I have been absent – but still present.

A couple of fun loving kids enjoying the Gubbio kite festival

Before we get off on my rant of the time now, Jen and I will be attending a few kite festivals this spring still, and we are looking forward to the possible flying time. As the world ever inches forward, we welcome the opportunity to be doing things we love once again… or at least what I love anyway. 🙂

Now for the heavy.

Yes, it has been quite a while since I posted. Why? Because I just could not get myself to post. Call it anger, call it frustration, call it contempt, but I just felt it better I did not post while I felt as I did. So lets start with November, and the win for President Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris. I was elated that people voted, and to record numbers, and I was even happier when someone would again lead our nation in a rational, caring empathetic way, concerned for all people, not just the rich, or those who voted for them. Soon behind this came the dumb stuff that idiots truly believed. They believed that the election was fraud ridden, but had absolutely no proof. I was surprised at how bad this exploded in our country. Surely I thought, people do not really believe it, but they did and still do. In my opinion, this comes from a cheating philosophy that if I lost cheating, then you definitely cheated – I just don’t know how you did so you have to lose, not me.  I also was very angry at how churches, and religion in general treated this. There were several articles written by Father James Martin, S.J. calling out the Catholic church, and the way they handled the last 5 years, and the election. It has truly challenged my faith heavily. At a time when people everywhere needed the voice of reason of the church, it was no where to be found. This angers me to no end, and once we are fully vaccinated, we will again attend church, but one more strike, and I will be out forever. I struggle to understand when there is a bible full of stories about Jesus, that he spent all of his time, with the poor, the marginalized, and the abandoned, as well as societies, “Fringe” – this group – the religious of our nation, hate on all of these groups – blame them for their issues, and walk away, when they should be helping. Their leader did spend time with, and help these groups, over and over again – it was written about so much in the bible.

Next comes all of the hatred that was spawned by both sides in November, and December – some of the most “personal, and family orientated” days of the year, and everyone blaming each other – saying that experts knew nothing, saying their liberties were being taken, accusing the other side of intentionally forcing people to stay home. Not respecting that if a medical or science professional has 10,20,30 or maybe 40 years in their field, that maybe they do know what they are talking about. RESPECT… This concept was left somewhere on November’s battlefield from the election, and people continued to blame the other side for their problems. Maybe this is where people SHOULD have came together and figured out how together they could help end the problems of the pandemic, the election, and the constant hate factory that was spewing issues all over the country and the world.

Next up, was January. January 6, 2021 will be a day I will never forget the rest of my life, and I hope and pray nothing this horrible ever happens again that makes me feel this day was not as bad as issue “X”. I want to be perfectly clear, and be honest here. It absolutely surprised me the amount of people that truly do not understand our republic, or rules of the capital, or our election process. It amazes me the amount of ignorance that went into this day in Washington DC. The actions of absolutely every person that entered the capital that day were 100% without a doubt, treasonous. These people whether they were dressed in combat gear, or just followed everyone in and took pictures, are 100% guilty of treason. That day they challenged our country, they made a mockery of our freedoms, and they then blamed others for their actions, and claimed ignorance, begged for pardons, and all in the name of hatred, ignorance, and stupidity. If I was judge and jury for any or all of these people, I would find them guilty, and I am not sure I would be lenient to give them something as simple as prison. These people all since this, have stood up and said, it’s not their fault – someone else told them to do it, they just followed, they didn’t know they were breaking laws etc. All of this I call bullshit. Own your actions, and take your penalty, no matter what it is. You challenged my freedom, as well as the entire country’s you have no right to participate in the great American experiment any longer.

February brought the stupidity of people even further. The people of Texas voted years ago to no longer be part of the electric grid – of the collective of the rest of the country, and chose to get their electricity in other ways,  that’s fine. Then came the coldest stretch possibly ever in their state. Pipes burst, people were without, and it was an immediate humanitarian crisis in the first world. People from all over went to help folks in Texas, and that was fantastic – but then some of their leaders left, blamed the rest of the country, and basically took no responsibility for the situation. It was turned political again. Thankfully things I believe are back to normal there now, and possibly the state has learned a very interesting lesson.

March went by quickly, and for the most part was unremarkable thankfully.

April is now finishing up, and the country has at least 50% of all eligible adults with at least 1 dose of the vaccines in their arm, and things are slowly getting back open. I hope in July I am not writing that we are back in the situation again, and that common sense will be used both in our country and the world.

From late October, until easily late February I did not sleep well, I worried, worried about the world, about our country, about our county, and our state. Because, people were never supposed to be this angry with one another, and work so hard against one another. It has genuinely made me very sad. If you know me well, you know I have a minor in Political Science from college, and have always been very interested in Politics. I am not sure that is the case any longer. Politicians have damaged the country, the state, and it’s citizens in so many ways, my blood pressure just goes up reading about some of the stupidity on display due to this. I am finally beginning to sleep better at night, but I am still not where I should be. I worry about this country. I worry about this state, I worry about my religion. I worry about the human race. This is not dramatics, this is genuine concern.

I know not may people read this, and this is probably more cathartic just for me to type the words, but if you have read this, I ask the following;

  1. Be Kind – we are all in this together.
  2. Follow the suggestions of experts.
  3. Be patient, things will get better, but we all have to work together.
  4. Before you hate, understand your adversary – understand their challenges, I bet your hatred is not as heavy.

One thing I have always loved about kites, is the absolute smiles it brings to peoples faces. I want to see that again, I want to enjoy the world we have.

The next post will be about our next kite event – which most events over the next year will all be new since we are flying in Wisconsin now, instead of Nebraska. I look forward to meeting new people, and being outside in the sun. Smile, Spring is here, and Summer is coming quickly.

Better late than never

Charlie the pup flying at Kites Over Lake Michigan 2020 at the Manitowoc Highschool

So my last post I had left you wondering IF we would get to fly in the pandemic, at all. Well, the answer is, yes, and while it was only one day, (We will get into that in a few minutes) it was great to get out and just fly. Saturday was a good day on Labor Day weekend, decent temperatures,  and well the wind was good, but not great. If, and I say IF the wind would have chosen to blow out of the north, or the east, or the west or even the south, then it would have been great… But instead, it blew out of the North, no the East, no, the Northwest, no, now its back to the North, no, it moved again. Well, in a huge field, with no fences, poles, and space to better distance from other kites, THAT scenario would be no big deal. But we were making due. Chow (The organizer of the annual event) made due the best he could, since the high water levels of Lake Michigan have washed out the beach at Two Rivers state park, and the High School in Manitowoc was very nice to allow the festival to proceed on it’s property. But due to this, the space was a bit tight, and the amount of flyers were quite good. In fact, they were great. So back to my story of the travelling kite. Since Charlie is very big he takes up a lot of space, and has a ton of pull, or drag, whatever you want to call it. So when the wind would shift, I was busy, usually with a friend or two helping corral Charlie, and physically moving the stake to better line up with the new wind direction. This took a toll on my back struggling all day Saturday, so much so, it was one of the main reasons I chose not to go back Sunday.

Now first off, the most fantastic thing about Saturday? I got to see old friends from Iowa, North Dakota, and Nebraska that I had not seen for years in some cases. So it was a pleasant surprise to run into so many familiar faces I had not seen. It’s amazing how small the kiting community is, but it is fantastic that you never lose touch, no matter how long it had been since we had seen each other. Without these friends, I would have never been able to direct the pup where it needed to go. More than once, they saw me struggling, and more than once, they came to my aid which was more than welcome. Lesson number one for the day – Never lose touch with friends, you never know when you may need them, or run into them again.

Secondly, the festival was two days, but as Chow and I discussed, it had a couple of issues going against it for the next day; 1) It was supposed to storm in Manitowoc, not rain, yes, storm. 2) With the limitation of space, I was going to need to figure out something different to fly, to not hog the field like I did on Saturday. 3) Even with a mask order in effect in Wisconsin, it was incredibly HARD to effectively distance while working on the kite in the sky, and quite honestly, when you are running across a field to gather kite, you do not have time to put on a mask. But as well, the crowd seemed to forget that it would be a good thing to distance at least 6 feet from one another, and that the WHO and CDC suggested to keep masks on, while with people that were not part of your home, whether inside, or outside.

The final straw though: my back – if you know me, you know I have a very bad back due to an injury in high school that leaves me to visit a specialist every 9 months to work on it via permanently numbing the nerves. Due to the Pandemic, until yesterday (October 12, 2020) it had been since June 2019 since I had my last procedure and when we got out of the car Saturday night, my back told me, you are NOT going to do this all over again tomorrow. I have to be careful with my back, as when it gets really bad, it is debilitating, and since I was unsure in early September how soon my next procedure actually would be, I had to do anything I could to baby it.

So we stayed home on Sunday, it never rained, and the wind behaved itself much better than the prior day. Who knew? Since it will be the only time this year I will get out and fly, I have to be appreciative that I at least got out and was able to fly then. Since the event, the pandemic has gotten much worse in the Midwest as a whole, and I doubt any additional events will take place as long as the numbers are at the levels they currently are. But the bright side is, and always will be, I got a fantastic opportunity to fly with old friends, for even, just a day. I will take a day like that any time, and any place I can get it. You can never have too many friends, and you can never spend enough time with them.

So as this pandemic rages on, do your best to stay healthy, do your best not speak ill of officials trying to keep us safe, and look forward to the days when all of this will only be a, “Remember When” topic of conversation.

Possibly I will get to fly soon?

Cool Orbit Mega Fish in Grad Haven, MI

So if you have followed this irregularly updated blog/picture spot on the web, you would know, that I have chose to both place my views on this site now, as well as post pictures of my hobby. Well, it has been all Jeff’s View for 8 months or so lately – Mainly due to the fact I have not flown, or really had much else to share. Well, that may be coming to an end – Jen and I plan to fly Labor day weekend, in Two Rivers, Wi as long as the kite fly is still on. It has been moved from the lake shore this year, due to the fact that the high lake level has claimed most of the beach. Due to this, it has been moved to Two River’s high school. I also believe this will give the ability to better socially distance on the field, and have the ability keep the public at a safe distance. Am I nervous about going to this? Yes, I won’t lie, but for two days it should give us a nice distraction from the rest of life. I will hopefully have pictures, and it will depend on weather, crowd etc.

Flying will be a good thing, I miss the relaxation of launching a kite, and just watching it catch the wind, dip, soar, and float on the wind currents. This could be just the medicine the doctor ordered. Since I last posted, I dealt with a very bad infection on my ear that spread into my head, and literally I have spent most of this time dealing with this, as well as work and normal life.

Speaking of normal life, I have to say, Sturgeon Bay has now dropped into the normal life file. This is good, but very weird feeling.  Normally when we were up here for 2 years, the world stopped, for us to enjoy hiking, biking, and generally other items in our absolute favorite vacation spot. Moving here changed that, and I have to admit, – getting used to that has been a challenge at times. Mainly because, day to day chores now occur, whether I like them to or not. Mowing the lawn, organizing the garage, tending the yard, etc. These are things that all took place in Omaha up until March of this year. Sure Jen and I would take care of things up here – occasionally, but we had a lawn service that mowed. We would quickly try to clean up the yard, but hey – we can do that when we move up here permanently. Well, that day came – and yes, I don’t mind the work, my back may tell you differently, but I am just trying to adapt to the change in venue along with the change in chores.

I am looking to this fall for the possibility of doing more flying, but as College Athletics have shown, lets just see how far events such as these make it.  Until the next post – Jeff

And the world just keeps on turning…

I am not sure if this title is exactly appropriate for this post,  but I am just not sure what to say. Since my last post the world definitely has taken a change. It has made everyone re-examine themselves, their actions, and their interactions. As a white person, even growing up, lower middle class, I have never ever known the trials, challenges, or even dangers of a black man in our country, or world. Memorial day 2020 will never be forgotten I hope, so that everyone remembers that was a day, that things finally changed. I am scared that once again, the establishment, will only give lip service, as they have always done, and then just walk away. I am sure they will try, but it then becomes very important that EVERYONE does not allow this to happen. The fight this time for #BlackLivesMatter I hope continues to gain steam, and spotlight, as well as recognition for how far in life we still need to come.

People need to know that over the next days, months, and years if the movement can continue, there will need to be some very hard conversations, I call them, “Difficult”. These conversations need to happen, at first where myself, and all other people of the white race, must close their mouth, and open their ears, and hearts to honestly listen and hear EXACTLY how others have felt, are feeling, and how they need help in no longer experiencing these things. “Sorry” will not cut it, money will not solve it, but actions will be required. By everyone. But again, I re-emphasize that the conversation MUST be one-way at first, all people of privilege must shut up, listen, begin to understand, and finally empathize. Once this occurs, I feel THEN the conversation can begin. Again, NOT with people of privilege dominating the conversation, but instead, only interacting, and getting a full understanding of what they can honestly, and actually do to help. These conversations should take us all out of our comfort zones, ALL OF US. So we can start once more, on possibly equal footing to build from scratch.

Our nation, contrary to what most people know, is a “Republic” not a “Democracy” we seem to only assist and install Democracies world wide, but will never change our Republic, because it is too safe to those in power. While over the next few months, there will be much focus on the national political race for president, there will be so many more races that will need everyone’s attention. These are races at the local and state level. These levels are where most change has to first occur; The President, contrary to the current sitting official’s mind set, does not control the Police, or local laws. This is all done at the local level, and these are the most overlooked political races every year. People need to understand, these are incredibly important to make a change in this world, and this is where the change needs to start. Because of this, the most powerful tool that all of us have, is the power of the poll. People need to start now, to get; 1) Registered to vote, if you are not. 2) Verify that you are registered voter at least 60 days ahead. 3) If you are either fearful of where the corona virus will be in November, or are not sure you can get to the polls due to work, then you MUST look into an absentee ballot as soon as possible.

Make your vote count this year, understand that your vote DOES matter, your vote DOES count, your voice will only be heard if you do. As well, collectively, things can then start to change. This is the way to battle the issues that have been seen in Milwaukee earlier this year, and Georgia this week. Standing out in the rain/snow/sun for hours only causes people to feel helpless, and add the fear of Covid, suppression is still a very real possibility. Again, all of this can be avoided if everyone plans ahead this year.

OK, I am off my soap box, and if you read this, you know how to get a hold of me. I wish you the best America, because you are going to need it to get through what challenges face us all over the next few years.

Be fair, Be kind, most of all, Be Human.

Could there be positives from all of this?

Prism Snapshot 1.9 flying over the Roman Theater in Gubbio, Italy

So my last post, probably read by one person (Thanks Cousin, I appreciate the support!) 🙂 Was a bit dark or possibly just plain boring, as it felt like I was just getting a ton of crap off of my worried chest. Well, I can tell you, I am forcing myself to try and look at the positives possibly coming from all of this.

We seem to be having clearer skies, streams, lakes and seas due to the lack of people. We seem to be seeing that possibly war/military aggression/skirmishes have subsided quite a bit (Until our friends in Iran decided to have some fun and poke the bear). We seem to have more people realizing just how good possibly they have it, and we have many people that are going above and beyond to try and help others who have been negatively affected by this pandemic.

We all are giving up things, as we get through this time, sports, movies, dining out, shopping, amid many other things right now.  I wonder if this will have a positive outcome, that people understand we do not need to be such a consumerist society, that was started up in the 80’s and only fueled over the years by more and more, “Stuff”.

I know my family has been luck not to have a negative affect from the pandemic, including my daughter – who was a bit worried. But she has been able to rest easy, and see now, that possibly she will get through this, by the help of others, and direction by her principal and school president.

Will this make us all possibly relax a bit more, be willing to be a bit more patient with each other? Be a bit more understanding of each other?  Be more tolerant, and appreciative of all humanity, since we all have spent at least 30 days surrounded by close family constantly.

Will this possibly cause us all to better appreciate that check out person at Target, that waiter or waitress at one of our favorite restaurants, what about the mail person, who was willing to come in to work daily – never really knowing if they could contract the virus, just by delivering your mail at first, same with the UPS driver, and the FedEx person. How about all of these factories we are hearing about willing to retool, and create PPE sanitizing apparatus, or ventilators, or even masks and gowns etc. for our medical personnel?

You probably are reading this, and are saying, what about the doctors and nurses? You know what, I wanted to put these super heroes all to themselves. Sure you can say, they were just doing their job, but that is NOT the case. These people yes, chose to help you get well, healed, or recover, but they NEVER planned to go into work day after day, after day, for 12 – 16 hours everyday, putting their own health at risk, just to try and help people that could and ultimately would infect many of them. Just think about that, the next time you decide there are no Friday bagels at your work, and get pissed off. A damn circle of boiled and baked bread really just doesn’t matter.

And what about all of the other super heroes? Public transit workers – Pilots, airline workers, taxi/uber/lyft drivers, still willing to get people from place to place because they NEEDED to get to these places (Like a hospital). How about food processing plant workers – possibly FORCED to still work, even when they KNEW conditions were not good. How about TV personnel, radio personnel, and others willing to keep working, so you could have some sort of a semblance of normal. And yes I again left out another group of super heroes.

Grocery Store workers! These are people again, that, when they took their job, NEVER thought, hey, I am going to have to stock absolutely EMPTY shelves, because people are going crazy and buy 50 lb. bags of potatoes, 15 packages of toilet paper, and oh yes, 30 lbs of meat. Never mind the folks that ate more at restaurants, than at home, who now also had to shop, and get food staples. All of this had put a strain on our system, and these folks have no choice but to help you, when you ask to find beef broth, and choose not to wear a mask, or observe a 6 foot barrier. These folks deserve our thanks, appreciation and respect when this is all over. These folks continued to help all of us, literally putting their own life at risk.

OK, well all I can say is, if you are someone other than my cousin, (Really I do appreciate you reading this!) and you are in any of these areas, or many dozens of the other professions willing to stay open while all of this was going on, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. While there has been many bad things to observe during this pandemic, there really has been much more positive items to focus on!

Until I begin to bore you again with kite pictures, thank you for reading.

Stay healthy!

Jeff

The New Normal

So here we are, the last day of March – which I felt came in like a, “Lamb” well, in my humble opinion, the month is roaring out like a great big freaking huge, “Lion” not so much the weather, but instead, Covid 19. Yes, the weather has been a bit weird, but the weather really is not of importance in these new days, of the new, “Normal” for life as we know it. The Governor of Wisconsin has issued a, “Safer at Home” decree through April 24. So pretty much, everyone is at home, waiting for this virus to slow down. In the news, Door county finally got it’s first case of the virus.  So now we sit, and hold our collective breath. The county has already said,  the health system up here cannot handle a full blown outbreak, so they right now, have politely asked summer residents to not come up. Most are obeying the request, however, there are some who are coming up here anyway. I hope they realize that IF they get the virus, their health up here could be jeopardized due to the fact there just is not enough room in the hospital to deal with an outbreak of a contagious disease.

Well enough of today, lets look at tomorrow. Door county, Wisconsin as you know, is a very heavily traveled tourist area. Due to this, the businesses here are very dependent and focused on the time period of two months, July and August for the mainstay of their income. Because of that, many temporary workers (Read: College Students) come up, and work for the summer, waiting tables, serving drinks, ice cream, cleaning hotels etc. Within this workforce, there is a large population that come in to work on Visas from Europe, and other areas of the world. I am am silently (Or not so silently because I am publishing it) wondering if this can happen this summer. Can the world, not just the United States, or Wisconsin, get back to normal in this time frame? I think that this will be seen as to how the virus survives with social distancing in effect for our country, and others. China, it seemed to work, for the most part – but I think the next month of April will determine in China if it was able to hold long enough. In Spain and Italy, we are just not seeing the virus wane as much as I think officials were hoping.

Now lets look past tomorrow to the upcoming near future. I believe, hope, and pray, that this virus has and will change the way this country, and the world acts, behaves, and conducts itself, in business, politics, and just in general, humanity. I think that there will be many businesses that do not make it through this time. I also think there will be new businesses that emerge, and possibly new divisions of established companies that will emerge. This Pandemic has exposed just how internationally reliant we are on China, and other parts of the world for many of our goods that we consume. While I believe the world must be a large community as a whole, and I believe in international trade, this really exposed just how much America is reliant on many products from outside our shores. With distilleries now making hand sanitizer, and large companies figuring out that it also can be a by-product of ethanol, I think good ole, “Necessity is the Mother of invention” is happening. We also see Dyson inventing, and producing ventilators in 10 days. We see clothing manufactures making much needed masks, and bio-chemical companies designing tests for the virus, and mask cleaners very quickly.

We are coming together as a world community helping each other, and that is important now, more than ever. I hope when this virus is in our rear view mirror, companies stay with production in our country, businesses become more fiscally responsible, and people understand that constantly consuming is not really needed.

The, “Consumerist” society we have become started in the 80’s and has continued too long. Hopefully this will have people realize that what matters most is, family, and health.  If you are reading this, man you must have been bored, but thank you. I promise I will get back to writing about Kites, life in Wisconsin, and other things less heavy than the virus. But I needed to get most of this off my chest. And if you are still reading this (Yes, my punctuation, sentence structure, and general English sucks, I know) I appreciate the time you took. From my favorite Solo singer, Fish I am going to steal his parting quote – Take care, and stay alive.

Jeff – March 31 2020

Pandemic

Martin Lester’s Diver

So this Wednesday, I was supposed to leave for Italy, for a kite festival with my friends in Gubbio. Obviously this is not happening. Yes, I am bummed, but I get why this needs to happen. I also feel for the people of Italy, China, Spain, France, and yes, us in the United States. This situation is unprecedented in my almost 53 years of life, but it definitely is not the end of days. Which brings me to my rant, and since you chose to come to my little site, you are now stuck reading it.

The United States is a highly transitory society, one where we are able to traverse hundreds of miles in hours by air. The problem – I think we are incredibly lined up for this virus to reach every corner of our country, more so than China, and Europe. Because of this, I am not sure there is a way to hide from exposure, and we need to be responsible in the face of a major outbreak. Yes, this virus is serious, yes, it is dangerous, and yes, our citizens need to be vigilant, BUT PEOPLE QUIT BUYING UP EVERY TOILET PAPER ROLL YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON!!! What is wrong with people, I tell my wife this is such a classic case of FOMO (Fear of Missing out) if I have ever seen it. When I walk into the grocery store and see people with their carts literally filled with these sanitary rolls, I just at first laughed at the stupidity, but now I am getting mad at the absolute hysteria. My concern? Those in our society that cannot afford to buy multiple mega rolls, and in fact, are struggling just to buy their food and sundries weekly. When you walk through the stores, and see panic buyers have bought up every food item on shelves, you just honestly wonder what will happen to this food? I guarantee these people will NEVER eat the 50 lb. bag of potatoes they just bought on Friday before it spoils.

My prediction:

  1. There will be the biggest waste / spoilage of food ever in this country coming in the next 4-6 weeks
  2. Stores that just experienced the biggest days of sales ever in the last week, will experience the biggest “return” rate of Toilet Paper, Disinfectant Spray, and Disinfectant Wipes in the next 4 weeks. My thought: don’t let them be returned. If people were stupid enough to buy it all up, and not allow others to have any, then they are stuck with it.
  3. While other countries will wait out the situation with relative optimism, the United States Citizens will decide that when our government finally decides to have us nationally, “Self Quarantine” there will be tons of people that will decide that the rules don’t apply to them, and will not follow directions.

We will see if these happen, and I hope I am completely wrong, however, I do not have much faith right now in what will occur.

I hope my next post shows I was completely wrong. Stay safe if you are reading this, stay healthy, but most of all, stay sane.

The More You Have…

So when I attended Avila College, now Avila University, in Kansas City Missouri, I had a a Philosophy teacher,  Dr. H Paul LeMaire, who in the class stressed, “The more you have, The more you have, to take care of” I have to admit, I really do not remember many things from college, but that quote from Dr. LeMaire has always stuck with me. Because of that some family, friends, and others call myself, and my like minded beautiful wife, “Minimalists”. Possibly in some ways I am, but if you were to see my kite collection, I would have to politely beg to differ – I have way too many – and yes, I have written about this as well before. But this also could be said about my soccer jersey collection, or my shoes. So with that said, it’s that time of year yet again, that I start thinking about Christmas, and my wife. my daughter, and others are asking me what I would like as gifts…. Then I start looking around, and immediately realize that I have WAY TOO MUCH and I begin to decide I need to get rid of stuff. As we get ready to move to a smaller house, effectively downsizing in Wisconsin, I am again looking hard at my stuff, and am trying to do as much shedding of stuff that I can…. I don’t have a ton of interests – Soccer, Kites, electronics…. but all of those things I have too much. Yes, I am boring, and yes, I really feel the multiple chrome books, tablets, pc’s jerseys etc. are just too much… most people make it just fine with one of each… so I need to find to not have 9 of each. Being asked what I wanted for Christmas this year, I have really absolutely been challenged to find ANYTHING that I want. Jennifer and I are lucky to be in a situation that we really want for nothing, and monetarily, if we do want something, we go buy it. We just plan do not need to wait. We are lucky most people are not this lucky. So this brings me back to those words Dr. LeMaire uttered way back, 31 years ago in 1986 – and they have always stayed with me. Most other things I attended in college possibly did some how, but these words really have always stayed with me. So the next time someone asks you what would you like, maybe think twice. Funny enough, this is though, where the digital age really has made having stuff easier – my books? Digital, on my Kindle app. My music? For the most part, in the cloud, and I only subscribe to google play -much cheaper than buying all the discs. The subscription model in this scenario, works for me.

Baby it’s cold outside

Ivy with her hoodie

Ivy, showing how she is not pleased with having to wear warm clothes again.

So as I warned, I will now start posting more frequently to this space, but with that brings less Kite posts and more rambling posts about everyday life. No Soccer, No Kites, just life. So if you keep up with Jen’s website (Kuhnsfolk.Net) you know that we are moving forward with our plans to relocate to Wisconsin, namely our home in Sturgeon Bay. With Katie in Chicago, and nothing really holding us here in Omaha, and my consulting position allowed to work remotely, we decided to pull the trigger. Let’s get up to Door county, the area we fell in love with 9 years ago, and made our main vacation spot. With that comes the cold of Wisconsin winters, and the snow associated with living on/near Lake Michigan and the Green Bay. I am OK with that. If you know me, you know that I grew up in North East Iowa, and actually really enjoy the snow, and four seasons. Well again, I aside, and say, yes you are probably saying, “Omaha has 4 seasons” and I would respond, – in name only – for the last 3 – 4 years we have only had two – Summer and Winter. So Sturgeon bay, has 4 seasons, a Winter that starts in November, and relents in March, A Spring that lasts till June, and a Summer that actually properly ends in Late August/Early September. That leaves about 8 weeks for the most wonderful season of all, FALL. Fall is my favorite season, dry crisp walks, the color of nature, the downright heavy reminder that yes, everything does come full circle. So you say, well since Sturgeon Bay is a good 4 hours north of Omaha, that it HAS to be colder… But it’s not. Go ahead, look it up – the average temperatures in December/January/February are all higher albeit, not by much that in Omaha, the reason? Because we are a peninsula, and are surrounded by open water. Omaha is surrounded by dirt, – dirt that freezes, and stays frozen, and holds negative  temperatures better than open water. – make sense? Now does it snow more in Sturgeon Bay? As I have to get used to saying, in the best Wisconsin voice I can, “YouBetCha!” But I am OK with that. with that comes snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and other fun items.

So with all of this said, what the hell does my title have to with my story above? Well it’s early November here in Omaha, and the pups and I woke up to 17 degrees this morning. Yes, Fahrenheit. Not Celsius. So poor Ivy as you can see, is back to wearing her sweatshirts/sweaters/coats to help her stay warm. Why? Because we only have two seasons here in Omaha, Summer that ended a week ago, and Winter that seemed to start the next day. leaving little to my favorite season, Fall.

I will miss Omaha I am sure at times, I have spent 35 of my 52 years in this town, which makes it easy to call home. However, without family here, I am good moving on. Well, that’s my first rambling post that no one will read but makes me feel better that is not kite orientated. Like it? Let me know that you read it, and I may even post another. 🙂 Jeff

 

What to do when you forget your pilot kite

Bubbles the Purple Fish, on his own to fly without a pilot on October 13 2019 at One Sky One World, LaVista NE.

So getting ready on Sunday morning, I was packing kites, the day did not look the best for Charlie the Dog, since the winds would shift during the day, and the soccer fields at the LaVista Sports complex have permanent aluminum benches, and bleachers. I really wanted to get him out, but with that forecast, I also like to keep my kites in one piece. So I decided, to take my other collection of aquatic creatures – Bubbles the Purple fish, The peace fish, and the rainbow squid. as I gathered a few more items, and take the to the garage to pack up, I managed to forget a very important piece to any day you decide to fly show kites; a pilot. Whats a pilot you ask? It’s a medium to large kite with enough pull to allow you to anchor other kites off the single line. This kite basically acts like an anchor to keep the show kites from wandering out of the area on their lines. If you are all by yourself, this is not as important, as when you are flying with others – a wandering kite causes damage, and most of your other kite pilots around will not be very impressed or appreciative of you taking their displays out of the sky. Needless to say, LaVista is one of these fly’s.  Well, after getting everything packed up, you guessed it, I forgot a pilot. When I unpacked, I discovered that I did not have a said pilot kite. I asked to borrow one from a friend, and he gave me one of his secondary kites to see if I could make due – unfortunately, it did not work. So, what did I do? I rolled out a shorter line, and allowed Bubbles to wander all around since I was lucky to have a full soccer field to myself. Well, that didn’t leave me much ability to put anything else up, since I would need to babysit the kite all day. However, what did come back out of it, was yet another life lesson; Adapt.

As I was sitting there, watching the kite, travel around, up and down, back and forth, virtually swimming, I found many people were impressed with the, “Swimming” Bubbles was doing. Out of nowhere, Bubbles became the hit of the fly. I sat back and again, at 52 thought to myself, yet another life lesson: How to adapt, and make the best of a situation. maybe it’s because I am getting older, maybe it’s because I was just plain tired, but I sat back and realized, I just let the day happen, and even though my plan did not go as I wanted it to, it was still a good fly, and none of the spectators knew that I didn’t get things to happen as planned. And quite honestly, they didn’t care. So I pretty much at one point laughed to myself and thought, no matter how old you get, you can always learn something from life daily. Am I still a control freak? Yep. Am I more aware of my need to be in control? Yep. Am I trying to better focus on letting go? Sure, but I can do a better job. Sunday was a perfect example to me of where I just need to some times, let things take their course, and not always be in control.

The day ended up with pizza with the club, and enjoying some chatter before heading off back home, and ultimately to Philadelphia again. One of these days, I will learn the best way to finally let go and allow everything to just happen, I hope though, maybe each day I am getting closer to that goal.