Wander project Sun, Sand and fun!!!!

There are a couple of great pictures of vacation dogs today. Vacation Dylan is a lot different than daily Dylan. The first vacation he ever went on with us was to Virginia Beach Virginia. The Marriott hotel there allows dogs on the top two floors. That was July 2012, Dylan had been with us for about a month when we wandered off to Virginia Beach. The Vacation dog was apparent from the moment we hit the hotel. First, he didn’t eat dog food the entire weekend. He snacked on people’s breakfast and ate noodles (we made Spaghetti in the room that night for dinner). Vacation Dylan likes to sleep in the middle of hotel beds. Vacation Dylan likes to wander on the Beach.

In Virginia Beach vacation Dylan also got to go into the CVS. It is allowed in Virginia Beach for dogs to go in. “An enlightened place” I suspect Dylan would say.

The pictures today are a couple of years later (2014) on our second trip to  Oak Island North Carolina. We took both Raven and Dylan (Raven having joined our family in April of that year). This trip is the famous Drama Queen incident with Raven. She hurt the dew claw on her right front leg. We ended up putting a purple bandage on the injury. Raven liked being babied so much. At some point on the third or fourth day, I suspect the original injury no longer hurt. So, Raven started limping on the other leg. To get the sympathy that she so loves! Everyone was shocked when I pointed out to them that their dog (the twins and my wife) was, in fact, a drama queen.

Its funny, the two of them, Raven will get on the big bed in the Master Bedroom, but she won’t spend the night there. That is Dylan’s bed. He sleeps (with pillows) in the center of the master bedroom. Raven tends to sleep in the space between the twins rooms, or on one of their beds. Even vacation Raven let Dylan have the bed where my wife and I were sleeping.  That is the dynamic between the two of them since day 1. Raven has always been in charge, but she defers to Dylan when it comes to the sleeping arrangements. The complexity of the relationship the two of them have is something I should probably spend more time thinking about. Humans could learn from Dogs!


family historian

Wander project pictures of Dylan!

First of all, dogs in our house always end up getting nicknames. Dylan, the yellow lab that lives with us, has a number. When we lived in Ohio, Gwen used to go with me for long walks. She was my walking buddy. I couldn’t take her in Indiana (there were far too many other dogs, and Gwen wasn’t good about that). Dylan joined our family two years after Gwen passed.  Dylan, or the Mighty-D, TRex, Bear as he is also called, hates technology. Most of all he hates cameras. Raven, our black lab, loves having her picture taken. She will pose for the camera. Dylan sees a camera, and he is looking for a hole to hide in. Or, if he thinks he can, he will swat at the technology with his paw. He does not like cameras, Sam I am.

Not in a box or if you must ask with a fox. He does not like them not at all.

The pictures taken of him and shared today were taken, however near something that Dylan loves, water! There are a couple of parks near our house that have streams. There is one (Seneca) that has a lake. In both cases, Dylan is in the water, happy as a well Lab in water. In particular, he loves hopping in and out of the ocean for some reason that is his all-time favorite. He was even willing to let my daughter take his picture!

Before Dylan joined our family I would walk (often very long walks) 4 or 5 times a week. Since Dylan has joined our family, I walk every day. Mostly because if we don’t walk TRex comes out. TRex is Dylan’s alter ego. His, things are not going my way, so I am going to force the issue. Normally during the process between the twins being told to feed the dogs, and them feeding them. That is when TRex appears. Before that, Dylan is usually Mr. Sweet or Bear. Bear in that case short for Pooh Bear. He will snuggle up to me, and try to convince me to yell at the twins to start his dinner or that it is time to go on the walk. If I am working at home, Dylan is down in my office at 4 pm telling it is time to go (it isn’t, but he starts the process of motivating me early!)

He is a good dog!


Dylan says his daddy isn’t allowed to share more pictures….

Wander to warm project!

2018 in Maryland (US), Virginia and the District of Columbia (Washington DC) is on track to be the wettest year in recorded history. As a weather buff, I can tell you that the trend wasn’t the wettest year on record back in July. We were down 5 inches from the average rainfall as we came into July. Since July we have had the three of the wettest months ever (July, August, and November). We had snow in early November (very rare in the DMV). Weather is an interesting reality. We used to say in Indiana, don’t like the weather? Wait 15 minute it will change. That doesn’t feel as funny now as it did then. I am over rain. I am over gray clouds. My favorite weather station videos involve the beautiful dancing against a background of blue.

Not gray. I am over gray.

The pictures are from Paradise Cove in Hawaii. They are pictures of warm air, warm water, and warm breezes. A hurricane would hit the big island and later the vestiges would wander over Oahu (where paradise cove is) as well. But for the moment other than the storm clouds on the horizon it was glorious. Warm. That is the goal of the wander to warm project. Share warm pictures!

The fun thing you can do with the Amazon Alexa speakers is ask Alexa what the weather is. But you don’t have to ask the temperature where you are. You can pick any city in the world. I often ask the temperature in Honolulu HI, or Bangkok Thailand. Not only because I’ve been to both several times, but also because it is warm there. When it gets really cold in the US I miss being in Bangkok. You don’t think about things like that as a child. You think about the next thing you want to do. Back then it was go swimming. You don’t think about the fact that in the US, in December the outdoor pool is closed. The pond out behind the farm house is frozen over. The cold air seeping into your bones.

In Bangkok you just go swimming!


swimming in the pool of my mind

Wander project Holiday Decorations!

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas would soon be there. One of the greatest lines for the holidays. Perhaps only done by Clement Moore’s newspaper headline that preceded the line I started “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” There are many holidays this time of year. The one you celebrate is the most important one. Each of us celebrating a holiday that has meaning for us, but also has meaning for all of us. The celebration of another year completed is a wonderful time of year. When the kids were little, which is now years ago in the rearview mirror, we used to get a live Christmas Tree. We would go out the day after Thanksgiving and put the tree in the foyer of a house in Greenwood Indiana.

We would decorate the tree, string the lights (after I untangled them) and the season would begin. Now we have an artificial tree with pre-strung lights. But we’ve come to realize that the holiday cheer, the celebration of the many holidays this of the year has nothing to do with the specific holiday you celebrate or for that matter if you decorate, or don’t decorate. It has to do with family. We celebrate the joy of this time of year — the actual passing of the seasons. The leaves are falling from the sky to the ground (we got to rake and mow those already!) — the end of a year that in passing brings each of us a unique holiday. The funny thing for me now, is how late in the year we decorate our house.

Each year, again our children are older now, the entity known as Santa Claus now more a Tim Allen portrayal and less a character that breaks into shoes and leaves things behind. We begin the holiday season every year watching “The Santa Claus.” Then we move to my favorite “The Grinch that stole Christmas.” But it doesn’t which of the many holidays this time of year you celebrate. Take a moment and reflect on the year that passed. Look around you, did you leave something behind that made someone else’s day better? A smile perhaps that wasn’t there before you entered the room but was after that? A flower was given to someone to make their day a little better.

It doesn’t matter which holiday you celebrate. Your holiday is important to all of us! Even if you only celebrate the flipping of another month in your word of the day calendar!


pictures are worth more than the words you see here…

Wander project Edgewater MD.

There is a place near Annapolis called Edgewater. It borders the two rivers (Rhodes and South) that are south of Annapolis. We took a day trip and wandered around the area. We had seen it from the water and wanted to wander the land side. There are a lot of really nice houses and interesting historical places to wander in Edgewater. The last place we went was the Edgewater restaurant. Several people had said it was the place to go in Edgewater. It seemed to be the see and be seen the place in town. Location off of Mayo drive (but they didn’t include Mayo with their French fries, that would have been perfect.) Mayo is one of the main drags in the town of Edgewater.

I include a link to my Yelp Review here.

When I was younger, we used to take Sunday drives. I think Sunday drives faded in our family as the cost of gasoline went up. When I was a little kid gas was 40 cents or less a gallon. In 1978 I won 100 gallons of gasoline. The funniest part of that was the fact that when I registered for the prize gas of 54 cents a gallon. By the time I got the coupons for the 100 gallons of gas the price for Gasoline was more than $1.10 per gallon. My dad and I (I had my first car by then) used all 100 gallons. None of it went to waste! But by the time I had won the free gas, the family Sunday drives had long since ended. I suspect most people had stopped taking Sunday afternoon drives by then.

We did get to have our favorite (my wife and I) we love Maryland Crab Dip. Normally a cheese covered, cream cheese crab and onion mix served with a loaf of warm bread. This was a really good version!

We didn’t, by the way, have crab on our Sunday drives when I was a kid.

The first time I ever had crab my dad went to the fishing wharf at Pattaya (a resort south and west of Bangkok Thailand) and got fresh (still living) blue crab. We made them fresh on the stove in the cottage where we were staying. It was amazing. I love crab. We didn’t, in the middle often have good fish. In the course of making it to Bangkok, I learned I loved to fish!


images are dreams

Wander within a wander project….

Let’s for a moment lose the tethers that bind us to here and now. Release the fears that bind us to now. Think beyond what was, think what is. Let’s wander to places that are new, not new in the sense that the volcanic eruption over, a new island appearing and the thousands of years required to move it from volcanic rock to soil, the millions of birds flying over the rock, dropping their poop, with seeds. The new soil hungry for anything other than volcanic glass suddenly a plant bursts forth. Its roots are driving into the rock splitting, cracking expanding and then slowly converting. Let’s pull the curtain aside now. Let’s peer into the telescope of life and see what lies beyond, beyond.

Today the shared pictures of water and warm. It is, different than the today outside. Nineteen degrees are crossing to one weather station; the other is more optimistic putting the am temperature at 20 degrees — both in the shade of the trees in the AM, not impacted by sunlight yet. One is never impacted by the sun, the other gains 4 degrees or more of false heat.  The cold drives us indoors, except, as the twins who walk with me say “for the crazy people.” Their argument, they contend that we are the only crazy people that go out and walk in the cold. Labs love their walks; it is their mission in life to walk. Dylan, in particular, is ready to walk whenever it is time. He and I on occasion wandering off on morning walks.

Dylan has been my walk buddy now for more than six years. He is the only dog living in our house that met my dad. Dylan and my dad became fast friends. But the issue was the contention that only crazy people walk in the cold. I would argue this, but the very evidence of the world around us as we walk points to the validity of their assertion. In the summer we encounter 3, 4 or more dogs on the walk. In the winter one sometimes, often. Virtually every day, none. Neighbors, knowing who we are, meeting us, tell us that they call us the walkers. I would wonder if that was a fair nickname. We do many things other than walk. But often in the winter, when it cold there are no other walkers, perhaps the moniker is fair.


Tuesday’s with Dylan

Wander project wander to warm!!!!

There are two things that warm your toes on a cold winters night; one is a quilt (we happen to have an amazing number of quilts) and a fire in the fireplace. {in fairness there are many other things that keep you warm, big fuzzy socks and so on} But there is also another way that doesn’t physically warm you, but mentally helps drive the darkness of winter away. The reality of the season winter has to do with the refraction of the suns rays as they strike the surface of the earth.  During summer they are virtually straight overhead so as the sun’s ray’s come down, they are refracted. They hit and bounce straight back (light does pass thru solid objects, but it is also bounced). That releases more energy, i.e., heat into the atmosphere. In the winter the light is more like skipping stones on a lake. You can. If you try, skip a stone across water.

Even though the stone is heavier than the water, using displacement and surface tension the principles that ships follow, the rock doesn’t sink. It skips across the surface of the water. The same is true as the sun in the northern hemisphere moves off the horizon and the rays strike the earth at an angle. It is why ½ the year it is cooler in the northern hemisphere. The same of course reversed the other half the year in the southern hemisphere. Because the earth is a huge ball, the middle of the ball always gets direct sunlight. It, the tropics, follows the center of the earth or what we call the equator. The tropics do get cool air, but 70 degrees Fahrenheit doesn’t support snow.

So pictures of warm water, sunlight warm you even as the sun doesn’t quite, warm you! Do not go gentle into that good night as Dylan Thomas said. Plus in the winter, when there are no clouds, and the stars are twinkling above, there is magic in the air — a crisp, wonderful world that is silent. If you walk outside during the summer, it is different. In the summer the world is alive. Animals move around at night to reduce the threat of predators. In the winter all is still. It is as the song tells us “The silent night. You don’t need many silent nights in the summer. You do find many in the winter.

Plus, when the snow falls, and then it warms to above freezing so the top of the snow melts and then refreezes there is also the fun of creating your silent night crunching, as you trod on semi-refrozen snow!


family mumblerer