Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I became a world traveler at 3

In 1973 my family embarked on a round-the-world trip that took us to Japan for several months before boarding the Trans Siberian Express to Moscow and Helsinki. My father was on sabbatical, visiting a number of physicists and their laboratories in Japan and the Soviet Union. That alone was quite unusual in those days -- in the height of the cold war.

But he also brought along his wife and 4 children, aged 3 to 17. This made for quite an unusual journey - dare we say, an odyssey?  Luckily, my mother insisted that she and my older siblings each keep a journal.

On deck of the ship taking us from Japan to Russia

In Red Square, Moscow

Some 30 years went by, but the effects from this trip remain prevalent in our lives.  One of us still has that traveling edition of monopoly that my siblings created in our little apartment in Japan.  Even my in-laws can quote some of the sayings that "cute little Monica" came up with.

So it came that a little over a decade ago my sister Nancy typed up the diaries into a combined work.  That manuscript (if we may label it as such) was a highlight of mom's 70th birthday celebration for which we were all together to celebrate.  We read passages aloud - chuckled at the idioms of the day and the non-sequiturs that are endemic in unedited diary entries.  It's quite funny to see up to four different accounts of the events on a particular day - whether it was different points of view on a common set of activities, or more so when each chose different events as the most significant for that day.

Yep... Cute Little Monica
All of us on the Trans-Siberian Express
(plus a curious boy - LOL!)

We joked about publishing.

And then self-publishing came around, and -- a long story of the process of a family co-editing 40 year old text turned short -- we've done it!

You can find the book:

A family journal of our trek through Japan & Russia in 1973

Since I was just 3, I am left with only a few authentic memories from the trip. Like the bus driver in Russia who took a shine to me and cracked pine nuts for me.  And the Japanese amusement park that had trampolines mounted in the ground that you could bounce back and forth on.  And that time I got knocked off my feet by a soccer ball in Geneva.  For me, reading the diary was not a 'remember the time when...' experience since I have so few recollections of the trip -- so I feel a little more a-kin to our readers than our authors.  I found it to be a compelling story, I hope you do too!

(Find us talking about the journey and the journal on Facebook! )



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