Saturday, October 22, 2011

Photo Ops Extend Visit to Grand Canyon - Columbus Dispatch

Originally published in the Columbus Dispatch.

Photo Ops Extend Visit to Icon

The cliche holds true: The essence of the Grand Canyon cannot be captured in a single photograph.

The length, breadth and depth make a representative shot impossible.

Not that I didn’t try.

In fact, during an adventure-filled 25th-anniversary trip with my wife recently, every moment seemed to become a photo opportunity.

Lisa and I spent one day hiking on the Grand Canyon Rim Trail before eating dinner in the Arizona Room of the Bright Angel Lodge.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Taking Down The Crib

I took down the crib yesterday. My wife, Lisa, and I have had a crib in our home for 23 years. I believed that removing this tangible sign of the near constant obligation to care for infants and toddlers would have little effect on me, but my feelings were surprisingly mixed.

Luke, the youngest of our ten children, turned three a month ago. He never climbed out of the crib, so we could have left him in it a while longer. But we decided it was a good time for the transition. One Saturday morning we told Luke we were going to take down the crib and put up his big-boy bed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just Like Harry Potter and Voldemort

They hurl the words at each other like Harry Potter and Voldemort casting spells.  Seven-year-old Sam shouts, "Blood!" at five-year-old Daniel.  Daniel counters, "Bwack eye!"  They throw the words back and forth, each cringing when hit.

Daniel shares his fear of blood with many other children.  He does not want to see it, talk about it, or even think about it.  Sam's fear of black eyes dates from the time I told him to quit fighting with his brothers or he would "end up with a black eye."  That stopped him dead in his tracks, even though he did not know what a black eye was.  Ever since, the mere mention of a black eye causes him to flinch.

These wars of words go on until either they are both too weak to continue, or the headmaster (or headmistress) ends the duel.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cap'n Crunch

Five-year-old Daniel was recovering from a mouth injury that required several stitches.  He overheard the conversation with the oral surgeon in which the likely loss of 2 - 4 of his baby teeth was discussed.

Daniel was eating breakfast.  His twenty-year-old sister Rachel was sleeping on the couch in the next room.  Suddenly Daniel hollered, something had fallen out of his mouth!  He picked it up, ran to the next room, and woke Rachel up.  Practically hysterical, he showed Rachel what had fallen out of his mouth.  He asked her if it was his tooth.  Rachel looked at the soggy piece of Cap'n Crunch cereal and smiling, told him that it wasn't.  Reassured, he flicked the cereal on the floor, walked to the table and finished his breakfast.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Who Says Teachers Aren't Powerful?

In 100 Words or Less

Zach was a first grader.  The family was eating dinner.  I told Zach that there was a U.S. President with his name.  Zach thought I was pulling his leg, as I often do.  Lisa confirmed my story, though, saying that the president's name was Zachary Taylor.  Zach did not believe her either.  We insisted it was true, even offering to look it up in the encyclopedia.  With a nonchalant shrug, he told us not to bother, he would ask his teacher at school the next day.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Kite And The Brown Pelican

I held the 500 foot reel of string while my nine-year-old son Matthew restrained the tugging kite. At my signal, Matthew released the kite and it leapt out of his hands. Matthew and I took turns letting the kite fly higher and higher until almost no string was left on the reel.

I bought the kite on my family’s first visit to North Carolina’s Outer Banks in the early 1990s, and I have flown it on each return trip. This was a perfect day to fly a kite. The wind coming in off the ocean was steady; there were a few high clouds. The air was warm and the sand was not yet hot.

Scanning the skyline I saw that the pelicans were flying parallel to the shoreline, as usual. Unusually though,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A "Real" Cake

In 100 Words Or Less

Three-year-old Luke asks Lisa what she is making.   She says that she is baking a rainbow cake for Katie's birthday.  Luke replies that Lisa should get a "real" cake.  Lisa explains that she is baking a real cake.  Luke insists, "No, a real cake from the store!"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Weather Forecast

In 100 Words Or Less

Ohio just completed its wettest April on record, and May started off just as soggy.  Lisa and I were having our regular lunchtime phone call to discuss the evening's activities and cancellations. (Two scout meetings and track meet to be held as scheduled, two soccer practices and baseball game cancelled due to rain.)  Five-year-old Daniel, listening to Lisa's side of the conversation, consoled her by saying, "It (the newspaper) says it will be sunny tomorrow tomorrow," meaning in two days.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Noodle

In 100 Words Or Less

Seven-year-old Sam is a picky eater.  His preferred diet consists of crackers, butter bread and McDonalds cheeseburgers.  Lisa and I often struggle to "make" him eat what is served.  Last night we had goulash.  Lisa encouraged him to eat two forkfuls.  Sam exclaimed, "But I ate a noodle!"  Lisa responded, "A noodle?"  Sam queried hopefully, "The noodle?"