The pictures today focus more on the 365 challenge pictures, in particular, the last few (13) days of that challenge. The post today deals with the transition we made as a family from Cincinnati to Greenwood Indiana. Less than a year after the twins were born we decided that we needed to be closer to the family. The first year of the twins was hard; we had also undertaken to build a house and moving. In May of 1999, we decided that we were going to move back to Indiana. I happened to get a job, that afforded us some level of support for the move (paying for the moving company and a lot of the expenses), so we took the job (it was in the same company just a different city). The previous year while in Cincinnati Ohio, I was working for the worst boss I have ever worked for, so for me, it was a chance to start over, and to get away from that person.
We drove around Indianapolis for three weekends looking at houses. The kids stayed at my mom for two of the weekends. My wife and I knew what everyone wanted, and we were looking. We found a house that we both liked, and on the Monday after that weekend called the realtor. She told us that unfortunately, the house was no longer on the market. We decided to make an offer anyway. The seller accepted our offer, and we were moving! That house we bought remains the longest house we’ve lived in during our entire 27 years of marriage. Nearly ½ our marriage and nearly half the Bean’s life was spent in that house. The twins lived there for more than ½ their lives. That will change over time; aging does that.
We moved to Greenwood in October 1999. We landed in Greenwood, and I was off to Chicago. I worked in downtown Chicago for most of the next three years. Now, when I was gone, my wife had family near. One of my sisters lived just down the street from us. My other sister and parents lived just 40 minutes away in Bloomington. Driving to Chicago nearly every week was a tough process. I did have some local clients over the years, that was always good. But for the most part, I was working in Downtown Chicago. My wife was introducing the Twins and The Bean (although the Bean had been before) to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum and the Indianapolis Zoo. We were members for many years while in Greenwood. Things were settling in for a long stay!
Beneath a blue October Sky.
The color around us changing
as the red falls from the sky
to litter everywhere.
tin ears hear the
a struggling locomotive
needing tuning can you hear the roar?
or perhaps just wheels
clinging tight too the tracks the roar muted by the lost leaves that flutter away to fall
as they crush
the red beneath.
I hear the sound
but it is nowhere to
just the sound of quiet
as the leaves fall
and the Mighty Monon is no more.
(national poetry month)
(Pictures are of Lake Lemon in Indiana)
We realized once the twins were finally home (after the second visit to the NICU or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) that it was time to move. Our home in Western Hills (a suburb of Cincinnati Ohio) was well, not big enough. There were two cribs in the master bedroom and officially no floor space to move around the room. We decided that it was time to move. We had, the summer before considered moving, even putting in an offer on the house, but our house didn’t sell. We took the plunge this time dumping our savings into buying the new house and hoping the old house would sell (it did, but it took five months after moving). We listed our old house with a Realtor in June, knowing that our new house wouldn’t be finished until August.
We found a new neighborhood just north of where we were. Called Mt. Airy (and still in the greater Cincinnati Metropolitan area) it seemed like the perfect neighborhood. We decided (after Kindergarten) as well to enroll the Bean in an alternative school. But that is another discussion. We worked with the builder in designing a home that would better fit what we needed. The living room and dining room were going to be turned into a playroom for the twins. We had gates on both sides, so the boys had space to move around, but couldn’t get anywhere near the two sets of stairs in the new house (down to the basement in the kitchen, where my office was – shocking I know my office was in the basement where it remains today).
The house was three levels, the basement having my office and a room for the furnace (and a pool table). The main level had the living room (now playroom) the garage, the kitchen, and a family room. We turned the family room into a home theater/space to relax. Out the kitchen, there were sliding glass doors that led to a patio. The patio had a basketball goal on one end. We added a pool to the backyard the next spring. The upstairs of the house had the bedrooms and a laundry room. My wife wanted the laundry room on the same level as the laundry creators. It was a smart idea. That reduced the number of trips up and down the stairs while doing laundry! We also got lucky and now had great neighbors all around us. Plus we had room to spread out and actually enjoy.
The first year after the twins arrived was difficult. The twins spent two weeks in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). That was one of the worst, most helpless weeks of my life. My wife’s life as well. We were bound to two creatures, loved them with all our hearts, and it wasn’t guaranteed they would ever come home. They did, only one of them was sick with a very rare infection that happens, well rarely. We were back in the hospital for another ten days. What had been bad before, was worse the second time, Now we had one baby at home and the other still in the hospital. The month after the birth of the twins in a time forgotten. A blur of activity, working, coming home and rushing to the hospital.
The twin survived that infection but came home to a pic line (set in their shoulder so that the nurse could come three times a day and inject the antibiotics into his tiny little system). The screaming was horrible. I missed one of the injections, as I was at work but was there for the other two, and it was awful. We found out who was in our corner at that time. There were people that not only were there but stepped up. The Bean took her little new brother and made them feel special. The twins godparents were beyond amazing. My parents and my wife’s parents were supportive and there for us. My best man, was there, helping and supporting. We were able to survive that first crisis because of those people.
We had friends as well, people that were supportive. The person I was working with at that time, was an incredible friend who helped as well. We will never forget who was there for us then. They are beyond a doubt the people that shaped us as people forever. The first two months after returning from the hospital and going back and then finally being home were and remain a blur. Without the help of the people I listed we would have probably gone off the deep end. I got parental leave the second month the twins were alive. It was a chance to bond with them and connect. That connection is something we still have today, and I enjoyed it, I think. As I said, that time remains blurry other than the faces of the people that helped!
The straight to digital, never touching paper pictures are always straight. I wanted to post a few because as I delve deeper into the reality of old pictures scanned, the number of pictures that are caty whompus increases radically. In part because the scanners were frustrated, having to scan pictures day after day after day. The rule is I share them, as is, as scanned. If I want to use them for something else, I fix the angle and presentation. But I don’t do anything else to the images. Share everything you take. Eventually, something will stick! I call it the family history project spaghetti method. Throw up enough pictures, and someone will find something, of value.
Today’s pictures come from a business trip taken by me now more than ten years ago. I would say that the trip was amazing, it was. But it was a long time ago as well. I took a lot (more than 200 in fact) pictures of the Sydney Opera house for my father. Dad had worked for Macquarie University in Sydney for a summer. During that time he took a lot of pictures of the Sydney Opera house. Well, a lot of pictures for the days of film cameras. I think I have 15 slides or so my father took of the Opera house from various angles. It is truly a beautiful building, and 20 years later when I was in Sydney, it was still beautiful. I wandered around the city and saw the Opera house from some angles.
The gardens that are on the hill above the Opera house are also amazing. Walking around the entire Opera house, seeing all the shops and restaurants, and walking through the Park behind, is roughly 2 miles. Part of a very long day of walking we undertook while in Sydney. You can uBer, or Cab and see the world but there is something special about walking around the city. Anyway, the digital pictures of that trip, are all mostly decent pictures but none are sideways or upside down. Scanning 55,000 slides, pictures, and album pages result in a lot of things scanned without regard for composition. There was no scan with intent to share by the scanners. The intent to share was by me!
Wandering the images of yesterday
Like any group of people in this world, there were ups and downs. In 1997 late in the year, we found that we would be having the second child joining us. We had been trying to add a child for about a year, but we started late with the child thing, so there was some risk. I had to go to Toronto for a business trip and missed the first appointment with the doctor. My wife, after five years of being in the Advertising world, had decided to come home and take time away from work. I wished her luck and headed off to Canada. I was in a five-day class learning new technology. I got out of class the day of the Dr. Appt, and there were actual paper messages for me, at the front desk of the company office and the hotel. They were all simply my wife saying: call home,”
She asked are you sitting down when I reached her. I lied and said I was. I was standing at the time. She said, “we, are having twins.” I wish I had been sitting; I ended up landing on the floor. That was the beginning of what was to be the most difficult 18 months. In part, because we were convinced that the twins were suffering from a rare disorder (the internet is no place to figure things out sometimes) called twin to twin transfusion syndrome. Or TTTS, they didn’t, by the way, have that, but it made for a difficult first month knowing we were having twins. Based on our original guess, but also more on Doctors orders my wife went on bed rest during the 14 weeks. She stayed on Bed Rest from week 14 to week 33. Week 32 was our goal (fully formed to lungs)!
It was a really hard time. I was working with a local Cincinnati Customer so not traveling. The Bean, barely five years old was taking care of her mother every day. I would come home after work, make dinner and take care of my wife until the next morning. The Bean covered the time between when I was gone. Cutting carrots and celery for her mom until I got home. My wife is a very active person, she doesn’t like being sick, and she hated Bed Rest. But, it was for the twins, and they were important. We stayed in that state of bed rest and fear for 18 weeks. On the 32nd week, the Doctor was concerned that my wife’s bed rest wasn’t enough and she was put in the hospital for enforced bed rest. That was the worst week of my life. I had to drop off, pick up and take care of The Bean solo, and still take her to see her mom (she was really worried). I had laundry, cooking, dishes and of course I was scared to death. The Sunday, one week after she was put on Hospital bedrest she called me and said, I am having contractions. I called our dear friend to watch The Bean and rushed to the hospital.
in the land of pictures scanned upside down
We had moved, from Bloomington Indiana to Cincinnati Ohio before our wedding in 1991. Cincinnati would be our home for the next nine years. During that time my wife’s parents lived in Hot Springs Arkansas. The first couple of pictures are of the back deck at my in-law’s house in Hot Springs Village. They would later move to Florida and then end up back in Indiana. But that is another story. Today it is the story of a young couple starting. Just married, and then a little over a year later the Bean arrived. We moved from Fairfield, a far suburb of Cincinnati to Maineville. Mostly we were moving to save a little money. We wanted to buy our first house, and we weren’t able to save much living in Fairfield. That part of Ohio was more expensive than Maineville was.
We then moved to Western Hills and would live there for nearly five years. Our last house in Cincinnati was in Mt. Airy. But for now, we were in Wednesday Hills. It was in one of the restaurants we would go to on Friday night that we found that the Bean loves fried pickles. She still does, to this day. We didn’t always go out on Friday nights, but we did from time to time, Sometimes it was Saturday night that we would go out, that for some reasons. Our house in Western was a Dutch Colonial built around 1933. It had a rose garden (well three rose bushes) on one side of the house. We had awesome neighbors on one side of us and awesome neighbors across the street. The other side neighbors were very angry people, and their son would flick cigarette butts into our yard by the swing set the bean used to play on. But that as well is another story.
We added a metal shed and a wooden playset to the backyard later. The original swingset in the yard was a metal swing set that was unstable and leaned. We tore it down and replaced it with a wooden swing set. I would like to say, the swing set I built with help from a friend, which we did, but it leaned as well. Not as badly as the metal swing set did. But it had a distinct lean in its platform. I am not very good at building things. Still, it was nice to have the shed and the wooden playset in the backyard. Our first dog joined us in Fairfield. He tore up the carpets in the townhouse (a lost deposit). Blackie lived with us until we moved to Western Hills. He nipped the Bean and ended up being adopted by a family that lived on a farm.