Welcome Rocky!

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Welcome Sign as you enter the small town of Silver Bay, Minnesota. The statue on the left is named Rocky. He represents the Taconite industry that is the primary industry of the town. My wife is from this town and I enjoy visiting. Wonderful people to visit with and ?lots of beautiful scenery to photograph.

It’s all relative

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New Underwood – 31 miles. Rapid City – 50 miles. Hot Springs – 100 miles.

These are mile markers found along Interstate 90 heading west. They are all towns in South Dakota. Towns that I have been to. Towns that are part of my history. Towns that my family have lived in.

Growing up in western South Dakota, I had family throughout the area. Most of the family were distant to me, not only in location, but also in relation. Second and third cousins, great aunts and uncles. Older than my parents and my grandparents. I know of them, but I don’t know them.

My grandmother was the wheel in the cog of keeping all of them together. She knew them all, was related to most, and kept them all in contact with each other. Ans she kept them informed of me and what I was involved in.

When my grandmother passed away, I tried to keep in touch with these distant relatives. I would send out a Christmas letter or card to them, for as long as I had a working address. As time moved on, I lost track of most of them. Many passed away and some moved without an address for me to track them with. Eventually, my habit of the Christmas card faded into a pleasant memory of something that I used to do.

My effort to keep in touch with my family was in an effort to not lose them. I moved to the other side of the state and moved on with my life. As it happened, my life overtook my time, and ultimately I did lose most of my family. Nearly all the distant family for certain, and some very close family as well.

I have attempted to rekindle my relations with my family. I have tried to “find” my family again. I find that as my life has a new focus, and my immediate family has changes somewhat, I am having some success in finding family. I have gained new family from my new Tiffany, I keep some family from my ex-wife Kelli, and I rediscover my biological family from a renewed effort to reach out to them.

I hope to continue to nurture my family and grow the relationships that I have. Time will tell, although I certainly hope that it’s tale is full of renewal.

Happy 45

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20160110_082409Celebrated my 45th birthday the other day. Woke up early and enjoyed the quiet as the rest of the house was happily sleeping in on their Sunday. The temperature outside read negative 14, so I started a fire in the stove and sat down with a Coke. I took a few minutes to evaluate my day, and enjoyed the thought of getting a few of my checklist items crossed off today.

Soon enough, the household stirred and the family began their lyrics of “Good Morning. Happy Birthday.” Got plenty of early morning hugs and a few quick kisses. Happiness spread over me and warmed my heart more than any fire burning.

I started checking off my list, while listening to my Spotify music service. I was introduced to Spotify by Tiffany a couple of years ago, as she started sending me music recommendations and songs that made her think of me or us. The first song that I “liked” on my Favorites list was American Pie by Don McClean. This song holds a number of great memories for me, which sometime I will share more in detail.

Anyway, I got the Valentine decorations put up; the air hockey table built and running; and Ainsley’s television set up in her bedroom. As my birthday winds down, I am reminded of how blessed I am. I got to enjoy the 45th celebration of my birth, surrounded by family that loves me. I am happy and healthy. I am warm and full. I am at ease with my career and my choices. I have wonderful friends, both near and far, who like and love me. I am safe and protected. I happy and content! Happy 45th to me! Love you all!!!

 

 

Resolved

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So, it has been an awfully long time since I have written anything on this blog. And I am extremely disappointed with that fact. It has weighed on me daily as I enjoy blogging and all that comes with it.

There are so many things that I can blog about since the last time that I was here, it is hard to decide just what to say in this visit to my site. With that in mind, I am just going to mention that I am resolved to blog more often. I am excited to share all that has happened in the past since I was last here. I am excited to share all that life will bring to me this year and other years to come.

I am resolved to celebrate 2016. I am resolved to embrace life and the challenges that it brings. I am resolved to enjoy my family more. I am resolved to listen more and talk less. I am resolved to record my thoughts and feelings so that my family knows who I am.

2016. Resolved!

 

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.