Celebrate the dream

To me sitting back this morning and reflecting it seems only fittings. In these times of trouble, these times of constant turmoil we should have a voice. “I have a dream.” The voice says and we stop for a moment. We all have dreams. We all close our eyes and think of the majesty of the universe. Of what is possible when we all, pulling together, stop fighting for a moment. “I have a dream.” Dr. King, today the day we celebrate you and your voice we need that voice again. It seems unfair to call again upon one who gave his life so that others could be free. To call again on Dr. King and ask him for guidance. Ask him for a path out of a hole we have dug. “I have a dream.”

It may be true that laws and federal action cannot change bad internal attitudes, but they can control the external effects of those internal attitudes. The law may not be able to make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me. …

We must stand up now not for ourselves alone, but in order to carry our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. …

So in the days ahead, let us not sink into the quicksands of violence; rather let us stand on the high ground of love and noninjury. Let us continue to be strong spiritual anvils that will wear out many a physical hammer.

Dr. Martin Luther King.

Yes in the midst of turmoil, we again turn to the words of the one who died by violence. Let us again hear the voice of the one willing to give his life so that others could be free. But also let us remember, there are no lights that shine only on the chosen, for we are all chosen. We believe all to be created equal. If all are equal then we are all the same. There is no light rising in the night to point out the special. In his famous speech, I have a dream, Dr. King gave an invocation for all of us. Not the people in the crowd that day in 1963. Not the people that walked with him or rode for him. Or stood on a bridge in Alabama and bled for him His dream was for all of us.

” I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” Dr. Martin Luther King

(A link to the full speech here) https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

My parents introduced me to Dr. King’s words. I was shattered the day he was shot. The change seemed so far away. Now many years later, his voice echoes in the world. In all this anger, we have moved sideways from our mission. We have stepped away from the dreams we were building. Let us to celebrate the man, who gave his life for all of us, let celebrate by sharing a dream. The American I love was once a beacon in the world. People flocked to America to be free. I have a dream that today, on this day, we celebrate Dr. King, we put down our anger. We stop for a moment and remember, the light does not shine on the special the light shines on all of us.


Wander project travel and never have to pack a bag!

As part of the wander project, we travel the world. I can tell you the best way to get through airport security. Be prepared, be calm, and breathe. The line moves at the pace it moves. In most cases, you should plan for 2 hours to be safe. I started flying before September 11, 2001; why does that date matter? That is the date of the shutdown of US airplanes flying. It is also the start of the new screening process. That is why I always tell people to plan for 2 hours! When I was first flying, you could, with a little luck, arrive at the airport 30 minutes before your flight and easily make the plane. After 9/11, and rightfully so, security changed, and you couldn’t do that anymore.


I am not complaining about airport security. It is a good thing. But there are things about traveling that you have to be prepared for, and that line is one of them! The other is the reality of the airline’s financial situation now. Airlines are struggling right now; financially, the impact on them globally by this pandemic we are in. has impacted their ability to make money. That said, in the big world of ours, there are still places I haven’t been that I would like to travel to someday (when it is again safe). People always look at me funny when I start with I crossed over a million miles in 10 years, and then say I still have places I would love to go to in the world. I guess it is the wanderlust. I got that from both of my parents.


My top five remaining places to visit:

  • New Zealand
  • Greece
  • Argentina
  • South Africa
  • Western Australia (in particular Perth)

That is the total of my list of places I wish to travel to. I’ve been pretty much everywhere else in the world I want to go. I have seen the things in person that I wanted to see. It makes the overall travel list much shorter. At some point, I will share my all-time favorite travel destinations. I have been to several places in the world multiple times, and would go again to some of them, tomorrow!


wander project travel and never leave the couch

I am a huge weather geek. I have two different weather stations at my house. One because it detects lightning (and how far it is from the house) The other because it takes videos of the day and creates a time-lapse weather video. I share those videos every day on various social media platforms because it makes me happy! You can find them here when I post them https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottDocAndersen. My father always had a weather station, both in his office at the university and at home. I don’t know that we spent a lot of time talking about the weather, except that my dad was always interested in finding ways to get science information as a science education professor.


That honestly why I love weather stations. I learned very early on that I could predict the weather and the weather people in most cases. Knowing what different clouds meant was a great way to figure out what was coming next. That love of predicting the weather is why I started Yesterday’s weather forecast provided today’s feed (on my YouTube channel). I have been predicting Yesterday’s weather now for more than four years. During that period, I have never incorrectly predicted the weather we had the day before. That may be some meteorological record, but I have no idea who keeps those records and how to figure out if anyone else is correctly predicting Yesterday’s weather!


When I look back over my life, I learned different things from the people that helped me grow. I love to cook because of my mother. I don’t like fabric stories because of my mother as well! I love weather information because of my father. I don’t like pictures without narratives because of my father. My grandfather taught me to love golf. I don’t like geese poop because of my grandfather. The great people on whose shoulders I stand remain important to me. The memory of what they taught me will always be with me. Sometimes you have to stop and remember why it is you do things the way you do things. In my case of those do things come from the people that taught me to do!


wander project travel and never leave the couch

(correction) My mother informed me that she learned to cook from my father and her father, not my grandmother.

twin playing in the water....

My Grandfather was famous for breakfast. Not that the breakfast he made was the most amazing. He just made things that were different for us. My favorite was toast, peanut butter with bacon. Yes, artificial soy-based bacon wants to be Bacos. I don’t know why I loved that so much; after Grandpa made that for us, it made mom buy Bacos at home.

sunrise on the farm

When I was little, my Grandfather owned a grocery store. I have vague memories *one or two, of visiting him at the store. I remember being told one time to pick candy from the register area for my sister and me. I also remember being in the upstairs office. But I was little when Grandpa sold the store (he tore up his knee).

But my biggest memories, other than golf and fishing, were traveling with my Grandfather. After he sold the store because of his knee, he became a traveling salesperson. He works for a company that sold portable housing and gym floors. He would take me with him as he went on sales calls in the summer. I would get to ride in the front seat, and we would always stop at a fun restaurant for lunch. Those were some of the happiest memories of being at the Lake!


wander project travel and never pack a bag

I grew up spending at least a month every summer with my grandparents. My mothers-father was my best friend for many years. I would and did talk to him about everything. My mom reminds me of him so much. But, she was my mother, and because she and I have similar views on the world, we were often at odds. You couldn’t ask for a better mother than my mom, but she and I are very similar. My mom is also identical to my Grandfather, so I suspect that the two were often at odds when she was growing up. It’s funny but time and distance change things. Anyway, I would spend a month of my summer vacation at the lake house in Cambridge, Wisconsin. When I was small, I was just there fishing and swimming.


As I got older, I got chores. My mom and dad would ask me to mow the lawn, and I would, of course, object. My Grandfather asked me, and I just did it. Again time and distance make a huge difference in the impact of the ask. The other thing was fishing and swimming. Even with chores, I still had time every single day to go fishing and swimming. When I got older, I became more aware of the work required to support those two hobbies, so I pitched in and made sure the jobs got done. One time, I accidentally said, “look at how beautiful the snow geese are.” To my Grandfather, there was a second lesson to be learned. First, never say saying to my Grandfather what he found annoying. Second, when goose pool removal is your job, geese aren’t as pretty.

Let us out

The other thing my Grandfather and I did was play golf. Grandpa had a cart and membership at the Lake Ripley Country Club. During the summers, we would go two or three times a week. My Grandfather gave me my first golf clubs. I never got very good at golf. A great score for me was when it was 90 degrees outside, me beating the outside air temp (88, 87). So I wasn’t good, but I loved walking and riding the course with my Grandfather. We had so many conversations walking and hitting a ball. Later, when I was older and not in Cambridge, he and I would always take a walk and talk. That was a cornerstone of our relationship and friendship my whole life.


wander project travel and never leave the couch

My father learned to cook in the US Army. My mother learned to cook from my grandmother. My grandmother, like the US Army, was a stickler for recipes. Things were done a certain way. I learned some of my cooking skills from my father and my grandmother. But the vast majority of my skills as a cook came from my mother. We used to cook together – my father did not approve. We never finished with anything remotely like a clean kitchen. The thing I learned from mom was to be fearless in the kitchen. Both mom and dad would try something at a restaurant and then set out to recreate the meal. Two specific memories come to mind when I think about cooking with mom,


Mom decided that she wanted to make her pasta. So she and I set out to make pasta. The “dog” and rolling it was was easy. Cutting it into something resembling a noodle wasn’t bad. We carefully cleaned the mop and broom handles so we could dry the noodles. Except we made more noodles than would fit on the broomstick and mop—a lot more noodles. We started putting noodles on every surface in the kitchen to dry. My father came in; this was when they lived on the mini-farm, took one look, and walked back out, making his disapproval noise. All parents have that unusual noise they make. Dad made him and then went back outside. I would note he did love the pasta when it was dinner time!


Mom taught me to cook by taste, not by recipe. I remember the first time I did that (cook) for my mother-in-law. She loved the meal and said, “can I have the recipe” I looked and said, “um, I kind of cook by taste, so there is no recipe. The cool thing is, the next time I make this, it will taste like a new dish!” My mother-in-law didn’t like that answer. She realized it was true over the years, but she always tried to get me to follow or write down recipes. I can’t really, and I don’t. I make a few things that I have everything I need to be memorized, but for the most part, I cook by taste. That, I learned to do from my mother in her kitchen getting flour everywhere.


wander project travel and never leave the couch

Yesterday I talked about moving to Bloomington, Indiana. One of my greatest joys comes from Indiana University. I love IU athletics. I watch as many games as I can watch during the year. It’s funny; I had to struggle to get IU games when we lived in Ohio. We were less than 2 hours away, and I didn’t get to see IU games most of the time. I learned to enjoy the box scores! But this is the story of the old IU Field house. My dad, then a professor at Indiana University, asked me if I wanted to go to a Basketball game with him. There was a freshman on the IU team that was incredible. That was the first year (I think) that freshman was again eligible to play their first year in college. Before that, they were not allowed to play as a freshman.

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I watched George McGinnis score at will that evening. My love for IU basketball was solidified that day.  When I first got into local sports in Bloomington, the world was different. At least it was for me. From the first time I listened to a Bloomington South High School football game, that team never lost until we left for Thailand. They were 50 and 0 for the time I heard.  They only lost when we were in Thailand. They set the Indiana record for consecutive high School football games won (60) before losing to a team in the first year of the new Indiana football playoffs. I listened to game after game during that streak on the radio. Friday nights were always fun!

rebel without a clause

Fast forward a few years, the 1975 Indiana University Men’s basketball team was undefeated for the entire year. They lost in the NCAA tournament to Kentucky. But, in 1976, they went undrafted again. They are the last undefeated NCAA Men’s national champion in Basketball. Before we headed to Thailand, I was on a swim team in Bloomington. We used to go to the IU pool and watch the IU swimmers. In 1971 we sat and watched a young man named Mark Spitz. In the upcoming Munich Olympic games  (yes, the ones with the horrible events), Spitz would set a record by winning the most medals ever won in a single Olympic game (Michael Phelps later broke that).


wander project travel and never leave the couch

It has been more than seven years since the wander project was live. By life, I meant written and published on my WordPress blog the same day. I have been on Niume, Verily, and then finally lately Project BlueFire, where the blog was published first and then backed here. This is the first live blog on this site in many years. It seems funny to be back where I started all these years later. Today, I started ago and went back, and I thought I would share a piece of the journey. I was born near Chicago, Illinois. I lived in Chicago and worked in Chicago for many years. When I was a child, we left Chicago. We wandered to a small Indiana town called Bloomington, Indiana. It sits in the middle of the limestone country.


As a child, I remember listening as my father pointed out that the Empire State building was dug out of one of the quarries we were near. I scoffed then, and now have been to the Empire State Building, I scoff more. That building is tall. The hole in Indiana isn’t’ as deep as the tower is tall. So what did they do, grow limestone to make that building? I know, my sense of humor is bad. My father didn’t like it that much either! Although, in fairness, I got my sense of humor from him. The movie Breaking Away depicts life in Bloomington around the time I was growing up. Bike riding was big then in the city. The Little 500 Bicycle Race was a big deal. The Indy 500, just a few miles to the north, was even bigger!


We were in the middle of the stone country. It is a different world to grow up in a concrete jungle and then suddenly live in a place where trees and grass grow everywhere. We lived in Graduate Student housing for Indiana University. What accommodation we lived in was WWII army barracks that had been taken apart and then reassembled on the edge of Campus. Not the army barracks you see in the movies (one big area). Rather what was more traditionally officers quarters. They put them on the edge of a field called Hoosier Courts. We lived there, and we lived in an apartment called Tulip tree until Indiana University hired my father as a professor, and we moved to the south side of Bloomington.


wander project travel and never leave the couch

Today’s wander is as much one of the mind as the pictures. The pictures don’t matter. I wanted today to wander the importance of memories. I have many times talked about why I started the family history project. More than 14 years ago, I began to scan my grandfather’s slides. He had left them to my father, who, like me, wanted to preserve them. That preservation was important. The problem for me was, I didn’t know what those slides were. So many places that I may or may not have been during my life. So many pictures.


The untold stories are why the wander project. I completed three slide trays of my grandfather’s slides. I gave them to my dad on a CD. That sadly was two years before he passed. I was pressed for time and didn’t scan any more slides. I just did the first 200 or so of those slides. Then my father passed. Instead of having another 1200 or so drops of my grandfather to scan, we had 30,000 plus slides. We have more than 20,000 pictures to scan as well. The thing that makes me saddest is that my father often traveled for work. Based on those travels, he took many pictures.


But none of those pictures came with a story. None of the stories were written down—lots of recipes (my dad loved to cook) but not stories of the pictures. I found picture after picture from trips we all took and trips the only dad took. I could come with and have come up with the stories from family vacations and trips. But the ones that are missing are the ones that were my father’s only trips. Take a moment; if your grandparents or parents are still alive, setup a zoom call. Please turn on the recording option and let them tell the stories of their life. Let them share the stories of what they loved. Save that recording; it is worth gold!

(pictures today scans of one’s my father took)


wander project travel and never leave the couch

We have, and we did wander the Springmill state park many times. On some of the park trips, I got to stop and pay homage to one of my childhood heroes Virgil I “Gus” Grissom. He was from Mitchell, Indiana, and was one of the original seven astronauts. He, Grissom died in the fire that was a test launch of Apollo 1. I remember the day very well (I was young, it was 1967) as a young person who had a great impact on me (funny as a first-year teacher, we submitted activities for NASA’s Challenger program. Our experiment was not selected, but we watched that launch. I remember diving across the classroom to shut off the television before the craft broke up.


Exploration is dangerous. In the case, however, of today’s pictures, today’s wonder, no exploration. We went down to my folk’s house for Christmas Day. But instead of staying, instead of for my parent’s wedding anniversary, we all drove down to Springmill state park. No, I was not allowed to stop and wander the Gus Grissom memorial in Mitchell, Indiana. I did take the twins to the Gus Grissom exhibit area in Springmill state park. As I said, he was one of my childhood heroes. We were all staying at the Springmill Inn or Lodge. It is a rustic building built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp), part of the WPA (Works Progress Administration). Both of these groups were formed as part of Franklyn Delano Roosevelt’s new deal to help America out of the Great Depression.


The Army Corps of Engineers dammed two creeks and created lakes. The Inn was built in the 1930s. It has a rustic stone exterior that is an Indiana look and feels! There are many hiking and walking trails around the park. But the primary goal of this visit was to get everyone together to take pictures as a family. There are several beautiful pictures we got of everyone. I don’t know if the photographs were dad’s or mom’s idea (My guess would be mom’s), but it was a blast for all of us. Plus, we got our quiet room; the kids were in a different room. Sometimes, when you have kids, it is the days you get quiet that you remember the most. That was the day of the dead!