Wander Project My father Honored Teacher (Arjan)

I have talked about my father, the teacher many times. These pictures are from a class he taught in Chiang Mai now ten years ago. Chaing Mai was and is the Northern Capital of Thailand. The Kingdom once now as Siam. It is still known as Siam, but now more of a constitutional Monarchy than it was in the days of Siam. Then the king ruled the entire land. The king of Siam once wrote a letter to the President of the United States, offering to send war Elephants to the president to help his cause (the presidents). Abraham Lincoln replied to the king saying, thanks but no thanks. Thailand is a wonderful country. I now both mom and dad loved being there; they went many times!

When I was traveling, I remember when I finally made it to the top level of United Fliers. I got a letter saying that I could upgrade someone to the Silver level automatically. It helped mom and dad when they were traveling to have that! While dad traveled a lot, it was normally once a year. To move way up into the systems of an airline, you have to travel 100,000 miles a year. It isn’t a badge of honor. Flying a million miles and sadly spending more than a 1000 nights in a hotel, isn’t something to celebrate. We did, once a year spend all the miles and free hotel points on our family vacations. That was the one time of year that all that travel for work, paid back!

Dad was a teacher, and he loved teaching. I had the honor of taking his class one summer. It was a tough class, but you could see his connection as a teacher. I know I was never as good a teacher as my father was. He was amazing. I was a good teacher, but I was not in his category of teachers. When it came to technology, then I was in my world. Funny, I did for a time follow my father into education. I suspect now that was something I needed to do, to honor my father. It wasn’t the best choice for me, but the value of time is you can come to realize the error. I was meant to be a technologist. I just didn’t have that path in my heart until I was ready.


Wander project dad’s pictures and Grandma’s pies

I am wandering the pictures of my father. I recognize more than half the people in the very first picture. It is family friends and my parents. I don’t recognize the hat my father is wearing. That was not the type of hat dad often wore. Dad used to wear one of three hats around the house or outside. I remember them because I think it was the same three hats most of my life. It reminds me of my younger sister and me, racing to my grandfather’s closet where he kept one of the two dream hats. They were dream hats, one captain’s hat, and one cowboy hat. I know over the years my sister, and I raced to those hats. I know we did because my grandfather and father took lots of pictures of the two of us in those hats.

We would grab them, grab fishing poles and run down to the lake. It was our tradition. I know the hats were originally my grandfather’s, but he never argued or declared eminent domain over the hats. He let us have them. It was part of the arrival process at the Lake.  The other was waking up early before our parents got up and having grandpa make us breakfast. Grandma used to make big meals. Or, more importantly for me, Grandma used to make the pies. I love pie to this day, because of the pies my grandmother made. I love my mother’s cooking, she taught me how to experiment with flavors and to create so any ethnic dishes, but Grandam was the queen of pies!

Blueberry or cherry pies were my personal favorite. They weren’t made from a can brought at a store. Even though my grandfather and grandmother owned a store in Cambridge Wisconsin, they owned, in fact, the only grocery store in the town for many years. Grandma made everything for the Cherry or Blueberry pies from scratch. I remember helping in the kitchen. I was allowed to pull stems and pit cherries. Or wash and dry Blueberries. As I said, the love in those pies is why I love pies now! But breakfast was always peanut butter toast with Bacos. Bacos, fake soy-based bacon bits, spread on the toast that was covered with peanut butter. That was a grandpa special. My grandparents are always a happy memory for me!


Wander project B activities

Boat cleaning isn’t fun, but it is something you have to do. We had a lot of mud on the boat, so we spent the afternoon Saturday cleaning it out. There are several things we have to make sure are operating perfectly. It is more a safety thing, but there is a level of aspects as well. My wife likes things a certain way, something that you learn over 29 years of being together. It is the evolution of the relationship that you share the things that are important to the other. It is funny. I have a messy office, but I am organized in the rest of what I have. My car always has to be organized. I don’t like it when my car is dirty. My wife has a clean office, but her car is a mess.

We work well together with the two of us. One of the things you learn early on in boating is the importance of both roles. The same, by the way, is also true when riding a tandem bike.  You have to have both members of the team working together in both endeavors. When docking or undocking, pulling away from the dock, working together is critical. The concept of tying off has to be done in conjunction. You work together. The same is true for riding a tandem bicycle. You work together. The stoker, or person riding in the back, starts the bike. They get on the bike second, but they are the launching point for the bicycle. When tying a boat in a slip similar cooperation has to exist.

You have to communicate. Living with a social worker, she, my wife, is all about communication. That is a good thing because if you tie the boat wrong, you can end up slamming the boat against the dock (we did that once last year, ended up with a bit of damage on the back of the boat. You have to tie for the high and low tide. You have to be aware of where the ropes are and what you are tying to, in terms of where on the dock. There is much to know and understand when it comes to boating, riding a tandem bike and ultimately in being part of a relationship. It is about positive communication to move the situation forward. It is about understanding where your partner is and what they need at that moment.

It is a team process, and both parts of the team are critical!


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!


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?


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.


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!