Loading Cedar

So many of the sculptures and bas-reliefs left to us by the ancients commemorate battles and victories and victorious rulers. Sometimes, though, we get a glimpse of real folk. People we recognize. People doing something we have done before - oh, perhaps we have not loaded a sea-going trireme with cedar logs from Lebanon or thereabouts. But we may have had a friend or two help us carry a couch to the moving van. That's why I love this bas-relief. See the guy on the end, making sure of the load? Read more about Loading Cedar


If you get into history the way I get into history, you'll understand the "pinch me" feeling that came over me nearly every time I turned a corner in Istanbul. The very act of putting foot to ground in this fabled city sent tingles up my spine. I wanted to mind-meld with every stone. A view from Topkapi Palace was one of those moments. Read more about Topkapi

Little House in Istanbul

In the flat they occupy in Istanbul, my sister sits at a table that she had made, if memory serves, from a pair of old Singer sewing machines she found somewhere. Reading old National Geographics I discovered that Singer has a wonderful history in many of the remote places of the world. They invented a portable treadle sewing machine which, transported on donkey back, traveled with its attendant tailor, from village to village doing work as required.
31JoanAtHomeInIstanbul.jpg Read more about Little House in Istanbul

Holy Wisdom

We left off last week with me sprawled in the Street of the Satellite Dishes, while my ankle swelled up like a misshapen pear. A couple of guys came running out of a nearby shop hauling a stool, insisting that I haul myself up on it because, as my sister translated, if I kept sitting on the curb, where I had managed to drag myself so far, I would get "sick in my rear."

Apparently sitting on cold stone or concrete, in Turkey, causes diarrhea. Read more about Holy Wisdom