You're Now Free to Move About the Country

    Do you remember when Southwest Airlines used this slogan?  To me, it seems that phrase has never been more appropriate than right now.  Everywhere I look there are record numbers of people driving and flying; in my area rentals are booked out to Labor Day, campsites are full.  In short: Americans are getting out and about. 

    Want to Take a Bike Ride?

    Have you ever crashed on a bicycle?  I have – numerous times.  How I got the scar on my knee from 1986 I remember vividly.  My best friend, Roger, and I were being chased, we decided to split up.  I took a corner a little tight, hit gravel, essentially slid under my bike across the road.  I still remember pulling the leaves OUT of my knee.  (I’m chuckling a little as I write knowing I just made my Mother & Aunt squeamish when they read this) I remember the trip to the ER when my mother could turn her vehicle into her own personal ambulance at a moment’s notice (this was not my first ER/stitches trip).  Roger didn’t wreck that day but I do remember one epic crash of his.  Yes, loose gravel was the culprit once again but at least he didn’t require stitches and an ER run.  Unfortunately for Roger, he wrecked near my grandmother Merckens’ house.  When it came to “cleaning out wounds” that women used a Brillo pad!

    Happy 23.4° Tilt Day

    When it comes to the sciences (with the exception of Economics – debatable, I know) I have an affinity toward the physical sciences versus life sciences.  The physical sciences just made more sense to me, life sciences not so much.  I still remember an interaction with my Biology professor during office hours as I struggled to see some part of a mushroom under microscope.  After numerous (failed) attempts to show me whatever it was I was looking at in the microscope, I finally looked at him and said (ok maybe pleaded): “I’d love to get out of this class with a passing grade.  I promise to never – ever – take another biology course.”  To be fair I did work my butt off trying to pass that class.  However, to this day, I have no idea if my hard work paid off or if he obliged me with my final grade.  In any event I did uphold my end of the deal and I never stepped foot near the biology lab/rooms again.

    Play Ball!

    Last week I was unable to write due to my drill weekend.  Originally, I intended to put together some (hopefully) insightful thoughts on the 77th anniversary of the D-day invasion, those will wait for the 78th Anniversary.  However, I did come home Sunday and watched Saving Private Ryan.  One note of caution: do not begin watching that moving at 10:00 in the evening.  It’s a much longer movie than I remembered, and when it finished, it was no longer June 6th.

    This week I’m going to share some thoughts about baseball.  Why?  Sydney and I are going to watch the Indians host the Mariners this afternoon.  Plus, a few weeks ago, the movie “A League of their Own” was on TV.  Sydney asked, “Women can play baseball?”  So began another history lesson in our house.

    Memorial Day 2021

    It is Memorial Day 2021.  For some reason, I have found it difficult to write this weekend and I’m not particularly certain as to why.  Last Memorial Day I wrote about reflection and reaching out. 

    A Trip Around The Sun

    May is my birthday month, and I really loved having a May birthday when I was growing up.  It broke up my year of receiving gifts into a nice triad: August – new school clothes (gifts); Christmas – obvious gift-receiving time; and pre-summer – my birthday! 

    May is also a time of year I fondly recall some of the silliness connected to my maternal grandmother, Rosemary.  For as long as I can remember, she had a different view on how “old” someone was.  According to Rosemary, when you had a birthday, say it was your 10th birthday, she would say that “you completed 10 years around the sun, and you are now in your 11th year.”  To her, this meant that you were now 11.  This conversation continued every year, and she would repeat her viewpoint to everyone in the family.  We, the family, carried on Rosemary’s tradition after she passed away until, one day, the tradition ended abruptly.

    How Many Inches Tall Are You?

    When you were a kid, roughly between the ages of 4-10, did you and your friends compare one another by how tall you were in inches?  Among my daughters and their friends, this seemed to be their only concern until they reached the all-important 54” mark.  That’s the height one is officially tall enough to ride everything that Cedar Point has to offer.

    For those of you who are either not from the Mid-West or an amusement park enthusiast, Cedar Point is located on the southern shores of Lake Erie.  When asked where I live, I often just tell people “near Cedar Point” instead of my actual town.  A simple internet search of “top amusement parks in the world” will have Cedar Point ranked in the top 10.  (I did find one search that did not include Cedar Point in their top ten.  I immediately dismissed the search results as “fake”).  Between the years 1997 – 2013 Cedar Point held the title of “Best Amusement Park in the World” by Amusement Today.

    A Mother Lode of Positive Resonance

    This weekend is Mother’s Day.  Mother’s Day has had many different iterations throughout history.  Oddly enough the woman, Anna Jarvis, who organized the first observance of today’s version of Mother’s Day in the United States (1908), ended up petitioning against Mother’s Day for the latter portion of her life.  Interestingly, Anna Jarvis wasn’t a mother herself.

    Twice the Heart

    Do you like sports?  I do!  I remember when ESPN (and cable) first came to our area.  I was spending the night at my Grandparents’ house and they had this channel that would show sports 24 hours a day.  I recall my mother picking me up the next day and my Grandfather relaying my behavior “I heard a noise at 1:00, came out into the living room and he was watching racing!”  Now, it was Formula One racing which I’ve never seen before nor even knew it existed.  It was a race in some foreign land I couldn’t pronounce and to this day can’t even remember.  However, it was a sport and I loved it! 

    A House Divided

    In the area where I live, generally, a “house divided” refers to a residence that inhabits those that are fans of The Ohio State University Buckeyes and some that cheer on a team geographically north of Ohio.  I do not have that issue in my house – although my wife, who is sport agnostic, does like to push my buttons when she speaks of universities as only institutions of higher learning.  However, I do live in a divided house: half are extroverts, half are introverts.  This revelation, although not new to me, hit me especially hard this morning as I was continuously interrupted making breakfast.