wander project what dad saw…

It is an adage, like father like son. Although it is interesting my father and both traveled. Dad traveled to countries that were beginning to develop. He wandered many nations helping them build their science education systems. I traveled to nations that were more developed and helped them implement more diverse and structured IT systems. We both traveled. I didn’t however, go to some of the places dad did. Africa and in particular South Africa was a trip dad got to take, that well I am jealous of. We are wandering through the last pictures dad took. They come from the memory cards he had in a drawer. I don’t know if he ever looked at these.

He would, back then take a memory card insert in the camera and shoot until it was full. Then he would buy a new memory card. He placed the full ones in a box on the right side of his desk. I don’t know if he looked at them. I do know he stored them. I found 23 memory cards ranging n size from 2 gigs to 16 gigs. All of them except two were full of pictures. One of was of files from Dad’s computer. There were a few pictures on his computer as well. I know, having told dad many times that the memory cards were risky (they last from 10-12 years max) he didn’t listen. But, I also know in fairness I didn’t always listen to my parents, so I guess turnabout is fair.

I suspect that happens with all parents and children. I know it has happened as well with my children. I know, but they don’t have the opportunity. In order to hear, you have to want to listen. I do truly understand that because I did it to my parents. I do, at times get caught up in that moment where it is a little harder to accept. As a parent, there are many hard jobs. The hardest one is letting your children fail. It comes within us to protect our children. Failure is painful, but sometimes we have to let our children fail. They, the child, need to learn the reality of the world. A failure is an option. Life is not a box of chocolates; it is, in fact, a box that can have candy or can be full of poisonous snakes.


wander project remembering…

If you celebrate, Happy Good Friday, this is the last of the Easter posts for this year; I am doing my father’s pictures on the weekends so, we end with this one. Interesting, in that now today we have pictures of the kids a little older. There is also pictures of Gwen towards the end of the collection. She was older by then 13 or 14 years old. She would make it, two more years. I miss Gwen sometimes. She was stubborn, used to chase and herd the kids in the back yard and she was a family member. Our daughter went through the no pictures in the holy compound era. She first went through the make faces when pictures were taken phase, and convinced her cousins to do that as well.A

Then it was the don’t take my picture phase. There are several pictures in that phase in the collection today. You can, with the last picture of our daughter see the same face my wife makes when I take her picture. Honestly, this is one of the last Easter celebrations we had, by the time of these pictures (2009) or 10 years ago now, the twins were 11 and no longer believed in a traveling bunny that broke into people’s houses to leave things behind.  They were tired of my best dad joke about Gwen and Fran. (we are hunting bunnies tonight) Uttered in my best Gwen voice the eve of Easter. I guess even the very best dad joke ever gets old when you’ve heard it 11 years in a row.

(the kids used to gasp when Gwen would tell them she was hunting bunnies on Easter Eve). Why doesn’t Easter have an Eve, by the way,? It was more fun to hide the candy when the kids were older. We could get a lot more creative. We still had the one rule though, high enough that Gwen and Fran couldn’t get involved in the searching. They did, but more to direct in hopes of receiving a cut of the goods. Fran loved Peeps. Peeps are Marshmallow covered with hard sprinkles in the shape of little bunnies or little chicks. My wife bought them (peeps) every single year. Not one of the kids liked Peeps. But Fran did, more than anything. Gwen would eat them, but for Fran, the Candy choices were Peeps, Candy Corn and Candy Corn pumpkins (we never could figure out why she loved Candy corn so much).


Wander project Easter of the past

Wandering Easter, probably one or two more times this week. One of the holiday traditions that my daughter and I cherished was the star wait. Christmas and Easter the two big holidays where things were hidden or delivered. Christmas, the presents under the tree. Easter with the eggs and candy hidden on the main level of the house. The Lab (Fran) slept upstairs, and the Easter Bunny stayed away from labs. Mostly because I think Fran would have enjoyed eating the Easter Bunny, Gwen used to follow us around as we hid the eggs and candy, forcing us to hide them a little higher than Gwen could safely reach. But as the morning arrived, the kids would wait at the top of the stairs for us to release them.

There were several times (starting once they, the twins were no longer in cribs) that our daughter had to restrain Twins on the stairs. Over the years we collected iterations of this picture. We recreated it this year for Christmas. I do miss the days of these pictures sometimes. Back in that day, we had a three-level house (funny, we’ve had three level houses since back when we lived in Cincinnati). In the case, in Greenwood, the Master bedroom was on the main level, and the kids were at the top level of the house. When we first moved in my wife had the entire house kids proofed. We had to; the twins early on were quite active.

It wasn’t easy for our daughter, but she was great with the Twins — all that effort is feeding them when they were little paid off. The three would come down the stairs and go into the kitchen. The kitchen was also on the main level of the house. They would see their baskets, and then off searching for eggs and candy. We were careful to only put out a certain number of eggs. That way we could count them, and make sure we had them when the searching was done. The next thing was taking the candy away, so it wasn’t eaten in a 2 hour period. Overall the experience was always interesting. We did usually find missed candy that had been hidden far too well for a month or so after the holiday.


Wander project iPhone pictures and remembering…

Today I am sharing a few pictures from my “iPhone Collection.” It is scary when you start having enough pictures to have an actual collection. Part of today is the reality of companies going out of business. The Fathom Drone company (underwater ROV) is closing its doors. There are so many interesting things you can do in this modern world, but the reality of a niche market is just that. It is a smaller market, and if you don’t hit the market at the right moment, you are done. Over the years, traveling around the world, I’ve seen several things that have lasted. I spent, with my wonderful wife a couple of days walking around Paris. We spent time inside of Notre Dame.

We were both saddened by the fire of yesterday. (April 15) The Fire consumed the old spire and managed the church badly. It is such a beautiful place, from the side the stained glass windows were beyond amazing. I have had the opportunity to see many of the world’s great landmarks. I’ve touched the great wall of Istanbul. I’ve walked along and touched the great wall of China. I have been to some of the greatest cities in the world. I’ve touched the wall of London as well. It makes me sad when one of those great things of the past are damaged. Eight hundred fifty years, two world wars and a rebellion didn’t break Notre Dame. A fire isn’t going to break the cathedral either.

It will close for a time. People will walk by the outside of the building. They will see the sad remains post-fire from the river. But Notre Dame will rise again as things do.  I can honestly say I was moved by the stained glass and as we walked through the cathedral that day the choir was practicing. Perhaps it was the majesty of the ceilings or the acoustics of the building but that choir was amazing.

Sad news around yesterday. When the things around you look their bleakest, it is hard sometimes to remember that the world continues. The sun will rise in the east today. Time will tick off the clocks of the world. Tomorrow lies ahead of us, and yesterday is remembered.


Wander project remembering 1969

I’ve been wandering on my blog for a long time now — more than four years in fact. I am, however, really excited, and saddened by what is coming this Summer. In July 2019 it will be 50 years since a human being walked on the moon, the first time. I watched that event, the lunar landing, live in our family room in Bloomington Indiana. Dad and I were NASA and IU, basketball junkies. Technically we became basketball Junkies in the fall of 1969 with the addition of George McGinnis. It was run to watch George play basketball. Dad took me to my first basketball game (in person) that fall, and I watched McGinnis go for 35 points. I was hooked with that first game.


But the big event that summer was three-fold for me. First, was the ability to watch grainy black and white footage of the Lunar Lander on the moon. To hear the voice of Neil Armstrong that summer (One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind), I cannot say I heard the error (Neil didn’t signify that he was a single human being by affixing the an in front of a man in his first sentence. He meant to say “One small step for A man. One Giant leap for mankind.” I know in fact that the error exists I have heard and heard about it for many years. I do care in the end. I heard the words live. The third thing for me was getting to stay up until 3 am EST.

I hadn’t to that point even been allowed to stay up on New Year’s Eve. But this time I was allowed to stay up. Well past my then at 8 pm bedtime. I feel asleep a couple of times, but in the days before VCR’s and the days before DVR’s I watched live. I dud from time to time in the politically correct world of today wonder if Neil would have said something different. If that kid who was from Wapakoneta Ohio would have found another way to express the amazing reality of what happened. Does it matter in the end? I think not. The moment he stepped from the Eagle, life for me change forever. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that nothing would ever be the same again. Plus, I finally knew what was on the other side of midnight.


wander project looking within

Part OF time passing is that memories change with time. Things that once made you angry, later just remind you of differences. As we mature we find that there is less to carry with us. Anger is more baggage than carryon. It doesn’t help us move from where we want to be, where we are, or just staying put. Anger is, however, the easy answer to many questions. Exploding in the glow of white-hot anger we lash out at the world. But there is no justification for hurting others. We have to measure our world carefully based on that. We are human beings, and our path is important. Each of us carries both a candle and a flashlight. One burns, one shines. But we also carry darkness with us.

What we lead with can impact others. The candlelight shows more shadows and burns in a flickering and mesmerizing way. I am the center, the flame says, and it licks the wick and the sky at the same time. The wax, slowly melting and dripping down the sides of the candle. Each drip of wax creating a new path for the next drip. There is a weakness in the light of the candle that struggles to escape a small circle in the darkness. The candle with each use changes. Evolves if you will from what it was to what it is. The flashlight is always the same but is more likely to fail. More likely to need new batteries or a new bulb. The acid within the batteries is sometimes leaking out to fill the metal pieces within the flashlight with rust.

Rust that weakens the metal and the flow of power from the batteries. At that moment we must choose between the lights — the weaker candle, harder to carry unless you are Scrooge. The flashlight easier to carry, more powerful but, both create a place for the darkness. Beyond the edge of the light lies the darkness. Sometimes, if we are fair, the darkness lies within us. That is the reality that we all must face. That we are the vessels, we bring the darkness with us. Not always, but sometimes that darkness is wholly inside of us. We lash out in anger and pain to strike the darkness of others. But we seek only to for a time, turn on a spotlight and make the darkness within us go away.


Wander project dad’s garden…

Dad loved growing things. From fruit trees to asparagus. Tomatoes and various types of onions. He used to grow plants with the biological defense. That system is where you plant vulnerable plants in the interior, with resistant plants on the outside. This can be as simple as tomatoes in the middle, and opinions on the outside. Or as complex as potatoes in the middle and marigolds on the outside (it was a flower, I don’t remember which one actually). If I am honest the four, five and six years old me loved being in the garden. Then around my 10th birthday, I got to mow half the yard. But got to, it means I was told I was now mowing the front yard. I stopped liking gardening after that.

Not that mowing took away my love of gardening. Just that it a job. I know my love of snow went away when it became shoveling the driveway. I still love walking in snow, but I am not a fan of it, snow, sticking on the ground. The one thing that never translated for me was helping my grandfather with the boats on the lake. I worked harder then, but it never became a job. I suspect there is a reality of your grandparent. During the family history project, I found out that my father’s father was around a lot more than I remembered. As children, our memories aren’t as static as they become later on as adults. As an Adult, I have to remember certain things all the time.

As a child, you are filled with wonder and sometimes wonder things away. It doesn’t explain my painting rowboats, or cleaning off the speed boat didn’t feel like work. Mowing always felt like work to me. Although I remember many summers sweating more doing the rowboats than I ever did doing the mowing. Gardening perhaps was more than it took my father away. Dad was always in the garden. I wonder now, looking back and missing him if I was jealous of the garden. That gardening represented what took my father away from playing catch. My grandfather and I cleaned the rowboats together. I mowed by myself. By 11 I had to mow the whole yard. I wonder, if I was jealous of his garden.