Why this blog?

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Who is Inge? Dominique asked the question over lunch the other day. He found the mention of her name here and didn't know what it meant.

I guess I haven't really explained, have I?

Inge Jeike was my best friend in high school. After graduation, she went to the University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder and I went to Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins. It was during my freshman year at CSU that I met Charlie. We were married just 7 months after we met - on September 7th, 1968. Back in those days it was unthinkable to live together before you were married - at least as far as my father was concerned! So Charlie and I moved into a cute little house in Ft. Collins and both of us continued our studies - I was a sophomore, he was a graduate student.

However, the marriage didn't last, and we were divorced in June 1972 - shortly before my graduation from college. I moved in with Inge and she and I planned a trip to Europe to celebrate our college graduation. We found a charter flight that was offering one-way tickets from Denver to Paris for $100 ! Let's go! Furthermore, Inge's sister had been living and teaching in Germany and she left behind a Volkswagen Beetle for Inge.

September 1, 1972 - Inge and I boarded the plane to Paris and a day or two later, we took the train to Germany, picked up the VW, and took off on a tour of Europe with no plans, no reservations, no idea where we'd end up - following our "pif". Our road trip lasted more than three months and included several countries and lots of adventures. Here we are in Greece enjoying a fish dinner fresh from the sea.

But here's a surprise - Charlie bought a ticket on the same charter flight. He "followed" me to Paris. And eventually, with Inge's help, he won me back and we got back together in Paris. There is a LOT more to that story, but this is the very abbreviated version.

Back to Inge: She stayed in Paris for a while longer and then eventually moved back to the U.S. She was working as a marketing director for a ski resort in Lake Tahoe when she was killed in a small plane crash carrying her boss and a couple of co-workers. It was in August, 1977. She was 27 years old. I was here in Paris, pregnant with my son Eric, and unable to return to Colorado for the funeral.

I often think about the blessings that my life has provided me - my long term relationship with Charlie, my incredible sons, luck in my career(s). Inge missed out on the long term relationship. She never had children. And so every morning when I wake up to a new day filled with love, filled with possibilities, filled with LIFE, I make an effort to appreciate these precious days, these precious gifts, and I resolve to observe and appreciate every day that I have on this earth. And what better day to remember than the first day of a New Year.

Love and blessings and joy and appreciation to all.

Happy New Year

1 comment:

  1. OK, now I'm paying attention again! And what a great way to start the New Year. Happy New Year to you too, dear Elaine!

    So check your gmail. A plan is emerging...