Saturday, December 22, 2007


Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays,
'Cause no matter how far away you roam

When you pine for the sunshine

Of a friendly face

For the holidays, you can't beat

Home, sweet home

It was more than a friendly face and sunshine, I had a great time watching my #1 nephew JL during his Tae Kwon Do class (photo above). I learned that Tae means to kick, Kwon means to strike with the hand and Do means discipline. Taken together, Tae Kwon Do means the art of kicking and punching, similar to my kickboxing class. JL went through all the exercises, but fell down towards the end when he tried to deliver the jumping front kick. I was standing nearby and had to stop myself from rushing over as the instructor already checking to make sure that JL was not injured. JL was able to continue afterward and received a gold star for his efforts.

The photo below shows JL with Polly, the Squawkers Macaw, a great Christmas gift from my sister, CH, who was promoted to #1 Aunt that evening. JL was so excited when he opened the present and proclaimed, "It was exactly what I wanted"! Later, diplomatically JL said to CH, "You shouldn't have" and the whole family burst into laughter, amazed at JL communication skills at such young age. The next day, JL continued to enjoy the bright parrot, playing the phrases and silly sound effects and really had fun with the recorder. JL surprised Grandma when he recorded a phrase in Chinese and Grandma thought the parrot knew how to speak Chinese.

The photo above was taken at Grand Central Station. I thought of the servicemen and women who are serving overseas, away from their families. I hope and prayed they would all soon be safely home to celebrate the holidays with their loved one.
As we were walking around town, I commented to my husband that the store (photo above) had the same signs, Going Out of Business, Closing Sale, Everything must be Sold, just as almost 20 years ago when I was working at the building nearby. Personally I would never purchase any electronic items when I am out of town, let alone out of the country. I wonder about the foreign tourists who thought they got a good deal out of the sale items in this store, only to learn that the items they purchased 6,000 miles away, no longer worked properly when they arrived home.

Each time we visited NYC, it has been a tradition that my husband and I must go to the United Nations and spend time in its coffee shop. It was the place we met in July 1987 and after more than 20 years, my husband still loves to tell our greatest love story to anyone who asks the question, "How did you two meet?".

I saw this building 505 Fifth at 42nd Street (photo below) but not sure if this CIT was the same company I worked for in early 1982-mid 1983. The location I worked at was around 56th street and Madison. The company later moved to Livingston, New Jersey. (To this day, more than 25 years later, I stayed in touch with my supervisor, Mrs. MB. She was kind to me and always encouraging.) I attended LaGuardia Community College during the day and worked as Data Entry Operator from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Back then I was young and had a lot of energy to endure the schedule of classes at 8:00 a.m. in the morning, after a quick lunch, then rush to work. Homeworks were done in between classes, on the subway to work or even on the way home at almost midnight. Many times I would skip dinners and used the break to catch up with homework or final exams.
There was a young man named Thomas who graduated at the same time with me from Chinatown Manpowers (a training and employment agency on Mulberry Street in Chinatown). Out of the kindness of his heart, in addition to bringing dinners from home, Thomas also packed a small container for me. We were good friends but never went beyond movies or lunch in Chinatown. Whether because of his shy nature being Asian American, Thomas never made an advance or even expressed any romantic interest towards me. Or could be that I was too busy to notice. We lost touch after I left CIT to work for an insurance company at 666 Fifth Avenue. Wherever you are, Thomas, thanks for all the dinners and for being a good friend.

Believe it or not, taking the subway made me feel at home too. My husband complimented me that I was able to make connections, getting off at stations to transfer to different trains without looking at the subway map. When I told my friend, MW that I would take the subway and meet her in Flushing. MW was surprised that I remembered how to transfer to the #7 train from midtown. I am out of New York, but New York is always within my heart and mind.
Oh there's no place like home
For the holidays, 'cause no matter
How far away you roam
If you want to be happy in a million ways
For the holidays, you can't beat
Home, sweet home

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