wander project an event…

The pictures today are from an event we went to back in Indiana. I’ve been wandering short, small trips and events the past couple of days. In part because I need to get a few other things done. In part because I don’t want to share nay more wedding pictures right now. I felt like I spent three weeks on the wedding as a theme and that was enough. It may not be enough for my wife and daughter, but it is enough for me.  The wander project is a way for me to bring together the many pictures we have, and the memories I have of the pictures. Although, in fairness, the majority of the wander project is more of my wandering from where the pictures start my memories.


Sometimes, when we hold pictures when we remember we don’t always remember the actual events of the pictures. The picture represents a window, a view of something that was. I spent a lot of time talking about the fact that what we capture isn’t always what we saw/ often in part because the camera is not there at the exact moment. But often also that what we see, isn’t the light we can capture. The shutter of the camera, even digital takes an intentional amount of time to depress. I am even holding the shutter for high-speed pictures. There is a lapse of time there from what was originally seen to what we can share with the world. Some are much better at the process than others.

The journey from where I started with this wander project to where I am has taken more than ten years and four different blogging sites. I have posted in the travel section here on Virily for three years. Before that, I posted for two years on Niume. Before that I posted for four years on WordPress. Before that my original blog was actually on Live Writer. That one was started in 2005 — 14 years of blogging. I have been shared, reshared and reposted many times. Some of my early posts had more grammatical errors and spelling errors that they should have. I often posted then from my smartphone, which now I never do. But for a time I did, and there were errors galore. Now, there are still errors but I can’t post before I post!


wander project organizing pictures…

I found some more Nashville pictures they were in another folder. One of the things I need to do is reduce the number of spanning folders. Sometimes, when I take a lot of pictures I forget to do the second part of my process. The first part, like everyone, is taken the pictures. My second part was always taking the pictures out and putting them in a folder. There are times when I am in a hurry that I forget the second step. I end up with pictures that are disconnected overall. In the case of our trip to Nashville, the pictures were in three different folders. Now they are in one folder, but for someone reasons, I had created multiple folders. I am sure there was a great reason in the beginning.


What I need to do is go through the 4200 wedding pictures and organize them also into different folders. I have two events (the pre-dinner and the courthouse wedding) pictures, and then I have five folders that are called Wedding 1, Wedding 2, Wedding 3, Wedding 4 and Wedding 5. I suspect the naming structure of the last five folders is what I will change. One I can do right now (wedding video) as its content is different than the other folders. The remaining folders have pictures. Then, when all of that is done, I need to go back to redo a bunch of the family history project pictures. I have pictures stuck in folders and need to start going through the folders and putting them into a more logical structure.

Of course, that takes time, and time has to come from somewhere. I have no idea how much time this will take. Luckily I have the long winter months when there aren’t a lot of other activities going on around us. That said, there are always things that will come up. I have copied the wedding pictures to my two online backup locations as well to make sure we have lots of copies.

I realize that with digital pictures we are not alone. I know that many people have many thousands of pictures in their various home locations. I won’t hop on my backup soapbox. Instead, I will wonder how many thousands of pictures will have in the next ten years?


wander project footprints in the snow…

The pictures today are Nashville at night. Just a bit away from the convention center where we had been for the event we attended, we drove through the city at night. The pictures as a launching point, taking us to the lights of cities and the sounds of night falling.  One of the rules I had, when I was traveling, never arrived in a new place at night. Why would that be a rule I followed?  Because a few times early in my traveling career when I landed at night, I was lost in the morning. I had no frame of reference to understand where I was. When I had daylight, I could see where I was, understand the relative location of the many sights and things I would see.


That concept is very similar to what is our world here on Virily. I know at times that Virily for me feels like fresh snow. When snow falls, there is a moment, a time, when you first see it, that there are no tracks. The answer isn’t’ always that the footprints will lead you on a journey. Simply a covering, a layer of snow that lays upon the ground. There comes a time, when, as the first footprints appear, you can follow those footprints. Sometimes that is the way of the internet is it not. That we, as authors, can for a time walk in the footsteps of others. Or, perhaps we walk near the footsteps of others, knowing that they are blazing a trail. Knowing they were going somewhere and that if we followed, we might arrive.

It is, however, a choice and a path. We fling out ideas into the world. Sometimes they are tiny paper airplanes thrown into a hurricane wind. Or mighty spacecraft launched into the atmosphere to rise ever higher and further. But in each case we are both those that follow the trail of others, but then as well blaze a new trail. At the moment we see the footsteps in front of us, beside us in the snow.

Then we know we are not alone.

In our lonely writer’s garret, we are watching for the rising sun. The only footsteps in our homes, ours in a world of quiet. As we authors reach out to the universe to share our dreams.


wander project rock climbing

The kids love rock climbing. It is something that I honestly haven’t been interested in for many years personally. More from a fear of falling than the reality of the effort to climb the wall, I enjoy trying new things. I don’t know that I am a good fit for that activity. I did. However, I love taking the kids to rock climbing. Originally a gallon store in Indianapolis Indiana (actually Greenwood) then Dicks bought Galyons. Then Dicks because of lawsuits took down the rock walls all around the country. There are stores that still have Rock Walls, REI, and the place called outdoor adventure in Maryland. Called outdoor adventure, but the entire thing is indoors.

rock wall

It is the old warehouse of a furniture company. The walls of the building are very high, so rock walls of various types and heights could be built. They also had a padded floor to make it safer. The kids in the first pictures we’re getting their initial lesson. There is, of course, a risk when it comes to climbing a rock wall. Things happen, and it is possible to get hurt. But it is also something that I wanted to make sure I was there the first couple of times. To make sure that things were safe. I have many years ago, had the opportunity to repel down the walls of an old quarry. I wanted to make sure that the place the kids wanted to go to was a little safer then repelling down a 40-year-old quarry wall.

I also wanted to see what they had done with the building. It is an intriguing urban renewal project. It took a lot of imagination to reuse old buildings for new things. It was also fun to walk around the building, and the furniture store was still open in ½ the building they just no longer needed the huge warehouse.  When I repelled down the quarry wall we had the old style harnesses. The kids got the newer style, and there wasn’t a chance they could slip out of the harness. They were also learning with someone belying the rope. It makes for a safer experience.  The kids did very well; even the twin that doesn’t like heights much did well. It was a lot of fun, and we’ve been back some times!


wander project snow

Snow. Yesterday in the DC area it was 90 plus. We are in the midst of a hot summer. July was the hottest month on record, globally in recorded history. We are well past average (31) days above 90 in summer (46 as of today), It has been hot. In the US south, they have hit 100 degrees (without the goofy feels like addition) multiple times this summer. So I am sharing pictures of snow to cool things off. The funny thing is in about three weeks the temperature is going to drop. It is already fluctuating a lot more because the days are shorter. Part of the Northern Hemisphere reality is that longer the day the more likely that day is going to be hotter.


Now, the heat begins to dissipate a bit as the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer.

The pictures today are from 2004, from when we lived in Indiana. We left Indiana in 2011 and moved East. We’ve had bigger snows in Maryland than we ever experienced in Indiana (35 inches in a single storm). We’ve also experienced fewer Tornados (0 versus five while we lived in Greenwood). We have been hit with an Earthquake (in 2012( that shook the house) and we’ve survived two very far misses as far as hurricanes. We have gotten soaked by east coast-hugging hurricanes that dumped a lot of rain on us, but rain isn’t as bad as 110 miles an hour winds.

Snow, however, is something I miss. I love walking in the snow. Certainly when we had the 35-inch snowstorm that was tough on our daily walk. When they plowed the roads they created massive mountains of snow where the sidewalks normally would be.  But snow is still far off in the distance. We don’t normally get the first snow that stays until January. We do tend to get colder though by the first week of October. I got my heated jacket out of the attic storage area and made sure I had the battery chargers. I will probably charge the batteries in the next few weeks so that I am ready for that first really cold walk. Now, it is more about staying cool, avoiding the direct sunlight.

For now, it is all about the shade.


wander project black hills recreation park

One of the things that makes me sad is when people trot out the conspiracy theory that the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, was actually inside job — done, on purpose to allow for a war to be started. Two thousand nine hundred people dead, because they, some shadow group wanted to kill many more people.  I wonder, if those that comment and that post on that event being a conspiracy would like the history of their country, the loss of their friends made into a fake situation.  It makes me sad sometimes to think people are that mean. I won’t dignify the conspiracy theorists by sharing many others that exist. I don’t believe in doing that, and I am still recovering from the pain of yesterday.


The pictures today are of a walk in the Black Hills. This is a later walk than the other pictures shared yesterday. Kim reminded me of the Black Hills park, and I wanted to share some pictures of it. One of the things to note is that the park is very different now, than it was 10, 14 years ago. This is partly because the lake is dying. The lake was a flood control lake, and the shifting world around the park has changed the flow of water radically. There is a huge new mall that sits just 2 miles from the park. That mall shifts a massive amount of water in a different direction. It used to flow in the creek that flowed into the lake that was the Black Hills part. Now that water flows due south.

This particular walk was with Dylan and Raven. Raven is not prey driven, except for birds. Dylan wants to catch a deer. So as we came around a corner, Dylan was on full alert. The deer in the pictures was about 10-12 feet away from us, and Dylan was ready for “lunch.” Restraining him was not that easy. Raven doesn’t care about deer as much she is more interested as I said in birds. We made it past the deer and finished the walk. One of the things we discovered over the years is the difference between maps and reality. There is a map of Black Hills Recreation area and the lake that shows a completed trail around the lake. However, the map doesn’t tell you how much of the trail was never finished.

Funding stopped, so the trail construction stopped. We ended up on the wrong side of that one walk!


Wander project a walk…

This day, every year is hard for me. It is harder for many other people. A good friend of mine was working in the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, and he was in the office early on the morning of September 11, 2001, He forgot his power supply for his laptop, so he went back to his hotel to get the power supply. He never made it back to the office that day, by the time he got to the towers, the first plane had hit. He stood in the area by the towers and watched the second plane hit. A good friend of mine from college was in the second tower. As far as I know, he is still there 100 floors above Manhattan, smiling at his desk like he did every single day.

PIC_0046I do understand that hate that allows someone to lash out in anger. There are things in our world that are not fair; not fair builds hate. But I know that of the people I know, there was no hate by them towards others. I lost a good friend on that horrible day. It makes me sad when I see the horrible conspiracy theories that say was happened on 9/11/2001 was fake. My friend was a light in the world, that is no more. My other friend, who went back to his hotel to get a power supply speaks every single year on this day. He is a survivor, and we honor those who survive tragedy. We never forget those who gave everything so that others could live. The firepeople and police that responded that day are heroes.

I won’t dwell today on the loss, and I won’t dwell today on the fact that just two years before that, we had stayed in the Marriott hotel that was right by ground zero, in a room that viewed the Twin Towers lit up at night. I won’t talk about going back five years later to see the hole in the heart of the city. Or, the first time I rode the Path Train (goes from NYC to Jersey City and other New Jersey Locations) coming out of the darkness of the underground tunnel into the light, where there used to be a building. It was jarring the first time. I had been in that subway station when there was a tower, then when there wasn’t, and I will never forget the moment I came out of the darkness.

To those gone forever on this day in 2001, you are missed.

(pictures are for Kim from the Black Hills recreation park).