Posted tagged ‘grandchildren’

Water Polo?

June 3, 2021

swim startI made the East Haven High School swimming team in my junior year.  I was on the short side, a little scrawny and my coach said I had a Red Cross freestyle (NOT a compliment).  Our school didn’t have a pool so we bused to the local YMCA for practices.  I worked hard and swam in a variety of events, including the 100 fly, the 200 individual medley and the relays.   I wasn’t the fastest guy in any event but I was versatile and worked hard to improve.  The summer after my junior year I worked as a lifeguard at a local lake, swimming laps during all my time off duty.  I also hit a growth spurt and returned 6 inches taller with … hello … muscles.   When my coach saw me, he said, What happened to you?  He was even more pleased when he saw my times. (more…)

Soccer and Me

June 1, 2021

aaronamyHere they call it Soccer.   In most of the world it is Football or Futbal.  Here it is a relatively minor sport.  In most of the world it is THE sport.  At 36 years old, I knew nothing of the sport except that the athletic fields around our home in Yorba Linda, CA, were filled every Saturday with boys and girls chasing a ball around and parents cheering like it was the Oympics.  Soccer was THE sport for kids and my son wanted to play.   He joined a team coached by the Mom of one of his friends (who played the game) and I agreed to be the assistant coach.  Thus began my my roughly 15 years association with youth soccer.   I would coach my son, Aaron’s team, up until high school and my daughter, Amy’s team until she retired from the game in 6th grade.   I served on the league board and as the President of the high school booster club.  As a coach, I was known to stress sportsmanship over winning, but my teams won a lot, too.  I think I probably took it too seriously and I know I stayed at the fair too long with my son, coaching after he was ready for me to step aside.  That didn’t end well and left me with a bad taste for the game.  A few years later, I took on a girls team without a child of mine on it for two years which rehabilitated my love of Futbol. (more…)

A Valentine’s Ramble

February 14, 2021

It snowed here in Daybreak, Utah last night.  Looks to me like 4 or 5 inches, the most we’ve had this year.  Cue the music … I’m Dreaming of a White Valentines Day … which does not, by the way, make up for this year’s Brown  Christmas.   For many years. my wife, Muri, and I went away for Valentines Day, where went away covered anything from staying at a nice hotel in the LA area to spending the weekend in some romantic distant place.   Perhaps the best of these was a weekend in Sedona.  We were talking yesterday about this year like no other, about how long its been since we actually went on a date.  That would be dinner at an odd little … (forgettable little) … (expensive little) … seafood restaurant in Salt Lake and a Utah Symphony concert OVER A YEAR AGO.  This comes after over fifty years of Saturday night dates.  Sixteen years ago, Valentine’s Day became my oldest grandson’s birthday.   Valentine’s Dates become getting away to Arizona and later, Utah, to spend the 14th with our daughter’s family to celebrate his birthday.   It wasn’t romantic but it was certainly about love. (more…)

Fishing (Again)

June 26, 2020

My Dad, Frank, was an avid fisherman.  Even though he worked fifty or sixty hours a week, he still found time to go to one of the local fishing spots for a couple of hours.   He frequently returned empty-handed, sometimes because he threw back little ones and sometimes because he threw back keepers.   Although he was a fan of catching fish, he was not fond of eating them.   But the truth is, he just liked some solitary time walking along the edge of Lake Saltenstall or one of the other lakes within a half hour of home.  It was natural, then that I became a fisherman at first with Dad to show me how.   Sometimes we’d rent a rowboat and fish the shores of the big lake at Saltenstall.  Other times we’d fish the streams at Chatfield Hollow, or a lake in Guilford where his boss let us use his boat. Incidentally, one evening in 1952, Dad landed the largest bass caught in Connecticut that year, an 11 pound beauty.  Opening day was special … we’d rise early and stop for breakfast at the New Idea Diner, then head to Chatfield Hollow to compete with the dozens of anglers fishing for trout.   Beginners, my Dad called them, some of them idiots.   One particularly cold spring, I lost my footing on a slippery rock ans sat down in the brook.   My hip boots filled with freezing cold water, which my Dad thought was hysterical.   Looking back, it was … but at the time, not so much. (more…)

Throwback Thursday – The Negotiator

June 13, 2019

This is a post from 10 years ago and includes one of my favorite stories about my oldest grandson, Reed.

bradley-stI grew up in the middle-class suburban town of East Haven, Connecticut. The first home I remember was an apartment in a converted Army barracks but when I was in third grade, we moved to a small ranch style house in East Haven where my father lived until he went into assisted living eight years ago. We would probably have been classified as a lower middle class family but I don’t remember lacking for anything, at least until high school, and even then the the things I wanted were more wishes than needs.  One was clothes. Oh, I had enough clothes but they all came from Anderson-Little. Anderson-Little was a New England factory direct retailer of men’s clothing and while their products were reasonably priced and decently made, they definitely weren’t cool (neither was I but that’s another story for another post). The cool guys bought their clothes at the small men’s shops around Yale University where the price of a single sweater could send my father into who-would-pay-that much-for-a-sweater paroxysms. (more…)

From the Heart

February 14, 2019

heart

Whether you are a romantic or not, whether you have a Valentine in your life or hate the day as 45% of Americans do, unless you lock yourself in your room today with the television off, you will see hearts everywhere. And odds are that somewhere during the day, you will hear someone say, I love you with all my heart. Now I think most people who know me would say I am a romantic, but I am also a scientist, a scientist who has within the past few years had a thorough evaluation of his heart by a

heart

cardiologist. I assure you, he was not checking to see if I could love my Valentine, my wife Muri, in the way she deserves. No, he was making sure that a cardiac misfire hadn’t caused a blackout I experienced while riding my bike. It hadn’t and I’m fine, by the way, but having peered at my heart valves on the ultrasound machine, I know that my heart is a muscle, albeit a very sophisticated one. So what’s with all this Love from the Heart nonsense?

(more…)

Christmas Mornings

December 25, 2017

wreathThis is my 73rd Christmas Morning.   My oldest memory comes from a picture I have, me sitting on the floor with a train set I got for Christmas in my parents first aparment in New Haven, Connecticut, and I remember getting a red Columbia bicycle our last year thereelectric-train before we moved to the little house in East Haven that would be home until I got married.  My wife had her first Christmas tree in our apartment in Rhode Island the year we got married (she was jewish) but we returned to my parents house for Christmas morning until we moved to California in 1971, going from White Christmases to Warm Christmases.   And from family Christmases to best friend Christmases with our friends Don and Jackie and their kids.  Once we adopted our two kids, Aaron and Amy, those were some of the best Christmases ever.   As our kids grew into adults, as often happens, Christmas Mornings lost some of the magic.   There is nothing like seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. (more…)

Keeping Up

November 27, 2017

as_grandparents1465617201.jpgOver 44 years ago, my parents made their only trip together from Connecticut to visit us in California.   We were waiting to hear from the Orange County Adoption Agency regarding our pending adoption of a baby boy and had hoped that it might happen before my parents arrived.   But never did we imagine that it would happen while they were here.  But it did.  Three days before their arrival, the agency called and said our first child would be coming home with us on Monday.   It was perfect because we had plans to take my parents to San Francisco for the weekend.   We were so excited about Monday that I remember very little about the weekend, except that we had an ambitious sightseeing schedule and that my parents … particularly my Mom … had trouble Keeping Up with our thirty-something pace.  Yes,  we slowed down and we waited patiently.  They traipsed along gamely.   But we stuck to our schedule and saw all the sights. (more…)

Pedantic

November 26, 2017

vegas kidsWe are spending Thanksgiving in Las Vegas with my grandkids and their parents at the Wyndham Grand Desert.   I am not a fan of Vegas but it turns out that it is close to halfway between Herrimann, UT, where they live and Socal, where we live.  So, here we are.  This morning, while my wife, daughter and granddaughter were off picking up dinner, the boys were getting restless, so I decided to see if they’d like to take a walk.  I turned to them and said, Why don’t you put on your shoes and we’ll go explore the rest of the property. My grandson, Maddux looked at me with a funny grin and said, You mean you want to walk around the hotel? And there you have it.  Even my ten years old grandson thinks I’m pedantic.  Of course, I am putting words in his mouth … he would never call his Papa a pedant.  In fact I don’t ever recall being called pedantic directly but the word does materialize in my consciousness whenever I get that look after using a sesquipedalion word in common discourse.  Several times I’ve asked, Do you think I’m pedantic?  Sometimes, was sometimes the answer. (more…)

Fixes

October 2, 2017

According to the dictionary, getting a fix means To obtain something necessary, especially a dose of an addictive drug or anything else compulsively sought after.   Of course, the phrase is an idiom in the sense that it’s definition can’t be determined from the meaning of the words.  So, I tend to drop the addicted and compulsively and let it just mean doing something I really enjoy.  Back in my running days, after a long day at work, I’d put on my Nikes and go out for a running fix. Yeah, my friends told me I was compulsive about exercise.  OK, as ice cream lovers, my wife and I sometimes head to our favorite shop in Dana point for an ice cream fix.  But believe it or not some geniuses at the New York Times (all the news that’s fit for the bottom of a birdcage) published an article comparing ice cream consumption to drug use.  OK, music.  When I’m down, nothing lifts me like listening to some music I love.  But sure as shit, there are articles about the problems of music addiction.  It seems to be in the nature of our modern world that some idiot is out to find fault with liking anything too much.  (more…)