Wander project my father and NASA…


I know that as the twins have learned to move through the world, my role in their life has changed. What I try to do now is teach them to understand that there are always two sides. I would say I don’t do as well at this as I would like to think. I know that both of them tend to lash out first, and then later come back and apologize. The risk of doing that, of lashing out can be significant. We talk, on our daily Lab walk, about the impact of communication. As we head into the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing on the Moon, I wonder. I remember the alter events of Apollo 13. Of my father coming home and asking me for what had happened that day in terms of the Astronauts.

Now, looking back I realize my father was teaching me to present both sides. To remove the emotion and respond to what was going on. I didn’t realize he was doing that at the time. But like many of the lessons of our parents, that one was buried for many years. It is only, sometimes, when you deal with others that you realize the impact of your parents. In seeking our path to tomorrow, we often find that those that went before paved the path we take. Funny that we don’t always realize that others trod that path before us, until stopping at a waypoint or pausing for a moment we see something that reminds us that others were here before us. Things our parents taught us!

Sometimes I hear my dad’s words when I stop. Sometimes, I hear his voice in my head. Don’t leap to conclusions. Don’t argue the person argue the facts. Don’t make it personal, if you make it personal, you lose the argument.  Consider, both sides. I would love to say that my father’s lessons have stuck with me in everything I do. They haven’t. Like anyone I struggle with the reality of where I am, of what is happening around me. I let things both of me that I shouldn’t. I know that listening to one side of an argument is dangerous. I know to hear only one view is dangerous as well. I know that I can do better. I wish I could be the person my father was, in some ways I am in others I will never be.

.doc

wander project snow and memories


They are again wandering pictures from Greenwood Indiana. Actually from an event in the spring many years ago. A picture of Gwen waiting at the twin’s high chair for the Twins to get lunch. Gwen spent a lot of time waiting for the twins to eat when they were little. By the time we were in Indiana, Gwen was getting less food from the Twins. This is the year that Fran arrived. The twins were in the high chairs for about six months after Fran arrived. Fran changed a lot of things for Gwen. The first big change was less food available from the Twins. The second was feeding. We left food out for Gwen, and she ate when she was hungry. Over a day, she would eat.

Fran. Would eat over a day she would empty the bowl if we left it out for her.  Over and over she would empty the bowl, Fran liked the food.  Labs tend to eat fast. They gulp their food if you let them. The impact on their digestive track is too much air. Over time it causes problems, so you buy Labs Slow feeders and feed them less food twice a day. Gwen wasn’t happy about that at first, but she was a trooper. She adjusted. The tree in front of the house was a Bradford Pear. It has, as you can see, lovely flowers early in the Spring. Sadly that particular tree wasn’t very healthy. It was blown over in a wind storm the next year. I miss that tree it was beautiful in the spring.

The quilt on the wall in the second picture is the tree of life done by my mother. We had that hanging in our house in Greenwood, until one day when my mother saw how it hung and didn’t like the quilt. She made us a new wall quilt, that still hangs in our house in Maryland. Mom’s quilts are a huge part of our family; I know the kids all have them and don’t sleep without them. There are also a few pictures of the plants around the house. At the time we moved to Indiana my wife was home taking care of twins. She spent a lot of time making the yard work for what she wanted. The flowers in these pictures were planted by the original house owners, eventually replaced with a new set of flowers by my wife!

.doc

Wander project images of the past…


We are finding our way back to Indiana. There are a few sunset pictures, storm pictures and just pictures of kids today. We had a wedding planning event yesterday, meeting in a Restaurant that was a short drive for all the parties meeting. Our Daughter and her Fiancé, plus his parents and Us.  The goal was to make sure we had an understanding of all the moving pieces known as the “wadding.” Our daughter, my wife, and our daughters future family have done a lot of planning.  My job is to come up with the money to pay for the event. That seems like an easy job, but when you are talking about money that doesn’t exist now, it becomes hard to figure out how to raise the money.

We did get peanut brittle while in the store. I wish we hadn’t; I ate the peanut brittle. There are things, ice cream is one, that I just shouldn’t have in the house. Add Peanut Brittle to that list! It isn’t a long drive to Roots 657 from our house. Roughly 40 minutes give or take a little. It is part of the route I drive to the office during the work week; it was fun to show my wife where I go! Most of her work driving is around the county in Maryland where we live. We drive her route all the time. That was the first time I got to show my wife where I drive! With the weekend of rain we had, the rivers along the route will full of water. We decided not to take the ferry because of that.

Anyway, I’ve wandered away from the pictures long enough. There are some interesting pictures of today’s share — one of my favorite pictures of the twins when they were little. The twins were born in Ohio, and shortly after they were born, we moved to a house in Mt. Airy Ohio. When they were a little over a year old, we moved to Indiana. I suspect that was a transition that the twins will never remember. We lived in a house; we moved to a house. When we moved to Maryland, they were a lot more worried. Mostly, as I know, I was when my parents moved us to Thailand, about making friends. That I suspect is always the fear of children, making friends!

.doc

wander project memories of 1969


I enjoy AstroReality products. It is fun to use the QR code to hear about planet earth! There was a show on ABC TV that we decided to record (we don’t ever watch live TV anymore). The show was called 1969, and the first episode was the moon launch. First, I loved the movie “First Man,” starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong. I had such fond memories of that week in July 1969. My dad and I were glued to the TV. Back in one day, the concept of a VCR was very expensive. TV stations had VCR’s, but the rest of us would be waiting for a few more years. Sony would bring out the Betamax solution and the remainder of the world the VCR.

But in 1969 you watched live. Yes on occasion the television stations would repeat shows. But honestly, the problem with that was that they, the TVs shows played in the winter. In the summer when they replayed them, we ere outside, or if we were inside and the TV was on, the news people were talking about tornado warnings and severe storms. I wonder what the reaction would have been that summer had there been a thunderstorm that day that forced the special interruption of the special interruption of the event that occurred only once. Neil Armstrong is slowly descending the aluminum ladder to place footprints on the surface of the moon.

Most, by the way, of those footprints were close to Eagle. Eagle was the name of a LEM, and when they lifted off the atmosphere of the moon moved the dust around.  There are still footprints on the moon, but not the first footprints. Not the initial step. The moment when Neil Armstrong, the first human to step foot on the surface of the moon. That footprint is gone forever now. At the moment though, those footprints were there. In my heart, they remain as they were at that exact moment. With a slight hop, pushing away from the LEM to land, two feet on the lunar surface and then to utter that most mistake every uttered, perhaps not the most famous mistake. “One giant step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”

.doc

Wander project pictures and memories…


Wander old pictures of my wife’s family, and the twins when they were little.  Parents of multiples (twins and more) change a lot of things in their lives. One of the things we decided early on in the process was to treat each of the twins like they were individuals, which they are. We weren’t going to dress them in the same clothes or get the same haircuts and so on. They are unique to each of them. But you do have to parent differently. I don’t know what we would have done without our daughter. She would sit and feed the twins, take care of them and still to this day does. She was involved in their lives as an important contributor to who they are as people.

The role of the sister, or brother is often forgotten. I know my sisters were a great help to me as I grew up. I probably don’t tell either of them that information enough!  I know the twins appreciate the things their sister did and does for them. When we first moved to Maryland the twins couldn’t yet drive; they were not old enough. Their sister took them everywhere. The big sister took them to Doctors appointments, dentist appointments, eye appointments, all without complaining. Parents of multiples have to change. The world is configured for a single baby. Having twins is hard. I cannot imagine the sheer chaos of Triplets, quads or more kids at one time. The reality of twins was more than enough for me!

Add to that my mother’s curse. “Someday you are going to have children that act as you do.” I did mom. You just didn’t warn me that two of me at once meant a lot more fast movement from parents. The problem was they were like me. They didn’t run in one direction side by side terrorizing the neighborhood. They often ran in opposite directions. You have had two hands, two arms so grabbing twins should be pretty straight forward. It isn’t; they would as my grandfather used to say “dash madly off in all directions.” You had to grab one and chase the other. The maniacal laughter of the escaping twin was the only advantage the parent had. You can follow the direction of laughter. Its when they learned to run silent, run deep that it was impossible to catch them both!

.doc

Wander project what my grandfather saw…


Like the things my father saw, there was always the influence of family. My grandfather saw the world the same. Of course, a father passes their vision to their son, or so they hope, Or to their daughter, in the modern world, and what have always been daughters and sons don’t matter. Children matter. A father passes his vision to his children. A mother passes her vision to her children. But children don’t mean a genetic connection. It is the relationship forged by sickness. It is the relationship forged by time. But the vision that is shared is something you don’t realize when you are young. I know, being young I was angry, frustrated and stifled, held by the world in check.

I suspect like most children I blamed my parents for the world holding me back. The concept of qualification is a hard one for the child to learn. You need to have a voice. All of us have a voice. But you need to stop, to see both sides.  The path to where you want to be lies beyond where you are now. But as a child, I didn’t see that. I didn’t hear the voices. I know my grandfather was around a lot. I see the love in the pictures taken and stored. They were carefully organized by year, by event and stored for 50 years in an airtight container. You have to carefully store physical pictures, slides, and film. Over time the presence of water and other contaminants cause them to decay.

But the vision isn’t a physical picture. It doesn’t decay. It isn’t a Moonshot toy from 1969 that didn’t have batteries (Santa forgot batteries). It wasn’t a bicycle or a dog. It wasn’t a set of memories shared on paper or with the world. It wasn’t college tuition or standing with you, as the doctor stitched you up from an injury. Holding your hand so that you knew it was ok. It was the love captured in the pictures. That is the gift that parents give to children. Love. It takes years to understand that love is the single greatest thing anyone can give. That love that can be seen in pictures and felt in memories doesn’t go away because the calendar changes or clocks move forward and backward. It doesn’t change because a child gets angry. Anger is a burning flame. Eventually consuming everything, it means nothing. It is the love in the pictures shared that matters.

.doc

Wander project what grandpa saw


I’ve shared my father’s many pictures of the Wisconsin River. Today these are the very first slides I converted, using a much different system that we used for the overall Family History project. I suspect in fairness and being an IT person by profession what we did or into his case what I did was a proof of concept. The pictures of the Wisconsin River from 1969. First, you can see why my father took so many pictures of the Wisconsin River. His father took many pictures of the Wisconsin River. Also, none of the pictures you see today are off the beaten path. You can’t drive to where the pictures were taken from. There are no roads that lead to where these pictures happened.

To get most of the pictures you see today, there is a considerable amount of walking. My grandfather loved to walk. His sport of preference then was golf. He walked the courses of Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin. I learned golf from my mother’s father. I never got to play gold with my father’s father. It is one of those things I wish I had been gifted with by time. He passed away before I was old enough to understand what a game of golf was. By the time I did understand the game of golf enough to look forward to playing, my father’s father was gone. My dad never really played golf. He never really learned to love the game. Funny but he did learn the love of walking from his father.

That was passed on to me as well, but it took many more years for me to understand that. Anyway, to see the places that you see today, there is a lot of walking — not walking on a flat path, a paved route. Rather instead this is walking uphill. Goat trails they are sometimes called. Billy Goat to be completely factual, trails. As though Billy Goats are the only thrill seekers on earth. Cougars, Mountains lions, and panthers also love places like that. There is an advantage to being above. I have been to some of the places in the past, there are pictures of a young me, walking with my grandfather and father and standing near the Wisconsin River in places that the tourists don’t go.

.doc