One of the things that I know makes me ponder is the pool. When the twins and my daughter were little, they spent a lot of time in the pool. As in, we would have to drag them out of the pool. Now, none of them go near the pool. Now in part, it is because then, we had a pool in the backyard. Now the pool is a neighborhood pool. That is a difference, but they, the kids are also a lot older. Plus it is a ½ mile to get to the pool now, where it used to e 20 feet. Over time things change, and our adjustment to that is always interesting. We don’t swim in the Chesapeake Bay. We don’t often wander to the neighborhood pool. But we drive and walk by the pool all the time.
We don’t swim in the Bay because well according to my co-captain it is “dirty.” I know there are things in the Bay water, we had to replace two propellers on the boat this winter after last year. Last year there was so much rain north of us, that the dams were opened to relieve pressure on the dam itself. Dams are designed to hold a certain amount of water back, It isn’t, by the way just water with a flood control dam. It is also the debris the river carries tot eh human-made a lake. That includes trees, branches and other floating debris (read trash). The logs, slowly sitting in the water become waterlogged. As the sluice gates of the dam are opened, the return to floating down the river.
The logs that start their journey floating on the surface of creeks that are flooded, and flooded rivers, sit in the human-made flood control lake and slowly sink. Some sink to the bottom, decaying and become the muck on the bottom of the lake (or the bay). Some are submerged just below the surface of the water. We saw the mass of lumber on our sonar several times, 2-4 feet below the boat. Had it been 5-10 feet below the boat we wouldn’t have had an issue. We hit something underwater (submerged log) that took out two propellers. The joy of debris in the water. Not as bad as the island of plastic in the Pacific ocean. Honestly only not as bad because it is wood that will eventually decay.
Either way, we don’t swim in the Bay.
For our last expedition in Amsterdam Barb wanted to visit the museum for the Dutch Resistance. Her biological mother’s family (and by default her biological mother as well) were in the resistance during WWII. The museum (this isn’t the museum) was incredible. We ended up walking around the section of Amsterdam by the zoo. (that is the non-tourist section of town). We ended up really enjoying the displays of the museum although they were extremely sobering. In times of fear people are afraid of everything. That was a time of fear. Emotionally it was really hard to walk through the museum and see the historical moments and stories of those who didn’t survive that time. There was one exhibit that was not as painful to visit. It was an exhibit by an artist who was going from place to place from WWII. The great battles and other places and taking pictures of them as they are now, so that they wouldn’t be forgotten. First, to move on from such a devastating event took great courage and the Dutch are a proud people. Secondly the images the artist created were amazing.
Between the zoo and the canal was a garden. A sculpture garden that we wandered around while waiting for the resistance museum to open (we were pretty good Metro riders by our 13th and frankly the last three days we were early everywhere we went). Barb loved the display of art and decided a picture was in order. Here she is next to the Marsupial. Notice, the pouch and the baby! Jakki’s knee was killing her so she stayed in the hotel room and relaxed while we went on this last expedition. As I said we were early so we had time to kill. Most of that time was enjoying the wonderful view and neighborhood. Nothing was open before 10 am. Nothing. Not ever the coffee shop across from the Zoo was open. It is as if the city stops sometime late in the early morning and shuts down for 2-3 hours. Completely shuts down, and then magically reopens. As an early morning person I struggled with that a little while we were there. I like to get up, get moving and be out and about early. The early bird doesn’t get DC traffic!
As we were walking back to Central Station that morning (we had a mid-afternoon flight back to Copenhagen) we watched the draw bridge. I posted a video of it out on our family history YouTube channel. The sheer mechanics of such a bridge is amazing. The control tower was fun to see. The person in the tower watching traffic as he raised the bridge. I loved watching the light poles separate. Most of the canal boats are low to the water, the ones that needed the bridge lowered weren’t high boats. They were just slightly higher than the bridge and needed the bridge to be lifted. One was a barge with construction supplies. The other was a pleasure boat. They went through one after the other after the bridge was up. There aren’t draw bridges on all the canals just a couple of the side canals that lead towards the center of the city. It was amazing to see them rise into the air. It was a apt ending to our journey. The rising of the draw bridge and the passing of the boats. It signaled the highs we had. Heading down a Fjord in Norway and finding fun Norwegian Trolls to decorate our lives. Lars the boat troll now lives on our boat. Laughing troll lives with Jakki. The other two trolls live in the kitchen and family room of the house. Watching the movie Zootopia on the ship and then finding Flash (the star of Zootopia) at the Rostock Zoo. Flash as is only appropriate rides around in my car. I do have to remind him on occasion that speeding is bad. We went to art museums, and worlds built with Lego’s. We saw a sloth right over our heads in the Rostock Zoo. We enjoyed wonderful meals on the Costa Cruise. We rode a train to the top of a mountain in Bergen Norway and found it still rained on the top of mountains just like on the bottom. 13 days in Europe.7 different cities.
I promised the kids a trip to Europe, in particular Jakki many years ago. Things always came up, reasons why not to go. Frankly fear of unrest in Europe this year almost mad e me cancel the trip. Barb and I talked, we talked to my mother (a long time world traveler) and finally decided it would be Ok to go. Nothing happened while we were there but I have to say my head was on a swivel in many instances. It is one thing when you travel alone. You can be aware and vigilant. But when you have your family there is more risk.
This concludes my European vacation blog. 35 blogs or so, devoted to the trip. I will on occasion share many more pictures. There are tons of videos up on our YouTube channel as well. https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottDocAndersen
Jacqueline standing in front of the refrigerator in our new house on Willow Cover in Mt. Airy Ohio. Mt. Airy is on the very edge of Cincinnati proper. We lived in Western Hills before that. I remember hating traffic then – there were times when I would travel 20 miles to work and it would take 40 minutes.
Last night it was 31 miles and 2 hours 10 minutes. I miss the old days of Cincinnati traffic! This picture was when she was still Jacqueline. In particular at this time she had not even adopted the Quarter middle name. I was calling her Jaguar as my nick name for her by then, Quill Bean, the name we called her when she was younger was now long past.
The living room at Willow Cove. We had a TV there for the kids and another one in the family room. We actually turned the living room into a kids space for the boys. Great picture of my dad and I both looking down and paying attention to something else.
Nick is engaged in what I am looking at as well. I think it was a camera in both cases. Much like my parents did, I moved furthest away from everyone else in the family. Mom and dad were in Bloomington, Lynne was in Greenwood and Barb stayed in Bloomington. I ended up in Cincinnati Ohio and now finally in Maryland. Mom and dad moved the furthest in mom’s family. In dad’s family it was pretty much everyone moving from California to Maine.
I can’t tell you over the years how many people have said to me “I want twins. You get it all done at once. Two kids, one pregnancy and wham you are ready to roll family style.”
It isn’t that way. No sleep the first year. They are wonderful kids and I love them both but they are also approaching college. Where once you would have one kid, and therefore one budget to plan now you have two. I think twins are harder than the mythos would tell you.
Here are they in the kitchen (other side from the picture with Jakki) of the house in Willow cove. To the left is big sister checking on da boys.
Bubbies on the chair. There are a few pictures of the boys on that red chair. Mostly as they got a little older. This one is from our house on Willow Cover in Cincinnati Ohio. That was a house we designed and had built for us. I do miss that house at times.
We had a recliner all the way back to our house on Shafer Avenue in Cincinnati. We moved to having sectionals in Cincinnati. We still have a recliner but it is pretty beaten up. I had a blue massage recliner for many years. It was Jake’s favorite place to sit and watch Shining Time Station. She would extend the recliner leg out and sit on that watching the show. I had to be sitting on the chair, and wasn’t allowed to not be on the chair. She did at least allow me to read.
I love to take pictures of people taking pictures. I think I get that from my father but there aren’t that many pictures of him taking pictures of people taking pictures of him. But when dad started taking pictures not as many people had cell phones, point and shoot and other cameras. That is mom holding the Video Camera. From back in the days when a video camera was a hearty endeavor.
I should ask mom what happened to all her old VHS tapes. May want to convert them to digital now. Image taken on one of our many expeditions but it doesn’t look like mom and dad’s house. Maybe cottages at Lake Ripley?
Starting in front is Jakki. Then you have Mom and my sister Barbara seated on the couch and Becca reclining on the recliner. I recognize the place as somewhere I have been but I couldn’t tell you where it was or is.
The sad reality of photographs you don’t quite recall. You know the place. you know the moment. But you can’t for the life of you remember the what and the where. I know the who. I recognize the faces. But the where escapes me. Perhaps this is Lynne’s house in Greenwood? It might be that.
They are here with us for such a short time. But in that time they love us with all their hearts. It is a pure love and one that you never forget. Macgregor was our Collie. Well he was the family Collie, he was dad’s dog. He loved dad more than anything on earth. My dad took this first picture but I love it so much. The rest of the pictures in the blog come from my Kodak 110.
This picture is of my sister Lynne in the foreground and mom in the background. They are on the lawn of the lake house of my Grandpa and Grandma Johnson. Mom spent a lot of her childhood in that house and we spent a lot of time there over the years.
Mac was only with us for 3 years. I remember the day he died. I cried for hours. Dad said to me “don’t cry Mac wouldn’t want that.” so I spent the rest of the day sniffling instead of crying. I think dad wanted to cry as well. He loved Mac and Mac loved him. He was an amazing dog. My memories of the first dog we had (Anna Banana) a Dachshund are limited. I remember calling her to my room after bedtime one night but not much more. Mac I remember vividly.
Picture taken with a Kodak Instamatic 110 camera. My first camera and there in the bright coat my sister Lynne. In the backyard of our house in Sherwood Oaks Bloomington Indiana. And the dog, Aunt Phoebe Kumar. our Newfoundland.
She, Phoebe, was the dog of my childhood. If you love dogs there is a dog that represents where you are at various times of your life. Phoebe was our second mother. She was our pal and she was the most amazing dog. She was with us for only 8 years but in that time she changed both what I thought I dog was, but also what a dog could be. A gentle giant who loved everyone in the family. But she and mom had a bond that was scary. Like I said, Phoebe often acted in Loco Parentis when mom wasn’t around. Sometimes even when mom was around.
Hamlet’s Castle in Denmark. Well legend is the Castle Shakespeare based Hamlet on. Image taken with the Kodak 110 Instamatic. It was dark enough that the shot was ambitious. I could digitally clean it up a bit but it misses the challenge of the photograph.
We got the cameras Lynne and I on the way home from Thailand. To record mom and dad told us, our memories of the journey. I have pictures of India, Afghanistan and Denmark and then having Christmas at my grandparents when we returned to the states. It was an amazing gift and one I will never forget. I got to choose what I remembered. Its funny though, many of the pictures I took I took because my dad took one just like it before me. I also wanted more than anything on earth to be like my dad. He was and is my hero. He and my grandfather were the two men I so wanted to be like. Both were smart, interesting and politically they couldn’t have been more different.
images from my Kodak
There are blogs I got back and read and think – I did a pretty good job that morning. There are blogs I read and I think wow, why did I publish that. It isn’t that I am a bad or a great writer just that sometimes I pick topics that flow and other times I pick topics that do not. I find that I struggle at times without a theme. Of course I struggle at times with a theme so there is at least a pattern.
Often when I struggle it is because I try to nuance what I am writing. Instead of coming out and telling what I want to say I try to work around the edges of the conversation. That is when I get into trouble. When I work around what I am thinking instead of just saying it. I suspect there are many people who struggle with that. Trying to say something in a nuanced manner rather than just saying it. Now there are times to deliver nuanced messages.
The how and what of the nuance is the hard part of course in delivering that message. As a boss there are times you have to tell a person you are doing an OK job. As much at times to motivate them to do even better. At times you have to help them figure out what to do so that they aren’t trapped spinning their wheels. That can be a really hard conversation.
As a human being we natively nuance a number of conversations. Like am I beautiful or do you like this? Both of those are answers that vary widely depending upon who you are talking to. I find that the audience can change a conversation very quickly. Honesty being the one word that people always throw around but it is also the first word that is forgotten in conversations when it becomes harder to be honest than it is to be nuanced and not say the things you should.
So I read my blogs, sometimes months and years later. My goal is to view them critically. But I also want them to jar the message loose that I originally intended. I can say sometimes I read the blog and I realize I missed my message. Sometimes I nailed it. Sometimes the goal of the blog (family history project or serial story) isn’t in the one I am reading. But in a blog that is part of a series I don’t judge any one blog for the overall message just the thoughts of that day.
This blog is not my connection to the world. It is the inner monologue that I carry out with myself over time. I know that I have written blogs and then over the course of time rewritten the same concept or theme and republished it later. It is the refinement of my inner monologue over time. I have these arguments with myself.
So to those who have read along and been confused not only by the argument but by the content my apologies. I will be returning to the family history project sometime next week. I needed a couple of weeks off to get back into enjoying publishing the family history blog. Those can take an emotional turn at times.
I journey for inner peace. I have for a long time. It isn’t a lace up your tennis shoes and off to nirvana exercise. You have to take the time to find both your own center but also what causes you to lose that center. Knowing where you fit and where you struggle. It is the journey of what and how you become at peace.
The reason I am talking about this today is that my peace is a constant battle. I find myself slipping often into old bad habits that are bad for me and lead to nothing good. I struggle to maintain both the balance and the center. I find that my center is emotional, physical and intellectual and I struggle with the balancing act.
I read about those that have successfully let go of the struggle and found their pure center. I feel a twinge of jealousy. But they have spent more time and effort or they were more prepared for the journey than I was. Plus I make my journey harder many times. My monkey mind jumps all over the place seeking shiny. That is often the goal of my monkey mind, shiny. New gadgets that pop up or I think about how to better solve a problem with a gadget and forget that the gadget like me must be centered.
Technology is not in opposition to your center. It can make your center stronger. You just have to know how to use it and when to loose the reins and let the center flow. That is my learning of late that my center isn’t always exactly the same. It moves and shifts at times between my heart, my mind and my physical self.
In times of great stress I find my center in my heart.
In times of great joy I find my center in my heart.
At other times, depending upon the what and where around me my center moves between emotional and physical. There is a great centering in a warm touch. A gentleness when someone wants to connect with you physically. Not a passing glancing kiss or resting their hands on your arms but a genuine connection physically.
Other than technology I find that there are other things that distract me. I find myself often centered walking with my dog. We (he and I) when we lived in a different city actually stopped by the Buddhist center near the house. The monks loved Dylan and always had a treat for him. I find that I am at peace walking with my buddy. When he and I are the ones walking I find my center quickly.
It is a journey and one that I will continue to take.