Wander project Mother’s Day 2019


Today is Mother’s day in the US. It was Mother’s day in other countries last week, but this week it is in the US. What can you say about mom? A lot really if you stop for a moment and remember the person. There are many mothers in my life, but two that impact me every day. The first is my wonderful wife, who is the mother of my children. For that alone, she delivers a nice Mother’s day gift. Yesterday she and I wandered as we usually do on the weekend, to visit the boat and to stop for lunch. We spent the day before Mother’s day cleaning the boat. I guess that wasn’t fair, but timing is what timing is.  I went to get her favorite bagels for Mother’s day breakfast. The twins made her the bagel!

My wife is a great mother. She is also a great person. While celebrating her on this day is important, it is important to have the chance to celebrate her the rest of the year as well. She, my wife is a Hospice Social Worker. A job that is focused on helping others during one of the hardest transitions anyone ever has to make, the loss of a loved one. She is an amazing human being! Why she picked me, we have to wonder. My wife used to be an actress and why is that important? She makes stage faces now, thousands of stage faces. She also does voices. Although the kids all banned me reading books to them very early, mom reading with voices was also banned. My wife is a gift I am honored to have around!

My mother is somewhat removed from us in Indiana so we won’t see her today. My mother is a rock. She is without a doubt one of the smartest human beings I have ever known. She is also, one of the funniest, although, with my mother you have to be careful, mom had a dry sense of humor that will sneak up on you if you are not careful. You always know where you stand with my other. You also always know even if she thinks you’ve gone off the deep end mom has your back! My mother also worked in the medical field for many years. Like my wife she worked in a profession that at times was not well received. Mom was able to navigate the reality of anger better than anyone I’ve ever seen. She is my hero!

The other mothers in our family, are also important aunts, sisters, and cousins that are all celebrating this day! Each of you is a force changing the world to a better place!

.doc

wander project one instant…


I would for a moment bask in the joy that was. Every photograph captures the instant the shutter is depressed. Not depressed in the sense that a mechanical or digital connection to an aperture is, forlornly waiting tone used, and therefore depressed. Rather than the moment is wound around the instant that the photographer decides must be captured. I have in my life so far had many moments. Before me, my parents had many moments. In looking back at the many years we’ve been on this planet, the 154000 moments doesn’t seem as much.  There are 3600 seconds that pass with each hour on the clock;  from 2 pm to 3 pm on a Thursday or from 1 pm to 2 pm on a Tuesday its 3600 seconds.

There are 86400 seconds in a day. We can argue that number it is larger. A day isn’t truly 24 hours. It is fractionally longer. We, throughout our journey, add a day to the calendar every four years. That extra day balances the impurity of 24 hours in a day. Imagine today as you wander in and out of 86000 seconds that represents a day. We are prisoners only for the fleeting passage o time that is a second. Or perhaps we are prisoners of an hour. Or a day.  The effect is the passage of time. The effect is perhaps boredom, sitting where we sit to wait. There are, in the time an adjusted year because the numbers are too small every day but in 365 days, we gain ¼ of one day.

31,557,600 seconds in a year. Based on that the 5000 pictures of snow I have, or the many more pictures of water I have, are a small set of moments. The rotational variance adjusted 31 million seconds that have passed since this time last year are represented by 12000 pictures. Give or take, certainly more pictures on vacation than when we are simply living life. Pictures of moments that now gone, evoke memories. But a small fraction of time is captured. Each picture representing something the photographer felt needed to be stored. In those moments I find the magic of wonder. Why this picture? I wish I felt that only when looking upon the picture of my father or my grandfather but those feelings come with pictures I’ve taken as well.

What was I thinking in an instant captured forever?

.doc

Wander project, Snow


First off, just to reduce confusion, the text has nothing to do with the pictures and the pictures are from many years ago. This is from snowfall in Indiana in 2004. The memories for me, when writing in the morning, are triggered by the images. Today I remember snowfall. In particular, the snow that feels when I was a little kid. We, my family, used to visit my grandparents in Wisconsin. My mother’s parents lived in Cambridge Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Ripley. The Lake was a natural lake and was nestled in the hills of Southern Wisconsin. Well, hills of one side of the lake. My grandparent’s house was nestled on the higher side of the lake.

There was a great sledding hill that was my favorite. I spent hours sledding down that hill. When I was five or six years old, I wasn’t good at steering the sled and crashed into a tree. That was a bloody mess that ended up requiring several stitches. I didn’t stop sledding, although I didn’t sled again that year. I don’t remember the accident. I remember being at the Doctors Office in Cambridge Wisconsin. The actual hitting of the tree is a memory I don’t have. I do remember my mom and dad in the Doctors office. I also remember pictures of me taken that year, with the bandage around my head. It looked like the bandage from the Civil War novel “The Red Badge of Courage.

I also know, because I was told, that my father fainted when he saw my head. It was quite a few stitches, and I still have a scar many years later. I loved sledding on that hill. When our children were old enough to start seeing we had a much smaller hill for them to sled on. I know in part that had to do with what happened to me many years before — the reality of memories. Yes, I don’t recall hitting the tree. But I do recall the headaches that I got for a few days after hitting the tree. I was glad the kids got to sled, but secretly even more happy that it was such a small hill. I could see them, head bloody, coming in and needing to go to the emergency room.

.doc

Wander project Snow fall


Now, I have to be honest. I was looking at a couple of posts from those living in or near the mountains and the reality of spring arriving. Pictures of snow are something fun to look at. Not real time, I am over the love of watching the snow. Of sitting by the radio waiting for the school announcement School is closed for the next day. I do remember the joy as a child upon hearing that reality. School is closed for a day. Suddenly my calendar free opening the world for me. I would like that more now, having a suddenly free calendar: no appointments, meetings or anything else. The entire day is just evaporating into the troposphere never to return, and freely I could walk, and get the many other things for that day done.

Each day that would happen would be a treasure! But, days like that don’t happen for me now. They did when I was in school. We have to protect the safety of our children. School buses in the US do not have seatbelts. They don’t go fast, but they are not great vehicles. School buses are top heavy and don’t do well on icy or snow-covered roads. It is not that they are unsafe; most school buses are larger than other vehicles on the road. It is more that there are no seatbelts. It is not safe for the kids, So they cancel school. This day, pictured the snow out of our the window in Greenwood Indiana was a no school day for the kids. It was a work in my home office day for me, but the kids were free!

Today’s wander remembering snow and being 11 years old again. We didn’t have snow in January or February when I was 11 years old. We didn’t have snow on the ground that entire year even in March. But, we weren’t in Indiana that year we were in Thailand. They don’t cancel school for snow in Thailand. Well maybe way up north in the Mountains near Chang Mai. But not in Bangkok. We used to ride to school in a Mercedes Benz min-bus. Mini, from a perspective of a US national, smaller than the buses we had in the US. Smaller to fit into the narrow streets. The traffic in Bangkok would have been much worse with a large bus moving down the street. The main streets were where the big buses were!

.doc

Wander project my father and NASA…


I know that as the twins have learned to move through the world, my role in their life has changed. What I try to do now is teach them to understand that there are always two sides. I would say I don’t do as well at this as I would like to think. I know that both of them tend to lash out first, and then later come back and apologize. The risk of doing that, of lashing out can be significant. We talk, on our daily Lab walk, about the impact of communication. As we head into the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing on the Moon, I wonder. I remember the alter events of Apollo 13. Of my father coming home and asking me for what had happened that day in terms of the Astronauts.

Now, looking back I realize my father was teaching me to present both sides. To remove the emotion and respond to what was going on. I didn’t realize he was doing that at the time. But like many of the lessons of our parents, that one was buried for many years. It is only, sometimes, when you deal with others that you realize the impact of your parents. In seeking our path to tomorrow, we often find that those that went before paved the path we take. Funny that we don’t always realize that others trod that path before us, until stopping at a waypoint or pausing for a moment we see something that reminds us that others were here before us. Things our parents taught us!

Sometimes I hear my dad’s words when I stop. Sometimes, I hear his voice in my head. Don’t leap to conclusions. Don’t argue the person argue the facts. Don’t make it personal, if you make it personal, you lose the argument.  Consider, both sides. I would love to say that my father’s lessons have stuck with me in everything I do. They haven’t. Like anyone I struggle with the reality of where I am, of what is happening around me. I let things both of me that I shouldn’t. I know that listening to one side of an argument is dangerous. I know to hear only one view is dangerous as well. I know that I can do better. I wish I could be the person my father was, in some ways I am in others I will never be.

.doc

wander project snow and memories


They are again wandering pictures from Greenwood Indiana. Actually from an event in the spring many years ago. A picture of Gwen waiting at the twin’s high chair for the Twins to get lunch. Gwen spent a lot of time waiting for the twins to eat when they were little. By the time we were in Indiana, Gwen was getting less food from the Twins. This is the year that Fran arrived. The twins were in the high chairs for about six months after Fran arrived. Fran changed a lot of things for Gwen. The first big change was less food available from the Twins. The second was feeding. We left food out for Gwen, and she ate when she was hungry. Over a day, she would eat.

Fran. Would eat over a day she would empty the bowl if we left it out for her.  Over and over she would empty the bowl, Fran liked the food.  Labs tend to eat fast. They gulp their food if you let them. The impact on their digestive track is too much air. Over time it causes problems, so you buy Labs Slow feeders and feed them less food twice a day. Gwen wasn’t happy about that at first, but she was a trooper. She adjusted. The tree in front of the house was a Bradford Pear. It has, as you can see, lovely flowers early in the Spring. Sadly that particular tree wasn’t very healthy. It was blown over in a wind storm the next year. I miss that tree it was beautiful in the spring.

The quilt on the wall in the second picture is the tree of life done by my mother. We had that hanging in our house in Greenwood, until one day when my mother saw how it hung and didn’t like the quilt. She made us a new wall quilt, that still hangs in our house in Maryland. Mom’s quilts are a huge part of our family; I know the kids all have them and don’t sleep without them. There are also a few pictures of the plants around the house. At the time we moved to Indiana my wife was home taking care of twins. She spent a lot of time making the yard work for what she wanted. The flowers in these pictures were planted by the original house owners, eventually replaced with a new set of flowers by my wife!

.doc

Wander project images of the past…


We are finding our way back to Indiana. There are a few sunset pictures, storm pictures and just pictures of kids today. We had a wedding planning event yesterday, meeting in a Restaurant that was a short drive for all the parties meeting. Our Daughter and her Fiancé, plus his parents and Us.  The goal was to make sure we had an understanding of all the moving pieces known as the “wadding.” Our daughter, my wife, and our daughters future family have done a lot of planning.  My job is to come up with the money to pay for the event. That seems like an easy job, but when you are talking about money that doesn’t exist now, it becomes hard to figure out how to raise the money.

We did get peanut brittle while in the store. I wish we hadn’t; I ate the peanut brittle. There are things, ice cream is one, that I just shouldn’t have in the house. Add Peanut Brittle to that list! It isn’t a long drive to Roots 657 from our house. Roughly 40 minutes give or take a little. It is part of the route I drive to the office during the work week; it was fun to show my wife where I go! Most of her work driving is around the county in Maryland where we live. We drive her route all the time. That was the first time I got to show my wife where I drive! With the weekend of rain we had, the rivers along the route will full of water. We decided not to take the ferry because of that.

Anyway, I’ve wandered away from the pictures long enough. There are some interesting pictures of today’s share — one of my favorite pictures of the twins when they were little. The twins were born in Ohio, and shortly after they were born, we moved to a house in Mt. Airy Ohio. When they were a little over a year old, we moved to Indiana. I suspect that was a transition that the twins will never remember. We lived in a house; we moved to a house. When we moved to Maryland, they were a lot more worried. Mostly, as I know, I was when my parents moved us to Thailand, about making friends. That I suspect is always the fear of children, making friends!

.doc