8/7/17, God Bless America!

Hi Everyone,

I’m still a little dazed from travelling, moving around a lot in the last few weeks, and a vacation with my kids, and now getting back to work. I’ve been doing re-writes (on books) all week. And I had a REALLY lovely experience I want to share with you.

One of my employees, a wonderful woman, became an American citizen this week, and I was honored to be invited to the ceremony. I’ve never been to one before, and I was thrilled to go. I knew it was an important moment for her. She is Italian, and grew up in England, and has been in the US for more than 30 years, with a green card, and decided to become a citizen. And the ceremony was beautifully organized, and very touching. It was held in really lovely theater from the 1930’s, there were 1,014 people naturalized, from 92 countries. And everything was perfectly planned from the moment we got there.

While we waited for the ceremony to start there were films of various beautiful parts of the US, and some wonderful film clips of Ellis Island, which is a fascinating place, which I’ve researched in the past for several books. The stories of immigrants there in the early days are very touching, and they have remarkable records, where you can find your ancestors in the ledgers of immigrants going back over 100 years. We were greeted by various Federal employees, a chorus sang, and there was a mounting sense of excitement as we waited for the new citizens to take the oath. It’s a long, long process for many, until they get to the final event. We saw a wonderful film clip from Madeleine Albright, the previous ambassador to the UN, and Secretary of State (under Clinton). who was apparently Czechoslovakian, and came to the US at eleven. She gave a very moving talk of what it meant to her then and now. There were a few more speeches, we sang the Star Spangled Banner, pledged allegiance to the flag, and then finally the oath was administered and 1,014 people became Americans. What touched me profoundly was how excited and thrilled they were, and how much it obviously meant to them. To those of us born here, we take our citizenship and freedoms for granted much of the time, and then you see how much it means to others, how they have struggled for it, and wished for it, it really makes you realize how precious those freedoms are, and what a gift.

After the ceremony, people milled around outside with a festive feeling and atmosphere, then a group of us went to lunch to celebrate with her. It was a fun day, and a very special moment I was proud to share!!

The other excitement of my week was official, but less patriotic, and a lot less fun—Upon renewal of a drivers’ license in California now, you have to take the written test, every five years. The booklet of questions to prepare you for it is 80 pages long, with sooo MUCH to remember. I passed, but was terrified I wouldn’t.

So I’m keeping busy and having fun. It was a very ‘official’ week for me!!! I hope you’re having a great summer!!!

lots of love, Danielle

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4 Comments so far
  1. Lorraine August 7, 2017 2:58 pm

    Congratulations to your employee on her citizenship and congratulations to you for passing the drivers test (again)~! Enjoying all your newest books this summer, and on the library wait list for 3 more! Can’t wait to read them!

    Lorraine

  2. Nicole August 11, 2017 12:42 pm

    I have been a fan since “Jewels”. I will never forget it. I was just a bored sophomore in high school, randomly flipping through TV channels and “Jewels” was just starting. Something compelled me to watch and I could not turn away. I thought it was a true story.

    To this day, Jewels is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It never left me — so much, to where I had to read the book, which was even better. Sorry for the tangent.

    I am so happy for your employee, who was just granted U.S. Citizenship. I am also an immigrant (been here since an infant) who finally naturalized back in 2009. As an aside, at my ceremony there was a girl named Cinderella who stood next to me. She looked like Cinderella, too. 🙂

    Finally, congratulations on renewing your driver’s license. I hope your pic turned out fabulous.

    I just stumbled upon your blog recently and I’ve been binge reading ever since. It is just fascinating. Sharing your life experiences has been such a great comfort to me, more than you will ever know. Thank you. 🙂

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  4. Fabienne Beringer August 13, 2017 8:12 am

    Eileen just died in 44 Charles Street after being beaten and strangled to death by Brad ….. I read and read and read Danielle Steel … everybody does 😊

    I was on your Homepage and I am delighted about what I found. You are very inspiring to me and I would like to write about a project I have in my mind.

    I love the style of your books. It seems to me you are alike Emile Zola taking stories out of real life in a way the reader will learn about things happening in life if not in his own but possibly around him. Some books are really helpful in understanding people or situations and also to acknowledge that there is always a very positive way to deal with complicated, challenging situations.

    I am Maître de ballet, you will find a brochure attached and I would be happy if you would look at it.

    I grew up in St Tropez and Strasbourg. I worked in Paris in Haute Couture and as a Stylist at the Atelier of Photographer G. Vormwald. I had 2 boys Samuel and David and adopted 2 after her mother committed suicide. I worked many years abroad — Indonesia, Singapore, Greece, Italy … I am living alone in the past 15 years and I have a very precious assistant: Nektarios is a monk and scholar from Mount Athos, Monastery of Hagios Gregorios. Doing for me all the office work and my accounts.

    I am living now in Baden-Baden Germany. I chose Baden-Baden because of the beauty of the gardens and parks, the historical settings and the French touch. I went there with my mother and aunts, when St Tropez was too hot and too crowded. But it is Germany, nevertheless, and it lacks sparks and spirit. Also, people get more and more stuck with their mobile phone and no fantasy or dreams.
    Enfin, I realise being 64, that nobody will write me a Valentine Card or „mending a fuse“, and my attitude is not just to wait for things to happen.

    I am French and I suppose as you live also in Paris that you are used to the French ways. We are rather exuberants.

    After this far too long or too short an introduction, I would like to tell about what I think we could successfully achieve together.

    I need a partner to conduct the many projects I have on my mind. In the social settings I am now I have no chance to move in the direction I wish to go on my own. I need a female soulmate.

    Women after 60 rarely get a chance to discuss new projects and to give the world an input in thinking. Not through teaching but with living exemple. Joie de vivre is as contagious as depressions are. All my projects show joie de vivre and generosity and a positive hédonisme!

    Men of the same age on all levels of society have their “Clubs“, even the clochards, and most certainly the financial circles. They have power because they communicate and stick together. The results are overwhelming: we have more bankers than dancers, we have more roads then flowergardens, the amount of skyscrapers all over the world and airless offices grows every day, the families have no more time to educate their children and show them that human lifetime is enough time to stop anytime: and have a cup of tea and enjoy the moment(s). Fragile creatures of beauty – butterflies – are still existing to let us feel the power of God and his lovely thoughts … Nature gave post-menopausal women a good amount of powerful energy they mostly use to fight aging, desperately. Are we really aware that the power we are mainly using is youth and an air of innocence. That is what men of all ages are buying. Anytime.

    My projects put women in situations where they gracefully show other ways. You could help me with realizing them, if you like. I think it would be great fun. And it would help to show that women over 60 have a world to promote and to preserve. For the future of femininity.

    I would like to meet you: I offer Baden-Baden, I am sure you will love it, but we could also meet in Paris.

    Thanks for you reading my mail.

    Fabienne