Geraldine and May Shieh in the classroom in VA, 2003,with May presenting lovely gift of her own creation, signed by everyone in the course at the term's end.
The year 2002 has passed away very quickly. I traveled quite a lot last year. My husband and I had a two week Princess Cruise and a land tour of Alaska starting on August 26 th and we returned home on September 8th.
I could not believe myself to have so much energy. I was able to finish up washing my laundry, packing my suitcase hastily and getting ready to catch the early flight the next morning for Los Angeles for my mother's 91st birthday. I spent two weeks with my parents. My father is 94.
I feel fortunate to have my parents live independently by themselves.
On Dec. 7th, my husband and I cruised the Southern Caribbean for one week. One day after I got back, I was on my way to L. A. again for two weeks taking care of my mother who had cataract eye surgery scheduled on Dec. 17 th. I had to go through the same travel hassles as before. I was glad that I had a little bit of experience from the previous trip so I could handle the chaos with the busy Christmas season and the last minute traveling.
This was the first Christmas I had left my husband and my son alone at home by themselves without having a Christmas tree put up. Fortunately, my husband and I had a picture taken before a red poinsettia Christmas tree at St. Thomas market place by a kind stranger. Also before we left the Royal Caribbean cruise, we passed by a Christmas tree. My husband and I decided to take each other's pictures before the tree. Ironically, I had a large straw hat on posed before a Christmas tree. 2002 Christmas certainly was an exceptional one for us.
While I was at L.A., I met my sisters, my brother and my high school friends. Every one I met seemed to have a good career and great wealth. Compared with them, I felt I never had a good career, but I lived a simple and happy life.
While I was flying back home on New Years Eve, I thought I should make a New Year's resolution. I was not quite sure what my resolution would be, because I was too tired from the long flight and long waiting in the airport. I just closed my eyes and said my prayer. I humbly thanked God for his blessings for the year 2002 and ask his Divine Guidance for the year 2003.
Even though I had a good visit with my parents, I was glad to come home on New Year's Day, 2003. I tried hard to catch up on the routine work at home. I also found time to exercise and swim at the YMCA.
I intended to make myself more accomplished this year, I found a new piano teacher at Lynchburg Music Center, and I started my first lesson on Jan. 7th. I hoped someday to be able to play for my Chinese Church.
On Monday morning, Jan. 13th, I went to swim at YMCA. After I finished 32 laps of swimming, I met a friend and we had a good chat. She told me that she was going to take a Creative Writing Class at Central Virginia Community College. I said that was very nice and I wish I could take it too. She was very helpful to give me all the information. After I got back home, I forgot about it. I was not really serious about taking the course. I tried hard to practice piano for Tues. morning class.
Then my friend called me and told me more about the Creative Writing Class. I told her that I was not going. Even if I would take the class, I could only take Creative Writing I. But she insisted that I take the same class with her so that we could ride together; therefore, I rushed to get to the classroom and I even got a parking ticket. I was very embarrassed to step into the classroom. I wished that I could hide myself and not be noticed.
The professor kindly welcomed me into the classroom. I was amazed by her understanding. I knew that I would be able to learn something from her through the class even though, I never dreamed of myself being a student again after I graduated from Northern Illinois University in Jan., 1967. All the classmates were nice and able to accept me in the classroom. All of a sudden I felt all my fears and worries were lifted. I was fortunate to be able to take that class. I knew that I could never be able to accomplish as much as my fellow classmates, but I would try my best.
I foresaw a broad new knowledge widely opening before me. This was the first time I learned to type on Microsoft Works Word Processor. What a new experience for me! I only thanked God for his omnipotent guidance and leading me to a new direction. I wish I could improve my writing techniques through many years of hard work and discipline.