On pools and big cities, moving away from Bloomington Indiana


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I have to say the one great thing about our neighborhood is that we have a great neighborhood pool. Great because I don’t have to spend the last three weekends of may getting the pool ready for the years. We built two pools (I know didn’t learn the first time). Our first pool was smaller in Cincinnati Ohio. We then went a little bigger after we moved to Greenwood. Since moving to Maryland we’ve lived in neighborhoods with pools and it makes all the difference. Unlike Indiana though, few neighborhoods here have basketball courts. They all have tennis courts and pools but no basketball courts. Even the sport complex (The Soccer Plex) that is a massive sports facility with 20 soccer fields (Cricket, a water park, and indoor tennis and indoor/outdoor swimming) doesn’t have basketball courts. I find that such a change from Indiana where every barn had a hoop (or so it felt like to me).

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These two pictures slightly different including the new fountain we tried in 2010. I think over the years we tried 4 different ones. Each of them was interesting but effectiveness was always the problem. Like I said I do not miss pool maintenance. Having a large backyard I don’t miss either. Someone has to mow it. Our yard is small and with the new patio there isn’t much yard left, just enough for the dogs to run around in. It is a very different world in the ‘burbs of a big city. When you live near a medium to large city things are much different overall. I remember complaining about traffic that delayed me an hour. It felt like forever when that happened driving around Indianapolis. Now there are days I wish it were only an hour. I guess as you move around your perspective and expectations change.

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My crew. I am so proud of all of them. On the far left my dog walking superstar Jakki. Then we have the amazing Lucas! Next to Lucas is the equally amazing Nick! And finally, the now fully licensed Maryland Social Worker, and my partner for the last 25 years Barb. This image taken on our family vacation to Indiana Dunes in 2010. Barb loves beaches so we have often vacationed near the water (now we get to vacation on the water). This trip ended up being our last summer vacation in Indiana. The next summer time we spent in Indiana wasn’t vacation. Both Barb and I grew up in Bloomington Indiana. We both loved growing up in that wonderful little university town, but we both longed to be somewhere else. Barb left Bloomington (she was born there) when she was 19 and moved to Arizona for a year. I was born in Chicago and missed being near a big city the entire time I was in Bloomington. I didn’t realize I missed the hustle and bustle of the city until we moved to Cincinnati Ohio. Bloomington is a unique experience. I love going back to see my sister and mother who still live there. But it is now going back. I was born in a big city. To me its where I belong.

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City boy…

A new Carousel, more pictures of Thailand!


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Thailand is called the land of smiles. So let’s start with one. This is one of five or six pictures dad took that were iconic. One’s that I’ve seen 1000 times and would see 1000 more.

A smile.

There is a joy here a wonder and excitement that is contagious. It makes me smile every time I see this image. There are a couple of others that he took in Thailand that to this day remind me of the wonder and joy. This is one of those iconic pictures.carousel 005

The umbrellas are significant (both for a house and a person) the more you have the more important you are. Such a gorgeous building. I love the architecture of South East Asia. The buildings were designed not just to be beautiful but also to allow the wind to pass through. It certainly hotter in Bangkok than all get out, but the breeze always makes it through and that cools things off a bit.

My other great wonder was how old is that building. I never knew if the building was a week old or 5000 years. The older buildings were lovingly cared for, the new ones were built to look like the old ones. Amazing.

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There was a time, dad bought them or mom bought them or perhaps were given the shirts as gifts. Dad and I had matching shirts with the dragon on the side. Mine was red and dad’s was blue or vice versa. I loved wearing that shirt, sometimes I would match dad and when I was 12 that was cool (and frankly it would be cool now as well but well…).

I wore that dragon shirt to tatters.

Its been more than 40 years and I still love things from Thailand. I have so many things that were given to me, or to dad that remind me of that glorious nation. Pictures on the wall, Watt papers and a spirit house in my house. The memories I hold of that magical time are beyond words.

I remember Thailand as a moment in my life when I realized what it meant to be different. When I was the different one, instead of how I had grown up (where everyone was the same). It taught me to open my eyes and see people for what they really were.

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Family Historian (and I would still be wearing that dragon shirt if I could!)

Carousel 1, more amazing pictures of Thailand 1972


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Dad took some amazing pictures. This one is stunning. The only problem I have with this picture is I have no clue where it is from. What a glorious setting and place but the memory attached to the image went with the photographer.

Its my every once in awhile plea for the Family History project. Do the combined project. Scan the pictures and then share the pictures so that everyone can see them, comment and create the more permanent memory of what the picture is. So take the time, write down the memory and share it with your family. They will comment, add thoughts and get the memory polished into a beautiful gem. It is a wonderful project!

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This I recognize, not the where but the what. A water taxi stop along a river. Could be anywhere in Thailand but I do recognize the what of the building. In 1972 (not as much now) the Kalongs were the primary streets of the city. To get anywhere you were best on a Kong rather than a road. The roads were congested with cars and crazy taxi drivers. The Kalongs were fast and connected the entire city. The original city of water (much older than Venice) Bangkok’s water taxis were amazing. The water taxi drivers were less crazy than the regular taxi drivers. They could take 8-10 people per run so they didn’t have to quickly finish any one ride to get their next fare. The one thing I do remember about the Kalongs was, they smelled. The water was less active/more stagnant so it didn’t always have the most pleasant of odors.

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For thousands of years of human history the river was the highway, the bath tub and the center of life. People clustered near the river because there was an abundance of food. When the river flooded it would leave behind rich silt that grew improved crops.

As the great cities burst onto the scene the river and its water became less vital. But it remained in 1972 a part of many Thai’s lives. Less so now with the much more modern Thailand. But then it was still central for many people.

Bangkok has moved away from the Kalongs. It has expanded out now, well beyond the river. But there are many that still vie life along the river. That are still bound to the world of that water.

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Family Historian