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Reading at a young age.
My favorite children’s stories?
Hans Brinker and his silver skates was one of the first books I ever remember having. It was a historical novel by Mary Mapes Dodge. Now I consider myself old, in 2023 I shall turn 80 years old. This book, it’s really old, it was written in 1865. I had a bedside table in my room in the apartment my mother and I lived in. This apartment was the 2’nd floor of my great grandmother and great grandfather, Lena and William Peachmann. We lived there until until 1950. That book was always on the shelf of the bedside table.
So, I was reading at age seven. And yes, I’m still reading today. Several eye surgeries of late have put a bit of a crimp in this enjoyable endeavor.
Two memories of my great grandfather, who I called Grandpop, by the way, were playing checkers and him wittling. I especially remember him whittling a canoe and shavings always on the floor around his chair. And my goodness, I loved playing checkers anytime. Great grandmother Lena was my surrogate mother during those first seven years. She kept me well fed. She was grandmom, and spoiled me with love.
One other book, “Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson” was always next to the bed. Treasure Island is one book I’ve read more than once. “For sheer storytelling delight and pure adventure, Treasure Island has never been surpassed. From the moment young Jim Hawkins first encounters the sinister Blind Pew at the Admiral Benbow Inn until the climactic battle for treasure on a tropic isle, the novel creates scenes and characters that have fired the imaginations of generations of readers”. Thanks to HTTPS://WWW.GOODREADS.COM/BOOK/SHOW/295.TREASURE_ISLAND for this bit of information.
Here’s a book review on Hans Brinker from – HTTPS://WWW.PLUGGEDIN.COM/BOOK-REVIEWS/HANS-BRINKER-OR-SILVER-SKATES/.
Hans Brinker, age 15, and his sister, Gretel, age 12, live in Holland in the mid-1800s. Ten years before this tale unfolds, their father, Raff, suffered an injury that left him senseless and incapacitated. The children and their mother have lived in poverty ever since. They know Raff buried a large sum of money prior to his fall, but he’s unable to tell them where it’s hidden. Raff also left a fine watch with Dame Brinker just before his accident, making her promise to keep it safe. She knows nothing of its mysterious origins and has often considered selling it to feed the family.Hollanders get around in the winter by skating on the frozen canals. Hans and Gretel can’t afford real skates, so they strap blocks of wood to their feet. Though many wealthier children look down on the Brinkers, a few, including Hilda van Gleck, Peter van Holp and Annie Bouman, show great kindness and generosity. Hilda and Peter buy Hans’ homemade necklaces so he and Gretel can afford real skates without feeling they’ve taken charity. These children provide other necessities for the Brinkers as well.The children of the city are overcome with excitement when they learn of an upcoming skating contest. The fastest girl and the fastest boy will each win a pair of silver skates.As Hans goes to town to purchase his skates, he spies the renowned surgeon Dr. Boekman on the street. Hans offers his skate money to the man, if the doctor will examine Raff. Touched by Hans’ story, the doctor refuses the money and promises to come see Raff when he returns from a trip.Shortly thereafter, Raff’s health deteriorates. Hans and Peter go in search of the doctor, but without success. When Dr. Boekman finally returns, he performs a risky surgery to relieve pressure on Raff’s brain. Raff experiences healing that is miraculous. Though his memory is foggy, he is essentially the same person he was before his accident. He helps the family find the lost money, and the Brinkers are finally able to support themselves in a reasonable manner.Raff also begins to remember the story behind the watch he’d left with Dame Brinker. It was given to him by a man named Thomas Higgs who was fleeing the country. Thomas believed he’d inadvertently poisoned someone. He asked Raff to contact his father and give him the watch. Thomas told Raff to have his father contact him if it was ever safe for him to return to Holland. On one of Dr. Boekman’s visits, the Brinkers discover Thomas Higgs is the doctor’s son. Dr. Boekman explains that he had prevented the poisoned man’s death, so Thomas was not in any legal trouble. He’s thrilled to learn his son may still be alive, and Hans promises to help the doctor find Thomas. Through another coincidence, they trace Thomas to England. He returns home immediately.Hans and Gretel, along with all of the children of the town, join the race for the silver skates. Gretel wins in the girls’ category. Hans is one of the finalists in the boys’ category. When Peter’s skate strap breaks right before the final run, Hans graciously gives his strap to his friend. Peter wins the race.Dr. Boekman later returns to the Brinkers’ house to introduce his son. Thomas will be starting a business in town and offers Raff a job as his right-hand man. When Dr. Boekman learns of Hans’ interest in surgery, he invites the boy to become his apprentice.In a sub-plot, Peter leads a group of boys on a multi-day skating adventure to various Holland cities. The boys (including an English boy named Ben) see numerous historical sites and share stories about famous Dutchmen over the years. The narrator uses this trip to show readers a detailed geography and history of Holland. One legend made famous by this novel is the tale of the Dutch boy who sticks his finger in a dike to save his town from flooding. Peter and the boys say this tale represents the spirit of Holland. Any leak, be it in government, public safety or honor, is quickly filled by a million fingers. The boys lose their money, sail on an ice boat and catch a thief before visiting Peter’s sister’s mansion and returning home for the big race.
My take away from this was that the children of the Neherlands drank beer and wine in place of contaminated water. I thought that was neat.
My First Trip
My parents separated early in my life, I was two to three years old at the time. Japan, Germany and Italy came between those two young marrieds. My mother would have a small apartment over my maternal great-grandparents home in New Jersey not far from Philadelphia. My maternal grandparents would live but a block away. I was loved, dotted upon and for accounts and purposes, spoiled. My grandparents would always cart me along with them on any trip or outing.
I’m not sure which was my first trip, in the summer summer or winter,. I will write on both, these were trips with my maternal Grandmother and Grandfather. That would be Harry and Emma Wittman from Audubon, NJ. A trip to New York City prior to November 5th 1951 comes to mind. So, perhaps eight years old. I know prior to that date as the NJ turnpike was not open to Exit 10 from the Delaware Memorial Bridge as yet. We got on our bus in Camden, NJ and traveled old route 130 and crossed into NYC via the Lincoln Tunnel onto W. 36th st. I remember as a youngster, I would often hold my breath in a Tunnel.
We would stay in the Victoria Hotel, 160 Central Park South. It is now a Landmark, Marriott house. We would make this trip several times, always staying in the Victoria. It was quite nice back in the day and continues to remain so.
This particular trip was during cold weather and obviously close to Christmas. I know this as we went to Radio City Music Hall and saw their Christmas production. I shall forever remember the Rockettes.
We also saw some ice skating, it was so long ago I remember not where. Here is a little history on Ice Skating in NYC, should you be interested.
I remember walking about the city, going into Gimbels department store and being awestruck on the toy floor. I remember the elevator and the operator, announcing the floors. Being an effective elevator operator required many skills. Manual elevators were often controlled by a large lever. The elevator operator had to regulate the elevator’s speed, which typically required a good sense of timing to consistently stop the elevator level with each floor. In addition to their training in operation and safety, department stores later combined the role of operator with greeter and tour guide, announcing product departments, floor by floor, and occasionally mentioning special offers. I would always get a special gift on one of these trips. I remember also getting jostled a bit as the operator lined up the lift so as one would not trip exiting.
On the same trip, 6 months prior or 6 months later, warmer weather, anyway, we would have a boat trip. That trip would either be the Circle line around Manhattan or a trip from the Battery out to the Statue of Liberty. I got to do both back in the day.
The Circle Line Trip was a cruise all the way around Manhattan Island on a guided boat tour that takes in every angle of New York City’s iconic waterfront. Traveling by boat means unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty—ideal for snapping memorable photographs. With live narration throughout the cruise, learn about the Big Apple while passing all five of New York’s boroughs.
The trip out to the statute of Liberty was special also. Visits to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island are musts in the Big Apple. On this guided tour, you get boarding on the ferry from Manhattan to visit the two important historical sites. Visit the grounds of Liberty Island and go inside the Statue of Liberty Museum. Then hop the ferry to Ellis Island and learn about the millions of people who arrived here between 1892 and 1954 in hope of living the American dream.
The highlight of my first trip was the ability to spit out of the window and to watch it travel down however many floors we were up. I also remember hanging out the window to see if I hit anyone down below. My leaning out the window and my grandmother going bezerk is still implanted in my head today. Three steps up a ladder with my vertigo is a high climb today.
We would take several trips to NYC prior to age 13, the age my grandfather died. Those trips were always special. Oh to be able to recall such details. Now, to what do I attribute that gift?
I Can See Clearly Now
So, January 30 was my last post here on WordPress. I surely am not getting my $$$$ worth. Had some vision issues for a bit, which have been corrected with surgery two weeks ago. Well, mostly corrected, I still have a way to go, but much improved. Enough said on that subject.
To most of you whom I follow, I have tried to acknowledge your posts, for the most part anyway. If I’ve missed you, please forgive me.
This world of ours has flipped a bit upside down of late. Let us not blame the Russian people, there is enough hate out there already.
This past weekend I got to marry my nephew to his new bride.
Come June I’ll get to perform another wedding. This time it will be in Rhode Island and my brother Richard will marry the love of his life, Tina. Joseph and Ashton were married in Lewes, DE. I’ve also done ceremonies in Maryland and Connecticut. Things like this keep an old man out of trouble. So far all have been relatives, I can’t even make a buck on these events, You just can’t charge family.
For those who remember Aunt Barb, well she treated the wedding party to a grand meal of one’s choice at Baywood Golf Course. The Mrs. and I have eaten there on numerous occasions and have never been disappointed. Thanks, Aunt Barb! If you’re ever near the Delaware Beaches, it’s a great dining experience.
I leave you for this day, and feel good a blog is out. To all of you who know of the Rooster, Hello Again!
Suggestions of what to read (from my daughter.)
My daughter Kathryn shares with me often a reading list of worthy books. Her most recent list consisted of seven books to read. Here are two I thought worthy of a share. Shares were permitted in the article and here are all seven should you care to be interested.
I shall also share with you another Blog site. This Blogger does a great job of book revues. We,my wife, daughter, and the Rooster, constantly cackle back and forth as to who these Bloggers I refer to are. Are they friends or acquaintances? Sometimes I even say my Blogging Buddy. So now, just what constitutes a Friend, Acquaintance or Buddy in the Blogging World? Should you have any thoughts in this area please feel free to comment.
Here goes the two I selected from Kathryn’s list of seven but first, here are two Santa brought me this year. They were:
1: “The Secret World of Weather”
My Two of Seven Pics from Kathryn were:
1: “Deep Country” is Neil Ansell’s account of five years spent alone in a hillside cottage in Wales.
‘I lived alone in this cottage for five years, summer and winter, with no transport, no phone. This is the story of those five years, where I lived and how I lived. It is the story of what it means to live in a place so remote that you may not see another soul for weeks on end. And it is the story of the hidden places that I came to call my own, and the wild creatures that became my society.’
Neil Ansell immerses himself in the rugged British landscape, exploring nature’s unspoilt wilderness and man’s relationship with it. Deep Country is a celebration of rural life and the perfect read for fans of Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks, Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk orJames Rebanks’ A Shepherd’s Life.
‘A beautiful, translucent portrayal of mid-Wales’ Jay Griffiths
‘Touching. Through Ansell’s charming and thoroughly detailed stories of run-ins with red kites, curlews, sparrowhawks, jays and ravens, we see him lose himself . . . in the rhythms and rituals of life in the British wilderness’ Financial Times
‘Remarkable, fascinating’ Time Out
‘A gem of a book, an extraordinary tale. Ansell’s rich prose will transport you to a real life Narnian world that CS Lewis would have envied. Find your deepest, most-comfortable armchair and get away from it all’ Countryfile
Neil Ansell spent five years living on a remote hillside in Wales, and wrote his first book, Deep Country, about the experience. Since that time, he has become an award-winning television journalist with the BBC. He has travelled in over fifty countries and has written for the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Big Issue.
2: “This, Becoming Free” by Michael Gungor
Ben Palmer, Associate Editor, News Division
I absolutely love memoirs, and this is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. Michael Gungor was a worship leader at a large church and a Grammy-nominated Christian musician who eventually left his faith entirely and embarked on a journey to really figure out what he believed. In the process, Gungor learned to let go of the stories that were defining who he was, working his way through various belief systems, including atheism and mysticism.
While Gungor’s story on its own is fascinating, what makes this such a great memoir is how different it is from other memoirs. Personally, I would’ve been happy with just his story of losing almost everything he knew to find who he is. But on top of that, Gungor adds in poems, artwork, musings on spirituality and philosophy, a little bit of everything, all in what amounts to a fairly quick read.
If you enjoy spirituality or dabble in the world of mysticism or philosophy or just like to talk about whatever is going on here in this world where a whole bunch of embodied awareness are floating around on a rock spinning in infinity, “This: Becoming Free” is a book you’ll love.
Thank you https://www.advisory.com/Daily-Briefing. for allowing an amateur like myself to share this in the Blogging World
The First Blog
I find it hard to believe I started blogging way back in 2008, February 2008 actually. I used Blogspot by Google back then. I’ll still copy and paste on that venue from time to time. For today however, I shall share with you my first blog. A few things are different however, like I was up at 0400 this morning with the Mrs having coffee. She is gone, having walked to the eldest daughter’s home a mile away. The Mrs usually has 10,000 steps in prior to 0800. The daughters, now that’s a busy house, at the moment. husband Jeff (where in the world is Jeff ?) he’s still working from home for the government. Youngest daughter Abby and husband Antwan are living in the Frog, (Finished room over the garage). Their cat, Friday and dog Phoebe are there also. Oh, on Friday the young’ns are expecting their first child. Kathryn & Jeff have Libby, 14 YO Yellow Lab and their cat Bolt. That’s what the cat does when he she sees a stranger, BOLTS. On this morning daughter Kathryn will be out the door early for a Salvation Army breakfast.
So here you go folks, should anyone be interested, my first BLOG.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2008
Blog, kind of sounds like a cold, or a zit or some kind of an affliction. My first day with a blog, now what do I do with it?
Well to start off I’ll let the world know how I start my day on the Internet.
My start up page is http//refdesk.com
Having spent twenty years in Connecticut I next go to http://www.courant.com/ to check on the local news and how the UCONN Huskies are doing in any given season. I’m a forty year Huskie fan. http://www.uconnhuskies.com/
Next up, but sometimes #1 is the weather. While in the Marine Corps, way back when, I was in Weather as an occupation with Rawinsonde as a sub specialty. http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/marineenjobs/bl68.htm
I use a verity of weather related sites www.nws.noaa.gov/ #1, my other favorites are www.accuweather.com and www.weatherunderground.com
During the Hurricane season I live by the National Hurricane Center. www.nhc.noaa.gov/
I have friends and family in CT, FL, CA, and affections to Key West, FL, Pagosa Springs, CO, Flagstaff, AZ and Ireland and Germany. So, I usually check on the weather in those places.
Next it’s off to the Washington Post and Washington Times to get two diametric views on the news. www.washingtonpost.com
After the two DC papers I go to Google News, which I have preference settings in and glance over that. Next is onto my mail servers.
From then on I usually have a Memo Pad with notes on things to look up and it’s off I go. This all starts shortly after I get up, usually around 0500. Once downstairs it’s a hot cup of tea to start the day.
Here, I’ve given the world the start of my day for the start of a BLOG. I shall end this bantering with saying Cead Mile Failte
TheRooster Semper Fi
August is sliding right on by.
The last blog post by the Rooster was back on June 22, 2021. Where has this summer gone, I ask myself. I have kept abreast of the writings by others during these days; however, One blogger I’ve been following for some years, Mehrling’s Muse,(https://amehrling.com/about/) for whatever reason, I no longer get her notices. Perhaps her niece, a WordPress Techie, oops, Happyness Engineer, knows the reason behind that glitch. I do keep up with Anne’s husband, John, through E-Mail however. We have to keep that Train Ride going, right John. Oh, and Anne, I’m glad to hear the vision is good after the Cadillac Surgery, and you two are not flooded out.
From the Netherlands to America
Back about seven weeks ago, granddaughter Samantha and husband, Zed, transported their four children to Zeds parents. Sam made the trip alone. The kids would spend six weeks with Zed’s side of the family.
Here is a rundown by Grandmom Elaine on their activities as posted on FaceBook and a few pictures.
Well that’s a wrap! The Wild West Grannie
Four grandkids for the summer.
– Seattle in a flash (space needle, Ferris wheel, fish market)
– Ranch adventure (horseback riding, dirt bikes, ATV, chores, water trough swimming, milkshakes, baseball, branding, birthday party, ditch wading, lawn mowing, treehouse climbing, a few bumps and bruises, fireworks, babies and Moosey) Thanks Cindy, Erik, Mylee, Scott, and the ranch crew for all the help.
– Burns adventures (yardwork, city pool, rodeo, church, parade, baby blessing)
– Road trip to Idaho (older “cousins”, swimming pools, RV sleeping, police car, Bear World, pizza and family) Thank you Sara, Rachel, DaeNell, Ben, Zach, Melina, Savannah, and all the others of the family there…so much appreciated help.
– On to Utah- (family time- more older “cousins”, baseball, dinosaurs, more good food, ducks, chickens, and solid sleep). Thank you Jessup and Amanda and family.
-then Colorado (water trampoline, watermelon and burgers, piano, run and run, feed chickens, sleep like the dead) Many thanks Bringhurst bunch!
– on to Missouri (quality cousin time, sleepovers, pizza, ice cream, Aunts and Uncles, swimming, jet ski and tubes, splash pad, baseball, trampoline, amusement park, Wonder of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium, rodeo, beef demo and the Oscar Meyer WeinerMobile, and 3 new babies) Thank you Uncle Dallen, Uncle Wes, Uncle Jeff, and the Aunts!
– fly to Detroit for next adventures with other grandparents. Good luck and have the best time Jeff and Kathy. We miss them already ! Amazing is all I can say Elaine, good job.
Off to DelMarVa
The kids hung out with “G” & Pappy, Sam’s parents on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for the next two weeks. The backyard pool got a whole lot of attention. Zoe, who didn’t like putting her head in the water on day one, was swimming under water by the end of the visit.
Trips to the beach at Ocean City and Assateague, the wild horses, no, not the kids, the ones at Chincoteague, VA were enjoyed. Great times with Libby and Ben, (Dogs,) Aunts, Uncles cousins, and friends. A special set aside day for a Barbecue and an invite for all friends and family to come and get reacquainted with the kids was great. Pappy had his usual array of Brats, Burgers, Dogs & Chicken on the grill.
The visit was too short, and before we knew it the kids, with pappy and G in tow, were off on their return to Europe via PHL to AMS. That’s Philadephia to Amsterdam for you non-flyers. Pappy & G would spend ten days across the pond; they would visit with friends Brian and Rose, travel the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and hang with Sam and Zed a bit.
All four kids would start school, Zoe a first timer in Pre-K. Free at last, Free at last, at least for a few hours Monday – Friday for same and Zed to declare.
So my friends I’m back out here once more. Our chickens are producing eggs once again after a brief hiatus from the production business. My but they were slackers for about three weeks. We’ve gone back to layer crumbles with Fly Larve,a few Sun Flower seeds and a 1/2 cup of song bird feed and the protein boost seems to have done the trick.
Now you are up to date as of, let us say, to 8 August, 2021 anyway. A few more happenings in the journal, for the sake of being called a Rambler I’ll close for now.
If you don’t have a Covid shot, I wish you’d get one. Take care of the elderly, and Semper Fi to all and God Bless the men and women in Blue.
Summer has Arrived
The days are getting longer. Yesterday, 06/22/21 it was 78F at 0500, today at the same time it was 56F, go figure. I checked the weather prediction map, NOAA’,s site, a prediction map showed all weather staying west of the Chesapeake Bay and generally speaking following a track North via I-95. Since we had a lunch date with Mary Agnes’ sister in-law at noon, outside dining was in order. On this day we would dine at Tall Tales Brewing Company in Parsonsburg, MD.
We met Barbara, entered, and were seated undercover on the fringe of outside. All the doors were open, and a delightful breeze was blowing. The windows are floor-to-ceiling fold back doors: ice tea, no sugar for me, A wine for my princess, and a Lager for Barb. We ordered Chicken Salads for the ladies and a Mahi Mahi Taco for me. Unfortunately, when our food arrived, so did the weather, in the form of Rain. Although we were fine as we were undercover, several other tables had to reposition back a bit.
All in all, it was an excellent get together, we caught up on the goings-on of both sides of the family. I call Barb’s side of the family, the Polish side. Barb is the Matriarch at this point in time for her side. She beats me in age by three months by the way. My wife, of Irish descent, is the Matriarch on her side of the family. So thus we have, the two sides as I identify them.
As far as weather predictions, they, NOAA in this case, blew it! Don’t you love the ten-day predictions you get from various WX sites or the five-day predictions? On this day, we couldn’t even get a 3-hour forecast that was worthy. So what the hell are they smoking in those weather shops?
This is what I’ve come to call a Sami-izem: You know your kid learned to speak outside of the US when she says “Mom look at that! It’s like 10 meters tall!”
Life remains good on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. God is good, and thanks to him, so are we. Our chickens continue to give us eggs. Greggory Peck is in Talon Hill. ( Remember Boot Hill?) Our Garden is growing nicely and were using a lot of fresh Parsley at the moment.
So, for this day, these photos and my writing I bid you all Ah plue tahr
Be safe, if you haven’t already, get a flu shot and make sure you check on the elderly.
In a Funk?
So, am I in one, I ask. I finally got plants and seeds into my Pot Garden, that was a month ago. Many thanks to my son-in-law Greg for the pots and potting soil. Gotta give credits where credits are do. I may need soil again next year.
I’ve not written a post for over a month. We’ve been in quarantine since 19 March. I’ve only gained 5 pounds. We have not contracted any virus. Well, there’s something to be thankful for. “O Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.” (William Shakespeare)
Stephen King had a great saying – “Don’t let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone.” Seventy Seven years on this earth, thank you, thank you, thank you, I say!
We have a grandson in NY City, young, single, works for Viacom and has been by himself in a 600 square foot, 4’th story walk up eating Deli food since this all started. I’m guessing he spends his spare time cleaning. Never have I seen a single, twenty something guy, as neat as this. David, you’re amazing!
Granddaughter Samantha, Capt. USAF, stationed in Germany, living in the Netherlands says: COVID-19 has changed a lot, but it was sure nice to have half occupancy in the amusement park near our house. Valkenier is a very family oriented park and all kids are now old enough to ride. Mia counts as an adult and is able to partner up with Ana until she grows a few more centimeters.
Daughter Kathryn and son in-law Jeff are in the process of moving back to this side of the river. If all goes well with the VA and Bank they will be one mile away from us. Settlement is supposed to take place on 7/8/20.
Jeff has been working from home during this Pandemic thing. Kathryn has remained quite busy coordinating Population Health issues for PRMC. Jeff was out with Abby and Antwaine fishing recently and displays a nice Cat fish below.
Son Matt and daughter in-law Beth were to go to England to celebrate their 25’th wedding Anniversary. No, they didn’t make it, but they did celebrate.
Daughter Sarah and husband Greg took a few days off and ventured to the family Ski Lodge at Elk Mountain, Pennsylvania. Below is their wake-up and sunset views the past two days.
As for the Rooster and wife, we’re still crowing and cackling. We’re a bit more confined, aren’t we all. We did get out to dine at a local Brew Pub,Evolution Craft Brewing’s, Public house. It was outside dining at the time, but most enjoyable. The Mrs had the Johnny Burger and the Rooster had the Fish Tacos. All was consumed and washed down with a glass of Chardonnay for the Mrs and a Lot 3 for the Rooster. The good Lord graced us with blue skys and a gentle Eatern Shore Breeze. It doesn.t get much better than that. https://www.evolutioncraftbrewing.com/
Traveling Europe during the Corona Thing
We “began” our Spring Break adventure yesterday. Join us each day as we imagine what we would have been doing.
Day 1 & 2: Driving to Genoa, Italy
The kids have done amazing driving these 14hrs. They’ve barely fought and only whine when they’re hungry. We’ve driven through 3 countries so far. We’re about 3/4 of the way there and every minute brings more anticipation.
Day 1 & 2: Driving to Genoa, Italy
The kids have done amazing driving these 14hrs. They’ve barely fought and only whine when they’re hungry. We’ve driven through 3 countries so far. We’re about 3/4 of the way there and every minute brings more anticipation.
Day 3 of our would be Spring Break
We safely made it to Genoa yesterday and the kids continued to be amazing in the car. It’s almost as if the trip took seconds instead of hours. This morning we walked around the city and of course ate Gelato and ice cream for lunch (see picture).
We just boarded our cruise ship, found our room and got settled in.
Sorry for the little later post, we’ve been having a blast! Today was a day at sea. The kids loved the the kids club, we have a private lounge/tanning area, and I started reading a new book. Tonight was movie night on board and Dax and Zoe insisted on popcorn. They’re loving the never ending drinks and snacks. Mia and Ana opted for a little more swim time rather than a movie. Oh yeah, and the kids think its awesome they can live in their bathing suits. Thankfully it’s a gorgeous 70°.+2
Today we were in port. Tomorrow I’ll catch up on posting pictures and describing the day…super busy and now we’re all ready to crash.
Here are a few pictures for you to guess the town we explored today.
Day 5 & 6 recap
Day 5 was Barcelona. We enjoyed walking around the city and eating our way through it. Day 6 was Palma de Mallorca. Definitely a city I want to come back to without kiddos 🙂 we of course found a playground for the kids. Last night part of kids club was about astrology. The kids were taught about the planets and different constellations and then elected to sleep on the deck.
Little of Day 7.
Zoe was the first one up, like always and will probably be the one who is most upset to get off the ship in a couple days. There is food at her every beckon call. Today we do Marseilles.
Marseilles was gorgeous. We did two different excursions. One was a poetry reading and another was learning fishing techniques from an experienced local. Kids are loving a cruise and have already asked to go on another one. Tomorrow is our last day of the cruise and will be a day at sea.
Back home they are, the trip complete, just how long will the playroom stay Neat?
Once again I must say thank you to our Grands and Greats in Brunssum, Netherlands for giving me fodder for my Blog, what wonderful imaginations. I would also like to say thank you USAF Captains Sam & Zed, for all your sacrifices for the USA. Go Navy, Beat Army! It’s a family thing.
WE LOVE YOU!
Semper Fi theRooster
A Couple of Shares With You
A while back I posted a commencement address by Admiral William H. McRaven.
Each month in a local paper, our daughter Kathryn posts an article on Population Health. When I read the article, I got all chest puffy and proud of my daughter’s material as well as learning that a family Sunday Night gathering was remembered. I feel Admiral McRaven and my daughters post kind of go hand in hand.
In case you didn’t see my McRaven post, here is that excerpt. Here is a part of the commencement address to the graduates of The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014 by Admiral William H. McRaven.
Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack — that’s Navy talk for bed.
It was a simple task — mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALs, but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.
If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
(Text of entire speech if interested: https://jamesclear.com/great-speeches/make-your-bed-by-admiral-william-h-mcraven
Daughter Kathryn remembers Sunday nights long ago.
From the Salisbury Independent: Here’s our July Population Health article from Dr. Kathryn Fiddler, our Vice President of Population Health at PRMC.
So, I grew up in Connecticut, one of three children of a State Trooper and a nurse. One of my best memories was of Sunday nights. My dad would work on preparing for the week. My dad would get out his badge, his belt buckle, and his rank. He would then ask us all to get our shoes lined up. We only got one pair of shoes at the beginning of the school year, and they were usually leather.
My mom would get her white uniforms out. He would lay all his uniform parts out on the floor. He would get out the ironing board, take out his brass cleaning kit, his leather kit and proceed to wax, polish, and iron. He would shine his brass until it glistened, polish our leather shoes until we could see ourselves in the toes, and then iron his uniforms and my mom’s.
Sometimes he would teach us how to do it, other times we just sat and talked with him about our day. It was a labor of love, and also pride for himself and our family. When I joined the Air Force, I continued that ritual, polishing my boots, ironing my uniform…. Today, I still polish my shoes and iron my clothes, preparing for my week.
We are all so busy. We move throughout our weeks driven by kids, family, jobs, community commitments, friends, and so much more. We rarely get a minute to breathe. What I have found, is this simple act of taking time to prepare makes a difference and allows some of life’s chaos to turn into calm. Taking a break to plan can have a positive impact on our well-being. It gives us time to pause and look ahead.
What if all we were able to take a pause, one day a week and prepare? What could we accomplish? We could plan a few lunches or dinner meals at home, avoiding fast food drive-throughs for a day. We could plan time to talk a walk, exercise at the gym, ride a bike, maybe spend time with family or friends. We could even make time to plan for our health. We could schedule an annual physical, a mammogram, flu shot, or much-needed colonoscopy if we need one? What about a few minutes to check any prescriptions and make sure they aren’t about to run out?
Think of how much money we could save, the stress we could lower, health we could improve. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” What would it hurt, to stop wishing for life to slow down, and instead, plan for it? Maybe try it this week, stop for 15 minutes and write down one thing you plan to do for yourself, then DO IT. Let me know how it goes!