Sunday, June 24, 2012

Steve and Marcia are heading to the States

 As you may have noticed, we have been pretty “quiet” since returning to Corregidor after the last tour. It was a very busy stretch for us, starting in late March and going into early June, so we were ready for some “R & R.” Our other priority has been preparations for our annual US trip.

We had a week or so of cloudy weather and off-and-on rain due to a typhoon that passed a few hundred miles east of the Philippines. It sure greened things up around here. The dry season was much shorter this year, with only the month of April being continually sunny. Often this period can extend from December through May or even June.

Flame trees (Poinciana) are in their glory – bright orange blossoms – this time of year. We took a walk to Battery James and saw a beautiful flame tree overlooking Manila Bay. The blossoms appear on bare branches, followed by the new leaves. They are most beautiful in June.

The other night we watched a beautiful sunset from Battery Grubbs. Being summer solstice time, this is as far north as the sun travels. You can see that the sun is setting over the southernmost part of Bataan. Just out of view on the far left would be La Monja Island. For comparison, we’ve included a second picture, this one taken in November and showing the sun setting to the left of La Monja. We don’t have any sunset photos taken near Christmas, which would show the southernmost point at winter solstice, even farther to the left of the island.

We have corresponded with author David Athey for many years and had the privilege of meeting him several years ago in Minnesota. David’s father-in-law, Jim, was one of Steve’s English Professors at St. Cloud State College when we got married. Jim and his wife asked us to babysit their children on several occasions. David eventually married Jim’s daughter. Steve is pretty sure that he would not have pursued a degree in English if it had not been for Jim’s enthusiasm of his subject, 19th century American literature. David has recently published a new book and has asked us to give our readers the link. Although we have not yet read the book, we know that it deals with a man who comes to a life-crisis and finds answers in his newfound faith. Check out

We fly out of Manila and back to the United States on July 1. Tentatively we will spend about a month in northern Minnesota with Steve’s Mom. We will head to central Michigan for a couple of weeks sometime in early August. Before flying back to the Philippines in late August, we will be in Minneapolis to attend a niece’s wedding.

Because there still appears to be no distribution process in place for our book in the United States, we will try to bring as many copies as possible. Many of you have expressed an interest, so we will work out some way of getting the book to you. We will have email access throughout our trip.

We have been writing this newsletter for over three and a half years. During that time, we have had many interesting experiences and met many interesting people. We are amazed that we could come up with so many things to say without – we hope – being too redundant. We will probably still send out the occasional newsletter, but do not anticipate that it will come out every week or so as it has in the past. Instead, we are considering writing a second book about another aspect of WW II here in the Philippines.

Steve and Marcia on the Rock

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