Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Angel

Somewhere in all the 9/11 and other hoopla, we kinda lost track that our granddaughter Angel started the first grade this month. There is a lot of her daddy in that beautiful face! Smart, angelic, with just a bit of devilment thrown in for spice.

Thanks, Steve, for sending us the pictures of Angel going off to school.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hurricane Katia

Fortunately, Hurricane Katia took a pretty hard right turn and passed us by. In her wake she left some great surfing, especially for this early in the season. I managed to catch a great morning session at Middles Beach. (Since then I've managed to be in the wrong place every time.)

Pro surfer Jamie O'Brien, normally a big-wave surfer from Hawaii, was catching huge air onLink the Middles waves. Local surfers were catching stand-up barrels. You can see all the best from this session on our web site, or a condensed set on Flickr.

I've heard Wilderness has been good the last two days so I'm going to head there to see if there's any early morning action.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Long before 9/11 became synonymous with horror and tragedy it was a date of celebration. The love of my life was born on this date.

She is my world. Her example, every day, makes me want to be a better person. Her joy and sometimes-silliness inspires me to laugh. Her humanity and love of others inspires me to care even more. Her love of family brings us and keeps us closer together. Being with her, sharing our lives together, has made me everything that I am.

So, while the rest of the country - and maybe the world - is remembering the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, I am celebrating, quietly, without her, because she is still with her family in Ohio. But celebrating none-the-less.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

old friends

The trip back to the States was of course about Elaine, her family, and celebrating her father's life. There was one happy personal sidebar for me though: we got to have lunch with two friends from my college days who live in northern Ohio. Given what our lives were like back then, it's a wonder we remembered each other. Once started, the memories just flowed. I had some great time with these guys.

Dan, Keith - I can't tell how great it was to see you guys. There's a whole long list of people I wish could have made our little mini-reunion (Ali, are you listening?).

Anyway, let's don't wait 35 years to meet again. Or if we do, let's hope we're all still here for it. And remember it!

Love you guys!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Of fathers

Elaine's father, Edwin "Ted" Kumler, died Friday. August 26. He suffered health issues for last two years or so. He just started with Hospice care when he passed away in his sleep.

Last September, part of our trip north for the kite festival in Milwaukee included time in Ohio spent with Ted. It was a good visit. Although we didn't know for sure it would be the last time we saw him, we knew it was a good possibility.

Ted was a big man, a dominating presence in his family. At various times he had a falling our with each of his four children. But Elaine's sister Amy and her family were close by and spent a lot of time with him. Elaine went north for a time to be with him and to give Amy a break from the constant care he required. Their brother Phil traveled back several times from his home in Oregon. As he put it, "X-number of dollars for plane fare, Y-number of hours traveling, reconnecting with my father - priceless!"

Rest in Peace, Ted. You are missed already.

As we gathered for the Ted's memorial and celebration, I realized a new month turned over while I wasn't looking. It suddenly occurred to me It was September 1, my father's birthday. He always joked his birth date was easy to remember - it was the date World War II started. (Hitler launched his military invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, my father's fifteenth birthday.)

My father was killed in an automobile accident in California in 1982. My brother-in-law Phil's comment about reconnecting with his father really struck home. I've always felt there was so much unfinished business between me and my father, so much that needed to be said and wasn't. And now there is no chance of it, at least not in this world. I am haunted, not so much by his ghost as by the knowledge of that unfinished business. Maybe that is his ghost.

Happy 87th birthday, Dad. I miss you.