Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Oils from Bartolome Estaban Murillo (1617-1682, Sevilla)

Virgin and Child and The Holy Family

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and St.Stephen Basilica, Budapest, Hungary.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Eve in Hungary, 1944

Here we are again in our cozy homes among our beloved families and friends awaiting to celebrate Christmas. When I'm thinking back all of the Christmas Eves, a very vivid picture comes to my mind from my early childhood; not only the joyful celebration, but the brutal force of the destruction of mankind.
World War II was raging its last leg in Europe, and Hungary was the centre of the battle field. Russian troops were moving in rapidly through the Easter borders, while the German invaders were forced to retreat to the West.

I'm sitting at the table with my Mother and brother, eating our meager Christmas Eve dinner of ham and potatoes, and my Mother's "kalacs", the Hungarian bread for special holidays. Our only guest is a man, who is a teacher in the local grade school, but also the father of our little playmates. He came alone to us, because his family already had left to join their relatives in a larger city, but he had to stay and teach until Christmas vacation. He came to say "Good-bye" before he will take the journey to join them. There is a deep sadness in the air above our table that was disturbed only by the distant explosions. My brother and I are eating with huge gulps, and hardly can wait until the dinner is finished.

Our custom is that the unwrapped presents and the decorated tree are hidden behind closed doors until the dinner is finished on Christmas Eve. The living room door was locked all day while my Mother was doing "house cleaning" in there; but my brother and I know for sure that behind this door the glorious surprise is waiting for us. And when we all finish our dinner, my Mother opens the door and walks into the dark room. We just sit there waiting for the little sound of the bell to run into the room where the tree candles are glowing and the sparklers are trowing little fireworks all around us. We are joining hands for few minutes to sing the Christmas carols and to think of our loved ones. The Teacher sings with us joyfully, but his eyes are clouded with tears. It's time for him to take his journey, and after the last hugs he disappears in the cold and dark winter night.

This is a special night for us, and my brother and I are staying up for few more extra hours to explore and enjoy our presents before going to bed. But on this night that never happens, the gunshots and the explosions are getting much closer, and my Mother turns off all the lights. In the now dark house she bundles us all up and we fled on foot to a neighborhood bunker.
That was the last time we saw our Christmas tree that year, because our home got partially destroyed and we had to take shelter with friends in the next couple of months until we were able to return to our home to pick up the pieces of our lives.

I wanted to share this story with my best wishes for the Holidays to appreciate our freedom.
Peace on Earth, and Blessed Christmas to All!

Friday, December 5, 2008

And it's Winter before we know it...

You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all...

And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams... But, here it is...the Winter of my life and it catches me by surprise... How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go, and where did my babies go? And where did my youth go?

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things I wish I had done but never did!!

But, at least I know, that though the Winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over...it's over...

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime..........

Ah, yes where did they go?????

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Gift of the Heart

Just now, before Christmas our main concern is to buy presents for our families and friends. Gifts are wonderful if they come from our love and honest intentions.

However, the greatest gift is coming from our hearts.

It is easy to take our feelings for granted and to assume that the people we care for know how we feel about them. But while those we love are often cognizant of our feelings, saying "I love you" is a gift we should give to our loved ones whenever we can.

The three simple words - "I Love You" - can make a world of difference in someone's life, take a relationship to a new level, or reaffirm and strengthen a steady bond.

It can be difficult to express your love using words, particularly if you grew up around people that never expressed their affections verbally. But you never should be afraid to say it; it is important to share your feelings with those that matters to you. Love exists to be expressed, not withheld.

Saying, "I love you" is a gift of the heart sent directly via words to the heart of a recipient. Even though it may not always look that way, love from the heart is an offering that is always unconditional and given without strings attached.

That is the true essence of the gift "I LOVE YOU".
Wishing you a day filled with laughter, happiness and all the love your heart can hold.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We shall meet again...

The English translation of Solveig's Song:

The winter may pass and the spring disappear, the spring disappear;
The summer too will vanish and then the year, and then the year.
But this I know for certain: you'll come back again, you'll come back again.
And even as I promised you'll find me waiting then, you'll find me waiting then.

God help you when wand'ring your way all alone, your way all alone.
God grant to you his strength as you'll kneel at his throne, as you'll kneel at his throne.
If you are in heaven now waiting for me, in heaven for me.
And we shall meet again love and never parted be, and never parted be!

Lucia Popp: Solveig's Song from Grieg's Peer Gynt

With Thanksgiving Day approaching, I would like to dedicate this song to my dear husband, Len's memory, who departed this year February. Thank you for the 23 wonderful years!

This video was removed, please look up my May 17 2011 posting for the new video.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

This US holiday stretches back to the end of World War I and commemorates the nation's thousands of combat veterans who fought in the service of their country. It was proclaimed in 1919 to commemorate the termination (at 11 AM November 11,1918) of World War I.

On the first anniversary of the truce US President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation eulogizing fallen Allied soldiers, and referring to November 11 as Armistice Day. It became a holiday in the US, France, Great Britain and Canada.

The holiday acquired its present name in the US in 1954. In Canada and Great Britain it is called Remembrance Day for the millions who died during World War I.

Let us honor all those, living and dead, who served with US arm forces in wartime...

Friday, October 31, 2008

On Halloween...

I just could not resist today the temptation to post the baby pictures of my six grandchildren!

I guess, I feel a bit lonely and still awaiting for the little footsteps to approach excitedly at my door on this Eve of All Saints' Day...

These pictures were taken a long, long time ago, when the world was much younger, including myself. My little angels are almost all grown-ups now, and pursuing their own careers and lives. I am extremely proud of them, but in my heart they are still my babies.

My grandchildren

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wonderful music...

Regardless of politics and the outcome of the Revolution, I have to point it out that I never was and never will be prejudiced against any nation. Russia gave us many great talents, and Evgeny Kissin is one of the best. I hope you will enjoy him as much as I do.

Kissin plays Grand Valse by Chopin

Friday, October 24, 2008

budapest 1956

Budapest October 23, 1956

Monday, October 20, 2008

Budapest, October 23, 1956

This is the picture of the Memorial of Recsk, the Hungarian Political GULAG-like prison camp, where hundreds of prisoners were executed in the 1950s.

Today is the 52-nd Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution. These pictures show the Memorial of the Freedom Fighters held in the Mac Arthur Park, Los Angeles, for the 50th Anniversary in 2006.

For five days bombs exploded and machine-guns were in action, spreading death. Budapest, torn by fate, was shedding blood and suffered for five days. But despite hundreds of deaths, the ideal of true patriotism and democracy were burning in every heart. The revolutionary people of Buda and Pest wanted a people's freedom without terror and without fear.
On November 4, 1956 Soviet forces launched a major attack aimed and crushing the spontaneous uprising that had begun 12 days earlier.
The defeat of the Hungarian Revolution was one of the darkest moment of the Cold War.

"October 23, 1956, is a day that will live forever in the annals of free men and nations. It was a day of courage, conscience and triumph. No other day since history began has shown more clearly the eternal unquenchability of man's desire to be free, whatever the odds against success, whatever the sacrifice required.
President John F. Kennedy, on the first anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.


Where has my Summer gone?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Different thing about myself...

There is something I have to tell you. It has nothing to do with this blog, or is it? I'm an addicted Pogo player. What I meant is that I love to play the games, but what I'm addicted to is the Chat. I've met few really interesting people there, and I think they're my friends (but can't be quite sure in some cases), and we're visiting with each other in the chat rooms. In other times it could be just a one-time deal, like getting and giving a good advise on current problems or learning about the art gallery of a fellow player Italian artist.

Today one of the player was telling me about Paul Potts, amateur opera singer from South Wales. I was trying to post his video from YouTube here, but wouldn't take. Anybody has a suggestion how to do it?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hungary, 1956.

By 1956 I was picking up the pieces of my life after spending 26 months in a punitive restricted environment; I had met someone whose love and care was giving me the hope for a brighter future.
However, the drastic events of the Hungarian Uprising completely disrupted our planning and we had to leave everything behind without saying "good-bye" to our families. We left our country, and walked through the borders to Austria during the darkness of the night. It was bitter cold, and reeds crackled when we crossed the frozen marshes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Music....

This is the picture of the Hungarian Opera House in Budapest. When I was much younger I was lucky enough to attend to quite a few operas there. But my life had taken a sudden turn, and for a long-long time I had to turn my back to the classical music.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


In the past year I had created a web site, mainly for my grandchildren to document our family history. Being born in Europe in the 1930s has paved my future from a troubled life to the unknown destination. One can learn about the whole story in my web site.