For the first 16 years of the twins lives, they shared a birthday with their grandfather. Literally. All three were born on the same day. The end of March in Indiana, for the most part, was spring break time as well. It meant scheduling parties for the twins was sometimes an ordeal. In part because the twins had few friends (by their choice, they are a small group of close friends people). That meant there were always one or two friends that had to be there.
Add spring break, vacations and things like that, and we often celebrated early or late. We always, as my parents and my wife’s parents had as well, always made an effort to make the day of their actual birth special. It holds so many memories for my wife and me that day in March. It falls after St. Patrick’s day, long enough after that day there isn’t leftover corned beef and the cabbage also long gone. Spring upon us, and past as well.
It is honestly harder for me now as far as memories than it was. Today is PI (when the blog was first published) 3.14. I find myself remembering the third person on that birthday a lot as we head towards that day. I see a lot of who he was in the twins. I see a lot of my wife, and my mom in the twins also. This, for the twins, is a big birthday the first time in 6 years that they will no longer be teenagers. They will move out of the teens this year. I still remember the day they were born as if it were yesterday. Now they are young adults in college. I have to stop for a moment and recall the time that passed.
We have dear friends that live in New Jersey. They came out to visit us in Indiana back in 2010. We decided to show them the height of Indiana by wandering to the Circle City Mall and then a Robotics event. Circle City mall is a double entendre. First The Circle City is a nickname for Indianapolis. The reason for the Nickname is the Indianapolis 500 mile motor race and track. Which by the by, are actually in Speedway Indiana. But Indianapolis is called the Circle City.
The first few pictures are of us wandering the mall. It is a vertical, not horizontal Mall. I have been to malls all over the world; every country does them a little differently. In the US, there are a few stores that tell you what kind of mall it is. There are three types of malls in the US.
- High end or Luxury
- Browsing and shopping for food
Circle City Mall fits into the first category. So you see stores like Tiffanies, and upscale restaurants and stores. The fun thing is regardless of the type of mall in the US; there is always a Cinnabon. You realize the mall has a Cinnabon when you walk in. There is nothing like the smell of Yeast, dough, and cinnamon. It wafts into the air and fills the place with warmth.
The rest of the pictures today are from the Robotics event. The twins were into Robotics for many years. It is a huge STEM (STEAM/CSTEAM) activity. In fact, the design and sharing of designs push the entire Robotics process well into CSTEAM (collaboration, science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).
The day was fun, always good to hang out with friends!
I spent two weeks in Australia, or OZ as it is sometimes called. We were making a business trip, but based on timing and the need to be awake and aware during the business meetings, I arrived on a Friday and had a weekend to wander (I ended up traveling all over the country. I made it to three of the places I wanted to go out of 4. The only place I didn’t get to visit was Perth.). There are three things that I remember about that trip. The first is hanging out with a good friend whose philosophy in life is walking before you eat.
The second thing was that they ere filming one of the Superman Movie reboots in Sydney while we were there. Not that I saw anyone from Hollywood personally, although we did walk by the sets a couple of times, to see the cool old cars. I also did, the second weekend when everyone else was heading home or other locations, actually get to walk around a bit on my own. The picture of the Rolls Royce was, outside of a wedding near the hotel where I was in Sydney.
It was a Rolls Royce when you see one; you have to take the picture!
I also remember how hard it was to stay connected with my family when I was 12, 13 hours different than they were. I would call each night at 7 in the morning my time, which depending on the Asian time zone I was in was 6, 7 or 8 pm their time. I would then also call at 7 or 8 pm, whenever I got back to the hotel, it would be early morning back home. It at least was a level of connection. When traveling in Europe, I could only call once a day. End of the day my time was mid-afternoon their time, I often missed them as they had school and other activities. It is lonely to travel when it is just you.
Ending a long day playing in the snow with a Hot Cocoa makes everything just right. Or chicken soup, or tomato soup which is my personal favorite. Hot drink, hot soup and warming up inside after playing in the snow all day. It isn’t, by the way, as my twins have told me, the same when you have to shovel the driveway all day! Then you are tried, not good tired, bad tired. The tired that makes you just want to take a nap, not have Hot Cocoa.
Another thought that occurred to me was the dogs. Fran, the Lab, loved snow. Gwen, the shepherd, did not like snow. She used to live her paws high in the air and tried with every step to not land on snow. She would go out long enough to pee, and then scamper back into the house freezing. Fran, on the other hand, would stay outside with the kids all day. She loved being outside with the kids anyway, but the snow was even more fun for her. She was a water dog that would never go into the water.
We still have one dog that doesn’t like snow (Tamsyn) and three dogs (Raven, Dylan, and Serenity) that love snow. Dylan and Raven’s favorite walks involve pushing through snow, the more snow, the better. But back at the time of these pictures, there was a young Fran, out playing with the kids in the snow. There was an old Gwen inside, trying to find a place in the house to stay warm. And the band played on.
Greenwood Indiana was home for 12 years. We thought about moving to Greenwood two years before that but held on in Cincinnati for those two years. But 1999 saw us pack up our house in Cincinnati Ohio (Mt. Airy) and move to Greenwood. I will never forget my wife, October 1999, sitting on the lawn of our new house sending the movers to various rooms. It was an amazing organization system.
We had over the course of getting ready to move, visited about ten houses. When we finally decided on the house we wanted, the owners had taken it off the market. We made an offer anyway, and the owners took it. I only remember a couple of the other houses we looked at. One had a complete mother-in-law suite in the basement as well as a large open space. We ended up not choosing that one because it was separated from the other houses around it.
We also looked at one in the same neighborhood as my sister, and one in the neighborhood connected to my sisters. I remember the one in the neighborhood next to my sisters was our second favorite overall. Even though it was the same size as the house we picked, it just didn’t have the same feel as the one we ended up choosing. That was four weekends of driving over to Indiana and looking at houses before finally selecting the house we wanted that was to be our Greenwood home.
As has been my tradition during the photo challenge, I devote a wandering post, to the last few pictures on my cell phone. Today, the last 11, and it is an eclectic batch. We don’t travel very far in these pictures, but the reality of the pictures is fun! The pictures shared in the past few days wandered some topics. From the bus, my grandfather gave me, to the pictures of the Giroptic 360 camera adapter for your phone.
We have a picture of my bag in my office. And my buddy, sleeping in the living room. Dylan, my buddy, loves to bask in the sun when it is cool, and there isn’t a fire. When there is a fire, he and his sister (Raven) and in front of the fire. By the way, in our house getting between a Lab and a Fire, will get you glared at. Unless you either, A have food to share with Labs or B, are adding a log to the said fire. Those acts (food and logs) are acceptable activities.
This is not a thumb drive. Nor, does it show that I have four rings, and need one for my thumb. It is a joke. A picture of my thumb.
There is a 360-degree image taken from the Giroptic camera in this roll as well.
Finally, there is the now infamous thumb image. I had a 99-day streak in the 365-day photo challenge where I didn’t have a picture with my thumb in it. That streak was shattered as my entire thumb made an appearance online. Perhaps I should have added a top hat to my thumb. I love the challenge, because it actually fits into my family history project rules. To share the pictures taken with the world. There is nothing better than sharing the pictures you take. Other than not taking the occasional thumb picture.
Chicago is a town that I spent a lot of time in. For three years all my customers were located in the part of Chicago known as a loop, or Downtown. Near the Daley Building (for Chicago’s Government). By road, with no traffic that is a 3-hour drive from Greenwood to Chicago. It never took 3 hours by the way. It was sometimes 3.5, but never less than 3.5 hours. I normally left my house in Indian at 3:30 in the morning.
That, 3:30 was if I was flying to Chicago, or driving. For a long time, I drove every week. But the reality of time spent and the sheer frustration of slogging through all that traffic made driving beyond frustrating. So I flew. Instead, it wasn’t much less time (it is a 55-minute flight). I could leave Indianapolis International Airport at 6 am and arrive at O’Hare Airport at 6 am. You end up crossing over the Central Time Zone, Indianapolis to Chicago so you lose an hour going, and you gain an hour going home.
The pictures shared today are of Navy Pier at night. I love Navy Pier. From the Ferris Wheel to all the other things you can do, including the dinner cruises that leave from Navy Pier, it is a wonderful place to see and be seen. When it was warm outside, we would park in the outside lot and walk to the pier (that was roughly ten bucks cheaper as far as parking cost as well). When it was really cold, we would park in the indoor parking area under the buildings of Navy Pier. More expensive to park indoors, but when the cold winds blow off Lake Michigan you would rather not be outside waiting to freeze!