There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label Emily. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Emily. Show all posts

05 August 2017

The insta-story family reunion

Our family reunions now consist of days spent up at my brother's cabin in Fruitland, Utah.

I'm not complaining, I love it up there. I won't lie though, I miss the days of going to new places with the family, but that hasn't happened for ten years, since sister died.

With all of us getting older though, Fruitland is easier on everyone.
I created an Instagram insta-story for the weekend reunion for me to enjoy on here.

I doubt anyone will see it until I'm gone and the family goes through this site to see memories of my life.

If that happens, I hope you enjoy it. The music is inspired by crazylegs and Aaz from our time together driving back from the lake.

25 December 2016

Family Christmas 2016

2017 will mark the ten year anniversary of this little blog of my life, thoughts and adventures. Many different events have been shared over that time, but looking back at the times with my family are probably my most favorite.

As I travel back home for Christmas this year, I recall past holidays...
My 2015 Christmas was full of melancholy as I was moving to Arizona a couple of months later.  Christmas Eve 2012 was the night before I left on Christmas morning to Prague. 2010 was the year I made a time capsule for my newest niece Flooey.  My post in 2009 was all about trying to reconcile sadness of the past with hope of the future.

This Christmas Eve I was at my brother's house, and I talked the family into watching "Christmas Vacation", as the kids had never seen it before. The scene where Sparky gets trapped in the attic and ends up watching old Christmas movies touched me deeply, as it reminded me of how important it is to capture and remember these moments of time.
Before you know it, years have passed by. So I make another treasured video to remember 2016.

Merry Christmas.

21 November 2016

family reunions unveil the passing of time

We stop our card playing to soak in the beauty of a double rainbow. The Aunts and Uncles tell stories to the younger kids as the storm clouds pass overhead. I smile at the passing of time.
It's our family reunion up at the Fruitland cabin. As night rolls in, we get the fire going and make our version of smores. Starburst and gummy bears if you please.
Playing on the water, almost breaking my back on the tubes with my buddies. My time for tubing is quickly passing.
I sleep in the same room as the little ones, we tell stories late into the night before cuddling up together.

I feel safe, warm and loved.
I expect more family members will pass away before the next reunion, but new additions will also join the fold. Until my time comes, I will continue to document the journey, unveiling the passing of time.

24 October 2016

The South Rim

"Is it really one of the seven wonders of the World?"

"It depends upon who you ask, but I'll let you see it with your own eyes, then you can tell me what you think...."
As we step off the train from Williams, glimpses of the South Rim can be seen through the brush oak and pines. It's June, and the Arizona heat is beating down like a lunatic oven. Indian flute music is being played in the distance, and the notes bounce off the canyon walls and follow the Colorado river down stream.
We stop at the vista overlooks, and drink in the beauty in silence. Cbug tries to mirror his father and uncle with his own camera skills, crazylegs makes fun of selfies, Emily is making sure none of us fall off the edge.
I stop asking them if they are having a good time, as they are too young. Instead I will write here about how much I love and miss them. One day perhaps, they will find this post, laugh at the photos, click play on the video, and relive our times together at one of the seven wonders of the world.

08 October 2016

Comin' to your city

Sports teams.

One of the great things I love about having a team you support is that you'll never lose them, no matter where your life takes you.

As long as you are loyal.
I catch the early flight on game day from Phoenix to the SLC, jump on the light rail train at the airport, and eventually find myself back at the University of Utah stadium.

The tailgating crew greets me with open arms and warm hugs. We enjoy wildcat burgers and brews, laughs and memories while waiting for game time.

We ended up with our homecoming game win over those pesky Wildcats.

Go Utes!

06 October 2016

Grand Canyon Railway

We started the morning in a makeshift Western town, complete with gun slinging cowboys and horse apples. It was just past eight am and the temperature was already approaching 85 degrees.
The train whistle blew, and the familiar "All Board" call bellowed across the station. Tickets in hand, we boarded the Kokopelli car, settled into our seats with breakfast from the dining car, then felt the lurch as the wheels started to roll.

The Grand Canyon Railway train adventure was underway.
After waving to the locals as we pulled out of town, past the prairie dogs and the last remaining buildings of Williams, we settled into views of the expansive open plateau.

Listening to some history from the conductor for a few, then the singing cowboys showed up...and things got interesting.
Cbug got himself fully immersed in the show, dancing and singing wildly up and down the aisle. The whole train car was busting up in laughter.

We heard classic tunes from Johnny Cash and John Denver. It felt like we were going back in time the further the train went, and no one was complaining.
We even ran into some unruly characters that robbed us (in good spirits). I haven't seen such happy faces on my brother's family like that for awhile.

Which made the entire experience worthwhile. As "Country Road" was sung by everyone on the train car as we were coming home, I closed my eyes and thought of you.
John Denver was your favorite singer, and whenever I hear him, I know that you are probably close by, just above my head, smiling down from the heavens.

Your spirit was closer to us on this day I think.

14 September 2016

Love Shack Jenga

I sit in the splendor of the Fruitland highlands and wonder if I've ever truly left....
The cabin stays the same, the scenery hasn't changed, the people I love are all here.

Maybe I'm just in a dream, and need to be submersed in a tub of ice cold water to snap me out of my entrapment.

Yet everything I see here has shimmering around the edges, letting me know that I'm only making memories before returning back to my reality.
So I take full advantage of this time, long walks and talks with my two best friends, creating big smiles as Jenga blocks fall.
We ride along dirt roads as the sun sets, sit in comfortable silence around a roaring fire, play darts and tether ball to pass time during long and lazy afternoons.

I lip sync teen pop music hits in terrible fashion, but it makes us all laugh.
I love to roam back to the love shack cabin with these two.

18 August 2016

The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel

After taking our time driving up from the Phoenix area, we finally pull into Williams, Arizona after a few hours. Tired and hungry, we find our home for the next couple of nights....

From the outside, it isn't all that impressive. Honestly, I was wondering if I'd made a big mistake. Yet once inside, you are immersed in the grand old splendor of the place.
The best part of staying here is having the train station that goes directly to the South Rim right behind the hotel. Train enthusiasts have old railway cars to explore.
We get checked in, then enjoy what the hotel has to offer ; a swimming pool and hot tub, a game room right out of the 1970's with Ms. Pacman and air hockey, vintage cars on the grounds outside, and just beautiful evening weather for cocktails whilst enjoying the sunset.
We are rested, refreshed, and ready to start a new adventure in the morning....

01 August 2016


The time had finally arrived. A road trip with family up to Arizona's most infamous site, and one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

But I digress, first stop was breakfast at The Henhouse for some pancakes.
After hardly making a dent in the enormous flapjack, we jumped on the interstate and started our journey northward, first stop Jerome.

This little town perched on the top of the Mingus mountains and overlooking the Verde Valley was a good place to find all kinds of treasures made by local artists from the materials found in the mountainside.
Our favorite find was undoubtedly the kaleidoscope store. Imaginations ran wild as we turned the various knobs, creating all kinds of interesting formations and colors.
Cbug and I found a pottery and glass blowing workshop behind one of the stores, and sat in quiet wonderment as the gentleman told stories of growing up in Jerome as his fingers gently and effortlessly shaped and molded the clay on the potters wheel.

The heat was unbearable though, so after a quick spell we leave the town and head into the mountains to enjoy some smoked fish and cooler air before continuing the drive to Williams.

30 June 2016

Finding Dory

I had family come to town, and it was the lift my soul needed. We went on adventures big and small, and I savored every minute of it.

Simple things, like showing my nephew how a record player works.
Trying a new restaurant while they were in town.
Even somehow going to a special premiere of Finding Dory the night before it officially opened.
This post is selfish. It's just for me, no one else.

When I'm old and feeling lonely, if I can still access the internet, I imagine I'll stumble back upon this post, remember our good times, and smile.

27 May 2016

Homestead Crater

Countless times have I driven through the picturesque town of Midway, Utah when living in this State.
Yet it took my returning home for a wedding to go to the Homestead Resort and the Crater. As you pull into the parking lot, the dome as hard to miss. On a clear Spring day in May, faint steam was barely visible rising from the opening at the top. We had a few minutes before it was our time to enter, so we walk up the steps to peer down inside the geo thermal crater.
The girls were a little apprehensive as they stared down into the dark earth. They became even more so as we paid to enter, and ventured into the tunnel that lead to the thermal waters.

I get in first, and slowly talk my niece into the water. She takes one last look up to the hole at the top, and then wholeheartedly jumps in.
Her little sister had no such qualms about it though, and couldn't get enough of the warm and soothing mineral waters.

Of course, the older kids were all about this underground adventure,
Your time is only allotted to forty minutes, which is actually plenty of time as the warm water and constant pull to the edges from the rising bubbles underneath wear you out quickly. Good thing life jackets are required for everyone.
If you find yourself in Midway, I would highly recommend a stop by the Homestead Crater. It's a fun, soothing way to relax inside a natural wonder of this Earth.
The crater is over one hundred feet deep, so you can also scuba dive down into it's depths for a greater exploration of the mighty crater.

22 June 2015

Willie Nelson 2015

It's hard to fathom that the year 2010 was when we first went and saw the legend Willie Nelson in concert. Many things have changed over those five years, but luckily, many things have also stayed the same. Good friends and family, for example.
At eighty-two years old, Willie comes back around to the SLC, on tour this time with Allison Krauss. It is CBug's first concert, and he is more than excited to get his honky tonk swagger on.
Allison is up first, but her voice has failed her, unfortunately. The artist apologizes, but her lack of vocals leads to some great blue grass pickin' instead. By the time Willie comes onto the stage, the heat of the day has subsided, and we talk, laugh and listen into the night.

14 December 2014

Belle Isle

A Friday in September in the Motor City, and the three of us had no idea what to do. I wanted to head downtown, and so with no complaints from my brother or his wife, we hit the Interstate....

As the GM towers loomed before us, my first views of Detroit were not at all what I had envisioned, which further entrenched my notion about how our country's media can manipulate anything.

The Detroit river is a effervescent aqua blue, shimmering under the Ambassador bridge that connects Detroit to Windsor, Canada.

We decide to park at the riverfront and start our exploration. Any trepidation of being unsafe quickly vanishes under the glorious September sun. We find a local outfit that rents bikes to ride along the riverfront. We decide to upgrade to the sleek black Detroit City bikes, then ask which way we should go.

"If you have a few hours, I'd recommend Belle Isle."
Picture courtesy of

We thanked him, and happily started biking along the river. After a few minutes, we had to venture off the river trail and go through what appeared to be an industrial section of town. The sound of construction machinery hard at work was ringing in my ears as I took in the colorful graffiti on the buildings.

The bridge to Belle Isle is before me. I stop to wait for the others to catch up, letting my own muscles rest for a moment. It's been far too long since I've rode a bike.
The park itself is full of grand views of downtown Detroit and Windsor, historic buildings scattered throughout the island, and plenty of bike trails through thickly wooded forests.

It's Detroit like I never imagined, positively upbeat and full of beauty.


05 September 2014

four wheelin' with my besties

Back up to the cabin for a long weekend of fresh air and disconnectedness from the outside world. Time is now better well spent with family, in particular one of my brothers kids, Crazylegs and Cbug.
It's cliche, but they grow up so fast. One on the brink of the teenage years, the other fully independent (or at least wanting to be).
But for now none of that matters.

For now, we let the four rubber wheels hug the dirt road, as we race through the yesteryear's of memory.

11 July 2013


I remember when you were a puppy, such high energy as you raced to and fro.
My brother and sister-in-law's first child...
Hard to believe how the years have passed so quickly, as life has changed while you continue to be our dog.
Two kids have grown up with you as their guardian, ever watchful protector....friend.
 Lately your limp has become more pronounced, a new growth on your side is cancer's ugly mark. Time has inevitably caught you, as it does with every living thing.
I ask when you will be put down, and Emily states, matter of fact, " When his dog food runs out."
I laugh, but that is the reality of it, no sugar coating.
I sometimes wish it could be that easy for us humans.
Love ya Boxer.

Soon your ashes will be here, and later so will mine. ( that story coming later.....)


29 June 2012

For Emily...

It's rare to find a person as inspiring as Emily. This beautiful young woman has dedicated her life to the unfortunate, abandoned, orphaned children in the Soweto slums outside of Nairobi.

I first met Emily in 2009, helping her tear down tin sheets they were currently using and to put up stone walls, building structures for toilets to replace the holes in the ground they were currently using.

Four years later, Emily takes great pride in finding resources and funds within her own country, as well as being proactive to establish contacts worldwide with Non Governmental agencies to help her orphanage grow into a safe place for the children that live there.

Her orphanage currently has three levels, many bedrooms, a sitting area with kitchen, a storage space with extra food, clothing, and school supplies, and on top she has a safe play area that is completely fenced in. Amazing.

Through personal sacrifice, tragedy, and daily hardships I can barely comprehend, Emily always has a smile and cheery disposition that warms any human heart.

For you Emily. I love you.