Wander project Indy, and the family history project…

The first rule of the family history project is share pictures. The second rule is don’t change the pictures. That means if they are not sized properly or at catty whompus angles, they have to be shared as is. For many years I had some different camera phones. The early camera phones were frankly awful. 1 megapixel and even a 0.5-megapixel camera.  What was then is no longer now! Now you can buy a cellular phone with a 10 or 12-megapixel lens. It doesn’t solve the issue of the uncomfortable size and shape of the phone, and the resulting shaking. But the pictures are much better. The one’s today are from an old Pocket PC phone, circa 2005 or so. I wish they were better pictures.

There is a funny thing I did with every single cell phone I ever got. I took the same picture. The reason for that was to see if, in fact, the camera was that much better. I still do, although the subject of the picture has changed considerably. I try to take a comparable or similar picture every time I get a new cellular phone with a camera.

My next picture project remains taking the telescope outdoors and taking pictures of the night sky. By the time I remember that is my goal, I am usually so tired that it is better to crawl to bed and think about night pictures, tomorrow. Funny how time is the one thing we all cherish and it is the one thing that slips through our fingers no matter what we do.

Anyone, my apologies for the poor pictures. They are from a long time ago. For those who remember the days of really bad cell phone cameras, you now know why I don’t like using my cell phone as my primary camera. These pictures aren’t recoverable; they can’t be edited into a better format or shape. They are what the are. Images of long ago.


family historian

Wander project drawing lines and crossing them

Like most people, I suspect I have lines where there are happy times, and lines where there are sad times. My saddest lines, the ones that I don’t want to cross but sometimes I do, are the losses. There are many huge losses in my life to date. Friends that I lost forever. Three of my four parents (I never met my first wife’s parents) are now gone. I miss Joan Raising. I miss golfing with Les Ralstin. I know it sounds strange, but sometimes I miss arguing with my father. Yes. I also miss conversations, sharing and just being in the same room with him. I miss my grandfather and his gentle hand. He was always there with great advice and a potential path forward. Think, he would always say, about this.

He, my grandfather, and I often took long walks and talked. I miss those. I miss spending the day just shopping with my mother. She and I also have a great passion for Peter Sellers movies. We would rush to the teacher with each new Pink Panther movie.  We also love Agatha Christie movies. I do still get to talk to mom on Sunday’s and when we visit her or she visits us, and that is a wonderful thing. A very happy line to cross not sad. Then there are people I don’t talk to anymore. For whatever reason, of which I am sure part is my fault, we don’t speak anymore. Some of them, because they aren’t ready to accept that part, well in fairness even ½ the issue is their responsibility, fault if you have to assign blame.

Recently in thinking about those I no longer talk to, I’ve come to realize that the best thing for me to do is to continue moving on. I cannot change perceived injustice. It is perceived and not real. There is nothing I can do now to make it go away. I am responsible for my ½ of all situations. I won’t take more than ½ of an issue. It has taken me a few years to get to this place as a person. But I know, I do my best. I try my hardest. I am sorry to anyone I’ve wronged. But to those who don’t bother to return that sentiment, I don’t need to apologize. Apologies are two-way streets, and if you can’t be bothered to be on the street, I don’t need to apologize to you. Let me know when you are ready. I am ready.

Life is a series of lines. The hardest line to draw is the one we have to draw to protect ourselves.


Family Historian

Wander project the last few pictures I’ve taken…

One of the things I enjoy about posting a picture every day for the challenge is taking the pictures. Sometimes, in the dark hour, I awake to start my day, I remember that I don’t have a picture. Sometimes I think ahead and take pictures a day before. It is an adventure every single time. So reviewing the last 12 or so pictures I’ve taken becomes extremely interesting. The last two pictures were taken in the morning, as we prepared for the day. The dogs wander downstairs with me every day. It is their routine, and the last two pictures in this collection are of the dogs waiting for me. The dogs would tell you that they spend far too much time waiting for me. Plus, I need to have treats in my office.

The other pictures range from technology (our refrigerator panel) to stuff around the house. It is funny when I think about the house we are in now. When we first moved in, the house wasn’t crammed full of stuff. But, we only had five people and two dogs when we moved in. Now we have six people and four dogs. Plus we had two of the people continue to grow (both the twins are almost nearly taller than me, now). The only dog constant is Dylan. Fran, the other Labrador passed away the same year as my father. She died in April 2014. It was devastating for my daughter. Fran was her best buddy and protector for many years. Not having Fran around was a hard transition.

The Staycation has been a blast so far. Things are settling down, and we’ve had a chance to have a few fun activities. Our current idea is a tandem bike. We’ve (my wife and me) have talked about getting a Tandem bike for a few years. It is one of those things we keep talking about. Anyone out in the wide world has any thoughts on tandem bikes (please comment if you do!).

PS, my plug – join the photo challenge. 365 days of photos for the world to see!


family historian

Wandering 4th of July’s of the past…

original post July 4, 2018

Happy 4th of July

(unless of course you are in the US, in which case, welcome to summer!)

One of the often forgotten heroes of the American Revolution is a polish national who wanted to make the world a better place. Tadeusz Kosciuszko was born in Poland. He came to the Colonies to fight for what he believed to be right. One of the things about this amazing person is the way he treated everyone around him. He rose to the rank of General in the Revolutionary Army. He was given a manservant, as part of his promotion. He freed the manservant and gave his former manservant land and other compensation. Tadeusz did not believe in slavery in any form. At the end of the American Revolution, he returned to Poland and was injured leading the revolution against the Czar of Russia.

He was so respected by the Czar that he was not killed. A broken man left to live out his life without realizing his greatest dream, The freedom for all people regardless of anything. Tadeusz Kosciuszko on today July 4th is my hero. A link to his Wikipedia page is here if you are interested in learning more. We come to this world with a vision of what the world should be. What we do to affect that change around us, determines where we end up in the memories of others. No good deed is ever truly forgotten. On this July 4th, I wish to remember a hero that came to America to make the world a better place. A hero that participated in not one, not two but three distinct revolutions. A human being that gave everything so that others could be free.

The greatest glory a hero can receive is to be remembered. I remember Tadeusz Kosciuszko today!

The pictures shared are of the 4th of July party at my parent’s house in 2005. Mom and dad’s dear friends the Cluvers came as well as my dear friends Sean and Mary. The holidays are always fun!


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Wander project July 4 Bloomington IN…

July 4th is an interesting holiday. First, that was not the day the actual declaration of Independence was signed. It is more the day it was announced. It is a bittersweet day for our family. My father loved the 4th of July as my mother does. They hosted for many years a party at their house on the 4th. We would wander to view the Bloomington Parade at my sister’s office. It was near the corner of Walnut Street and 10th street. We set up there for some years. The pictures today are from 2004. It seems funny now, to see the kids all so small. One of them is now married. One of them is getting married in September 2019. One of them now lives in Seattle.

Then, looking back, we had a group of really cool kids. What is now, is a collection of really cool adults. Preparing to start their lives. The youngest now in college. It seems different now when you consider what was and what is. Today is the 3rd of July I am reflecting on the many 4th of July parades I have seen. I went to one once in Milwaukee Wisconsin with my grandparents, and one in Madison Wisconsin. I’ve been to the Chicago Illinois 4th of July parade. But the ones that come to mind, the ones that remember are those when we were all together in Bloomington Indiana. As a child, you artifice the parades. You wait and hold your breath for the parade.

As an adult, you get to watch the children, your children as they anticipate the way you did all those years before. Sitting on a chair, watching things go by was always amazing. Watching the kids scramble to get candy was also hilarious. In part, because they always shared. If one child didn’t get any candy, the others always handed that child one of theirs. There was a closeness in that group that was always fun to watch. My sisters had three kids, and we had three kids there, so it was an even group of 6. They were always having fun. The 4th was a magical time then, one that is lost to the vagaries of history. Revisionism makes those the happiness times, They aren’t always the happiest times, just the times we remember.


Family historian

Wander project Mt. Vernon!

The last time I was sick enough to cancel vacation was 2012. It is a year I won’t forget. We didn’t get to see my folks (I didn’t know I was on borrowed time with my dad then.) We stayed home. But no one took any pictures of Christmas morning, because I was upstairs and it kind of ruined the holiday for everyone.  The images shared today come from the Christmas 2013 folder, but they are not Christmas pictures. They were simply on the memory card of the camera when I pulled them over. I have gotten a lot better about moving pictures right after events now. I wasn’t as good back then. Things, life and anything else delayed me saving those changes then.

The images are of the home of George Washington First General of the US Army. He was the first president of the United States. His home is called Mt. Vernon.  Washington was a garden thinker as my father was. I wish he had done more to remove slavery as an option in our young nation, but that is for another day and another blog. As a gardening thinker, Washington pursued many solutions to the common problems facing agriculture of his time. He considered the many different ways of solving the problems he was facing in farming. It is why he had farms within the farm that was Mt. Vernon, growing different crops in different ways trying to increase productivity. Just like what my dad loved to think about.

I have had the fortune to visit Mr. Vernon several times over the years. It is a wonderful place to go to. It feels like it is close to DC, but when you consider it was 5 hours or so by horse (if not more) it truly in the backwoods in Washington’s Time. Now, you wait for more for traffic to get to Mt. Vernon than you do traveling. The wonder of modern transportation is sometimes you wait for Mt. Vernon is one of the top tourist destinations in the DC area, so we don’t go often, but when you do get a chance to go, it is a wonderful view of the way America was 200 plus years ago.  George and Martha Washington lived at Mt. Vernon for more than 20 years.


family historian

Wander project in the land of Twins…

Memories are fragile. Having them, sharing them and losing them can all happen at the same time. They are precious moments that can be lost. The pictures today from Twinsburg Ohio in 1999. We wandered there to visit the Twinsburg Twins Festival. It was one of our first big expeditions before moving from Cincinnati to Indiana. We had gone to Disneyworld earlier that spring,t his was in the summer months before moving back to Indiana. It was one of our first vacations with the entire family. I am bringing that up because today marks the first big vacation we’ve taken where not everyone is going. My daughter, her finance, and their dogs are staying at the house while we are gone.

Twinsburg is very near Cleveland. That was a drive (Cincinnati to Cleveland) that I had made a few times over the years. That, however, was the last time I would ever drive to Cleveland. I later flew to Cleveland several times, but I never drove there again. I guess that makes today’s pictures lots of firsts and lasts. Interesting how time provides those fun moments!  I am, because of different circumstances. Breaking my vacation rule about telling before I go rather than reporting after we return! I always have in the past not informed anyone. I don’t often miss posts but this time I may. As such, I wanted people to know upfront that if I weren’t commenting or returning their comments, I would just not until after I got back!

Sometimes the easy path is communication.and sharing. Sometimes that is the hard path. The last comment is around the twins stroller. Lugging one of those onto a cruise ship, or a Disneyworld hotel is not easy. Moving it around an airplane is not easy either. It had to be checked as luggage. Moving it into the car was easy, and I much preferred that. The twins adopted a very early connection to a location. One always like to be in the front, the other in the back. I am not sure why they choose that seating arrangement but if you didn’t follow their arrangement they got a little grouchy. Or a lot grouchy depending on how tired they were. The wonder of that stroller was that they could both sleep in it comfortably.


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