We had a nice visit with the Seldens on Labor Day—or at least a small percentage of the Seldens. My sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn and Craig were here, along with their son and daughter-in law, Leland and Tammy, and L&T’s children, Brandon, Vincent and Megan. In addition, Matt and Amy, and their children, Quade, Brooke and Noah, were with us. Dawn fixed a wonderful meal and I barbecued the hamburgers. A fun time was had by all.
Today was my oldest grandson, Quade’s, birthday and we had a party at our home. Tyson had flown out from Chicago to visit for a few days, so I took the opportunity to give my garage photo studio a workout. It was the first time in a long time that we all found ourselves in one picture.
We had a nice Easter with our family. I’m a bit rushed today, but wanted to post some photos. I didn’t get any pictures in church clothes because by the time I got back from teaching my HP lesson, everyone had changed. But I did get some Easter egg hunt pictures. Here’s Quade, Brooke and Noah, just before the hunt. They were so excited to find the eggs that I couldn’t keep them from acting squirrely.
It’s always a fun weekend when our grandchildren visit. This Saturday Quade and Noah came over in the morning and then Dawn picked up Brooke from an ice skating party in the late afternoon. During the afternoon before Brooke arrived, I decided to take the boys on a hike and, naturally, I grabbed my camera. We’re fortunate to live near the Cleveland National Forest, so after a short seven-minute drive we were in the wilderness. It was so serene you wouldn’t even know there was a city nearby. Our dog, Emma, was more than happy to go along, sniffing every poop pile along the way.
It isn’t often you read “balmy” and “Baltic” in the same headline, but here you are. We have just returned from a cruise that began in Dover and ended in Stockholm, with stops along the way at Oslo, Copenhagen, Visby, St. Petersburg, and Helsinki. And the weather everywhere was FABULOUS!
Left: The gilded spires of the Catherine Palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia, glistened in the brilliant sunlight.
We’re talking about places where they get only 20 sunny days the entire year, yet we were awash with sunshine almost the entire time. This winter was one of the severest in the region in many years, so the warm weather was welcome and unexpected. In Gotland, an island that is Sweden’s Hawaii, there had been so much snow this winter they had to truck it out of the capital city of Visby in order for cars circulate and park. It gets so cold in the Sea of Finland that it freezes over in the winter, which, before icebreaker vessels, closed the harbors in Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The summer months are normally the rainiest in these countries. But we saw nary a drop.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post called “Saturday at the Little League Ballpark.” It focused on my grandsons, Quade and Noah, and their baseball games. Today I get a chance to write about my granddaughter, Brooke, and her dance recital.
Brooke is seven years old. To say she is FABULOUS would be an understatement. It would also be the name of one of the dances her group performed. To say she is a budding SUPERSTAR would be true, and it would also be the name of one of the dances her group performed. To say she is a DANCING LEOPARD might not be literally true, but it is one of the dances her group performed.
This morning Dawn and I went to a Corona community park to watch our grandsons, Quade and Noah, play Little League baseball. It brought to mind the hours and days we spent watching our own sons, Matt, David and Tyson, play a couple of decades ago.
It was usually great fun, though sometimes it could get long. When your kid is the pitcher you have no problem paying attention, but when he plays one of the other positions (especially right field), you seldom see much action. You just wait patiently until he gets his chance to bat. That happens three or four times a game, if you’re lucky. Whether he actually hits the ball is another matter. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be the father of one of the kids who could crush the ball to deep centerfield, but I never found out.
My oldest son, Matt, was a nifty fielder. He could scoop up ground balls like a vacuum cleaner. I always admired this because I was an awful ground ball fielder. I loved playing the outfield and running down fly balls. There was something about the geometry of the ball, the arc and my running path that intrigued me. I could usually manage to arrive at the proper place when the ball came down and snag it. Ground balls, however, were my bugaboo. You could never be sure what angle the ball would take—there was always the possibility (and on some fields, the likelihood) that the ball would hit a rock on the last bounce and go through your legs or, worse, smack you in the face. I stuck to fly balls whenever possible—there were no rocks in the air. Continue reading →