wander project a long road walked


(please note this blog is normally 3 days behind)

Last night was the last event before the Wadding today. Wadding of course comes from the wonderful movie Father of The Bride starring Steve Martin. It was the rehearsal dinner. This is my only post today, but I am focused on the wedding and need to get the day rolling now. I like to take odd pictures, and the truck parked next to where we parked was odd. The play on words as I walked towards the restaurant made me laugh. I think of Butchers Block, I think of Butchers knife, but I do not think of a Butchers Hook. I know, it is an odd picture. I took it because I couldn’t take the picture. Then, as I turned towards the restaurant to follow the twins, I noticed I had lost my wife.

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She is the maid of honor or mom of honor in the party and was kind of important. I turned around and saw my next picture opportunity. Yes, I am having our hair done in the parking lot of the restaurant. No one was willing to French braid my hair which was upsetting I have to say. I thought that my 9 or 10 remaining hairs would look wonderfully braided — no one else though that. In the long run it may have just been me.  Sadly the reality of the hair that has left makes braiding the remaining hair a lot riskier. We walked into the restaurant in Frederick Maryland. We have lived in this area for eight years now. In that time we have probably been to about 20% of the restaurants in the area.

The one we went to for the rehearsal dinner, was a place we had never been. The twins said “it looks like a mansion.” Our room was upstairs, and the main customer dinner seating is on the main level and the lower level, There are private rooms upstairs. It was an amazing room. The overall layout was a fireplace at one end of the room and the tables in the rest of the space. There was a moveable wall that could open the room up to seat two or three times as many people. The buffest was in the annex style room or bonus room on the backside of the fireplace. I gave Dutch’s Daughter 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp. You can see that review here. Now, we have to survive today (the actual Wadding!)

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wander project daughters


The movie “Must love dogs” applies to my daughter. She loves dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, and fish. She had a Neon Tetra tank when she was little. I had to routinely sell the Tetra’s she produced to the pet store. The tank started at 20, and it never had less than 40 with my daughter care. She loves animals of all kinds. So it wasn’t surprising to my wife and me, that her finance was a huge dog lover (and animal lover). First, he is huge, well past 6 feet tall. But he also loves animals with the same passion our daughter has. Today they have two dogs, Tamsyn and Serenity. Serenity is not named for the emotional control brought by being serene. She is named for the spacecraft in the old Firefly TV show!

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I mean who doesn’t love Nathan Fillion?

My future son-in-law was nervous the first time he came to our house for dinner. By the end of the meal, we had already started a great friendship that continues to grow and evolve. The two of them are very cute together. Not that cute truly matters in a relationship. It is all about caring and concern. The two of them have that in spades.

The pictures today are from our daughters 9th birthday party in 2001.

The last two pictures are from the basement bar area. I have to say when you are talking eight loud nine-year-old’s, a little cognac makes things easier.

November 2001 was the beginning of a return to the new normal. Just a beginning. We had gone through the Y2k crisis the year before. Then sadly in September, the world watched a horrific even unfold. I lost a really good friend in that 2nd tower. But the world was beginning to move to its new normal. This was our daughters last birthday as a single digit. It was an amazing day.

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wander project daughters


Today I have more pictures of the kids in the pool. It is now short four days to the wedding. Starting tomorrow, family and friends start to arrive. Life is expressed in the hours before a big event. We review all the steps that were taken. We look for all the mistakes we made. Did we do this right? Were we right to do this? But it is also a time when you begin to draw new lines. A wedding is something that changes both sides of the couple and the families. We are suddenly bound to a new group of people. New traditions enter the world we have been living in. Doors that we never knew were there, are thrown open and the wind allowed to blow through our lives.

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There was a time when my daughter was little, and we had first moved to Indiana that she struggled. We left her friends in Cincinnati Ohio. She was close to the couple that serves as the Twins God Parents. She, our daughter, had a lot of friends. One who later moved to Chicago, they are still Facebooked friends to this day.  But other friends faded from memory. She was lost to the vagaries of time and distance. We live now in a world where you can have friends you never meet. But that world exploded long after we were in Indiana. I don’t know if our daughter reconnected with some of those friends. Or if they are lost to the tendrils of memory that we hold.

To end today with a story that teases my daughter and my wife. When our daughter was little, and we had moved to Western Hills, she was in a Daycare that was south of our house. We, after my wife came home because her job was far too much. Kept our daughter in a daycare/preschool as the Gamble Nippert YMCA. If you are playing along at home the Gamble in the name, was the Gamble or one of the founders of the mega-corporation Proctor and Gamble. She came home one day excited that she had met a new friend. “His name is Neck” she told us. My wife looked quizzically and said did you mean “Nick?” Our daughter shook her head no, “Neck.” They argued for a time, but neither side was going to budge.

His name was Nick by the way.

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Wander project Daughters


Today I have more pictures of the kids in the pool. It is now short four days to the wedding. Starting tomorrow, family and friends start to arrive. Life is expressed in the hours before a big event. We review all the steps that were taken. We look for all the mistakes we made. Did we do this right? Were we right to do this? But it is also a time when you begin to draw new lines. A wedding is something that changes both sides of the couple and the families. We are suddenly bound to a new group of people. New traditions enter the world we have been living in. Doors that we never knew were there, are thrown open and the wind allowed to blow through our lives.

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There was a time when my daughter was little, and we had first moved to Indiana that she struggled. We left her friends in Cincinnati Ohio. She was close to the couple that serves as the Twins God Parents. She, our daughter, had a lot of friends. One who later moved to Chicago, they are still Facebooked friends to this day.  But other friends faded from memory. She was lost to the vagaries of time and distance. We live now in a world where you can have friends you never meet. But that world exploded long after we were in Indiana. I don’t know if our daughter reconnected with some of those friends. Or if they are lost to the tendrils of memory that we hold.

To end today with a story that teases my daughter and my wife. When our daughter was little, and we had moved to Western Hills, she was in a Daycare that was south of our house. We, after my wife came home because her job was far too much. Kept our daughter in a daycare/preschool as the Gamble Nippert YMCA. If you are playing along at home the Gamble in the name, was the Gamble or one of the founders of the mega-corporation Protoc and Gamble. She came home one day excited that she had met a new friend. “His name is Neck” she told us. My wife looked quizzically and said did you mean “Nick?” Our daughter shook her head no, “Neck.” They argued for a time, but neither side was going to budge.

His name was Nick by the way.

.doc

wander project daughters


Each child in our lives is unique. They are baubles — small bits of glass that both reflect and refine that light around them. As a parent, we are given a lump, a clump of sand. It is our job to get that sand into a container. Not a finished container, and not yet glass, rather we take the grains of sand and put them into a holder. A place holder truly nowhere finished nowhere near the glass. We, along with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors, begin the creation of glass. But the majority of the glass that is to be made is done by the child. They consider the exclusion of impurities or the acceptance of the impurities. Glass itself is clear, without color and the impurities at times can add color.

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The addition of color is wholly the child. As a parent, we work on polishing some parts of that glass of that creation that is our child. We buff those places that we can see. We do not touch the inner parts of the child. That resolution comes from within. We offer the impurities that we added to our polished glass bauble, but we do not force the impurities. There is a path to forcing the changes. Each child polishes their view of the universe and in that view moves towards the reality of reflection. That is truly the Their goal to create a perfect bauble that The reflects everything. The very refraction breaking the path of the light to send it off into the infinite.

As parents at times, we watch our children and wonder why they polish one part of their reflection more than others. We offer them proffer advice. Do this, we tell them. Listen to our words, and we are your parents. This gift that we give you will guide you. It will allow you to take the shape that you were meant to take. But as parents, we only see the shape we believe the child should take. We do not see what the sculptor wishes, what the artist within the eye of the child sees in the glass before them. We can only proffer what we know worked for us. We do not know what the glass will bring for our child. Some of it we know, we can predict what will occur. But we also have to accept the perfect reflection created in the glass by the artist that is our child.

(all pictures are of my daughter’s friends. Taken by my daughter!)

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wander project daughters…


My experience of the world was first as a son. Then as a father. Father’s see the world differently than mothers do. Many years ago, and I have told this story before, my daughter spent a lot more time with me than with my wife. I was the one home at the same time every day. My job was stressful but phone-based, so I could answer helpdesk calls in the car, at home or anywhere else I was. Plus, my boss understood the reality of having to pick up children. At that time my wife had a job that she worked 40 hours or 100 hours. It wasn’t easy to know what the week would bring. She would take our daughter to Daycare-based, and I would pick her up. I could guarantee I was there before the daycare closed.

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One summer day, we went over to Indiana to see my parents. It was a 2.5-hour drive from where we were in or near Cincinnati to Bloomington Indiana. We were in my parent’s back yard, and our daughter fell and skinned her knee. She was at one end of the deck. I was sitting at the other end of the deck, and my wife, mother, and both sisters were between us. Our daughter started crying got up and ran, past my mother, sisters and my wife and came to me. I took her inside and cleaned up the knee. I didn’t think anything about it. That is what dad’s do. We make things better. My wife thought a lot about it; in fact, I didn’t realize how much until we got into the car.

She, my wife, was upset. Not with me, but with herself. She spent the 2.5 hours back to Cincinnati beating herself up. It bothered her that our daughter needed daddy to fix her knee, not mommy. I tried to explain the differences but sadly did so from a dad perspective. Mom has a much different view of her children than does dad. That difference is important. It helps children understand their place and later their role. My wife and I, by the end of the car ride decided to figure out a way for her to reduce the impact of her job.  While the kids tend still to bring injuries to me (I have a longer first aid experience than my wife) they go to mom now, with the emotional issues. The ones that dad usually either steps on or causes.

Rub dirt on it, or walk it off only goes so far when your heart is broken!

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Wander project daughters…


The walls now are closer; I can feel them near me. Time isn’t on my side any longer. Tick tock, tick tock the clock never forgets to move. I can stare at it, glare at it, but the clock ticks on.  It doesn’t care as it has nothing to do but keep time. Someday of course, or even perhaps today, the battery will run out for the clock. Or I will remove the battery. Stopping the clock at 9:37 am Eastern Daylight Time. The day the time stood still. Perhaps I should make a movie with that title . I have practiced my speech 20 times. I can make it through without crying. I know not to look at my wife. She will be crying. She was sniffling when I did the speech for her two weeks ago.

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It is a lot different now than it was then. I have gotten great advice to grab the heartstrings of the audience and play them like a harp. Beautiful emotion music. Take the audience to the top of the mountain, and then to the valley below. I am creating the emotional folding chair for my speech. The up and stored position useful and not something you can sit on. The open deployed position something you can sit on but much harder to store. That is the essence of the speech. To carry the audience to the places they were not, but to connect with those places. To bring to them, the view of who is sitting in the Bride’s dress at the head table of the event.

To share with them all of the emotions all of the moments that for me carry the essence of our daughter. The story for today is the broken toe. My daughter was walking near the marble fireplace in the house. She was moving quickly and didn’t pay attention, her baby toe, small toe, outside toe whatever it is called struck the marble, and at that angle, it broke. Toes are hard. You can’t set them you tape them to the others and let them heal. We, the two of us, sat in the emergency room waiting for the doctor to tell us that. I took a couple of pictures, but I won’t share those. The broken toe healed, the care taken to walk past the marble fireplace increased.

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