jim Hogg, who hadn’t been heard from for over a year. Formal inquiries had produced no information, so Steve dropped down into the rugged Copper Canyon where Jim had been living. There he sought out the Catholic father in the mining town of Batopilas, who said Jim had died in April, 2012. He enumerated Jim’s many good works on behalf of the local community, to whom Jim had dedicated his life. Steve broke the sad news to Jim’s family in Seattle, then drove back to LA, stopping to repair a broken oil pan resulting from a bad road.
On October 19 we reached the Bremerton home of Steve’s mom (Bonnie) and dad (George, our son’s namesake). This has been our residence. Having been gone from the U.S. for so long there is much to do. We tended to the landscaping at Steve’s house in Pacific and worked on a little cottage for the caretaker of the twelve acres in Snohomish County.
We have also helped Dad organize his shop and acquired various articles necessary for the next leg of our voyage, which will resume in February. We dug out old Ladd family home movies, got a projector to work, and watched the early days of David, Steve, Mike, and Susan. We have been visiting friends, but haven’t gotten around to everyone yet. We had a big family Thanksgiving and look forward to another get-together over Christmas.
A few new photos at: https://picasaweb.google.com/ginnygoon/USA2013
Lots of love,
Steve, Ginny, & George