- This pretty much sums up the week:
- My sister was here this week for a medical conference, and my elder son arrived for a visit as well. It’s been lovely to see them both and to check out some new-to-me restaurants (Cactus Club Cafe, Nuba, Joe Fortes) as well as a meal here at the condo. Fran heads back east today on the train, and Alex is here for another week or two.
My four month reading challenge is winding down at the end of November. I’ve got two novels to finish up by the 30th: Dead Until Dark: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris (the first of the Sookie Stackhouse series) and Story of Blanche and Marie by Per Olov Enquist. The first is a vampire novel and fulfills the task to read a book set in Louisiana. It’s not the sort of book that I would normally read, but it’s entertaining and light. I picked up the second book in Stockholm and it fulfills a task to read two books set in the same watershed. I’ve chosen the Seine and this book is set in Paris.
- The trash sorting system in this building is intricate. Unlike in Toronto, where all the recyclables go into one bin, we have to separate everything here including paper into “dry newsprint” and mixed paper (magazines, junk mail, writing paper, phonebooks, cardboard). No styrofoam or plastic bags, and only plastics labelled 1,2, and 3). I haven’t figured out how to return beer, wine, and liquor bottles yet, and milk bottles go back to the grocer. There is compost for the building, so that’s good.
- Our extended family meals are starting to go here.
- Last Saturday, Z and I had lunch with a colleague of his and her partner. She is Jewish, from Odessa, and when she heard that my ancestors were also from there, was interested in getting together. We had a lovely time, and it has spurred me on to try to break through some brick walls on my Berkman research.
My great-grandfather was Myer Berkman (b. 1863, Minsk), who was married to Adela (d. bef 1909), for whom I do not have a surname. My grandfather was David Berkman (b. c 1888, Odessa; d. 1956, Hawkesbury, ON). David had a sister Sadie who married Samuel Rubenstein in Lachine, QU in May 1909. They went on to live in Hawkesbury and have nine children. I have recently been in touch with one of Sadie’s descendents and I hope to get a chance to meet him next time I’m in his city.
I continue to pour over JewishGen, a very comprehensive set of databases, but records are scanty, language and transliteration make names difficult to find, and I still dream of hiring a researcher to see what can be found on the ground in Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. I’ve also done DNA testing, but I really need to get my brother to do it as well as we need the male line to trace paternal genes.
- How awesome is this?
“About to take a Selfie with Medal of Freedom co-recipients Barbra Streisand and Steven Spielberg at the White House. OMG! I’m so excited!” — Itzhak Perlman (posted on Facebook)
That’s all folks! Keep warm. Enjoy your leftovers, my American friends. More quick takes over at This Ain’t The Lyceum.