June 4, 2021
Last year, as we were all working from home, I would sit on my patio sometimes to do work. I bought a bird feeder and a humming bird feeder. What unfolded was beautiful. I took pictures with a camera I bought earlier that year, a Canon 80D. I soon discovered the wonderful world of Birding. My wife and I visited the Jekle Creek Bird Sanctuary and I cannot wait to visit the Montrose Bird Sanctuary by Lake Michigan, downtown Chicago.
Now, I carry my camera in bag mounted on my bike rack whenever I go biking. On a recent trip on the Des Plaines River Bike Trail, I spotted an Eastern Bluebird for the first time. Its brilliant blue plumage was amazing to see.
April 9, 2021
It has been a very busy start to 2021. The past several weeks, I have taken family members to county COVID Vaccination Centers, and I was truly amazed how nice the EMTs, the National Guard and Nurses and volunteers were. They were so efficient. We were in and out in a matter of minutes. The mandatory fifteen minute wait after the shot seemed longer than the process. Today was my turn to get vaccinated. I received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. I am registered for the second dose on April 30. By mid-May, I should have immunity. However, I did test positive for COVID early January, and I am not sure how long I have natural immunity. I had chills, body aches and toward the end, terrible headaches. The headaches continued several weeks after I recovered from COVID. The headaches would start everyday between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, and only on the left side. My doctor said I was experiencing Cluster Headaches triggered by COVID. She gave me a prescription that took care of the headaches right away. Thank God. They were debilitating. I couldn’t write. I am very proud that as a country, we were able to develop not just one, but three vaccines within a year.
November 7, 2020
It has been a tumultuous year. I started a new job back in May, and I worked so much, my summer seemed to have rushed by without being able to enjoy it. Mid-October this year, my son and I backpacked again the Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin. The last time was in August 2015. My son, Rick, and I love being close to nature. There is nothing like sitting around a camp fire with total darkness behind our backs.
We both needed this badly. My son who is only 27, owns a sushi restaurant. He worked so hard over the past 3.5 years to make that restaurant a success. Running a restaurant in the best of times is hard enough. I know, I used to own a deli downtown Chicago. Connecting with nature soothes the soul, and in a world full of steel, glass and plastic, it is even more important to provide our soul what it always yearns for.
April 19, 2020
More years ago than I care to mention, I spent 14 months in Seoul, S. Korea. I didn’t expect to find a modern city, but I did. It had not been that long since the ending of the Korean War, but in that short time, South Korea had grown so much. I think more than anyone thought possible. And with rapid growth comes some growing pains. It has been quite a few years since I left South Korea, but it always with me. The friendships, the experiences, the sights and sounds still echo through time in my brain. I am in awe of the people of Korea.
The Korean people call the United States, Mee-Kuk (미국), which means Beautiful Nation. Their’s is the only written language developed by scholars, and unlike its largest neighbor, China, the Korean alphabet is phonetic, just as the English alphabet. The Korean alphabet has 24 letters:
미 (M ee) 국 (K u k). The Korean King at the time, wanted an alphabet and a means for communication for the masses.
December 10, 2019
Some of my most fondest memories are from the time my parents rented the old family house on Hunter Dairy in Charlotte, North Carolina. We lived there when I was 3 and 4 years old. I would hold my sister’s hand, and we would explore the farm, watching the chickens and searching for the pigs. We had pecan and peach trees in our yard, and I suppose this experience influenced my desire to have similar trees in my yard.
I loved sitting on the porch with my parents, and I will never forget hearing the sound of a calling whip-poor-will for the first time. We were poor, but life on that farm was magical.
September 9, 2019
Dino Car. John Irving captured the essence of passion in a line from his novel, The Hotel New Hampshire, where the grandfather said to his grandson while lifting weights (and I paraphrase), ‘You have to get obsessed and stay obsessed.’ When I look at the Dino Car above, I see a person who has a passion for something. And that is good thing. In a world dominated by smart phones and social media, passion seems to be a rare thing. I imagine the person who drives Dino Car as a budding paleontologist, on a journey to discover the next amazing dinosaur find that will change everything, and I will have the good fortune to read about one day. Until then, stay obsessed.
August 2, 2019
I occasionally get to work from home, thanks to modern technology. I love being outdoors. I have an explorer’s spirit. When I was a kid, after moving to a new neighborhood (which happened often), I was compelled to explore with my bike. I still love to explore with my bike. I am thankful I was able to play in woods, in creeks and build tree houses at what I think are the perfect ages for such things, 10 and 11. I am also thankful my children had similar experiences. These are things I think about as I have my morning cup of coffee on our patio. The vegetable garden in the background and our fruit trees (peach, plum and cherry) keep me grounded to an earth that is a wonderful gift.