Traducere in limba romana la sfirsit.

I was a very private girl, back in my adolescent years and far too serious for my own good. I kept to myself a lot- nothing changed much there- and if not for Ica, I would’ve had a non-existent social life- which I didn’t seem to mind.

Ica to me, was the heart-beat of a certain group of young people from the church I attended. Sure she was more involved with my younger brother, Alin- who sang quite beautifully- but I was her friend as well. She gave me lots of advise when my heart was broken by one boy- my nick name was Ice Queen, for my charming and warm character- helped me get my first job, through her sister Lena and remained my friend all these years despite the fact that I’m terrible at communicating-go figure.

Ica introduced me to her sweet mom, who in my opinion should get the “Nicest woman in the world” award. Ica introduced me to Lena, her sister, who didn’t talk much but she cared for people. Ica, to me, is the symbol of a great friend with whom you can build a boat load of memories.

I remember one evening, after church, when a group of friends walked home together-as friends often do- stopping for these thin and long Romanian hot-dogs (crenvusti), to this new restaurant that opened soon after the revolution of 1989. I was broke-as usual- but in Romania there’s this unspoken motto-one for all and all for one- thing. The person with money buys for everyone. And that person on that particular evening was Stelica, a guy full of numerous jokes and endless stories. Camelia, a soft-spoken, pretty, blond girl kept me company along-side Ica and my brother Alin. In truth, most of the time I felt like a third wheel. I lived too much in my head- as I still do- with my stories and my own adventures, and preferred the company of a book to any socializing. But socializing, is a healthy aspect of life and Ica was smack in the middle of it all, masterfully directing and conducting the whole thing. What can I say- she has a gift for this sort of thing:)

Soon after I left for the States, Ica got married to a wonderful man and together they had three beautiful children I got to know through Facebook- the only reason I’m on that social site, to see my old friends. Today Ica runs a pharmacy and she’s just as bubbly as ever. Every time I visit Romania, she makes me feel welcomed there, in the land I once was part of- and hopefully will be again in the coming years:)

Thank you Ica for being my friend all these years and being willing to put up with a socially distant speciment such as myself. What wonderful memories we’ve built together:)

God bless:)


Am fost- si inca mai sint- o fata foarte privata in anii adolescentei si mult prea serioasa pentru acei ani tineri. Am tinut mult in mine- nu prea mult sa schimbat in acest capitol:)-si daca nu at fi fost Ica in viata mea, as fi avut o viata sociala extrem de redusa-fapt care nu ma deranjat niciodata.

Ica pentru mine, a fost inima sociala a unui grup de tineret din biserica la vremea acea- poate si in present, dar acest lucru eu nu-l cunosc- din care faceam si eu parte. Desi ea a fost implicata mult mai mult cu fratele meu, Alin- forma-se o formatie cu Adelina si cred ca Stelian- a fost si este si prietena mea. Mi-a dat sfaturi cu privinta la baieti- subiect care nu m-a interesat prea adanc, desi a fost un baiat care mi-a furat inima- si tot cu ajutorul ei si a sorei ei, Lena, am primit primul meu loc de munca ca vinzatoare de inghetata si suc care la vremea respectiva era la moda:)

Tot prin Ica am cunoscut-o si pe mama ei, o femeie atit de dulce ca merita premiul “femeii cea mai bune” din lume. La Ica in casa am acumulat multe memorii, foarte innocente si pline de bucurie, mai ales la sarbatori:) Lena, sora ei mai mare care de-si nu era vorbareata avea inima de aur, ma invatat cum sa fac inghetata la chioscul domunului Vasile- seful nostru:) Si -cum fac tinerii de obicei dupa biserica- dupa revolutie ne opream la restaurantele noi deschise care printre altele, serveau crenvusti fierti:) Imi aduc aminte ca intr-o seara, impreauna cu Camelia, o fata tare faina, blonda si finuta, atit cit si cu Alin, Ica, Adelina, Stelica si inca citiva tineri, ne-am oprit la un crenvusti si vorbind de ale noastre am mincat toti crenvusti platiti de Stelica.

Dupa ce am plecat in America, Ica sa casatorit cu un baiat tare bun si impreuna au trei copii, pe care am avut ocazia sa-i vad pe Facebook mai mult decit in realitate. Cind vizitez Hunedoara, orasul in care am crescut, Ica ma face sa ma simt binevenita in orasul care o data in trecut am avut si eu un rol in el.

Iti multumesc de prietenia oferita, desi stiu ca social nu sint cel mai cald exemplu:) Ce ani frumosi am trait, ce memorii pretioase am facut:) (Ica e mentionata in cartea care am scris-o si care va aparea pe piata Romana annul asta:)

O zi binecuvintata va doresc la toti:)


Back in Romania, during my teens there was this crazy fashion of flashy knitted sweaters. All the popular girls in church- my only social hangout- had them and I longed for one of my own. That required yarn-which I didn’t have- money to buy the yarn- which I also didn’t have, and knowledge to the powerful secrets of a well knitted sweater.

Then I met Simona, a very nice girl with a rich knowledge to a well knitted sweater. Besides knowledge, Simona had money and she filled my arms with the most beautiful mohair yarn I’ve even seen, knitting magazines and friendship. I did knit some pretty sweaters and I too walked in church with a smile on my face when the finished product was beautifully displayed on my thin body, but like any respectable poor person I was a little behind in my fashion walk. By the time my pretty sweaters were done, everyone else moved on to another trend: sweaters made by a modern sowing machine.

Funny how life turns out. I ended up in Seattle. Simona ended up in Portland knitting up a storm with her beautiful hands. She has a great home-based business (Gentle Touch) and she seems so happy:)

I’ll forever be grateful to her for taking time out of her busy schedule and teaching a young lady the secrets of a well knit sweater:)

God Bless:)

Tanti Olga

We all have relatives we love or not.

I fell in love with my aunt Olga at an early age- maybe 10 years old- and that feeling never changed. The first time I saw her I thought she was the most beautiful woman- other than my mom- on the planet, and I wanted to look just like her when I grew up. And it wasn’t her extraordinary talent as a cook that hooked me further, but her laugh:) When she laughs- to this day- my world is better:) I love her stories and the way she tells them- clearly a great pointer for the writer within me- and the love towards life that I see in her. Through her I met her wonderful sisters and brothers, then their families and I felt rich. I smiled at their jokes but inside I simply burst with happiness for the love they so easily shared with me. Every advise I got from her healed a part of my soul and I loved her that much deeper. In fact, when my father made me go to Moldova to meet a stranger in order to marry him- to keep me from marrying Chet- tanti Olga had a few pieces of advise. The first ones are private, but next she said;

‘Carmen, don’t worry. Everything is in God’s hands. If you’re meant to marry this boy from Moldova, you will. But if God wants you to marry Chet, you will. Let’s not go out of our way to meet this boy. Let it work itself out.” And it did work itself out. I never met the boy and I married Chet:) (These details are found in my novel:Out of Darkness).

She can take the frustrations of life- and she had a few in her lifetime- and turn them into something positive. Few have that gifting. And every time I think about her a smile gets plastered across my face.

In fact, I have to wipe a tear away from my eyes- tears of joy- as I’m writing about her now. I miss her everyday and I’m so glad she’s my aunt.

I hope this story makes you think of a relative you love just as much as I love aunt Olga:)

And my cousins are just as fantastic as their mom and dad, I have few awesome memories together:)

God bless:)