Visit from Uncle Dipak and Aunt Kari

I can’t believe I didn’t mention this sooner! I spent a few days last weekend and this week with family. My uncle and aunt that live in England visited my family for five days, and we all had a great time. Their flight arrived on Friday evening, so we didn’t do much that night. On Saturday, we attended the Asian Moon Festival in Milwaukee. Sunday, we watched the Brewers lose to the Houston Astros, and Uncle and Aunt learned a bit about how baseball is played. Monday, we shopped at Mayfair Mall, Target, and the Home Depot (Uncle was interested in some tools). They left Tuesday to visit my cousin Aditi in Georgia. I think the highlight of their trip is seeing Karen’s children, Isabel, Madeline, and Charlie, and Aditi’s daughter, Savita. It was really great to get together with them again and spend some quality time together (remember that I stayed with them last year when I visited England).

Speaking of which, Savita celebrated her fifth birthday this week (she is exactly one month younger than Isabel). I think the best gift for her is not having to go through treatment, and I’m grateful to hear that she’s doing very well. As I’ve stated before, I hope her situation is resolved and that she never has to face another treatment. Perhaps I will have a chance to visit them next year (this year is pretty much out, considering my situation).

I also want to send my condolences to my friend and softball coach John, who lost his grandmother recently. He called me this morning and informed me that he just returned from Texas. John has been a very good friend since I met him at Bed Bath and Beyond a couple of years ago. My prayers go out to him and his family.

And since I’m on the subject of bad things happening, I also want to mention that my good friends Hansi and Peggy are having some difficult times right now. My prayers go out to them. Peggy recently injured her shoulder, making it difficult to play the Austrian Steirische Harmonika (button-box accordion). But she plans on playing a little, and another friend has asked to show up, support her, and play along (if skilled). In case you don’t feel like looking for her web site on My Links, here it is: Peggy Mueller – http://www.button-box.com (caution: a short tune will start blaring out your speakers when you click on the link; click your browser’s stop button to stop it).

I know you’re probably asking why someone who proclaims to be a huge Metallica fan would listen to German and Austrian folk music. Well, it’s very upbeat, full of life, and awesome when you hear Peggy play. Plus, I grew up on polka (since it’s the official State Dance in Wisconsin now). She currently has two albums out, and they barely capture the strength and heart of her playing. Watching her play live, though, is really a treat. When she plays, you feel the music, and when her husband Hansi gets involved, it becomes extremely fun. On top of that, I’ve performed with her a few times with my Seagull acoustic guitar… in fact, I really impressed them the last time after learning some of her songs and practicing to death. I just wish they’d let me bring my Jackson electric guitar and my Mesa F-50 amplifier. Speaking of which, I better get back to practicing if I’m going to play along with her next week. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit her web site and consider buying her music. Both CDs are really great.

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