Wander project Science project…

In the best sense of fairness, I have to start today’s story with the other side. My mother, who is the greatest quilter did not like this science experiment. (A like to my mother’s Etsy site is here). The twins wanted to enter the science fair one year. I entered the science fair a couple of times as a kid, actually doing well one year with a partner.  The project the twins and I decided to do was to test the reliability of fireproof fabrics. In part, this was inspired by watching a special on television about how bad it was that most fireproof fabrics were more likely fire resistant. Fireproof technically means that the fabric doesn’t ignite and burst into flames. Fire resistant means the same thing, the primary difference being the temperature of ignition.

We spent a couple of weekends burning fabric bits in the garage. We cut them all into roughly the same size. My mother objected to the fire and fabric combination. My wife objected to firing and twins combination. There were supervision rules (apparently I am not adequate supervision, so my wife stopped watch over the project). It is not like I am the real-life incarnation of Beavis and Butthead. (Let’s burn stuff). I just wanted to show the twins the difference between fire resistant, fire retardant and fireproof. By the way, we didn’t find a single fabric that was more than fire resistant. It means that every single fabric we had, some of which were advertised as fireproof, caught on fire.

So that is why today, the crazy person has shared bits of burned fabric on paper. Just the pre-fire fabric today. I will share the burned bits at some future point. We did take the burned fabric and in honor of my mother buried it in the backyard with a full service. I have so many memories of my mother and fabric over the years. Over the course of my childhood I never willingly went into a fabric store. Well, that isn’t true, I went into a sewing machine/fabric store one time by choice. It was the only store in the area we were that had air conditioner. We were in Bangkok, and it was a very hot day. We were out wandering around, and the sewing shop was the only air-conditioned store in the area, so I went into that one willingly. Otherwise, I do not set foot in fabric stores!


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Wander project memories and Annapolis…

There are times when I should just let things go. I am doing so right now. Hanging out on the boat yesterday, we were doing maintenance and preparation. We didn’t leave the slip but had a nice lunch. Well nice for us, we get to relax and hang out and talk as the originals. Father’s day exists in our relationship because there was us first. Not because of anything or anyone else, there was us first. Both of us had lived, survived, improved through the reality of previous marriages. The Divorce rate in the US has climbed to more than 50% for first marriages. Both my wife and I had gone through really bad marriages before, and from that experience, we were both committed to changing and evolving.

But more than 50% of second marriages end in Divorce. It is not an easy thing to do, be married. You have to ultimately build a relationship that is separate from your lives now. For us, that is sitting on the boat having chicken wraps from the Giant that is just down the street from the marina. Chips, but not the really bad chips, more healthy chips overall. All you have to do is talk. I wrote a song for my wife many years ago, a recording of me singing it is out on my podcast site (https://docandersen.podbean.com). The song was called “Talk to me. No matter what you feel. Talk to me.” I wish that could apply to Ex’s, but those relationships are now gone forever.

I am trapped in a sentimental loop since yesterday. I miss my dad. You don’t realize how much you rely on someone until they are gone. My grandfather Andersen passed when I was 11 years old. Yes, there was a connection there, a lot more than I knew then. I suspect that was why I was so sad and didn’t realize the impact of his passing until later. My Grandfather Johnston died when I was 35. His passing I felt. He was my go-to person. I could talk to him about anything and everything. I still miss him, 22 years later. But after his passing, dad and I started doing that. Talking about everything. Dad’s advice was different than grandfather’s but every bit as good. His death 4 years ago is still a struggle for me. I miss him the most on father’s day, but I miss him sometimes just because of the things he said and did. The path into tomorrow leads through the garden of yesterday.



wander project of shoes and stuff on my phone….

I love the 365 Day photo challenge because it reminds me to take and share pictures every day. But I am also committed to the rules of my family history project.  Good or bad, share the pictures stored on the hard drives and USB drives I’ve collected. 170,000 pictures, I’ve shared maybe 5400 here on Virily. A few posts yet to go! Today’s post is the pictures wandering on my hard drive from the challenge. A couple of flowers taken, some pictures taken with other cameras and of course dogs. There are four dogs who live in our house. They all are wonderful dogs, Serenity, Tamsyn. Raven and my dog Dylan. Each of the four dogs has a unique personality, and each of them is a great addition to our family.

Today, being father’s day, I am not sharing any pictures in this share of my kids. They are also important to me. As if my wife. Father’s day this year fell in, an unusual location time wisely. IT is four years and two weeks (almost) since my father passed away. It is two months from our 7th year in Maryland. It is one month past the our fifth year owning the house we are in. It is a couple of days passed the 27th time we’ve celebrated our wedding anniversary.  Plus we just finished the roof project for our house. Oh yeah, and it is full on boating season! Lots of things going on in the height of summer. Except it is technically still spring. Summer isn’t for another few (3) days.

The picture collection today is diverse. Tech and dogs, but I post deck and dog pictures often. There is one picture that catches my eye. In fact, the one picture would catch my eye even if I were on the ISS (International Space Station) looking down upon the fair earth. Even then, 10, 12 15 miles off the surface of the earth (or even more) I would see my wife’s NASA shoes. We call them the NASA shoes because you can see them from space. I would like to say that she only has one pair of NASA shoes, but I cannot lie. This pair shared now, is one of many. She has a pair of green tennis shoes so bright, the grasses wilts when she walks by in those tennis shoes). That is my favorite picture in this share!


of father’s day past…

Wander project Bloomington IN…

Strange pictures from one of the folders created during the family history project. With four different people creating the original folders, and a difference in style and perception there are a few folders that have strange names. Or, normal names but as in this particular found folder today, strange pictures. Not sure what the goal of these pictures was. Looking back, taking pictures of the TV, not that interesting. Strange faces made by the kids, interesting. I guess you had to be there. Sadly, I was there, and I do not remember why I took the pictures. These are all from various locations in our house in Greenwood plus my parent’s house in Bloomington Indiana.

I guess this is a triple wander. Wander between Indiana Cities! When the kids were young, and we were in Greenwood, we spent a lot of major and minor holidays at mom and dad’s house. There are a couple of dog pictures, one of Nelson the Scotty and the other of Jessie the Westhighland terrier. Originally there were two west highland terriers, Fred and Jessie. Fred passed away and Nelson came to join mom and dad’s dog pack (a pack that grew to 5 later) Mom has more dogs now (5) than we do (4) and many fewer adults (we have 6, she just has the one. Although, there are some that would argue that based on my personality we only have 5 adults in the house)!

Yesterday was our 27th wedding anniversary. My wife has been in my life for almost half; I was 30 when we got married. In just three years I will have spent 30 years with my wife. It is amazing when you think about the passage of time relative to relationships. Once upon a time, our kids were little. Now we can go out and have a relaxing evening, and not have to worry about the kids. We can go and spend a weekend on the boat, and not worry about the kids. Actually I worry about the kids sometimes when I am not there. Not because I am worried that they wouldn’t throw a party. Sometimes I worry more that they wouldn’t throw a party when mom and dad were gone. I doubt my mom felt that way.


Wander project Gaithersburg MD

Our first big moved happened May 30th, 1991. We moved to Cincinnati Ohio. We ended up renting a townhouse in Fairfield and lived there for a year. Then we moved to Maineville on the other side of Cincinnati and finally bought a house in Western Hills. We were looking for the right place for us to settle. When we moved back to Greenwood, we knew where we wanted to live. Near Indianapolis (Greenwood is right outside Indianapolis). The schools had to be good as well; the kids were all of that age. We made about four different day trips in the process of moving. Each time, wandering different parts of Greenwood Indiana. We ended up near where my sister used to live in Eagle Trace.

Moving to Maryland was different. My wife did a lot of research, but we decided to rent a house for a couple of years. In part, because we just weren’t sure we were going to stay, and we didn’t know where we wanted to be. I can tell you that renting the house, was the worst mistake we could have ever made. What was to pass then was a customer service nightmare. The dishwasher broke about a week after we arrived at the house. It worked, broke, worked, broke and in the end wasn’t working nearly half the time The property management company we were dealing with was horrible. We were paying a premium to live in a nice house, but nothing was ever fixed.

Noah’s Properties of Gaithersburg MD, in case you ever decided to move to this part o the world, and are thinking about renting a home. Do not go anywhere near that horrible company; The pictures shared today, one apparently of the inside of the camera lens cap, a few of work whiteboard sessions and some of that house in the Kentland’s. We loved the location; we enjoyed the house, the rental company not so much. We finally, after a nonworking refrigerator, non-working dishwasher and a dead wine cooler decided to buy a house once again. We looked around the area and finally decided on Germantown MD. It was the best decision we could have ever made!


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Wander project Greenwood IN

I know it makes me sound old, but it used to bother me how many kids I had to kick off the trampoline in our backyard. We had simple rules. One person at a time. The only time we allowed more than one person on the trampoline was when everyone was seated, and an adult was playing the popcorn game. Popcorn is where the kids are all seated on the trampoline, and the adult bounces. It makes the kids bounce like little popcorn kernels heated to the explosion point. I know that I shouldn’t still be frustrated about that. It has been seven years in August since we left Indiana and eight years since the Trampoline was given to a family friend. For a time with some of the neighborhood kids, I had to go out on the back deck and yell “get off my lawn, now.”

The pictures today are starting with the view of the pond from a couple of locations in the back of the house. There wasn’t a pool when we bought the house. There also was ugly flower beds along the edge of the hill that we took out. It was railroad ties (the logs used to lay the tracks on for a railroad). Frankly, it hadn’t been tended to in a long time. That and the partial fence that was still, standing in our side yard. Those two removal projects were the first I did. As the pool was being built, we removed the flower beds. There were also raised beds on the side of the house that we got rid of. We were looking for a more natural flow, rather than railroad ties.

The Trampoline came to a couple of years after the pool. It was a lot of family fun for many hours. The pictures today are of the Twins playing, correctly, on the trampoline. We, my wife and I, talked about getting one for a year. There was a huge expose on a television show talking about how dangerous Trampolines were The number one cause of injury, more than one kid on the trampoline. We decided to get one, but like the diving board in the pool area, we decided to set day one rules. One child at a period. We also later set rules of no flips. But that was the second year we had the trampoline. We never, in the seven years we had the trampoline had an accident or an injury!


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Wander project Back Creek, again!

Coming back into Back Creek. Back to Back, I guess would be the pun. A few additional flowers on the way. We were heading to our favorite, ok my favorite my wife’s second favorite Annapolis restaurant. Her favorite is Grumps. My favorite is the Main Street Café and catering. I do like Grumps, I just like Main better. It isn’t a huge argument; we go to both of them at least once a month. There was a time when we lived in Indiana that the restaurants were different. Then every time we would consider going out on a Friday night for dinner the choices always seemed to boil down to El Rodeo (one of the Twin’s favorites) and Louie’s (my wife’s favorite). It got so I didn’t ask.

Greenwood had fewer restaurant choices, which made the selection smaller as well. Most of the ethnic restaurants near us in Greenwood weren’t that good. There was a wonderful restaurant called China House, that was the other twin’s favorite place. Normally when I would ask, back in the day the following would be the responses.

: Louie’s” my wife would say.

“China House” one twin would say.

“El Rodeo” the other twin would say.

“I don’t want Mexican” my daughter would say.

For the next 10 or so minutes there would be a raging battle. None of the four of them would budge an inch. I stood there often, laughing. I guess I shouldn’t have laughed, that did get me in trouble often. I was the swing vote since the other four wouldn’t budge. The thing about being the swing vote was that no matter what I picked, I was wrong. So I would let the battle rage for a time. I guess I hoped against all hope that eventually one of them would compromise. I probably should have known better. My family can be stubborn. Thank goodness I am never stubborn. Ok, in fairness I am stubborn as well, I would let the battle rage because it was entertaining but also because having made a choice a couple of times I knew I was going to be in trouble with somebody.

Now there are 120 different restaurants that we like. Makes a choice easier, and nobody gets mad anymore!


sometimes you just have to wonder…

wandering the Bay…

Our story today wanders from Germantown to Annapolis, although, of that journey, there are no pictures. We hopped in the car for our Sunday sojourn on the Bay. A Sunday tradition since 2016. Well, it was a tradition on Sunday’s when we lived in Indiana and when we lived in Ohio. There were a few years (2010-2016( when we didn’t own a boat. Yesterday’s goal was originally to have lunch in Annapolis, but we ended up realizing that traffic on the water was a bit much, so we stopped by one of our favorite places to eat (Main Street). Main is a wonderful restaurant, and they do both catering and serve a wonderful breakfast, lunch and dinner menu.

But, Main was lunch, and that was after the boat ride. We wandered to the boat from the car. We had a small load of stuff, so we didn’t need to grab one of the always available wheeled carts.  We just helped the stuff to the boat. Mostly things we needed for various boat projects. I did manage to leave a couple of things at home that I needed to carry to the boat. We started off walking by the flower garden. Early spring, and fall the garden is in full bloom. Now the time between blooming. The number of flowers with flowers is much smaller now. I did manage to capture a few flower pictures. From the car to the flower garden (with a stop at the bathhouse in between) is about 40 feet. Then you wander down the stairs to the dock area.

We are at the end of our dock. We took the cover off and started the motors. Casting off the lines we headed out towards Annapolis. It was fun to pass by Mama Osprey. She, sitting on the nest there on the channel buoy. We also pass by the sailing school and then basically the options are turned right and head out into the bay, or go straight and then turn left to head to Annapolis. Yesterday was turn left. Although when we did get to Annapolis, we realized it was way busier than we wanted to deal with. My confidence, being around that many boats is reduced. Plus we found out afterward that you have to have permission from the harbormaster to dock at the restaurant, anyway. Still it was a nice sojourn to Annapolis!

Wander project Nashville TN.

Nashville TN, where are the pictures are from has one of the most beautiful main libraries of any city I have ever visited. It is one of the glorious old buildings converted into a wonderful library. The library in Germantown Maryland is a new library that is glorious as well, but there is something about an older building that is a library. We were in Nashville for a family event, but my wife and I ended up arriving earlier than the other folks (they were driving from Indiana, we were flying from Washington DC). We ended up having a couple of hours to kill before the rest of the folks arrived, and we could check into our Airbnb location for the family event.

My wife and I wandered into the library. First, my wife is a huge library fan. In every place we have ever lived, she has always known where the libraries were.  I guess that is her superpower. Or maybe her superpower is knowing how not to laugh at my wonderful jokes. Now that I think about it, that is truly her superpower; You can find libraries on a map, so knowing where they are isn’t a superpower. Not, laughing at the master crafted jokes I share, that is truly a superpower. I will have to ask her. I wonder what she will say. Other than groan and say that I am a pill. That by the way, the pill designation of me, was originally from her mother. Stated in fact, the very first time she (my wife’s mother) ever met me.

Anyway, we didn’t take the kids; they stayed back in DC. It was nice to get away for a weekend. We used to do that when the kids were younger. But it involved working out a schedule with my parents. They did watch the kids many times for us. That was a driving reason to move back to Greenwood, to Indiana from Ohio. We would be closer to family in case of issues. When the twins were old enough that we could deal with emergencies, we moved away again. I guess the wandering feet of my parents passed down to me (they moved from many different places over the years). It is not about how far you travel, but that you always find a way home!


Family Historian

Wander project Indiana…

Turkey Run State Park, one of many we visited back in Indiana. We used to love to go to the state parks and stay at the lodge and explore. At least we did when the kids were little, Then we just told them, get in the car and we were off. Now, there is the two-hour discussion of why do I have to go? Then the 40 minutes of looking for shoes. Then the realization that they hadn’t done laundry yet, so a two-hour delay to wash clothes. By then my wife and I have usually gone and come back. I suspect overall it may be static, but I don’t care anymore. Back then it was a lot easier. The reality of teaching children to talk is that they learn to talk, and mostly they learn to talk back.

I should have made this a poll and asked the question what birds are often seen in Turkey Run State Park? I like the trick question kind of polls. Turkey Run is a walking park, in that other than the Lodge, the entire park if focused on exploring nature. The CCC built it. Or the Civilian Conservation Corps, started by Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he was president (FDR). FDR felt that the way out of the great depression of the early 1930’s was to get people back to work. The CCC was one of those methods. They focused on improving access to and the people’s ability to enjoy the State and National parks throughout the United States. From walkways to lodges they built a lot of things.

Located about two hours north of our house in Greenwood, we went often. The twins, then, liked the Billy Goat trails. Called Billy Goat because humans struggle to go where goats run! The twins, tiny miniature goats at that time, loved scampering ahead of the older, slower adults. Until, they were worn out, then they began to drag and slow down. They, the twins, had yet to learn the magic of conservation. Don’t spend all your resources running around like a crazy person early in the walk. You will need some of that energy later! Normally by the time we got back from a long hike, the twins were ready for an. Or better yet, they would go to bed early and we could sit up and play cards!


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