Wander project Greenwood…

Another trip to the other folder, and another trip to a new camera, with no date or time. Yes, there is a date stamp in the picture itself that reveals the day it was originally taken (called the metadata). Newer ceramic include GPS information as well. This one, a series of pictures of the kids. The folder has a rough date of November 1 but no year. As I said, whenever finished storing the pictures in the other folder. By we, I mean me. The kids were scanning pictures like crazy.I was creating the storing system. I have to be honest, most of the pictures we scanned are still in the Family History folders (FH1, FH2 and so on). I would like to say that all of them are ready to share as well, but that also isn’t true.

I’ve gotten complaints, comments, etc. about the pictures I share in the past. I don’t always respond as nicely as I should. I am not as good a photographer as my father was. I take a lot of pictures, some variations of the same image. The rule of my project through is to share them all. Here is the reality of those pictures, first of all when my father passed away, there were between 25and 30 thousand pictures that no one other than my father had ever seen. The value of pictures is not that they exist, it is that other people see them. Pictures are a shared experience. Yes, there is a personal experience. There is a feeling of interaction with the image. It is something to consider.

But, none of my father’s pictures were shared. I decided since my kids were spending so much time and effort, I had to make sure those pictures were seen. It is why when people ask me the what and why of sharing, I always tell them I have to share all the pictures. That said, there are some pictures I don’t share. In part because when I do share those pictures, I get yelled at. I don.t like being yelled at, so I stopped sharing those pictures. I also at times, struggle with pictures of people no longer with us. Around the anniversaries of their deaths, or birthdays I don’t always post those pictures. The rest of the time, I share all the pictures. Honestly, if you don’t like them, that is fine.If you complain about them, I would probably ignore the complaints. It is a project to honor my parents, grandparents, and others by sharing the images they took.


Family Historian

Wander project Greenwood IN

There is a story behind every picture you share. Sometimes the story is I don’t know. Sometimes the story is I have no idea why I took the picture. Sometimes the simple answer is, every time I got a new camera for a few years, I took the same 10 or so pictures. I did the same thing with new cell phone cameras. Taking the same few pictures. It was my OCD moment. Doing the same thing every single time I got a new camera or phone. I did stop once I moved from Windows Phones to iPhones.There was a brief stop in the Android world; I suspect I may wander back to theAndroid phone world again. But for me, the big thing was those initial pictures. What I am sharing in this first blast of pictures today, is the pictures I took with new cameras.

The pictures are of winter. Normally, I got new Cameras as a Christmas Present from my wife. She and I used to buy each other gifts when we were first together. I think it was around our 8th or 9th anniversary that we decided to give each other money instead. IT was a very short conversation; She said I would like to buy clothes for Christmas. I said I would like to buy tech. We both agreed that my picking out clothes was a bad idea. My wife also agreed that her picking outreach wasn’t a good idea. We talked about it for a long time. There are two parts to gift giving in a relationship. The first part is the romance portion of a marriage. We, both decided that we would separate gifts from romance.

Thus was born the gift budget. For me, it meant I could get new tech with my budget. For my wife, she could get clothes (or inline rollerskates). It also allowed us to buy the romantic just because of gifts separately. It reduced the stress of Christmas, birthdays and our anniversary. Now the other thing that I started doing during the family history project was to begin organization pictures. I have folders (one called family, one called kids, one called twins, one called daughter and soon). These pictures come from a folder called Other (other in this case stands for unsorted) and a folder called “New Canon Camera.” My gut, based on the age of the kids is that this is circa 2002.


Family Historian

Wander project all over the place!

My wife pulled together some of her favorite pictures in her family history project. Well, she started to do that and then stopped. There was a time when she was going to have me print all the pictures she put in her family history project but then decided that seeing them online and wandering them digitally would be better. Better for the trees at the very least. But there is still a folder with pictures from her childhood, and pictures from her children’s childhood as well. Funny how the evolution from child to adult to parent catches you sometimes. It isn’t that we grow wiser with each passing day. Rather with luck, we learn some of the things not to do as we get older.

If I may for a moment since I have your attention wax nostalgic, there have been moments captured by the pictures I share that are treasures for me. I should find value in every picture, and I try. But some pictures now only cause pain. I realized today I don’t share the pictures that cause me pain anymore. It hasn’t been a willful or intentional not sharing. Simply, I don’t want to deal with the pain-sharing those images causes right now. I may never share some of those images. I wonder as he is the gneiss of the family history project if my father felt that way about some of the images. I suspect, knowing my father the non-sharing was more his desire only to share perfect pictures.

How we deal with painful memories is an interesting problem. Sometimes we have to share that there is a pain. Sometimes sharing causes the pain. I am not avoiding the first; I am avoiding the second. I am perfectly willing to accept any pain I cause. I am responsible for the pain I cause myself and others. I am not, however willing to accept pain from others any longer. I do not close the door; I leave the screen door shut. I don’t want to let insects in, just a gentle reminder that the screen is shut. I wish I had a better metaphor, but I don’t. Except to say I don’t believe in closing doors. A closed door, as I’ve said before may never again open. You never know what you are losing every minute the door is closed.

The images that make my wife happy, from her past, our past and of course all part of the family history project.


Family Historian

Wander project the bay and Geodes…

Kids say the darndest things; I used to watch that show years ago. It is true, however, that they do. The funny thing is, they never talk about the reality of parenting. Children are fun at every age. There is always something new, always something different. As they get older, children have more to share, and there is always that bond you had when they were younger. Well, that bond is there sometimes. Anger can take bonus away for no reason other than the anger. Today the wander is just outside the Chesapeake Bay. Not able to go in the Bay until the debris has moved down to the ocean.Sad, a really large ship can hit the debris, and the impact is small if any at all, a small craft like ours and the impact is huge regardless.

That is the impact of children on parents. Small and large, Sometimes the child doesn’t even realize the impact they have had. I have a geode half that my mother, father and I found many years ago. Not the half, we found the full geode. Out on a walk near what was to be Lake Monroe. We were there, in Bloomington and actually at the lake right after the man was closed. It is an earthen dam built by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The earthen Dam was at the end of three creeks that converged together in the valley that would become Lake Monroe. We got to see the lake when it was small and growing. That was an interesting opportunity and a learning moment. The reason for the wander then became our Geode quest.

When we first moved to Bloomington in 1966, my father was on a quest to find Geodes. Much as my wife and I, have for the past two years been searching to see dolphins in the Bay. Dad took us on a lot of hikes over the years. In the early years though before my youngest sister appeared, it was wandering the floodplain cuts made by the US Army Corp,to reduce flooding (ergo the reason for Lake Monroe in the first place). The huge cuts produced many Geode finding places. The particular Geode was found and cracked. It was large and has some of the nicest quartz we ever found. A geode is a bubble of clay filled with minerals that hardened by heat and pressure to become a rock, filled with crystals. An amazing bit of both geology, history, and joy when you found them!

Children are truly Geodes. Formed of clay (their parents) they are wonderful unique creations.


Family Historian

Wander project the very memories we make…

What comes first, the picture of the memory? Or do they, as if twins arrive at roughly the same time? Me first! Me First? Each is saying as the pecking order is established. But, as we consider the image, do we create the new memory? Or did the memory imprint with the original sight our eyes creating an internal memory picture that cannot be printed? What was the moment that caused you to reach for your phone or your camera? Did you set out with the intent of capturing the moment or did the moment capture you? Some people prepare, they carry their camera everywhere or their phone everywhere. I may see something today that I want to capture. But do we capture to remember?

What if at that moment we captured. What happens to it when we’ve forgotten the picture? Stuffed in a box with a thousand other pictures we’ve forgotten. Does the memory fade? Or is it in the silver of the image itself? As if the photograph preserves the memory as a part of the process itself? A complex chemical reaction as we touch the picture and the mixture of silver and old decaying finger oils results in a triggered response? They say smell carries memories do the pictures as well? Then one has to wonder does finger oil have, produce, contain, store or in some way convey memories? Why then, if that is the case doesn’t the handshake of the first meeting, instantly create memories of things that once were, even though only one person was there.

You can’t hand a photo to someone and in them not having been at the moment, look at you and the memory convened “I remember that now.” Each picture has a meaning to the people that were there. In telling, sharing and paying that story forward, we enter the realm of the family history project. The reality of stories is that they dream to be released for their contextual prison. They seek more than the company of neurons and free reign of the cerebellum. No these memories are best when freed of that prison of the mind. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian writer, once said you could imprison my body, but you cannot take away what is in my mind. What I can do is slowly steal the memories. With each picture stuffed in a box and forgotten. Share those memories, because they can be lost forever if they are locked in the prison of the mind.


in the future I am not handing my wife the camera, ever. Or my daughter for that matter.

Wander project Make a Wave, or just wave!

A study of sailboats, when the water is full of waterlogged debris below the surface, sailboats don’t have to worry. They skim the surface, and while they have keels underwater, they are wooden, or fiberglass and the only concern at that point would be hitting amass of wood. Then, the sailboat would have an issue. Other than that they skim along, while powerboats have to go slow. Well, they should go slow. The sailboats in the pictures today come from one of the many schools around the Annapolis Maryland inner, outer and other harbors. The the other harbor is the fact that there are many Annapolis near or adjacent rivers and creeks that have marinas.

Marinas often equal sailboat schools. Not always, but sometimes. Our favorite time of day is when the Cadets from Annapolis take their little sailboats out. They grab a rope from a tow ship and then head out into the outer harbor of Annapolis. The US Naval Academy is literally in downtown Annapolis MD. Today we were turning away from the Severn River (the Academy is just up the Severn River). Mostly because the news, the marina and the newsletters we had gotten said the worst of the debris was coming down the Severn River.  The sailboats are from the school that is located on the far side of the Annapolis Outer Harbor. Although, technically it is not the outer harbor.

It is by name the outer harbor, but there are containerships anchored offshore, that are being offloaded, that is technically the outer harbor. Baltimore has an inner and outer harbor, but they don’t have container ships that cannot come into the harbor at all anchored awaiting offloading. Baltimore’s inner harbor is much deeper. Annapolis was originally built as a harbor in the days of sailing craft. Not in the days of 300-foot container ships. The bigger ships have drafts of 50 feet or so. That is roughly 35 feet more water required than is available coming into the inner harbor of Annapolis. The actual inner harbor of Annapolis is focused on pleasure craft. Frankly so is the outer harbor of Annapolis. Annapolis not a commercial harbor as much now as it was in the past.


family Historian

Wander project Dam Debris (Annapolis)…

Dam Debris, everywhere, someone let the trees out. I went to the Bay to see dolphins and all I saw was trees, in the water. I won’t bore you with all the stupid things I can come up with. We decided not to traverse the Severn River (it comes from up north!) We instead rolled towards Annapolis. Interesting, there is only one restaurant that supports docking your boat and getting food in the outer harbor of Annapolis. Jerk chicken was not an option. (in part because of the jerk captain I was told!) No one wanted Jamaican food, so we wandered around the outer harbor. The inner harbor is a lot more crowded than the inner harbor. The debris was horrible, but you could see lots of branches in the water.

Plus,  it was the first sunny, not cooler day on Sunday. There were Kayakers and sailboats out. The rule of the road for Kayak and Paddleboard rides is to give them a wide berth. They are not bound to the same rules as the rest of the boats are on the water. PWC’s are supposed to follow the same rules as boats under power. (PWC is a personal watercraft sometimes also called a Jet Ski). Sailboats under power (engines) are required to follow the same rules as power boats. Sailboats under sail get the right of way. Kayakers also get the right of way as do Paddle Boarders. I wonder given that the Kayak or Paddleboard would be easier to maneuver who gets right of way between them as a sailboat under sail. My guess would be the sailboat.

I suspect in the hour and a half we were out and about on the water we saw enough lumber to build the back half of Abe Lincolns Boyhood home (located in Southern Indiana for those interested in the history of where America Presidents grew up). None of it could be, however, used as lumber anymore. A lot of it was waterlogged to the point of being dangerously below the surface. My wife wondered aloud why anyone would have a PWC in the Chesapeake Bay. Her words were “the water is yucky. I wouldn’t even dip my toes in it.”That is the advantage of power boating and docking; you never have to dip your toes into Yucky. Although you do from time to time have to grab ropes that have been in yucky.


family historian