2013 Blogproject: a shared story

My destiny is in your hands, the Victorian meaning of the Camelia

For my 2013 blogproject Ann Kennedy send me one of her favorite photographs. Ann post letters her mother wrote to her grandmother over a long period of time, about 40 years, on her blog. Ann and I started a conversation which I really want to share with you.

Ann, what a great idea to post your letters on a blog.
It has been through the letters that I learned so much about my parents before I was born.  When I had just turned 3 years old, my father was awarded a Fulbright grant to teach at a university and live in Japan for a year.  Right now, my blog is documenting that year through my mom's letters, her diary and photographs she and my dad took.  The photo I sent you holds special meaning for me even though I was really too young to remember the trip.  My mother always told me that I loved being on board the ship and loved looking at the ocean.  I still love the ocean!

You’ve told me that pictured are you, your mom and brother. Could you tell me a bit more? 
This is a photo of us aboard the Aki Maru, traveling from Japan where we had lived for a year, to San Francisco in the summer of 1954.  From San Francisco we would travel back home to Illinois.  I (Ann) was not quite 4 years old, my brother, Bob, 6-1/2 years.  My mother's name was Bonnie.

Who is the photographer?  
It was taken by my dad, who everyone called "B".

Where was this photo kept during the years? 

The photo was kept in an album for many years, then I took it out and put it in a small pewter frame where it has stayed ever since.

Do you have a special place to keep this family picture?

It is on a book shelf with many other family photos.

Why is this photo one of your favorites?

It represents an adventure of sorts and we were happily looking forward to returning home to the U.S., even though our time in Japan was wonderful.  I think we were happy about seeing our friends and family again soon after having been away for a year.

What’s your memory about being there on the Aki Maru?

I was really too young to have memories of the experience, but our family talked about it often throughout my lifetime and I have fond memories of those conversations and of my parents telling me about the special things we saw, the people we met and the things we did while on board. 

I was intrigued by the flowers your mother is wearing on her dress. Does your mother wore flowers more often? 
My mother loved all kinds of flowers and natural things, and enjoyed wearing a corsage on special occasions like to dances, special events and parties.  I believe this one was given to her by friends before boarding the ship.

Ann, thank you very much for sharing your story and picture! 

.. Ann family blog

PS Do you have a picture you want to share with me? You can send it to info@puuranders.nl. Can't wait to see it!

photo pink Camelia: Amy of Bunnyfrogs on Flickr


Ann zei…
Thank you so very much for sharing the story and for the wonderful image of the camellia. I know my mother would be thrilled to see your blog and all of the lovely things you create. Best wishes to you and your readers!