2020-A Reflection

This year was one for the ages. It was a year of great stress but also opportunity. Yes we had/have a global pandemic that shut almost everything down for some time but one thing it taught me to do is adapt. I was able to be at home from work every day since March 12. I was able to make dinners and be home for every one. No travel meant I didn’t miss those moments like the microwave not working or the water heater not heating water (this morning). We rebuilt our deck! I learned having too much toilet paper is just as bad as not having enough!

I was at every scheduled baseball game I could physically make! I learned to change the oil on our cars. I learned I may not have all the answers but what I learned from my parents gives me a good sense of direction and that I know that I can do this. I learned you can’t always have it your way, but you should always listen and learn from others. I learned to adapt and be flexible.

I learned and am still working on treating myself to some away time is OK even if it is for a day or even a walk of a few moments.

I saw firsthand through my wife how teachers with no direction or tools came together for their students and work even harder than they already do to deliver school virtually. Thank you!

I saw pure joy and sorrow as birthday parades and the passing of friends loved ones happened all in the same week. I learned life is short. I was there for my Dad when he learned he had pancreatic cancer and also the weeks in the hospital to encourage him and be there when he needed me. I was there for my Mom when my Dad passed away two weeks ago today.

I saw compassion and care from every maintenance person, Therapist, CNA, RNA, Doctor, Surgeon at the hospitals and I realized how hard they all work with a smile on their face even if they we stressed and exhausted.I learned that all of use are in this together.

I leaned what I means to have great family, friends and coworkers as a support system. I learned to lean on others, be compassionate, be grateful, and say thank you. What I learned is to never take things for granted, take care of yourselves and others. Look at each day as a new opportunity and always say “I Love You” to loved ones.

2020 has not been a good year I many respects but if you look at it you will see some good, and you most certainly learned some things along the 365-1/4 days we revolved around the star we call the Sun. One thing is certain, hindsight is 2020.

If You Give a Boy a Baseball

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This year, like many before it has been full of baseball. I am a father of two wonderfully talented boys who play baseball. I am also their coach, #2 fan right behind their mother who is their #1 fan.

Recently I have seen the below story going around social media in different forms that I think is based off the popular children’s books by Laura Numeroff. If you have not shared any of these books with your children, I strongly suggest you do! This story is about giving your boy (Girl/Child) a baseball and its impact on their lives. It is so true and touching that I had to share it.

If You Give a Boy a Baseball
-Author unknown

If you give a boy a baseball, he will want a bat to go with it.

You’ll buy the best bat you can find, and then he will probably want a bucket of balls and a glove and some cleats too.

When he realizes he can’t carry all these things with his own two hands, he will want a bat bag.

Then he will want to spend hours begging you to go out in the yard to play with him even though you just want to sit on the couch and watch TV. He will insist. And his insistence will win!

When you go out in the yard to hit, pitch, throw, and catch. He will not want to go back in the house for dinner and will swear that even at dusk there is enough light to continue playing!

Next the backyard will get too small and he will want to go the baseball field to see how far he can hit and throw. Finally he learns to catch and then he wants friends to play with.

When a boy gets a jersey, he will want pants and socks and a belt and a hat to go with it! And a TEAM!!!

Then life as you know it will end! 

There will be no more lazy weekends. You will see more sunrises than you ever thought possible! Every spare minute of your time will be spent hauling buckets, bags, stinky cleats, and crazy boys all over tarnation for practice and games. Your housewill be a mess, and your car will be dirty.

All because you gave a boy a baseball!

Your weekends will be spent freezing in the cold or burning in the hot summer sun in a lawn chair! His weekends will be spent gaining confidence and friends, learning new skills, and having fun getting dirty. So dirty you will learn a whole new way to do laundry! Like going to the car wash using a pressure washer!

You will be there the day he has his first strikeout, double play and hits his first home run! And he will make you so proud. The other parents will congratulate you. But you feel weird saying thank you because it’s not you at bat or on the mound. It’s all him . . . He did this.

His smile will grow bigger and bigger! And each year that he plays with that baseball, he will get better and better. And his love for the game, and confidence in himself will grow right along with his jersey size!

Right before your eyes, your little boy will be transformed from the baby who spun around with his head on the bat, (because he loves attention), into a pitcher. Because he still loves attention.

Then he might try to be a catcher, outfielder or infielder because baseball teaches him he can be anything he wants!

When you give a boy a baseball, you give him more than just a ball. You give him a sport, and a talent, and hope, and dreams, and friends, a new family, a place to learn about life, room to grow as a person where he can push his limits, and bravery, and courage and life, and memories. He will have all of these things, simply because you gave a boy a baseball.

Because you gave a boy a baseball, you too will develop new/lifelong friendships, developed solely from the same passion for the game and love of your team. You will cheer together, all because you gave a boy a baseball.

Then one day, many years from today . . . he will be in his room and a baseball will roll out from an old dusty bat bag underneath his bed. And he will pick it up and realize instantly that when you gave that boy a baseball, you also gave him a childhood that he would never forget! Then he will hug you, and your eyes may leak – because you realize that everything YOU gave up along the way . . . was worth it!

All because you gave a boy a baseball!

Alexa, Where Is Santa?

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That’s right, NORAD and Amazon have teamed up to provide Alexa integration with the NORAD Santa Tracker. All you need to do is ask Alexa, “Where is Santa?” on your Amazon Echo Device(s) and it will request that you accept notifications in your Alexa app on your phone. Once done, you can ask Alexa where the jolly old elf is and it will give you the exact location and offer up some very interesting facts that kids and adults will like. Alexa will even sing you some Christmas songs.

Give it a try this Christmas Eve and enjoy!

Project 365-Day 140

The Last ONE

“The Last ONE”

Today this little guy is one and tomorrow he will be two! Bitter sweet seems to be the feelings I have about this situation. They just grow-up to fast! Also, I love this photo because it looks as though he is contemplating what the future holds for him.

Poll: Have You Ever Purchased Someone Else’s Prints?

Today I have learned that my current photo hosting service has a limit in how many photos I can host without paying. With that, I have considered changing my service in order to not only increase my hosting, but also to make some prints available to you the public. Some people have expressed interest in my photos and I would be more than happy to share them with you. Thus my brief poll.

Project 365-Day 49

Cotton Top

“Cotton Top”

Everyday objects sometimes get ignored. Have you ever closely looked at a cotton swab before? Nope? Well, now you have. I like the texture and unity that these swabs had in the 750 count container and took a closer look. Not glamorous, but I like the little strands of fiber and the texture.