Well time detectives where do we end up today? What does our next folder reveal? I do know one thing. I know where the pictures are from, the Girl Scout camp Barb and Jakki went to. I could not, however tell you how to get there. I honestly was never there so I do not know!
first off the naming structure of the Kodak picture disks by me, was horrible. This is labeled June Picture Disk 2. There is no June Picture disk 1 in my folder so I am worried that a picture disk was lost. This disk is from girl’s scout camp. Jakki was at the camp for either a day camp or an overnight, Barb went with her. Jakki loves horses. Ever since she was a little girl the concept of, riding of, petting of and the just looking at horses was something she loved. A tailbone issue made her stop riding horses about five years after this picture. She took lessons every week for a long time. Until the tailbone said no mas. Jakki loves all animals. The boys do as well, in part because of their big sister. As a big brother I know I was never as nice to my little sisters as Jakki is to her little brothers.
There is magic in the first fish you catch. It takes you back to the ancestral past of humanity when we fished for dinner (and if you missed you went hungry). It is also relaxing, something that can be done wherever there is water. It doesn’t matter if there are no fish below, just that you are throwing your hook into the water and pretending to fish. There are purists of course, people whose lives are spent fishing and they devote a lot more love and attention to the process. For me, it is about being on the water, and if you catching something then whooo hoo. But if you don’t you got to be out on the water!
Jakki loves climbing and zip lines. The girl scout camp had one (So, if you check out our YouTube Channel did the Rostock Zoo in Germany.) Although the Rostock Zoo version was video. This is just a still image. The screams in the video version are not fear, well they are fear but lets go with they aren’t actually fear. The girl scout camp (there were quite a few in Southern Indiana) was something Jakki only did for a couple of years. But she caught her first fish, got to ride horses and do the zip line so I suspect they are golden memories for her.
This was taken in our front yard of our house in Greenwood Indiana. We were in a cul-du-sac with a bunch of awesome neighbors on both sides. You can see a dirt trail there on the right of the yard. We were in the process of adding the pool in our backyard and the heavy trucks were rolling back and forth. I was in Chicago at the time, working on a project so during the week it was just Barb and the kids. The tree that is providing shade was a Bradbury Pear tree. It was destined to fall over about two or three years after this picture. Not, because of the pool construction but because of a disease. I don’t remember the name but it took the tree. We left the spot where it used to be open in the front yard. Over the years we never really could pick a style for the front yard as far as landscaping.
These two pictures are Leslie Ralstin (first picture) Barb’s dad, and the second picture is Joan Ralstin (Barb’s mom). They are playing with the boys in the living room area. In the second picture Nick is running towards the camera. Or running towards his mother. In the first picture Grandpa and Luke are playing. On the left side of both pictures you can see the red chairs that were delivered during the Blue’s Clues birthday party. This is probably July 2000 or so. I remember that year because we were going to have a pool party for all my co-workers. Unfortunately we had to postpone the pool party twice, as the pool wasn’t done yet. In fact we had the party the last weekend of July that year. Three weeks later than expected.
Les, Joan taking the kids (and Barb) to the Indianapolis Zoo. The Zoo was located next to the White River on the West side of Indianapolis. We spent many days there! You could, from the zoo see the then Hoosier Dome, and what would later be built the Lucas Oil Stadium. It wasn’t a bad back roads drive from our hosue in Greenwood to the Indianapolis Zoo. You end up passing near the old Hoosier Dome, that is part of the Indianapolis Convention center, Circle City Mall, now Lucas Oil Field (which wasn’t built at the time of these pictures) and Market Square Area (where the Indianapolis Pacers play). Finally as you turn away from downtown to park at the zoo lot you pass near the playing field for the Indianapolis Indians. They were a AAA ball club. We went there a few times. We used to love sitting on the lawn, that was the outfield.
This picture disk is named July 2000. There were as far as I know, no significant events in July 2000 in our lives. Other than the first year we could swim in the pool at Eagle Trace. This is of the kitchen. Our kitchen window actually looked out towards the railroad tracks. In the winter we could see the tracks clearly. They, the tracks were a favorite place for teens to hang out. At the very end of our yard was a trestle, over the creek that fed the pond that touched most of our backyard. That was a favorite rock throwing place. The boys, Jakki and I climbed up the very steep hill onto the trestle a few times. It was literally a 60 degree angle and about 20 feet above where we where. I used to love sitting on the grass and listening to the babbling brook as it flowed into the pond. It was peaceful, and relaxing. This is from the small in kitchen eating area. Our first house in Cincinnati did no have an in kitchen eating area. I don’t know why that is important to our family but it is!
We built, over the course of 3 years, two pools. We had one built in our house in Cincinnati Ohio. We had one built when we moved to Greenwood. The one we built in greenwood was bigger than the first pool. The coolest feature (my wife’s idea) was stairs across the shallow end of the pool. That way you could literally walk right into the pool. The view here is of the pool slide and then due South. You can see the pond that stretched out behind our house. Beyond our pond was another pond and then Olive Branch road. Or as I called it Olive Branch race track. One year while we were in the house, the state police came to our front door. They asked for permission to drive on our lawn and put a boat into the pond. I, being curious wondered why the state police wanted to do that. The officer explained to me that they were looking for a missing woman and her pickup truck. She, at that point had been missing for about 10-12 years.
They were going to use sonar to examine the bottom of all three ponds in our subdivision. The thinking was that someone had dumped the pickup in one of our ponds. They spent the day wandering back and forth (in a grid pattern). But they never found signs of the pickup truck. It was kind of strange sitting on the back deck and watching that for a time. I felt bad not only for the missing woman, but also for the family that didn’t know what happened to their daughter, sister or friend. If you kept going South, there were two highways that you could connect to 144 which actually was the easy way down to Lake Lemon and was the route we took getting to the boat. The other side of greenwood was 37 South. That took us to Bloomington. It is still the road we use to get to Bloomington coming from Maryland. We’ve just been in the car a little longer now than we were then. Although Jakki, the Boys and the dogs are all awesome care riders. Jakki and Nick get car sick but they really make sure they have the right materials to avoid that when possible.
Today starts the last of the numbered folders. We have now entered folder 8. This is actually on the Carnival Cruise ship after we boarded from our expedition to Xcaret. This is Jakki swimming in the main deck pool. The cruise was nice, the food was decent, but for the most part it was a meet and greet singles cruise so a little less comfortable for us than the Disney Cruise had been. Well, for the kids it was great. The 24 hour access to Pizza was the boys dream. Jakki made new friends (she is good at that) on the cruise as well. The boys pretty much stuck with us, but that was more our choice than their choice. They would have preferred being off with their sister. Instead they were stuck with mom and dad. That was a theme for the first maybe four years of their lives. After the boys were four we let them go with their sister. But before that we were always a little nervous.
Scenes of the top deck of the Carnival cruise. Jakki loved the top deck area. We didn’t actually go visit the top deck on our last cruise. It was a little cold. They had an indoor pool area, but we didn’t actually swim. We did go walking in the pool area a couple of times. But on this cruise in the summer, in the Caribbean we were all about swimming. Well Jakki and the boys were. After our long day at Xcaret I was glad for the sea day so I could rest and relax. It funny now, vacations once were expeditions to the pole. Pack heavy, pack everything and mom and dad carried everything. The stroller was our life line. We were prepared for every emergency. Now, we split things up, kids carry 1/2 or more of the stuff and we can move a lot faster and see a lot more. I do miss them they were little, but I love traveling with them now!
As is always the case with film you never took a whole roll in one place. We had two rolls devoted half to greenwood and then a roll and a half from Xcaret. Finally we end with a half roll of ship life and then back to a gymnasium at a Center Grove School. Funny how film makes you travel further faster than light! So today’s wander project wanders all the way from the Caribbean, to Florida and then back to Indianapolis Indiana. Actually from the airport, which is in Marion County so is part of Indianapolis Proper. From the airport heading South on 465, the bypass around Indianapolis and ending up on highways 37 South. Aiming for Bloomington but stopping off in Greenwood. From Greenwood, you are in Center Grove School district so you have the opportunity to visit the school. Now why we were there, then, who knows.
Folder 7 in our quest brings us back to Greenwood Indiana. In particular back to Eagle Trace, the subdivision we lived in. We had a huge open living room in the house and that beautiful marble, gas fireplace. The problem with gas fireplaces is they produce some heat but when you turn them on you might as well light them with a stack of 100 one dollar bills. Because you burn more than you produce in terms of cost versus heat ratio. Still, it was a great view with windows on either side of the fireplace in our living room. On the fireplace, standing is Jakki. We found out later, that the marble wasn’t well laid. Several of the lower tiles where people sat and where Jakki is standing, came loose over time. We ended up having to replace 4 of them over the years. Not cheap, but not the best laid plan either.
We had a Blue’s Clues birthday for the boys one year (the blue mass in the right corner of one of first and third picture is Blue itself. Not sure if Blue, on Blue’s Clues was every really gender specific and not sure it matters.) The boys loved Blue. So Blue came to the birthday. It was actually fun. We did a few character birthday’s over the years. Just a couple years before this Nick wouldn’t even be in the same room with any of the Disney Characters. But again, he loved Blue. The middle picture is me sitting on the fireplace, I suspect I shouldn’t have.
I suspect somewhere in the mass of folders I have, focused on the boys there are pictures of this event as well. You can see me preparing to take a picture in the first pane. In the second we have Blue. When your kids are little birthdays are a big deal. Then when they get older they become a big deal again. But for different reasons. As they get older the birthday’s are milestones, moments that you can cherish and hold dear for a long time. These, however, the early years are the ones you remember fondly. When the kids were little and you were someone they needed. The transition as they get from needing you, to being around you is a fun one. But it does make for a different relationship with your kids.
The well oiled machine that once upon a time was folder management, I.e. me, missed the connection this time. As we, moving from folder five to folder six move from Greenwood Indiana back to Xcaret in Cancun Mexico. I thought, in the two folders we had already seen of the wonderful park Xcaret that we were missing pictures. This is of the kids playing in the water, enjoying the huge yellow life rafts. The sand was so clean, the water was so clear and it was a stifling 90 plus degrees. It was the wet, humid heat of being by the ocean. It was fun relaxing, hanging out at the beach. That is the nice thing about traveling with your family versus on your own. When it is just you, you have family to get back to. When you are with the family you can relax, sit back and enjoy more of what you are seeing.
Nick in particular loved the huge yellow inner tubes. I don’t think there are many pictures of him outside of the inner tube. He was having fun in the sand, playing and just being a kid. There are times, sitting on a beach when you enjoy letting the kids be kids. Just letting them have a chance to enjoy the reality of childhood. Vacations do that for you sometimes. Beyond the stress of everyday life, a chance to do more while doing less.
As you can see, the water was extremely blue. The ocean that lay beyond the barrier was a deep blue and looked inviting. We traveled across Cancun to get to Xcaret. It was a journey well worth the time. I really enjoyed seeing the sea turtles. I don’t know why but sea turtles are one of my favorite animals. I guess anything that struggles on land but is so graceful in water is a unique creature. I also think it has to do with the Jock Cousteau specials when I was a kid. I used to love watching those, I still do but they are reruns now. Then they were new, fresh and I couldn’t wait for the next one.
Over the river and into folder 5. The other problem with the photo disks is that I was managing the storage, not the taking. So many of them are of places I recognize, but aren’t pictures I was involved in the taking of. The location of this picture is our house in Greenwood. It was taken in the kitchen of the house. We lived on the south side of Greenwood. Near a drag racing strip. Well in fairness it wasn’t a drag racing strip. It was just a bit of road that a lot of people drove very fast on. The cool thing was you could, from our house take the back way to Indianapolis places like the Zoo, Lucas Oil Stadium, Eli Lilly Global HQ and the children’s museum. Like most cities at times the traffic in Indy can be bad, particularly in the month of May. I never minded leaving down in May. Except coming home, that was always an ordeal.
The last picture does appear to be the boy in a hotel room. We never owned furniture that color. That is Nick playing on a chair. The second image is of me without gray hair, and with lots more hair. I was looking at something either a pamphlet or book that I was holding at the very edge of the screen. The other two pictures are of people at a party. You can see the balloons and people eating cake (the location is the kitchen in Greenwood.
Same chair type, and color, but in a different location. Perhaps a hotel or perhaps down at Franklin where Barb’s folks lived. They moved from Hot Springs to Florida, and back to Indiana to complete the circuit. (Barb’s parents lived in Bloomington to start). Franklyn Indiana is just South of Greenwood. It is a traditional Indiana town. But traditional I don’t mean the people, I mean the physical layout of the town. Most of the counties of Indiana have a major and a minor city. The major city has a square and in that square is the courthouse or county seat. Franklyn was the county seat and was configured like that. Franklyn is a beautiful town. We would go there often, to see Barb’s parents and to enjoy the beauty of the city. Plus our boat was just South of Franklyn on Lake Lemon so we passed that way often.