Monday, Monday

I am in California, along the Pacific coast in Aptos. I’ve been dreaming about this trip for over a month; now, I am here. It’s Day 7 of summer break and I am busy Making the Days Count.

I arrived Friday morning and have been to two baseball games, hiked in the coastal hills in Orange County, driven along the Pacific Coast highway, through a mountain pass, and up the Central Coast Valley before watching the sunset at Seacliff State Beach last night.

Both baseball games were fun to watch, and I even ran into a couple of Astros fans I met last summer in Denver. It is a small world. Continue reading Monday, Monday

W2 – glassware

W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Clean glassware drying on the drying rack. Naperville, IL Monday, June 3, 2024, 12:54 PM

It’s summer again, this year it’ll be my 25th summer break as a teacher. I have four more summer breaks after this one, then it’ll be permanent summer break.

This summer, and for the past twenty-four, I’ve simply been auditioning. Continue reading W2 – glassware

W^2 – baseball is back

W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, May 8, 2024

NOTE: This post was originally titled “Baseball”, but after reflecting overnight, I changed it to “baseball is back.” Enjoy

Tuesday night baseball at Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois. Tuesday April 23, 2024, 7:09 PM

It’s baseball season, again. Baseball season begins at the end of March and lasts until the final out in late October. Every team will play 162 games, the good ones will play more, and the best teams could play 173 or more. It all depends, because baseball is a funny game.

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game — it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.”

“Ohhhhhhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”
Terrance Mann in Field of Dreams

I made it to my first game of the 2024 season two weeks ago and I am just now making time to write about it. I’ve been to Wrigley Field more times than I can remember. My first game was in 1993. Wrigley Field opened with its first baseball game one hundred ten years ago in 1914. It’s the second oldest ballpark in the major leagues and there is something magic about watching a game there. Continue reading W^2 – baseball is back

MtDC…

It’s April and we are at the lake for a short weekend getaway. My wife picked me up Friday after school and we drove up as day turned to night arriving before midnight. We will leave later this afternoon. Instead of chores I am writing a post, which was supposed to be a quick post.

yesterday evening’s sunset… they are never the same… created with Adobe Express

It all started in 2010 and it is difficult to believe I am still writing (and posting) at MtDC after all these years, but I am.

Last year, before school let out for the summer, I signed up for a professional development class hosted by Adobe for their new dynamic content creation software, Adobe Express. I’ve been using it to edit and create since; almost entirely on my phone where I take all my photos. There are desktop and mobile versions of the software, but they weren’t the same and frankly I preferred the mobile app for its convenience, but that changed Friday morning.

Sometimes, learning is difficult.

It’s been a couple of days of figuring things out. I’ve tinkered a little and used it to create a couple of images learning as I go.

When I started writing and posting, I wanted a logo that fit what I was doing. I created my first logo in 2010 and it stuck around until 2014. I changed it again in 2016 and it has been the site icon since.

Earlier this month I was tinkering with Adobe Express and created a new logo, the above logo. A couple of weeks ago I added it to WordPress as my site icon and planned to write a post but didn’t. This morning, I changed all my social media to the icon.

created 2024

So, here’s the post, a debut of sorts. Continue reading MtDC…

W^2 – history

WARNING: it’s Wednesday so I titled the post W^2, but it’s hardly wordless.

It’s spring break and we’ve escaped then blustery chill of a midwestern early spring for the Florida Keys and sun, wind, and sand. Mostly sun.

I remember my first visit to the Keys with my in-laws in 2002. Our son had recently turned four and my wife was pregnant with our daughter. We arrived in Miami and were picked up by my in-laws at the airport.

Until then, my only experience with Florida had been passing through the airport on the way to somewhere else: Venezuela or England to spend the summer or Christmas with my dad and stepmother.

With my father-in-law at the wheel we wove our way through Miami traffic to Homestead and US1. US1 is the only road from the Florida mainland at the tip of the Florida peninsula to the Keys where it terminates at Key West.

US1 travels along the path of the defunct Miami to Key West extension of the Florida East Coast Railway. Construction of the railroad began in 1903 and was completed in 1913. The railway operated until 1935 when the Labor Day hurricane washed out the rail bed in Islamorada and the railroad abandoned the railroad. Two years later the Florida Highway Commission purchased the right of way and began construction of a highway to Key West. They used the old railroad bridges constructing roadbeds atop the concrete viaducts and bridges built by the railroad. Over the years, the highway has replaced the original railway bridges with wider end more modern concrete bridges.

The view from the bridge to the Atlantic Ocean

The first several miles of the two lane road travel along the path of the old railway. First through the thick mangrove swamps and across Lake Surprise before reaching Key Largo where the highway opens up to the Atlantic Ocean on the left and Florida Bay to the right.

As the highway bridges were replaced, the original railroad bridges were left in place. Most have been repurposed as fishing platforms or observation decks and others have been left to decay and breakdown in the elements. The Seven Mile Bridge has a two mile extension from Knight’s Key Key to Pigeon Key open to walkers and bicycles with breathtaking sunset views.

Anyway, Tuesday afternoon my buddy and I (we are here with another couple) took off on an adventure stopping at the western approach to the Bahia Honda Bridge.

The original railroad bridge on the left and the new highway bridge on the right. Looking west from Bahia Honda State Park – photo from 3/28/2017

The old bridge has been abandoned since the present bridge was completed in 1977. The original railroad bridge is an iron trestle bridge which was only wide enough for a single railroad track and the passage of a single train. The highway engineers decided to construct a two lane road atop the railroad trestle to connect the two keys, or islands.

Continue reading W^2 – history

W^2 – spring (again, but in ’24)

W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, March 6, 2024

It appears Spring has sprung, but the Spring Equinox is a little less than a fortnight away. This year, the vernal equinox is Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at 10:06 PM.

“The first blooms of spring always make my heart sing.”
— S. Brown

According to the meteorologists, it is spring. We had a mild winter here in the upper Midwest. I read a report that this past winter was one of the five mildest winters on record for the Chicagoland area. We hardly had any snow and only a very brief cold snap where temperatures went below zero (Fahrenheit). We did however have two bad weather days where I could teach from home, some folks mike call that ‘good weather.’

Daffodils blooming on March afternoon. Is it spring or winter? Wednesday March 6, 2024, 5:17 PM

Continue reading W^2 – spring (again, but in ’24)

Leaping into March

It’s leap day. I’ve been blogging since May 2010, and I have never posted on a leap day. NEVER.

Wednesday night, February 28th. Dog walk with Fern and you can three stars aligned in Orion’s Belt in the middle of the photo

After searching through the leap year Februarys, I found ONE post written on February 28, 2012. Stamps, stamps, and more stamps that was close to a leap day. I re-read it, and it took me back.

These days, I don’t write many letters, the folks I wrote have passed away. I could write to my kids or my brothers, but I don’t. It’s too easy to call or send a text. So, I don’t write. I do write thank you notes to my students, but I am behind in that of late.

Last night I was walking Fern around the neighborhood, and I could clearly see Orion spread across the southwestern sky. It was a beautiful night, and the stars were bright. Continue reading Leaping into March

W^2 – expected

W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, January 24, 2024

On approach to Midway International Airport, Lake Michigan ice. Wednesday January 17, 2024 1:14 PM

Lately it seems that my life has been filled with all sorts of unexpected things, so much so that it has distracted me from the expected things in life.

It’s January in the upper Midwest. It gets cold in January, that is expected. When it gets cold here, ice forms on Lake Michigan. What is unexpected is why I was flying on a Wednesday, but there is more to that story, for now there is lake ice on Lake Michigan and a glimpse of the Chicago skyline.

Today I am going to focus on the expected things in life – family, school, taking care of my puppies, and taking care of me. So I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day, and press publish. Making the days Count, one day at a time, exploring, learning, and being curious and focusing on the expected things in life.

What’s been unexpected or expected in your world?

All Hallows Eve

It’s been haunting me that I’ve been silent so long.

I haven’t disappeared or gone into hibernation, it has simply been school and family. All good things, but it keeps me from writing, sharing, and creating.

the ivy and the maple tree

Last week, while I was helping my wife trim our puppies, who are not really puppies any longer. Ivy, at all at thirteen and half, is a senior dog and Fern, at four and half, is a full on adult dog and both are lively Britany Spaniels. I was patiently holding Ivy, when I looked up to see the most amazing color combination of the creeping ivy, not the dog Ivy, but the plant ivy climbing up the trunk of the maple tree.

There is light out there against the fall colors, even on Halloween, All Hallows Eve.

Today is going to be an amazing day. I know it and I can feel it. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the days Count one day at a time, even as the days grow short.

How are you holding up this Halloween?

Say their names….

It’s Monday, Nine-eleven.

Every year, I go back to my seventh-grade geography class when I first learned of the horror of that morning. It was son’s first day of school of school and his excitement was dashed when he saw his mother, my wife, standing television set crying as she watched the news unfold that Tuesday morning twenty-two years ago. She comforted him when he asked,

“Why are you crying momma” he asked.

She collected herself and replied,

“It’s just bad news.” She replied.

It was bad news and we have come together and moved forward since that awful day.

a replica of the fifteen star, fifteen stripe flag which flew over Fort McHenry on September 13, 1814.

I am reminded of the names on this day, some two thousand nine hundred seventy-five men, women, and children who perished that morning.

This summer I stumbled across the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland in downtown Baltimore. Earlier in the day I had visited Fort McHenry and seen a replica of the flag which had flown the night the British bombarded the fort. It had fifteen stripes and fifteen stars. The memorial moved me to create a movie of me reading each the victim’s names.

Todd Beamer, LeRoy Homer, Wanda Anita Greene, and Honor Elizabeth Wayne

I am inspired by the events of that morning and fellow bloggers Beth at I Didn’t have My Glasses and Mary at Wilderness of Words who encouraged me to say their names.

It is Monday, the first day of a new week. It’s raining for the first time in weeks, and it is going to be an amazing day. I know it and I. can feel it, so I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, saying their names, so we never forget.

Is there a name you remember from that day?