Category: Travel Notebook


Ten months ago, when I first began my search for Silvia, I never imagined visiting Estonia. I was anticipating three weeks in Paris, but eventually, Silvia changed my plans. Tonight…
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Visiting Helme

The clouds billow in from the west like puppets on strings, their shapes fantastical as if drawn from a child's imagination. We follow a field of yellowing rye down a…
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A Map to Viinamärdi

Rain has been the predominant weather pattern during much of my trip to Estonia, with more expected in the coming week. A day with a sunny forecast has become a…
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With my forehead pressed against the window, I focus on the moving blur of green, feeling a heavy sadness. I am on the train, leaving Tallinn, without meeting Silvia's sister.…
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KGB Prison Cells, Tallinn

With a fair amount of trepidation, I had previously passed the imposing facade awaiting me. Moving past the infamous bricked-in windows, I walk down the steps to the KGB Prison…
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In an earlier post, A Mother's Voice, which I wrote from the dates of a genealogical outline, I likened the lives of Silvia's mother and stepmother to the "shadows, flitting across the…
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The Day, for Estonia.

Today was the day. It was the day I had traveled to Estonia to experience. I couldn't eat and I hadn't slept much. What sleep had come had brought dreams…
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Silvia and Henrik’s Jaani Fire

The day Henrik Visnapuu left North America, his remains returning on a special flight across the Atlantic to his homeland, was an important day for Estonia, as well as myself.…
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The Last Book

The weather today was blustery with manic periods of rain, creating less than ideal conditions for visiting Silvia's childhood home, or strolling through the nearby park that held her fond…
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Follow Silvia's story as it unfolds, or share the narrative with others.