Tag Archives: travel

Meet the Dennings

Sometimes — every now and then, you stumble across the neatest people on the internet.

Meet the Dennings.

What an incredible story. I don’t want to tell it for them. To see what they are about click the photo and it will take you to their site.

What I will tell you is what their story touched in me. I don’t think my childhood is that much different from many others in my generation. A father who worked all the time and gone a lot, a mother somewhat out of touch with reality (although she would never say that.) I was a strong willed child carving a framework of rebellion from an early age. I guess what I am getting at is I never had a sense of family growing up. My brother and sister were much older than me so they were gone before I ever started to school.

In many ways I was taught to be independent. I was shipped off to military school at an early age so I learned the advantage of a good geographical cure. “If you can’t solve it, move it.”

Anyway, reading this family’s experience I think back to the family stuff I missed in my childhood for various reasons. And then carrying those difficulties of connecting with family into adulthood and how I interacted with my children. It’s hard to break that cycle.

So when I read their story and I began to think about the courage, the zest for life and adventure these children will develop in their journeys, it touched me in hidden places.

Let me know what it touched in you.

Meet the Denning family at: http://www.discovershareinspire.com/

Weirdo Wednesday – June 1, 2011

Last month we traveled around the World Wide Web, peeking at various weird places on the internet. We were treated to some pretty bizarre stuff and frankly… we barely scratched the surface. There is a cornucopia of weirdness out there just waiting for cyber explorers to drop by.

This month, I thought we would climb out of the internet and drop in on some of the weird places this rock we call Earth has to offer. While researching the weirdness I was presented with a dilemma of vast proportions. With as much weird as the planet has to offer, which one comes first.

The “Hanging Monastery” of Datong, China, built more than 1,500 years ago is attached to a precipice high above the wooded Golden Dragon River (Jinlong he). Its Chinese name is Xuankong Si, sometimes written as Xuan Kong Si, which literally translates as the Monastery in Mid Air.

The cliff-side structures were built in 491 AD using architectural techniques way ahead of its time. Horizontal shafts were bored into the side of the mountain to serve as anchor points. Large wooden dowels were cut from single trees and then driven into the holes.  The depth of the holes and the hardness of the rock provided a strong cantilevered base to build on.

The reason Xuankong Si was built so high above the ground may be one of practicality – defense against marauders or protection from floods.  The more romantic version is that the Monks were dedicated to silence and so high above the ground they might achieve this ideal.  It is said that they were forbidden to hear the barking of dog, the wailing of a child or even the sound of a rooster crowing as it welcomed the dawn. It is now largely a tourist attraction but caretakers are said to still live in its caves and halls.

 

After the Long and Winding Road

Many of you know I just got back from a long motorcycle trip to SC to visit family, specifically my son Mike, who recently turned 30. Happy Birthday Mike! He’s a musician, specifically a bass player in a rock and roll band. Actually that’s not entirely true. Yes, he is a bass player, but he is a phenomenal bass player and entertainer. Mike has stage presence and thats much more than just plucking a bass.

After seeing Mike I headed up to South Carolina to visit with my brother Tommy who recently suffered a stroke. I was expecting the worse and was pleasantly surprised to find him up moving around with a cane. Yeah, he still talks a little funny and moves around at a snails pace, but I am encouraged by the possibility of a full recovery given time and a litttle effort on his part.

I would’ve seen my sister but they were up in the mountains. Maybe next trip.

My prayers go out this morning to the people in the deep south affected by yesterday’s horrific storms. The loss of life and property is extensive.

I returned to find some work piled up so its taking me some time to get back in the swing of writing and doing something productive.

I like this recent quote I heard… ~ Your blog is your unedited version of yourself. ~

More later….

San Francisco

“The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.” ~Mark Twain

June 1, 2009, I snapped this photo looking across the water to Alcatraz Prison. My belly was full from the chowder bowl I enjoyed at Boudins on the Wharf an hour earlier. I parked along Mason Street in the Presidio and took this shot. The Golden Gate Bridge was just to my left, but hidden in thick fog. A few minutes after this photo op,  I rode across the Bridge, turned off the 101 onto Shoreline Hwy to make my northerly run.  Three hours later, just north of Jenner, a car crowded me off the road landing me and Pearl upside down in the gravel. I was fine, Pearl was banged up, but the trip north ended right there.