The concept of home is an interesting one. Home isn’t portable, but it isn’t fixed either. Home is the place we are when we feel safest. Or it should be, people need a safe place in their life. For too long in our world, we have forgotten to address those around us as people first. Let’s think a bit today about the sound of home. What does your home sound like? I know over the years the very sound our home has changed. The location of the sound within our home has changed. Many years ago when we lived in Cincinnati Ohio we had two different noise locations. In our apartments and townhouse, the noise was all over, those were smaller homes, and noise doesn’t travel far.
Our last home in Cincinnati the noise moved to the living room. We converted the traditional living room to a sitting area for the kids to have as a playroom. The noise in the house started in the living/playroom then often. Small children make more noise than large adults. Other than large adults watching college basketball. At least one adult in the house used to yell at the TV. Not anymore, if I yell at the TV now, Dylan bites my feet. My wife told him he was a good dog for doing that, so, now he does that. But for the most part, the noise came from the living room. The house in Greenwood was larger, more space and the kids moved from the center of the house to the upstairs.
The noise moved with them. Although outside with their friends and the pool, the noise was there as well. Now, there is so much less noise than there was. The very noise of home changing over time. As children grow the noise begins to fit more with the adult world. Children make a gleeful noise, adults not as often with the gleeful noise. Adults tend towards the quiet side of glee. Time and the passage of sound is part of the home. It is a part of what we seek when we come home. That reality of noise that is both disconcerting and comforting. A measure of what we consider to be home. At the end that is the tone, we call our home. An evolving sound that brings memories.
“There is always one more memory to share.?
In my previous life of travel I visited many cities. I have been to Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney, Bangkok, Amsterdam, London, Dublin but without a doubt (and I’ve been to many more than that) Copenhagen remains one of my favorite cities. This time though I was on a quest. Jakki asked the front desk of the hotel for a good place for us to go for lunch. She was told about a collection of food trucks that were in an old warehouse in the commercial side of the port. It sounded interesting. So we hopped on the metro and wandered our way to the city center (we stayed out by the airport while in Copenhagen). There was a second quest as well for the day, but for now we were in search of the collection of food trucks. We wandered in the direction we were told (along the river in fact) to find this food place. We did have to make a couple of route adjustments and Barb and Jakki asked a young lady riding a bike how lost we were (we were actually in the right place, just hadn’t gone far enough).
I cannot say how hard it was for me not to ask Jakki, “are we there yet.” I didn’t but the urge was nearly overwhelming. The pictures taken on the way to the collection of food trucks. Like the beautiful cities in Norway, Copenhagen has a mix of water and well not water. Less so that Amsterdam but beautiful none the less. The sky as you can see is a little overcast. It didn’t rain on us, although it would have been hilarious to be walking in Denmark getting rained on carrying Norwegian umbrellas,. It was a little coolish heading to cold but not uncomfortable. The boys and I walk outside every day, as does Jakki in her business so we a little better off weather wise than Barb. Of course Barb puts on a coat when she opens the refrigerator (I’m col,”). Once we crossed the river that runs parallel to the port (the middle and third pictures) we were nearly to this collection of street food trucks. Little did we know that was an understatement.
Luke says for the ENTIRE trip what was to come was the best lunch he had. The collection of food trucks was literally a explosion of food that was beyond amazing. From Korean to North American BBQ you could find nearly any restaurant you wanted. The food we ordered was amazing. Simply food that was prepared perfectly and you had so many choices you could eat there every day for a month and still be picking new places. For desert the kids wandered off to the Cheesecake shop. Luke pronounced it(as did Jakki) the best cheesecake ever. Nick said “its cheesecake” but he is the biggest cheesecake eater into he hosue so not unexpected. Barb and I went for the traditional Danish treat of pancakes. They were amazing.
My quest. In 1972 in the middle of a cold winters day my father and I both took pictures of this magnificent statue. The little mermaid in the harbor of Copenhagen. Dad taking his picture (made into a slide and scanned as part of the family history project) and I taking a picture with my Kodak instamatic 110. I have treasured those two photographs and our quest for this day in Copenhagen was to take more, That each person in our family would take a picture of the same statue. Mine is the far left taken from the hill approaching the little mermaid. The next two are Jakki and then Luke. Two more pictures (Nick and then Barb) are coming after this. I can’t say how happy it made me to complete this quest. To reconnect for a moment with my father. It took us two house of walking (we got lost) from the food truck collection to the Little Mermaid. I would love to say the boys didn’t complain during that two-hours. In fact I threatened them with posting here that they were excited and happy to continue walking, but they were very tired. We all were.
The pictures are an homage to my father. As the kids took them (and Barb) I was trying not to cry. 44 years (nearly) had passed since that cold day when he and I stood there and captured the image. Standing there where once I had stood with my father made that moment so incredible. I got to be there with my family. My partner, my kids my life. I wasn’t there recreating a moment alone. I was recreating a moment, as dad had created the original with his family (Mom, Lynne, Barb and I). So we recreated the moment with 5 as well. Each of us taking a picture of the Little Mermaid. For a moment I forgot about the throbbing agony that was my leg. I forgot about breathing (and the pain that was causing) and remember my father. Dad was an amazing human being. He touched all of our lives in so many ways. I was glad to bring a moment with him back to life. I ended up pretending my nose was running to cover up the crying. But the moment was captured, forever again.
Remembering Hans Oliver Andersen
She is still beautiful. So is the Fjord. Barb loved the view from on top the cruise ship as we wandered in and out of the Fjord. It seems funny when you think about it, but it was something that was exciting for Barb. She wasn’t a huge fan of the second cruise we took. The more recent cruises were more to what she likes so she is back in let’s cruise mode. After 25 years of marriage it isn’t the single moments anymore, its the conversations that started 10 years ago and continue, wandering in and out of your daily life with conversations that continue for years and years. Anyway here a picture of Barb looking out over the Fjord to the far shore. The ship was moored at the time (moored, connected to something connected to the ground. Anchored, when you drop anchor and are only connected to the anchor nothing else).
Geringer Norway, it could have been Cambridge Wisconsin or any other small town, blink and Geringer was in the rear view mirror. It was a collection of tourist shops and quite a large camp ground. I doubt the campers wandered over to the three tourist shops there for the cruise ship money. We did experience more of the “real” Norway in other ports. This was a traditional tourist stop. But the majesty of the Fjord made it so beautiful you didn’t care. It was not the Norway my Danish ancestors used to routinely invade. That Norway has faded into the past of history. We did get our trolls in the shop though. And the boys and I found a beautiful Viking long sword. We just didn’t see a way to effectively transport it home without having to discuss it with every custom’s officer between Norway and the US (twice).
It would have been nice to bring those home. Again the conversation with customs officers would have been a little uncomfortable so we left them there on the wall in Norway. But it would have looked nice on the wall of our basement. In the man cave. It would have never made it out of the basement to the main level of the house. Barb has a rule that I can decorate the basement anyway I want. Before Jakki moved out she would help me with the basement design and decoration a lot. Barb offers opines but not things that are often considered. She wants to remove clutter. Frankly collectible clutter is half the fun. Its funny when you kids first move out. You miss them. You are proud of them and happy they are launching but you miss them. There is a little more quiet in the house than before.
One more blog of Geringer pictures and we are off to our next port of call.
Viking – sans sword.
Barb and my posse in Europe. Still day one pulling out into the North Sea from Copenhagen. Barb and I have wanted to take the kids to Europe for many years. For what-ever reason we put it off time and ageing. This time we did it. I am so proud of the three of them. They are mature, kind and caring people. They see the injustice in the world and they call it out. It was so much fun to get them out into the world again. We’ve had the chance (thanks to my parents) to see Thailand. Now we’ve had a chance to see Northern Europe. It opened the doors to many wonderful memories. But the most precious for me is traveling with my family. I traveled for work for many years (over a million miles on United) and none of those miles equaled the miles flown with my family over the past two weeks.
Costa does an amazing job with the food. Every night we spent on the ship the food was simply amazing. Our wait team (you get the same team for the trip) was simply beyond compare. The three courses of food were simply outstanding each night. I love Nick’s comment, I wish I knew what I was eating, more often. But unlike years ago when meals were often traumatic we only had one bad meal (Jakki still hates food with faces). Other than that one night we enjoyed the food immensely. What a great experience winding down day one with a fabulous dinner. The view from our restaurant (in the stern of the boat) was gorgeous. We watched as Denmark faded in the distance. We Andersen’s, in the land where they spelled our name right every time without even asking, we Vikings of old headed off on our ocean expedition to see the world.
The main gallery of the ship. Beautiful main area with shops and towards the far wall the main theater. The main floor (3) of this area was the lobby bar. On the floor one below where this picture was taken was the picture area. Funny, the only place on the boat I really never took a picture of was the picture area. Not sure why, I guess the irony of that was lost on me. My favorite all time picture to take is of someone taking a picture. So I guess the end game of someone having taken a picture was more irony than even I could handle. As the first day rolled to a close we headed down to our cabins and headed off to sleep. We had traveled from Friday night (Baltimore) to Saturday afternoon (Copenhagen) to mid-afternoon (Costa Fabulosa (sp)) to the North Sea. Our arms were tired from flying.
Last night we returned to the US after our long talked about and planned trip to Europe. We’ve been talking about going to Europe (we Barb/Jakki and I have) ever since I started traveling internationally. Our trip began in one of my all time favorite cities of the world (Copenhagen). Day one, that included this picture from the top of the Coata Cruise ship was our initial starting point. The vacation was 14 days long, but I suspect there are more than 14 blogs coming about what, where and why. First day, getting on the Costa cruise. We would be onboard for 7 days and our first goal was cross the North sea to Norway! Well after we got on board, settled and prepared to set sail. Oh and don’t forget the lifeboat drill. Oh and getting from the airport to the cruise ship. We had a wonderful cab driver who was extremely kind and helpful getting us from the airport.
We got to Copenhagen around 1 pm local time. Cab ride to the ship took roughly 45 minutes. I love Copenhagen,. so it was nice to be able to show the city to the kids and Barb. We wandered past Tivoli and a number of other attractions. We did not actually go to Tivoli as we didn’t have a lot of time. The cruise was departing on 530 pm Costa time. We found out what Costa time meant later in the cruise. But for now we were on the ship, had a nice lunch and settled into our rooms. The first two images shared are of the harbor in Copenhagen. These images are taken from the 11th and 12th deck of the Costa Favors. It was about 68 degrees and perfect weather as we embarked on our vacation!
Barb on day one preparing to head off into the wild blue yonder. I am really proud of her. She only said I want to live in Norway, Denmark, Holland and Germany 1022 times over the course of the vacation. That is far less than the Vegas predicted 2822 times. So I guess she beat Vegas. Jakki was is in the background of the picture. Interesting factoids. We ended up visiting 4 countries (Denmark, Germany, Norway and Holland). We flew 6 distinct airline flights. I can honestly say that Norwegian Airlines is MUCH BETTER That our first and last flights (WOW). We flew four distinct flights on WOW, of which 3 were late. Not late 10 minutes gosh we have to move quickly through the airport but late 1 hour or more, run pall mall through the airport. But like I said we were starting our adventure! Day one ended with us meeting our fabulous crew for the restaurant we were assigned and one of the two best room stewards I’ve ever had on a cruise (the tie is with the Norwegian line cabin steward from last summer).
Family holidays are always fun. July 4th was always a big one when the kids were little. We for many years would sit on the porch of the place where my sister worked (actually on the sidewalk in front of the building) and watch the parade go by. Here we have the girls relaxing and waiting for the festival to start. It was an expedition for us when we lived in Cincinnati, and we have only been back one year around July 4th since moving to Maryland. We didn’t go tot he parade in 2014 when we came back. But those years are stored in our digital picture archive. It is fun to watch the kids when they were that little. They aren’t that little anymore. But they were that little once. It brings back nice memories of them.
Beanie, braces and bunnies. The three B’s of Easter. This taken at our house in Indiana (Greenwood). In the kitchen looking out over the back deck. This picture from 10 years ago. Jakki (Beanie) was 13 at the time of the picture. She still has that beautiful smile. Jakki loved stuffed animals for many years, so I got her a lot of them. Barb got her a lot of them. Luckily as she got older she got easier to buy presents for. She is really good about saying this is what I want. It is fun as kids get older and are able to share and guide you. You don’t have to worry if they will like the present. When kids are young you know what they want. Sure every commercial on TV is something they react to, but the things that mean the most to them are the ones they come alive for. They see them in the store and make a bee line directly to them. That’s what you watch for when they are little. As they get older it gets harder to remain connected to what they love. So when they stop and tell you, its easier!
I’ve shared this picture before but I love it so much. This is Halloween 1998. The boys are seven months old. Jakki is dressed as Blue of Blue’s Clue’s. Even as a small child she loved dogs. Now she is a professional dog walker and is extremely exceptional at her job. The boys are dressed as thing 1 and thing 2. Barb is dressed as the cat in the hat. Barb was a theater person growing up and love dressing up at Halloween. Me not so much. I like going as a software architect to most Halloween parties. I used to love dressing up for Halloween but like many things over the years grew out of it. The last time I dressed up in earnest was while working in a pre-school many years ago. My best friend Sean dressed up as Day Care Man and I dressed up as his loyal assistant Diaper Boy.
Not a Halloween Fan boy
Today is a singular day. One day we call out and say “today we celebrate you, mom.” I know many people that are mother’s. They sacrifice and worry, they share and delight in simplest things. Who else on this planet would clap their hands and tell you good job for putting away toys you got out? The rest of us expect you to clean up yourself. Mom thanks you. Mom hugs you and says good job when you clean up the Chocolate milk you spilled. Because mom is a lifetime job.
My sisters both have wonderful children, now all adults entering the world of work and school. Becoming adults like the rest of us. Although I suspect asking advice from Uncle Scott is always discouraged. This picture has all the mothers from our little group connected by marriage to my mother and father. Mom of course raised two fantastic daughters. There was another child but we don’t speak of him. Finally the last mother in the picture is the mother of my children, my wife. So we have in the picture my two Brother’s in law, Gary and Dana. My two sisters Lynne and Barb (and their daughters Megan and Courtney), my mother and my wife.
I want to wish all of them happy mother’s day. They have toiled long and hard and have brought wonderful people into this world. I am very proud of my two nieces and nephew. I am extremely proud of my two sisters (who are much younger than I am) and my brother’s in law. All of this made possible by the two people that started it all mom and dad. I am proud of the man my father was. I am proud of the person my mother is. Finally but not least, last only by nature of time, my wife. Barbara you have raised 4 wonderful kids. You, my sisters and my mother deserve much more than one single mother’s day. I hope today is special!
This one, from 1999 of my wife and my children’s mother Barb. Sitting on the old swing at my parents house. The swing eventually went into disuse but there was a time when the grandkids arrived at Grandpa and Grandma’s and rushed to the swings. They climbed on the slide (never using the ladder by the way) the played on the actual swings and loved it. Like all things the swings eventually stopped being the center of whatever event there was. Grandma and Grandpa’s house was always the center really, the swings became the racing toys on the driveway. Then it became watching movies and now it becomes groups of people having conversations. Talking and discussing the world around us.
Bubbles were always another activity at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. Uncles, Aunts, Grandparents and parents always having a watchful eye on the little ones. You never knew when the wind might shift and everyone would be sipping soap bubbles in their drink.
Mother’s day should be more than one day. It should be something we remember every month. One day for the mother who brings you into the world. One day for the mother’s you grow up with and finally one day for the mother of your children. Finally bring that all together into one last day a year when we raise our glasses and toast the people that make the world a better place. Moms. Thanks to all of you.
Happy mother’s day!!!
child, father, brother