You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Family’ category.

jep_7770

North Captiva Island, 12/27/16

North Captiva Island, 12/27/16

Last year we decided to get together this winter with the family and celebrate my birthday (60) and my brother-in-law’s birthday (70). We wanted to rendezvous someplace nice, so we tossed the task of searching for a place over to my sister-in-law. Her track record of finding sweet locations to stay is pretty damn good so we had high hopes. As usual, those hopes were met.

We spent the Christmas holiday on North Captiva Island, just off the southwest coast of Florida. Who knew that a four-hour drive (and a half-hour ferry ride) can take us from our daily life to authentic island time? No cars, golf carts only. We never removed the keys from the carts. For that matter, we never took the key out of the front door of our house. We were directly on the gulf, so close that we were told that often the gulf is actually under the house. Our activities consisted mainly of strolling the beach, reading, boating, fishing, taking photos, enjoying sunsets, catching up with the family, eating and drinking. It was hard.

Being located on an island necessitated leaving our truck on the mainland. It also required us to buy enough food to feed 10 to 12 people for eight days, including drinking water. (While the island has all of the normal amenities like electricity, internet, etc., the tap water is highly sulfuric. It stinks. Badly.) This was a logistical issue but the ferries are used to it and getting the food and all our stuff to the house went smoothly.

While we already live in sunny Florida and were able to drive over to the ferry, our family came in from colder climes (Ogden, Utah, Bozeman, Montana, and New York City). They had a perfect week for it. Weather was warmer than normal with zero rain. We couldn’t have asked for better. Now we’re all back to our normal temps, sub-freezing for the westerners and only 72 for us. (I couldn’t resist.)

I wonder where we’ll meet up next time?

Christmas Sunset, North Captiva Island, FL

Christmas Sunset, North Captiva Island, FL

Our house on the beach, 12/24/16, North Captiva Island, FL

Our house on the beach, 12/24/16, North Captiva Island, FL

Working men on Christmas Day, North Captiva Island, FL

Working men on Christmas Day, North Captiva Island, FL

We were directly next to a grass airstrip and saw this all week. Christmas Day, North Captiva Island, FL

We were directly next to a grass airstrip and saw this all week. Christmas Day, North Captiva Island, FL

From our living room. 12/29/16, North Captiva Island, FL

From our living room. 12/29/16, North Captiva Island, FL

Until next time! 12/27/16, North Captiva Island, FL

Until next time! 12/27/16, North Captiva Island, FL

Advertisements

Hall_Wedding_Jeanne2 - Version 2Several weeks ago we had the great good fortune to rendezvous in Annapolis, Md. for my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday. Stop and think about that: in the time since Jeanne was born, we have gone from mankind just learning to fly to walking on the moon. From the age of steam to splitting the atom. From the normal problems of the day consisting of distributing ice and removing horse droppings (for want of a better term) to supplying the device in your pocket that can access the world’s knowledge in seconds with power. The rate of change in the world’s knowledge and capabilities has accelerated to an unfathomable degree, and she has been watching the craziness her entire life. And she’s still going strong.

It was a pretty special weekend. Family and friends came in from Utah, Montana, Florida, California, Arizona and New York. For the first time since I joined this family, all four of her children were in the same place at the same time. We shared meals, sat outside on a cool August day (and let me tell you, just having a cool day in August in that part of the world is special; there’s a reason Congress adjourns in August), and talked talked talked. We also ate ate ate! It was quite the whirlwind of activity and Jeanne was going strong the entire time. In her own words, she was “floating on air.”

During her birthday lunch, we went around the table, each of us telling a story or two and thanking Jeanne for this and that. A couple of common themes, mentioned several times, struck a chord with me. Her love of travel, which was passed to her children, was one. Another was her love of reading. Both of these are passions of Patti and mine, and it was wonderful to acknowledge to her the results of the seeds she nourished. Having the opportunity to let her know how we felt was a moment that many of us don’t get to share with our loved ones, to the detriment of us all.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

JEP_7064 - Version 2 JEP_7002 - Version 2 JEP_6984 - Version 2 JEP_6939 - Version 2 JEP_6887 - Version 2 JEP_6875 - Version 2

In 1979 I worked for a company in Baltimore that performed quality testing on various construction materials: concrete (not cement!), soil, paint, steel, etc…. It was a turning point in my life; not because of the job itself, but because of my boss. George & I immediately “clicked” and became close friends. He was my best man at my first wedding, as well as at my final wedding. During that early time frame he was a keyboard player in several bands. Although I tried to get him to come camping with me for years, he had a wife and two kids. Between work, music and family, he had no time for an additional hobby.

Then, in 1982, I moved to Florida in order to finish college. Leaving Baltimore, I had to shed a bunch of crap stuff so I gave him several rucksacks … essentially big sacks with a couple of wooden strips sewn into them for stiffness and a couple of shoulder straps. Crude, huge and uncomfortable. And off to Florida I went, with no idea of what I had started.

That winter, while huddled around a heat stove in the cold garage that served as the testing lab, George and another friend/co-worker Arne, decided to put the gear to the test. They packed everything they could think of into the packs, threw some more stuff in just in case they had forgotten something, and went backpacking in the Shenandoah National Park. And were hooked. George went on to become extremely involved in the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club where he devoted countless volunteer hours over the years. And a traditional camping trip to a backwoods cabin on the second weekend of January was started. For about 28 years now, we have gone off to the woods for a bit of hiking in the cold, more than a bit of adult beverages and laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. Early on, George’s son, Jesse, became part of the crew (I can still picture his first taste of alcohol in the Virginia backwoods). Each year we caught up as kids were born and grew, as divorces took place and marriages were celebrated. Each year a group photo was taken. Most of these show four guys heavily bundled mugging for the camera. One of the first was taken during a summertime trip on the porch of the cabin that gives our group our name: Corbin Cabin.

The Corbin Club, taken a long time ago.

Last week, we met on the beach of North Carolina for a week to attend the wedding of Arne’s daughter. We shared a house just a few minutes walk from the ocean and the unique thing about this trip was that we each had our ladies with us. Although Patti had met all of my buddies before, this was the first time she had spent an extended amount of time with them. On the way back to Florida, after watching George, Arne, Jesse and myself interact for a while, she stated that she now has a better appreciation of why the four of us are so close. The only way I can explain it is that they are members of my family. The family that I have chosen. I look forward to seeing them whenever and wherever it may happen.

Like 6 months from now on the second weekend in January.

January, 2011

Oak Island, NC. June, 2011

The Corbin Family, June, 2011

April 19th, 2003. Smartest thing I ever did.

And a good time was had by all!

4/19/2003, Cocoa Beach, FL

4/19/2003, Cocoa Beach, FL

Photos by Eddie Wadsworth

Last weekend we had the Salt Lake City contingent of the family in town. While they were here I took the opportunity to set up my lights in our (cramped) living room and take some portraits. As you can see below, our family is all seriousness, all the time.

Moral of the story? Be warned: come to our house and you WILL be shot.

Rockledge, FL, 3/8/11

Rockledge, FL, 3/8/11

Rockledge, FL, 3/8/11

Rockledge, FL, 3/8/11