Happy Easter and Happy Passover— Good morning all:

Wisdom of the Week

“The Seder nights tie me with the centuries before me” — Ludwig Frank

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song” — Pope John Paul II

Actually I am writing this fairly late on Friday evening; the reason being that for this week I am the “go to” and “in charge” guy for two great grand-kids—and I take those responsibilities very seriously. Definitely not because I am on a coffee high. The sleep-time ritual was a “fait de complis” by nine and has readings and stories as part of the ritual.

Tonight’s book reading was comprised of about 20 poems by Shel Silverstein from his Where the Sidewalk Ends book. All readings were, of course, accompanied by much hilarity and belly laughing. That was then followed by individualized bed-time story telling. For 3-year old Kellen it dealt with the importance of sometime doing/wearing things (i.e. wearing your bicycling helmet) that you hope you’ll never have to use—followed by much deep (sleep inducing) thought on his part. 7 year old Derek just loves to hear stories from my youth—of course all the recounted events happened over a thousand years ago.

I just remembered that Snicker-Doodle the rabbit needed his/her evening feeding of lettuce and hay. Insert a short break here.

I flew to Orlando last Tuesday. Vince and Kirstin are celebrating their tenth in New York City and this gave me the opportunity to spend some great quality time with Derek and Kellen. On the one hand, a certain couple is eating Sushi, seeing plays, and partaking in Television shows. On the other hand, a certain greybeard is making oatmeal, pizzas, chicken tenders. I believe that this greybeard was dealt the winning hand.

Each day has been a whirlwind. I am not sure how the parents of today and those of years past do this stuff for days-weeks-months-years on end. These little guys do keep you hopping.

So as to not bore you let me just update on today. Seven-thirty, while the coffee was still perking, the first little face came around the corner. Soon it was oatmeal/cheerie oats (Cheerios)/waffles/coffee/orange juice/ and yes, the all important chocolate soy milk.

The three of us raced through my series of Royal Canadian Air Force 5BX exercises. This we’ve done all week although I believe that the other two made a mockery of my efforts on this morning’s efforts. A little haphazard pickup around the house was then in order. This was followed by doing a load of dishes and laundry.

Biking on the trail

By 10:30 we were all on our bikes for a 5-mile bicycle trail run. For a reason which I still don’t fully understand it became a 15+ mile run and got us home at 2:00 P.M. Maybe the fact that at one break I helped one of the young lads do a manly thing behind a convenient bush and then promptly left Vince’s helmet laying on the bench we used for the break. The discovery of my head sans helmet was exposed 2.5 miles later. The retrieval escapade therefore added a quick 5 miles to the trip—so that is part of the 15 mile total. My “no helmet” reaction, as retold over and over again at dinner, was belly-bursting funny.

Near the turn-around point was a wooden decked bridge. To cool down we parked our bikes and went to the small creek below. The kids were having a great time. I walked halfway back, so as to keep a better eye on the bicycles. All was well until a rider stopped to mention that the previous week, by the creek,  a cottonmouth snake (Water Moccasin) the size of my arm had been spotted!  I started with a; “hey Derek, Kellen, could you come here please?” Response was a millisecond slower than I wanted and so I was all; “ RIGHT NOW!” Florida is not Ohio.

I forgot to mention that Kellen, riding on a tandem-style attachment, realized that the shadow cast by fencing from an adjacent golf course looked like a railroad track. He LOVES The Polar Express. I listened to 45 renditions of The Polar Express. The earliest performances had him sounding like a member of the Vienna Boys Choir—not so much for the latter versions.

Lunch, and then by four O’clock we were at a nearby library for a kite-making lesson. Kellen was most intrigued by his first use, ever, of a paper punch. In a roundabout way he asked the librarian if he could take the punch home. It took all my quick-wit-when-you’re-tired mind to get him to see that maybe kids next week would also need to use that paper punch, especially since he now realized what an important tool it is.

We skipped the evening shower in lieu of a swim in the pool. This is Florida, but we all began to shiver simultaneously after about a half hour. The rest you know.

Why am I still up? Possibly it’s due to the fact that the mind is the first to go when the whole system is being taxed much beyond only watching Cops during the evening.

Wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Make it a great week everyone. I am now singing “ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding,” prior to each and every train crossing—without even being prompted.

Cheers,

Dirk

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