Final Post of the Brunch for My Favorite Volunteers

April 23, 2009


Back to the brunch for my favorite volunteers, Mary from Peru and S (and her husband F) from Romania.

Now that S from Romania has a job, she and her husband bought a house. Just as my daughter when small had adopted aunts and Random Granddaughter has adopted aunts as well. For that matter, her sperm donor/dad and his co-dad are like adopted uncles. (As I’ve said, RG is much like a science fiction child of the future.)

S and her husband F have adopted nieces. On Saturday mornings S babysits three little girls who live next door. RG knows a few words of Spanish and we had discussed hola and adios with Mary from Peru, I asked S about the corresponding words in Romanian. They sounded very similar to salud and the Italian arrivederci to my clumsy ears.

I asked her husband, F, about his job at Microsoft. He talked about the operating system. It sounded to me as he has a very big propeller. I did not ask him details about his work as I would not understand it and if I could, I should not share it with you, because then I would have to kill you.

To go on safer ground, I asked S and F about Romania, though to stay on safer ground, I did not ask about politics or history. I asked what part of Romania they were from. They said they came from the second largest city, called Costanza.

Mary from Peru has become an American citizen, although as she then went to England for two weeks, I think she and her sisters, like my Aunt Naomi’s family, have become citizens of the world. However, as S and F started talking about Romania, it became obvious to me that they are rather homesick for their native land, and even though they have bought a house in American, I suspect they will return home one of these days, perhaps when they decide to start their own family.

My family asked about food in Romania. S and F said their favorite Romanian food in Romania was fish. “We eat fish all the time in Romania,” they said.

They talked about sturgeon and other fish in the Black Sea and they many rivers of Romania.

“Is the fish safe to eat?” someone in my family asked.

“Oh, yes,” they answered. I was a little skeptical, but I said nothing, as I avoid telling people from other countries about their countries. It is a good policy, I think. When I looked up Romania on Wikipedia, I found


Since almost half of all forests in Romania (13% of the country) have been managed for watershed conservation rather than production, Romania has one of the largest areas of undisturbed forest in Europe.The integrity of Romanian forest ecosystems is indicated by the presence of the full range of European forest fauna, including 60% and 40% of all European brown bears and wolves, respectively.


[the] Danube Delta Reserve Biosphere is the largest and least damaged wetland complex in Europe,


S asked about my daughter’s job and her school plans to study statistics. F then asked Random Granddaughter what she plans to do when she grows up.


RG had been listening very quietly to all the adult conversation. Later, my wife said to me, “I think RG must have been very bored because she was not the center of attention.” However, I think the situation is more complicated than that. RG likes to be the center of attention, but as an introvert she hates to be the center of attention. As a very intelligent child, she likes to participate in adult conversation, but sometimes becomes very flustered and embarrassed and fearful she is making a fool of herself in front of the adults.


Also, she surprised me. Up to now she has always answered the question with fire chief, train engineer, and ferry captain, but in answer to F’s question, she confidently answered, “I will be an artist.”

“What kind of art do you do?” F asked.

“I paint,” she answered. Mommy, a teacher, added, “RG is also thinking about becoming a teacher.”

Of course, everyone wanted to see some of RG’ art work. Mommy (Random Granddaughter’s birth mom and my daughter’s out of law partner) fetched some paintings.

RG held them up so everyone could see and pointed out people, Sylvie, (the family’s little black and white and world’s most affectionate cat), flowers and other interesting representations of her world.


The time had come for everyone to take their leave. We talked about getting together again. S and F often go hiking and camping on the north end of the large island where my wife and I live. (There is a beautiful park with wonderful trails and beaches in that area.) We talked about perhaps all of us going there for a hike in the summer.

Everyone took their leave. I felt that my efforts at organizing a social occasion had gone very well. After the guests left, my wife and I hugged Mama and Mommy and RG goodbye and headed home.

3 Responses to “Final Post of the Brunch for My Favorite Volunteers”

  1. woo Says:

    Interesting information about Romania’s forests – I did not know that. Kudos to Romania for managing their ecological heritage so well. So far.

    I feel that your efforts at organising a social occasion went very well, too. Perhaps you could pop over and organise mine…?

  2. modestypress Says:


    My efforts at organizing social occasions go well about once a decade. I am taking a break while ahead for now. Also the mommies get much of the credit.

  3. It’s nice to know that the whole thing turned out so well. And I’m very impressed with Romania’s eco-preservation.

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