Today is a reflecting on the boys wander project. We are heading back to their elementary school days which were all in Indiana. Greenwood Indiana to be exact. Greenwood is not part of Indianapolis (it is located in Johnson County, Indianapolis is Marion County. The entire county, Marion, was annexed into the city of Indianapolis many years ago). Greenwood is a city that as a child we used to travel from Bloomington to Greenwood to go shopping. In part because there weren’t as many stores in Bloomington then as there are now. Plus I think my mom likes to travel and shop.
The wander Indiana project that Jakki, and then later the boys did, inspired my wander blogs. This being one of those blogs. Another thing that the boys had to do, and that Jakki had to do was to pick a famous historical Indiana legend, or hero and dress up like that person for a presentation. I am not going to tell you who the boys are in the pictures. Just that they were a famous character, figure or hero from Indiana’s past. Feel free to guess!
I am looking at old pictures of the boys today because this is their first day of College. As a parent, I am proud of the choices and the people all three of them have become. That sense of pride is increased by the way they act towards others. Jakki is taking a class with the boys; their very first college class will be the only class that they (the boys) have ever taken in the same school and with their older sister. That makes me feel good about the boys settling into college; older sister is there to help!
do you remember…
Another day on the bay, as we wander today, you notice many more sailboats. It was a perfect day for sailboats. We wandered around towards the exterior Annapolis Harbor mooring (where the container ships that cannot come into Annapolis Harbor wait). You can see from the pictures that the sky was blue, the water was perfect, and the temperature was perfect. Our journey began as we cleaned the boat. First, we have a few mud tracks on the stern and bow of the boat. The mud tracks came from me I suspect. We also organized a few items on the boat and the dock box as well.
We were going to wander over to the fuel dock (it is about 8 feet for that wander), but we decided to head home rather than refuel the boat this weekend. We will have to add view next week as we, of course, will be out and about on the bay! One of the things I enjoy about boating is the feeling you get when you are on the water. It is a feeling I believe best described by the song Sailing, by Christopher Cross.
I love the song and the feeling (the times I feel the best are when I am out on the water!). Having a boat at times can feel like a hole in the water you throw money into. At other times it can feel like a way to become more frustrated as you snake your way out of the marina and into the open water. But when you get on that open water, then there is no better feeling (for me) than just relaxing and wandering! Now if I could only figure out a way to bottle that feeling.
Wander project dreamer
A second wander blast of pictures forms Cincinnati Ohio. For the first two years, we were in Ohio; we lived in a rented townhouse and a rented apartment. We moved to Western Hills shortly after Jakki was born buying our first house there. When the boys were nearly with us, we decided to build a new house in Mt. Airy which is on the other side of the highway (US I70) highway, or north of Western Hills.
The images today are a few that are similar (the big snow) but also a family event (Jakki’s Birthday) and the spring/summer. We moved into the house in August 1998 when the boys were just little tiny things. Jakki was entering first grade (she ended up going to the Waldorf School for first grade). We settled into our new home over the course of that initial summer. We decided we were going to build a pool (which we started in April 1999) and that we were going to fence the backyard.
Things changed rapidly (I ended up working for the worst boss I have ever had, dishonest and well self-motivated. He got promoted some times, and I am still not sure why even the first time). That only summer on Willow Cove was a great chance for all of us; the boys had their room. Jakki had a room, and for the first time, we had a guest room (every house since that Willow Cover house has had a guest room). There are also different snow pictures with this blast that show the light up reindeer decoration we had gotten that year. That decoration actually made it to Indiana and was in the yard in Greenwood for a couple of years before it stopped working and went to visit Santa’s Workshop via the trans disposal system.
Today’s wander is one of irony and joy. First off, we love living in Maryland. We are so close to the ocean, (well the Bay is an hour away). It is wonderful both from a cooking and a quality of life perspective. Cooking wise we get fresh seafood. Even an average sushi place around here has good sushi. Plus the cost of fresh fish is lower than in Indiana, and it is 12-24 hours fresher. So we are thankful for the fish (or to quote one of my favorite books, Thanks for all the fish!)
The other thing is our kids are growing up. When we moved here, the boys were entering middle school, and Jakki was entering college. Now, starting this morning the three of them for the first time (and only for one semester) are attending the same school. They are also taking one class together. A nice idea by an older sister to take care of her shy, younger brothers. I cannot imagine what the next few years are going to be like. Three kids in college at the same time is an interesting reality.
We live in the nexus of news for the US now as well, so local news is national news. Funny how that changed when we moved here. Lately, I find myself wondering where the good news is. Then we get on the boat, and I don’t worry about perceived news anymore. The lesson I have learned is to do the best you can do. No one can guarantee that what you seek is possible. You have to make it possible and that journey is what we call life!
wonder and joy of family histories
Today we are wandering in time, distance and imagination. Many years ago (the time) the boys (when we lived in Greenwood the distance) the boys loved having and playing with Lego Bionicles. At first, that meant that when we (my wife and I) or my mother and father bought the boys Bionicles, I had to put them together. Some of the most tedious days were spent following the exact directions to put them together. Hours spent trying to relax after being on the road all week putting together Lego creations.
Then one day Nick said I want to put it together. He started putting together the ones he had gotten from the store. Then he started putting together Luke’s as well. I was no longer involved in the process. I was happy not to be involved (it is not something I love doing) but also proud of Nick’s ability to follow the directions and put them together. He did so for about a year. One day he asked me if I wanted to see a new Bionicles that he had created.
The new Bionicles Nick was creating were amazing, so we began taking pictures of his creations and called it Nick’s Bionicles Zoo. The images shared today are from the Zoo. I’ve kept them all these years because well someday I hope to show them to his future spouse. You know, just to let that person know what Nick was like as a creative youngster. But also, because I am proud of the creations he came up with. They are very impressive.
I hope you enjoy Nick’s Bionicles Zoo!
inspired by creativity
Our house in Mt. Airy a suburb of Cincinnati Ohio and the snow we had that year. It seems every time we buy a house, that area has its biggest snowfall in 10-20 years within three years of us moving in. We can claim that distinction in both Greenwood, Mt. Airy (the last place we lived in Cincinnati Ohio) and in Germantown Maryland. Within that initial three years in all three cases, there was a record snowfall. I guess we bring the noise, the funk, and the snow!
One of the differences over the years is the amount of snow I was personally willing to move. There was a time; this Cincinnati storm is an example where I shoveled the entire driveway by hand. With each passing year, I was willing to shovel less and less. We have had a snow blower for the past 12 years. Last year, after the huge 2016 storm in DC (35 to 38 inches of snow) I got a new snow blower that could handle more snow. I don’t want to be outside in the cold shoveling for the house. Those days are now long past!
Inside the house, the kids were having a blast. We designed and built the house. The sad thing is we were only in the house we built for one year before moving to Greenwood Indiana. It was one of those things we needed to do to be closer to the family. It also continued our Cincinnati streak of losing money on a house we owned and were selling. Mt. Airy was also the second to the last house we did holiday decorations. We did them in Greenwood a few times after we moved in, but eventually, the kids were older and there was no need to share lights with the outside world!
“I want to hit the ball and touch them all.” Centerfield, John Fogarty. A great line from a great song. Some years ago, when we lived in Greenwood (we wander both time and space today), the boys played baseball. Just a couple of summers, they didn’t like most of the baseball. Luke is good at hitting the ball; Nick cared more about finding dandelions in the yard and not much else. They weren’t into sports then, and probably less so now.
But we sat and watched. The games were always interesting; the YMCA was a no coach no parent yelling league. I thought that was an awesome idea. They also didn’t keep score in the games which I also thought was a great idea. So we would bring our chairs and relax in the field and watch the kids have fun. There is no pressure and no need to be competitive when the goal is simply the love of the game. Baseball, like football and Soccer, is often a collision sport. As is, frankly, basketball, it was fun to watch the kids though. I have to say I spent many afternoons watching and I looked forward to the games.
When the boys played Soccer, I used to call it clump ball. Wherever the ball was there was a clump of kids around it. Funny thing is In the baseball games wherever the ball was you didn’t often see kids around the ball. A grounder hit to the pitcher could easily become an inside the park home run. That made the games, even more, fun to watch. It is after all a game of inches, just not feet. BY feet I mean to catch the ball you have to be within inches of the ball being feet away usually means you miss it. Lot’s of fun afternoons watching the kids chase the ball and race around the bases!
Baseball fan family historian
There were some activities that we did over the years that bring back fond memories. One of them was the early days when the boys were young. Right after we moved to Greenwood, my wife found out about a gymnastics group (I think my sister told her about it) near our house. We ended up signing up for the group, and the boys got to play on gymnastics equipment to the point that they were worn out.
I think, over the years there are many times we looked for activities that wore the boys out. They were little balls of energy when they were younger. By balls of energy, I don’t mean they were active, more like they were solar powered and never turned off. All-day every single day they were going. The good thing was they did love going to the gymnastics place and jumping on trampolines. Or playing on the other gymnastics equipment.
We had the boys there for a couple of years. We transitioned from Gymnastics to Tai-Kwon-Do later, which was another activity that exhausted the boys. I only went to the gymnastics place with the boys and Jakki maybe two times. So there aren’t many pictures taken of the various activities. The ones here are the only ones I have that aren’t dumped into other folders (1 to 2 pictures) or from a picture disk (less than 24 pictures and never of one activity). Lot’s of fun to watch all three kids bounce around like maniacs!
Wander project to the bay bridge, and beyond! Sunday’s goal was to wander past the bay bridge. We have driven across the bridge many times. We have sat on the bay bridge for many hours waiting for the other vacationers to also get across the Bay Bridge. This time it was fun to wander under the bridge and look up. Traffic heading east was slow for a Sunday. Normally the traffic pattern would have been returning people (going west) slower and east faster.
The bridge connects the two parts of Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay cuts Maryland nearly in half. The one-half is called the Eastern Shore. To get to Delaware Shore and the Ocean City parts of Maryland (Maryland’s Ocean shore) you have to cross the Bay Bridge (or you have to drive far north, past Baltimore to use the land bridge). The day was perfect for a cruise. We invited my buddy Bill to join us for a run out to the bay bridge!
We were also looking for dolphins but no luck on that front as well. We’ve looked several times and haven’t seen them. I suspect when we stop looking is when they, the dolphins will show themselves to us! There are a couple of fun pictures in the bunch from the water looking up at the Bay Bridge. You don’t realize how massive that Bridge is until you wander under it. It is one huge bridge that stretches over a mile of open water. The Sunshine at our back we bravely wandered underneath. All photos taken by my wife, there was a huge amount of traffic on a Sunday afternoon on the Bay!
wanna be Dolphin Viewer!
There was a time when I worked in a product group as a program manager. I was in Seattle for 14 straight weeks and then was off on a world tour (Asia and then Europe). I forgot so many things about Seattle over the years. There were many trips and many pictures. The cool thing about the pictures I am sharing today is one of the best sunset pictures I ever took in Seattle. I don’t take many pictures that I consider great. But I believe in sharing even if they aren’t great. The sunset pictures I am sharing of Downtown Seattle Washington today are my favorite. Taken from the 4th or 5th floor of a building that has a restaurant on top that we went to for an event.
I love water anyway, so being able to see out over the water while eating was fantastic! Over my years of visiting Seattle, I had the opportunity to make many friends. Some of my favorite people on earth live in Seattle. It is funny how that happens. Over the years you wander to a place over and over. You meet people and become friends. In that friendship, you find not only similarity but differences. Differences and the ability to overcome them are often what makes for the best friendships!
The shore of downtown Seattle is a fun place to wander. Some of my favorite restaurants ever are there. Wild Ginger, The Metro Grill and Brooklyn Bar and Grill. Each one of the restaurants listed has a different style of food which makes it even more fun. Just outside of downtown Seattle on the Lake Union is Daniel’s Broiler and of course the fabulous chain “I love Sushi.” I wonder sometimes if the chain was named for their love of Sushi rather than ours. That is the best Sushi I had until moving to the US East Coast.