Kodak Moment

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Me taking pictures at Christmas time

Me taking pictures at Christmas time

I love photos. I take pictures all the time. I have a digital camera that I leave in my car that I keep for “emergency” photo ops. I have a camera sitting next to me on my desk as I write this.

I take these pictures for a number of reasons. I take them as this is my past. My dad took photos as I was growing up. He even developed them himself for a while. My personal history is preserved in these pictures. I see those pictures and I remember. This is my past and I enjoy.

I have old photos of school, where my classmates and I were together. I see them now, and remember times that we would play together. Their pictures bring many fond times to mind. I have photos of sports that I played. He would take pictures of his kids as well as other kids on the team. He would then make a print for the other families so that they would have pictures of their children. I do that as well.

I take pictures as these are my memories. I photograph my children, my family, my surroundings, all things. These are the times, places, and people who I wish to remember. Digital photography makes it so simple to capture these moments and hold onto them.

I take photographs for my future. My pictures will stay with me and my family for as long as someone wants them. My kids will have these photos for their lives and I hope that they look back on them in the future and remember. I will be able to look back at them and remember as well. I will share them with my kids, and their kids, as well as family and friends.

I will laugh, I will cry, and I will remember. For in life, the one thing that truly makes all of unique is our memories.

Importance

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Robert Fulghum

Robert Fulghum

“You may never have proof of your importance but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you. The rub is that you don’t always know who.”
– Robert Fulghum

Years ago, my oldest son joined Cub Scouts. Pack 50 was part of Mark Twain Elementary and was well established in the area. Great opportunity for him to learn from these boys and enjoy all that scouting offered. Plus, I was a scout and was excited to share experiences as I did as a boy. This pack had one problem though…all the leaders were “graduating” after this year as their sons were moving into Boy Scouts. A few families were staying, and some of them had held leadership roles in the past, but they were not interested in staying on in those roles. What was going to become of these new scouts and this historic pack (it had been around for over 50 years)?

After talking to a couple of the other dads that were graduating, I agreed to take on the leadership of the pack. It was not a role that I had planned on taking and was not sure if I could handle it. Fortunately, I did have some experience with scouting and I had some assistance from the past leaders. We muddled through the next year, and then the next (when my younger son joined) and so on. This went on for seven years. I even stayed on for one year after my last son graduated out of Cub Scouting. It was not always the easiest task to keep this pack going. We never had a large number of scouts and the families kinda came and went. However, we did keep the pack going and a couple of the boys stayed with us through all the ups-and-downs.

Looking back, I am happy that I took on this pack. Had I not, I know that the Pack would have dissolved. My sons were able to experience scouting and I was able to share it with them. My boys still talk about activities that we did during scouting. I was part of other family’s lives and experiences. I hope that some of what I showed them will stay with as they grow older and have scouts of their own as well. I saved a pack that was around longer than I was. It is still active today (four years after I passed

the baton) and has grown stronger in the years. I am happy that even more boys are sharing in scouting with the pack that I was part of.

Was I important? I like to think so. I will have to ask some of the scouts when I see them next.

Who I Am?

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advertisement-216907_1280WordPress recommends that I supply a laundry list of information about me and who I am. This is supposed to let my readers relate to me and perhaps understand.

I am unsure that this list is the best idea, so I am going to follow the ideas that Robert Fulghum placed in my brain years ago about how to define who I am. As he describes in “It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It,” he is trying to be the best Fulghum that he can be. I suppose that is what I am as well, trying to be the best “Fadre” that I can be. I am a dad, father, boyfriend, lover, ex-husband, son, brother, uncle, friend, breather, eater, janitor, chauffeur, writer, citizen, dreamer, hugger, cook, manager, cleaner, teacher, sitter, player, and so on. This list changes daily and often. I am not just an occupation or a single title that defines me and who I am, and neither are you.

Reading this blog will enlighten you about me, and perhaps about you as well.

All I want for Christmas

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BarbieThe other day, I got to help celebrate Christmas with a family that I never met, and still do not know. They will never really know me and have probably since forgotten me, but they are in my mind.

Christmas is a big deal working for a major retailer. We see thousands of people in our store daily, all of them needing something. I had the opportunity to meet my family while working one night nearby the toy department (a popular department around Christmas time). The dad was in a frantic search to find a Barbie bunk-bed for his little girl. Our shelf was empty and we were the only store that was carrying this toy (an exclusive). He came to me, with his mother along (grandmother to the little princess) and needed my help.

“Do you have this toy?” he asked as he showed me a picture of it on his smart-phone.

“Hmmm…I don’t know.” was my reply.

“Can you help me look? I need it for Christmas and the website says that you have it.” he pleaded.

“Absolutely, let’s go look” I responded.

Off we went to the Barbie aisle (yes, she is that big of a retail product she has nearly an entire aisle for all her products). We found the location of where the toy was supposed to be, but it was empty.

An empty space this close to Christmas usually was not a good sign, as it indicated that the product was out of stock in our store. I used my hand-held scanner to see if our inventory reflected the “out”. It showed that we indeed did have some in stock…but where were they?

Our store has a computerized system to indicate if we have a product in stock, and if so, where the product is located in the store. It shows us if the product is either on the sales-floor or in the backroom. If in the backroom, it will also share where it is so that we can find it. It’s a great system….if we set it up correctly and do all the steps to maintain it.

This product indicated that we had some in the store and that they should be on the sales-floor. They were not anywhere to be found. Usually, this error could be caused by a number of factors, and we would just indicate that we were out-of-stock. However, I was determined that we had this item, although I had no reason to believe it was true.

I asked the man to wait for a couple of minutes, as I was going to go look for the product and find it. Eventually (after more than a couple of minutes), I did find the bunk-bed buried in a pile of other erchandise. Wow!

I excitedly hurried back to the toy department carrying the “booty” for the customer. Thankfully, they had been patient and waited for my return.

The smile that I received from the Dad was all the thanks that I needed. He and his mother repeatedly thanked me, even shook my hand.

“Merry Christmas!” I wished them as I began to walk away.

“My daughter will agree with you!” the Dad responded. “Merry Christmas to you as well!”

Christmas morning, his daughter (who I will never know) woke in the morning to find a Barbie bunk-bed under her Christmas tree. I imagine the delight in her eyes (as I have a daughter whom I have seen the same delight) as she saw it. Although I don’t know the family, and never saw the morning, I know that I got to spend a moment of their Christmas with them.