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Mom takes a look....

Mom takes a look….My first born has her second born….

It got me thinking…

Gainesville back in the day

Gainesville back in the day-you tell me when? Anyway, it was at least a simpler time, call it a slower moving time? in some ways …

Of course, the grass always looks greener-back then there was no internet and maybe three stations on TV. Calls were made through operators; there were no fancy coffees but for Maxwell house which  even Millionaires couldn’t buy …

But some things don’t change…like having babies and keeping that eternal on going string of humanity going, or not… Lots of great people, some we base our thinking upon, chose for whatever reason not to have children—* Way too numerous to list,,we can just remember Newton, Mother Teresa, both Wright Brothers, Beethoven ,Chekhov and Poe to name a few who didn’t have children.  It’s not mandatory that a person have children, but how people have avoided that  DNA driven push to go on I haven’t a clue–I couldn’t.(of course, some couldn’t have children) I was 30ish when a brick like feeling hit my head and said, “Have children,” so I proposed and, thankfully, my wife did have three.

 

Home sweet home-

Home sweet home-way back in the day….(1750)

It was back in 1750 when the man who lived in this castle sired all the Von Franquemonts/ Franquemonts that are in the world today—err, I bear the name. He liked having babies…and his 50  or so kept women gave him plenty. His name was Karl Eugen, and at the time, I guess his legitimate wife(s) didn’t mind the flock.

I’ll be going to this castle soon,,,and then to the outer rubble of what is left of the Von Franquemont castle–something to look forward too.

Thing is, and why this post is about children,, is my first-born just had her second born, Kai Louis Bhaca Shiohira was born yesterday 8/15/16 in Cape Town…He’s our 7th Grandchild.

Kelly and Hiro are still dancing!

Kelly and Hiro are still dancing! Parents for the second time… Maya and Kai are lucky to have them as leaders.

The string of humanity is amazing…and the push all parents make to get children grown up is even more mind-boggling. Children are a worry and love that is never forgotten. It was when our children reached 12ish that I realized,,Hey-this isn’t for 18 or 21 years-this is forever… and it’s  great, the forever.

Trouble is, America completely misses the point. Ruled by most businesses who seemingly care not one iota for life, families, children and education of the young, American’s struggle to raise families with shrinking incomes, devalued dollars and the poorest of Family leave benefits when children are born…

In fact….as my cousin’s son flies through the skies,, his photos remind me that this family benefit/leave policy prevalent in the US is upside down….

32271_1446662118859_4151214_n Ross does a flip in the air.

Thing is, if you look at this world-wide graph of benefits given to new moms and dads, you’ll see American’s get the short shaft when it comes to having time off, paid time off mind you, to bring their children into this world in a loving, home giving environment..

ct-paid-maternity-leave-around-the-world-20160-001http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/ct-paid-maternity-leave-around-the-world-20160815-story.html

So, Basically, America as it is now stands to give no credence to the new family, the new child, the new life-the one the entire world depends upon if we are to continue.

Babies are legacies

Babies are legacies, and so much more,,,the future.

It's a growing world

It’s a growing world..How could the United States be one of just nine countries to offer no set leave time to new moms and dads as a National law?

the generations before and after us are the point

Our generation and the generations before and after us are the point.

The laws in place for Family Leave after birth in America, or more aptly put, not in place, are just sick. Personally, I find this more than appalling as an American-it’s disgusting. Big business only cares for money; why work for them; why support anything they want when they don’t even give a hoot about new life, the life that will push us forward when we are gone?

Here’s to the children, our new hope for humanity. Right now, I hope maternity leave for both parents changes here in America…isn’t that due?

My generation went to Woodstock because we believed in change--when will we get it?

My generation went to Woodstock because we believed in change–when will we get it?

Our family want to know--When will America change?

Our family wants to know–When will America change, and value children-families?

Franque23 loves his children and Grandchildren…don’t we all.?

*http://brianhassett.com/2010/06/people-who-dont-have-kids/

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When I think about it, maybe I should just stay home and stick fish-hooks in my fingers instead of going north to do it.

There may be a healthy amount of iron in fish hooks?

There may be a healthy amount of iron in fish hooks?

Up north or down south, hooks hurt like any other. And why go through the trouble of driving 22 hours north to spill gas or oil on myself as the boat rocks? I do that servicing my lawn mower here at home.

 A body tune-up

A body tune-up

I can sun burn out back in our yard or slip on these steps here-who needs a dock. Sure, I don’t have 49 steps in Florida, but falling’s falling, peeling’s peeling.

Florida burns like any other.

Florida burns are like any other.

I have a choice: reel in weeds from the lake or pull them from my yard at home.  One hawk’s cry echoes any other, and my neighbors here shoot off guns from time to time with almost the same regularity as Fort Drum’s boomers shake the windows up north. Of course, the Lake has those magnificent jets flying around now and then, but Gainesville has an old twin prop plane that fly’s overhead occasionally.

I keep expecting this plane to drop from the sky...it's s-l-o-w..

I keep expecting this plane to drop from the sky…it’s s-l-o-w..

Traffic cops here; traffic cops there. The bugs are about the same. Used to be the beer brands were different up north, now, not so much. The traffic jams home give me time to think while New York State RT 3 is one long country road populated by drivers who wave as they go by. Oy Vey, the arm strain up north is almost as bad as the back pain you get from visiting Japan.

What is a stop sign?

What is a stop sign? NYS RT Three.

If that friendly clerk at the grocery store asks me one more time how I am….down here there’s no time for a polite hello; we’re all busy, in a hurry and completely bummed out by searing heat, too many lunatics and raging jobs. Crowds and one million fast food joints-that’s more like it!

Harrisville's version of a New York City deli.

Harrisville’s version of a New York City deli.

We have no internet connection and choose not to hook up our TV up north. Basically, there’s only morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night, one day after they other. Pesky, friendly neighbors say hello and every one smiles, plays cards, fails at puzzle making, swims, fishes, boats, floats, and laughs the time away. It’s a crap load of fun, day in and day out, always the same, tireless, never-ending, on and on, repeated mirrored days that reflect in the lake*.It's so easy to reflect upon the beauty of the world up at the Lake.l

My mom enjoys the quiet during one of her last years up at the lake. In her day-people still prayed to make it home before leaving Beer Island at night...oh the fun!!!

My mom enjoys the quiet during one of her last years up at the lake. In her day people still prayed to make it home before leaving Beer Island at night…oh the fun!!!

The air itself, purified by the Adirondack trees and the lack of major industrial pollution, is much purer than the air found almost anywhere else on the planet-it’s work, breathing the fresh air in and out-improving health takes some adjustment. The energy you feel up at the lake is one big pain in the ass…who needs energy when they could’ve stayed home and melted into a couch while flipping TV channels.

Nothing comes free, and nap time up north cuts into daily pleasures. That’s pressure right there. You can catch people power napping all over the lake trying to hurry up the process so the day doesn’t slip by too fast. Even blinking seems a waste.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

Ho-hum, the day is done...

Ho-hum, the day is done…

So why go north when I can sweat at home? Hmmm,,,ya know, thinking about it all, maybe 22 hours driving with a wife, two grand kids and a dog isn’t really that long of a trip.

There might be a way to have a good time...

There might be a way to have a good time…

Maybe, I would survive the fun, live through the air-breathing task and haul in some fish with those weeds?!?!

Come to think of it, my bags are already packed, and why not? We leave for the lake in 108 hours and 14 minutes. The boat’s callin’…

Let's get a move on!!!

Let’s get a move on!!! The ears have it!

Times change, but I still think boats floated better with beer in them.....but that was long ago.

Times change, but I still think boats floated better with beer in them…..but that was long ago.

Cheers.

Franque23

*Dale, my wife took these amazing shots of Bonaparte…

From the 1/2 way it's 30 more steps to the lake bottom---but what if I rolled down from here?

It’s 30 more steps from the 1/2 way dock down to the lake—but what if I rolled down the steps from here? Giant slides and elevators come to mind.

 

 


I recently read that ten heads explode everyday from not reading at least three Meme’s per day. It’s a fact; I’ve already gone back in the bathroom and checked on that wall again. However, there’s no mention about the size or shape of the Meme-that’s troublesome.

What?

What?

To compare me to what I once was you’d simply have to have a very good memory and a bunch of mirrors. Looking back, my fellow employees once asked if they should nominate me for Survivor. Now, that show might consider me if they needed a drift wood prop.

Often, learning a bit of history can teach an ear -full.

Once, there was this guy….

I'm saving my expanding hand made paper hat we bought in the Bahama's for tomorrow....

None of this should be allowed…WTH happened?

(In case you missed the lead up..this post from 2010 is funny-promise. …https://franque23.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/40-in-a-25-mhp-zone/)

Decaying, ruinated, defunctafied, squishated, flatasided, finishatored and donered-that’s me at 67 going on 100. If my asthma gives me a breath, my splitting fingers still find the sharp end of a hook. My eyes can’t see the stairs I fell down and my bursitis-afied knees feel almost better for the fall. I’d duck to see this all coming-as if. This bent over twig of a frame of mine would snap in two at the thought. Then there’s my center of gravity belly issue-what the hell is that? Some alternate dysfunctional bizzaro universe has landed upon me and absorbed the middle of me.

wife pointing to he middle of the problem

wife pointing to the middle of the problem

Thought may be the worst problem of all, if I could remember one?  Somewhere in my house is a drawer full of dusty, moldy ol’ thoughts that are completely deadified. But there’s a bright side for those who are not yet 67: you’re not yet 67, end of story…*

Oh, I’m not bitter about being this old. Please don’t get me wrong. Harsh, haggard, burnt to beyond crispy, horrified by old pictures, I used to wear turtlenecks not be them, a craggy, draggy,  bottomed butt roast with skinny chicken legs, a funny mole farm with no hair, no grip but ton’s of gripes, a loose cannon of dropping balls and feet that wouldn’t feel a rhino step on them, yes, I’m all that ,but not ever bitter. Bitter would be way extreme.

Turkey neck for sale....it took two to hold me up for the shot....

Turkey neck for sale….it took two to hold me up for the shot….

So all you new fangled people under 67-don’t say I didn’t write on the wall-check the three-way bathroom stalls-it’s all there. Simon once wrote, “It’s all happening at the zoo.” There’s a sense of humor for ya. My zoo is sorta centralized like my weather report-hazy, foggy, unwanted precipitation, cold, hot, random gusts of flatulence accompanied by belching sounds all out of tune with my ringing ears.  Head’s-up! Those ding-dong sounds on the T.V. are actually words-go figure.

It really isn’t that bad; once you’ve lost about everything, then your mind goes. What’s to worry when every day’s a new day and every face, place, word, thought, fart or burp is  new, too! Greetings to my old friends who ever the hell you are! Let’s party, dance, maybe romance (try to remember those kinds of September) or maybe, just party-skip the dance- or sit on the couch to talk before we need the potty, or even better, let’s nap. Yes, stay home and nap at 67-it’s easier than trying to recall how to dress.

I remember being able to tie my shoes and stuff

I remember being able to tie my shoes and stuff( Lake Bonaparte.) I could even go out in a boat and make it back by myself!

Example: I once knew a guy (me) who went to the beach, like three days ago, and pulled down his shorts to go swimming before recalling  he meant to wear his suit under his shorts….if only. Fortunately, there were no witnesses who didn’t see.  Remember those dropping balls I mentioned? I signed autographs most the afternoon-no wait, were those police and lawyers/ I forget-**

Franque23

Me! In another life with a big fish.

Me! In another life with a big fish.

*Of course, I couldn’t leave turning sixty out……enjoy- https://franque23.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/60-my-speed-limit/

** Okay, I did have my boxer’s on so even asking to sign autographs didn’t work. People are soooo demanding these days.


(Please don’t miss the footnote…..)

Disastrous  social change does not always start with a bang, gong, bells ringing or sirens issuing warnings. No, social upheaval usually starts with a whimper, a few soft-spoken words that touch a nerve. No leader of what is to become mass hysteria starts with the words, “I will crush you.” At first there are gatherings that turn into patriotic parties and then feel good stickers, hats and flags are passed out. Uniforms might follow.

I’ve heard people ask if Trump could really become another Hitler. Well, that seems a stretch, or does it? More, is the question already answered? Are the social pressures the same in America today as they were in Germany when the charismatic leader of the German Worker’s Party fully took over in 1933? It would seem so. Are the words Trump uses today to unite his followers much like those used by Hitler in 1931? Yes.*(Interesting facts in this footnote.)

In 1931, when Hitler began to draw crowds to his meetings, Germany’s middle class was in upheaval. Basic food necessities out striped what workers could earn in a week, while a well to do class, the Jewish shop keepers, intelligentsia and mid-government/management officials were better off than most. Plus, there was the hated Gypsies, an outside group, who were held responsible for most crime that took place throughout the country.  Most German’s wanted their country to be what it once had been-a society dominated by law,  economic fairness in the work place and upward mobility.

d00a4990-5d76-4524-afc4-5e220142c771Hitler with Ford—he was not always hated.

Trump promises to make America great again while blasting immigrants, pointing to corruption among bankers, management and know nothing intellectuals and berating Congress—he says all are the true causes of America’s decline. “I love the poorly educated.” Donald Trump. (2/2016)**

When Hitler spoke of the New Reich it gave Germany’s frustrated workers a place to believe in once more. By 1933, children followed their parent’s lead without question.

Children join the new society of Germany

Children join the new society of Germany(1932)

It's time to join us.

It’s time to join us.

On the night of January 30, 1933, Nazis held parades and cheered for Adolf Hitler, Germany’s  new Chancellor. Two months later, Germany’s Reichstag-the equivalent of America’s Congress-gave the new chancellor dictatorial powers above and beyond that of the aging President.

There were huge marches held under blazing lights to the sound of thundering feet.

There were huge marches held under blazing lights that boomed to the sound of thundering feet.

The fervor for a new, improved Germany grew-the gatherings were thrilling to attend for most.

The fervor for a new, improved Germany grew-the gatherings thrilled many.

At first, the good-hearted souls of united Germany sang songs of protest in front of shop owners thought guilty of charging too much for their goods. It was a protest and few , if any, could conceive of gassing people to death for their wrongdoing…that wasn’t in the picture below.

But for others, the unification was frightening, and it had left them out, unless wearing a bulls eye could be considered membership.

But for some, the unification was frightening, and it had left them out, unless wearing a bull’s eye could be considered membership.(See the worried shop owners in the back…)

At first, Nazis members merely sang songs and stood in lines to protest the wrongs of society.

Soon, a forced unification began throughout Germany that joined all groups, civic or political, as Nazis or they were disband.(1933)

rrare112-4The rallies grew in number and attendance. Common workers, men, women and children were awed by the promise of a new Germany. But first, the emphatic speaker, Hitler, made clear that all enemies of Germany had to be removed if the plan to improve Germany was to succeed. The roving bands of Gypsy criminals were the first to be collected. One arrest led to the next…

The fervor for success and prosperity spread throughout Europe.

Happy and excited crowds saluting Germans at Schwarzach/St. Veith during Hitler's Austrian election campaign.

Happy and excited crowds saluting Germans at Schwarzach/St. Veith during Hitler’s Austrian election campaign.(1938)

Crowds can be misleading; charismatic speakers dangerous.  The rest of what happened for those who mistakenly followed Hitler is a history we all know. Will history be repeated? The times of social unrest in America seem to make it possible. Americans perhaps now more than ever before need to tread lightly, and vote with an awareness of life’s possibilities.

A man who claimed to love children....

A man who claimed to love children….

A man who appeared to loved animals of all sorts...

A man who appeared to loved animals of all sorts…

A man who could make some many happy

A man who could make so many happy…

Adolf_Hitler_in_Paris_1940 a man who could be so successful, for a time.

could bring people to this....

could bring people to this….

Or the 1st  Warsaw uprising massacre….

rrare125

Resistance fighters were dragged form their shops or shot on sight. What else was to be done?

 

And so much worse-

Don't think ideas cannot hurt us....

Don’t think ideas cannot hurt us….

The new surging call for change in America can be crippling or helpful to our country. Do you trust your candidate? What have the candidate’s said; what do they say now? If elected, what might that candidate do? Come November, it will be gut check time for Americans.

Peace-vote in November with caution.

Franque23.

*It’s interesting to read about Hitler’s rise to power in light of Trump’s rise to power, and with regard to how many of us truly can’t comprehend Trump supporters. Did you know that in 1920 Hitler had been convicted of Treason, but, through situations, spent less than a year in jail, and in 1930 Goebbels was tried for High Treason? The Nazi’s party and it’s power took time to grow, but one spring board was the Treaty of Versailles-the populace didn’t like the terms of the agreement( though different in construct-think NAFTA) and most of Hitler Brown Shirts, the SA, were ex-soldiers who fought in WW ll. By 1930, most Germans thought the Gypsies were responsible for the majority of crime in the country.(think Mexican’s and Muslims) In the end, what proved to be a beginning, a head of Hitler’s SA was shot in 1930 by a leftist who thought the strong leaning Nationalists(Nazi’s) were crazy. Three years later Hitler came to full power. He disband the Parliament which everyone thought/knew was corrupt(think our congress) and had himself appointed leader of Germany. All the time, his Brown shirts, ex-military, did the muscle work he needed to get done to gain control. So maybe not over night, but in time, movements can come to fruition, and one assassination can flip any amount of sense to madness.

**http://nationalreport.net/banned-berlin-donald-trumps-remarks-get-tossed-germany/

 

crowd-of-germans-adults-and-children-some-dressed-in-nazi-brown-shirt-cwbrjw

Really?

 

 


(click on pic for much larger views)

There was a rush of energy, almost a light that shot through my head, and then I felt a warm glow radiate from my skin.  I was a new first time father, dancing on air it seemed, ready to take on the world. Of course, it hadn’t always been this way.

I'd no clue what would happen after just leaving the music world back in 1973ish (check out the tv and record player...and hair curling beyond my shoulders....)

I’d no clue what would happen after just leaving the music world back in 1973ish (check out the tv and record player…and hair curling beyond my shoulders….)

About all I knew, and all I could think of, was that I loved Dale.

About all I knew, and all I could think of, was that I loved Dale.

My first good view of our baby came as she was hoisted from my wife and put on a bilirubin table. I looked down at this soft pudding of person and smiled. It’d been my habit over the past nine months to say hello to our baby right through Dales belly-I used a high, sorta cartoon sounding voice, “Hello, babbbby.” Before I knew it, the same words and tune was ushering from my smiling lips. In a split second, I saw our child try to open one eye as if to see where that sound had been coming from all of her life….This was our first major connection; a moment of true understanding.

Kelly  started batting practice at 2 months-would later be part of a State Championship soft ball team)

Kelly started batting practice at 2 months-would later be part of a State Championship soft ball team)

Being a new dad turned me into a puff-ball of pride. Here was not only the most inquisitive, altogether perfect baby ever born but she who would one day rule the world! I tried hard to only take 1/2 of the credit.

It's called pride.....

It’s called pride…..

Kelly caught on to everything quick....and new when to mug shot a picture early on.

Kelly caught on to everything quick….and knew when to mug shot a picture early on.

The world had opened a new door for my life, rearranged everything, put the past in its place and planted a brand new future ahead.  I have to say, there’s nothing neater than having a baby for the first time, actually, anytime.. It so rocks!

BTW, Kelly taught me the meaning of Colic...forget sleeping, more like collapsing.

BTW, Kelly taught me the meaning of Colic…forget sleeping, it was more like collapsing.

Had to add this pic with rotary phone in it?!?!?

Had to add this pic with rotary phone in it?!?!?

Time began to rush by, and before we knew it Kelly’s Baptism was on hand, at  8 months….Jan. 1983

My parents came up for the big day.....

My parents came up for the big day…..

Dale and I wore our best outfits…..

Jan, 1983

Jan, 1983….

So I sat down after all that and when I got up it was Kelly’s first birthday party down at my parents house….we had a few special guests there as well….

Kelly dove into her first Birthday cake! Like face -first.

Kelly dove into her first Birthday cake! Like face first.

Her outfit never tasted better

Her outfit never tasted better

There were cousins…..

Kelly's cousin,  Erik, had a birthday t.hat same month-May, 1983

Kelly’s cousin, Erik, had a birthday that same month-May, 1983

And we all got to go to the beach….

A lucky 'high-water' shot....right Kelly?

A lucky ‘high-water’ shot….right Kelly?(1983)

Life couldn’t be better,,,and Kelly’s good nature and desire to learn all there was to know made each day bloom with happiness for us.

Dad is 72; Kelly one.

Dad is 72; Kelly one.

Kelly brought a dear friend to our house, Sandra, who I’d known in the Ocala National forest…so many came to see Kelly , I couldn’t put the pictures in here…50670014

One thing of note…the background has a real wagon wheel lamp in it,,,and that same lamp is in my living room now!

Kelly gave so much to us, so much to me, personally. My heart hurt the first day I realized that a spirit so full of life would swim ‘up-stream’ in our society just because she was a female…But none of that kept Kelly down-oh no. I’ve written globs about her in Japan, Africa, on top of mountains, winning championships in horseback riding and  baseball…awards in music-and in college-so much more…..but I think this picture of Dale with Kelly’s first major horse , Will, a great little horse himself, says a lot.

How we've loved following Kelly in all of her exploits

How we’ve loved following Kelly in all of her exploits.

It could be cold.....(Florida snow of Christmas-around 1990)

It could be cold…..(Florida snow of Christmas-around 1990)

Or it could be warm

Kelly has helped make anyplace home.

Kelly has helped make every place home.

Thanks Kelly Jeanne....

Thanks Kelly Jeanne….(Laura’s-our second daughter- Birthday with balloons in her hair.)

We love you so much Kelly….50670024

 

and we always will….Happy Birthday Kelly….Love, Dad

You've helped make our day, year-life.

You’ve helped make our day, year-life.

When my days get tough, I think of Kelly and get going….Thanks, Kelly.

Franque23 is so proud of Kelly Jeanne.

 

 

 

 

 


I’m thinkin’ this was the entire clan in 2014?(Click on pics to enlarge.)10253849_10152642095434254_1132655158881258983_n

It was an arousing, disturbing time, a tale of two camps fraught with desperate devotion to the diversity of character. But, before the frolicking could start, there were reading lessons to give.

Our plan was to work slowly with the new readers, first by way of picture and really large print.

Our plan was to work slowly with the new readers, first by way of picture and then really large print.

The Kingdom, the king and queen,  had serious business to consider.

Blue Jeans were new to the realm so I wore the pair to perfection.

Blue Jeans were new to the realm so I wore the pair to perfection.

But would the Ne’er do wells learn? We sent out our number twelve and one half scout….

12 &1/2 scout who in truth was our number beaver and a bunch of other things.

12 &1/2 scout who in truth was our number one beaver and a bunch of other things. He’d get to the bottom of the mug.

The place was crawling with bounty hunters……

Black as night and under a full moon sometimes ,too.

Black as night even under a full moon. They call him, Ben the Mysterious.

And dang, we had to work around the cops, too. The Northern kind, cold, cunning, always cooking up something.

A badge toting hash slinger....

A badge toting hash slinger….

There were stories about those who could not read, the cops, the ‘body’ hunters….they all to be told to those who might listen.

Only a few, like one, believed it all.

Only a few, like one, believed it all.

Of course, in the middle of the grueling learning process, there was the , “Everyone Stand on a Boat Trailer,” day..

Exactly what?

Exactly what?

..All hands were on deck, but for the few snookered pirates who wore dangerous hats.

Don't ever let the grin beat cha....

Don’t ever let the grin beat cha….here or from the other wanna be dangerous hat person.

Aye----

Aye—-

We set our sails out to see what the he*l?

Ship off and drink up, though maybe it's the other way around, not sure.

Ship off and drink up, 2014, though maybe it’s the other way around, not sure.

And who could remember, trying so hard to forever forget, the famous, “Wear a Sticky Note on Your Nose,” day?

The Universe is full of mystery.

The Universe is full of mystery.

Very little had been planned, but still subjects lined up to walk the plank/dock?10547644_10152641130119254_2725586665697732552_n

The Princess called for a retrieve…we had a dog.10527489_10152641107679254_3109956687433018332_n

A woman named Rachel plotted on how to escape-but could she make it?!?!?!10527338_10152641098749254_5162423330591262251_n Shadow and bearded wonders came in one fall of a swoop to do even less than anticipated.

Shadow, the life guard.

Shadow, the life guard. And two wonders with beards….

completely saved the day

completely saved the day

Order had been restored in a pantry.

Order had been restored in a pantry.

If truth be known, I took every order from a person so important that to this day there shall be no mention of him…..

He who will be never mentioned....

He who will be never mentioned…. So wise; so inspiring….

No this doesn’t end it for 2014, the Bonaparte Mistake. There are so many other pictures I meant to leave out!  Here’s to Meagan,,a random guest who secretly took the pictures….

Every load of disaster has worth-here, in 2014, we learned that the kayaks really belong in the water. There was the testing process, hard to the knee work, rowing, rowing, rowing…..whew!

bright side---we all learned a thing or not about boats and water.

bright side—we all learned a thing or not about boats and water.

For now from then until we meet again, I squish you ado. For now from then until we meet again, I squish you ado.

Franque23 loves the lake-


When I was young, the sun came as a surprise.

The new day was a friend that came knocking at my door. The birds sang in harmony while dandelions bent in the wind or beneath my toes. There were smells I didn’t know. People smiled and it seemed my presence gave them a laugh-I was small and knew so little.

The start of it all for me-maybe day seven?

The start of it all for me-maybe day seven?

 

I trusted my brother and sister to not leave me in the snow.

I trusted my brother and sister to not leave me in the snow.

Houses in our community were huge and the lawns, though fenced, really had no boundaries. There were hidden places to go between the yards and secret paths to run.

Remaining still was not an option.

Life was a new bloom that would never wither. Leaping one day meant I’d jump further the next. The phone was never for me when it rang it but, still, I heard the call from everything else, the sky, the moonbeams, the stars that really did twinkle, the train that always blew its whistle and the beach waves that circled my ankles. Being young was never a cumbersome potential I had to carry with hope. No, I lived suspended in a stream of unspoken understanding. Yearning had no place in dreams.

The silence knew just what I was thinking.

Parents in our community knew me and my friends by name, and they were always watching or made it seem so. The entire community was our home. We ran without fear. We hadn’t an inkling that we could age and move on to the next day, or month, and then through so many years.

Still, changes did come and some were harder to deal with than others. My sister went to college while my brother got on a bus and went to camp over the summer.

Why would my brother leave for camp?

Why would my brother leave for camp?

I kept the home-fires burning while my sibling’s were away.

A tree’s nooks and crannies offered the surest foot holds; my fingers grasped each branch as if I’d never let go.  Friends, and music, became part of my family.

Pete and I climbed a tree to see the world.

Pete and I climbed a tree to see the world.

we laid 'tracks' down hoping to make it Big.

We laid ‘tracks’ down hoping to make it Big.( My hat is on my knee; 1962ish)

The light in my friend’s eyes could shame the sun.

Friend’s laughter dazzled my imagination, a spark that ignited my new adventurous frontier—the one someone had called, Life. Kindness was never a decision, it just flowed through me and my friend’s lives as a waterfall we loved to see.

It felt all wrong when I realized I was no longer young.

One day, my friends had grown up. The dizzy bee games and tangled bodies on the lawn had vanished from sight and only shadowed my mind as a memory. Friend’s went places I might never see; some of us would lose touch, completely. Other’s called occasionally until there was little left to say. Where we would go or why—really, none of us knew. Still, in a sketchy note, in a brief visit or between bursts of laughter during a short phone call, all that could not be said was heard. Too much had changed for us to ever make it back, so with an unsigned agreement each of us had moved on.

Separate paths become so distant, and time so rushed. Life is full of new, surprising turns and all hands must grip tightly to the wheel; all eyes must look ahead.  For most of us, the love for our younger days remains but it’s crammed for space in our minds, challenged by infinite choices, by signs of every kind that point us in every direction. It takes a lifetime to read them all.

When I was young, I loved the sun, the birds, the trees, the endless wind and clouds that drew pictures in the sky. Now, I hope they love me, too.

When old friends do call, or write, or send those almost obsolete seasonal cards, I hope they’ll know I refuse to say goodbye. I hope they’ll look into the mirror and see their young, shining eyes as I once saw them blaze. Next to that wondrous view will be my eyes equally aglow as we once were, running unbridled by time, without worry or care.

The morning sun should always be a surprise, no matter if you’re young or old. Of course, the past can never be changed—I get that. Thing is, the youngest years never die, not really. Those days are all here, so distant but easily touched if we take the time to reach out, or remember, and smile.

It’s so easy to forget tomorrow is only a wish.

Not so long ago.

Not so long ago.

Too long ago.

Too long ago.(My dad and his sister, my cousin Dave and my Uncle Mo-now all gone.)

Now, at sixty-six years of age—how could that be?—I realize there comes a time in life when every meeting feels like it might be, goodbye. But as the Beatles sang long ago, I say hello.*

The youngest years come once in a lifetime and last forever.

Franque23.

*Early Beatles…

Not even long hair?

Not even long hair?


April showers have already brought April flowers-(Click on the pics for a much better view)

The red single Hibiscus is a simple reliable bloomer---I find the different varieties of this plant amazing.

The single red Hibiscus is a simple reliable bloomer—I find the different varieties of this plant amazing. The petal is extremely soft to the touch.

With American’s declaring war on about everything, drugs, immigrants, poverty, crime, being fat, too thin, a commie, cop, black man, social security recipient, slacker, rapper or street walker, etc….I thought a reconnaissance of my yard this spring was in order.

Our Hibiscus flanks a walkway now surrounded by twenty foot high Oranges trees, a Valencia, a red seedless navel plus one grapefruit.  I bought these on the same day about 8 years ago….at the time, they all fit nicely in my back seat.

We've nine oranges trees of differing variities but only six are yeilding-three more have to age a bit more.

We’ve nine oranges trees of differing varieties but only six are yielding-three more have to age a bit more.(Shadow stands in for a size comparison.)

I open the front door and love this sight.

The path less taken steps by the bird bath, roses and our Old Man's Beard Tree...currently in full bloom.

The path less taken steps by the bird bath, roses and our Old Man’s Beard Tree…currently in full bloom.

I remember this rose as being a Tea Rose, but the size of this year’s blooms have me scratching my head…..

The not Tea Rose plant?!?!

The not Tea Rose plant?!?!

See?

A handful for a Tea Rose.

A handful for a Tea Rose.

Nearby, underneath the Old Man’s Beard Tree, we have a number of pineapples growing. This year’s warm winter seems to have started the pineapples bearing about 6 months early…

I've nine pineapples coming, but I suspect they may be on the small size-we'll see!

I’ve nine pineapples coming, but I suspect they may be on the small size-we’ll see!

See last years pineapple came in large, and of course, I planted the tops.

See? Last year’s pineapple came in large, and of course, I planted the tops.

Over all yard view….

a bit of trimming and upkeep, but I like the feel. It's a reason to get out and listen to the birds and Hawks above.

It takes a bit of trimming and upkeep. Thing is, I like the feel. Landscaping, planting gardens for food or flowers and random trees to flower or fruit, it’s a reason to get out and listen to the birds and Hawks above.

Our “Victory Garden”* is located to the left of shot above. Beans, tomatoes, egg plants, herbs, yellow squash, zucchini, lettuce. peppers-yellow, green, red-and banana peppers, everything is coming along fine.340

My buddy stays close at hand and helps me routinely patrol the yard for squirrels…

Shadow is my backup,,or am I his,,not certain.

Shadow is my backup,,or am I his,,not certain.

Shadow reminds me each morning to check the pool for snakes or unwanted stray cats.

Shadow reminds me each morning to check the pool for snakes or unwanted stray cats.

Speaking of monring....our yard has several spots where lovely Mexican Juniper blooms appear anew each day,,dropping most pedals by night only to burst forth more blooms by morning.

Speaking of morning….our yard has several spots where lovely Mexican Petunia blooms appear anew each day,,dropping most pedals by night only to burst forth more blooms by morning.(drought resistant)

 I love these, though they last only a few days…the Amaryllis Belladonna, or Naked Lady plant…Great thru droughts, a delicate bloom in clusters. And, at the risk of turning this into a drought resistant plant blog, I have to add the wonderful Plumbago-

Just breaking out in bloom

Just breaking out in bloom

 

It's another no brainer.....a hoax head's up!

It’s another no brainer…..we should ask politicians running for any office not how a subway card works or how well the know how to eat pizza, but what they  know about growing stuff-just saying…

Just the idea of politicians planting more than BS got Shadow running in circles!

Actually, Shadow does this-if we don't run him, he runs himself like a madman/dog

Actually, Shadow does this-if we don’t run him, he runs himself like a madman/dog

 

We've three Myer's lemons planted, and they seem to bloom nearly year round, and yeild often. Plus, we have one Ponderosa Lemon,,,the kind that gives fruit as large as a person's face!

We’ve three Meyers’s lemons planted, and they seem to bloom nearly year round, and yield often. Plus, we have one Ponderosa Lemon,,,the kind that gives fruit as large as a person’s face!

The place would be perfect is I could just keep those roadsters from buzzin' the joint.

The place would be perfect if I could just keep those roadsters from buzzin’ the joint.

three children, all grown up1

My three roadsters long ago.

Now, more about the Ponderosa….

My grandson standing next to a few Ponderosa Lemons

My grandson standing next to a few Ponderosa Lemons

A meyrs next to Ponderosa

Our Meyers’ next to our Ponderosa Lemon

caught my eye this morning.

This caught my eye this morning.

It’s true, I’ve left out a lot, like the Indigenous Jasmine that towers by our front door each year( fifteen feet or higher) to scent the entire yard for months only to die back to the ground every winter,

This unusual clumping bamboo-type Jasmine blasts fragrance over at least a 1/2 acre each night.

This unusual clumping bamboo-type Jasmine blasts fragrance over at least a 1/2 acre each night.

The Mulberry and fig trees,,,you’re welcome, squirrels are very important to us.

We've two figs-the one I water regularly is twice the size of the other....

We’ve two figs-the one I water regularly is twice the size of the other….a huge Mineola Tangelo is in background(honey bell)

The side 1/2 acre features three types of orange trees, a blueberry and several invasive lantana’s the butterflies love.

a look at Shadow's 1/2 acre run, petunia's and a Chinese mandarin and Satsuma in the background.

a look at Shadow’s 1/2 acre run, petunia’s and a Chinese mandarin and Satsuma in the background.

Invasively neat.

Invasively neat. (Can’t leave the mailman out of the fun)

The beauty of Florida is not just the weather, the ocean, springs, lakes and rivers, but what a person can grow  in the smallest of yards if they would like. It’s a jungle out there, and we can nurture it so it nurtures us.

Cheers during Spring in Northern Florida.

Franque23

 

 


Arriving at the lake makes ya lucky.

Arriving at the lake means you got lucky.(click on the pics for bigger views)

The 22 plus hour drive from our Florida home up to the lake always means we count our blessing if we get in before sundown on the second day of the trip. Towing two grand children, 5 and 6, plus a year and one half old catahoula made the trip a bit longer… But no worries-out of the car, the bags stowed inside our camp and then a quick splash in the water made it all good.  Last summer’s first sundown was rated an average of 6 out of ten points…I gave it a five, since I’m spoiled rotten, but others pulled up the rating.

The next day was time to get the games out

The next day was time to get the games out

We were waiting for our boat to be delivered, so the whole day was a bust.

we had to spend time swimming -no one had fun

we had to spend time swimming -no one had fun

Oy Veyish, we had to wait a whole 5 hours for the boat to arrive….so I got the tackle ready while Dale worked hard to over turn the kid’s kayaks. What? I mean, this is the Lake. Who hasn’t been thrown in with all their clothes on? See a shrink if not; you have no true friends.

Dale's on the bottom right, making her move...

Dale’s on the bottom right, making her move…

Finally, after boring games, swimming, kayaking, swimming more, throwing a ball one hundred times for our puppy Shadow to retrieve in the Lake,,,,we got to go out, we got to answer the call of the fish, we got to prove the engine would start and put hooks in my fingers.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.( about 80 in one hour-really) We had three stringers full.

I’m not sure what Isaiah had done to his brother so that he alone could be in this picture… Thing is, I’m certain I don’t want to know. On another note-I was thrilled to see some nice perch keepers come up…It’s been awhile since those tasty fish were on my plate. And, I see from FB shots that the Walleye have been caught lately, too…..very good indeed.

I discovered how to bait one hundred worms on moving, swerving, lookout duck! slap in my face hooks in less than one minute.

Bapa’s Epitaph should read: Survived teaching Grandchildren how to fish-for a pretty good length of time.

More stupid games came out plus a good book while I hunted for antibiotic to put on hook holes.

More stupid games came out plus a good book while I hunted for antibiotic to put on my finger’s hook holes.

The early morning fishing trip was my revenge plan. The three of us went out early, way early, but in June, as Lake Bonapertian’s know, the sun only pretends to set at about 10 PM-it’s actually rising then but you don’t get to see it until just after 3:30 AM. Plus the AM trips lets us guys rev the motor to let everyone know we’re out and about. Good morning!

We allllmmmost beat the light.

We allllmmmost beat the light.

What my grandchildren didn’t know is this: what Bonaparte fish do best in the morning is sleep. Heck, they’ve been tearing one another up all night long. So it was a good laugh while we filled the boat full of nothing time and time again, and then headed back home in a glorious morning light. I couldn’t help but think of mom and dad who’d given us, their children, the camp.

.mom and dad with hummingbird…..(Claudia and Max Franquemont)

The cabin was a bit cool when we arrived back home; I lit a fire while the kids tried to forget about wanting to throw me over board the next time we went out-I hoped.

I kept my fingers crossed and hoped the kids would find some inner peace.

I kept my fingers crossed and hoped the kids would find some inner peace.

When it came time for breakfast, everyone had a face for the 4 AM fishing trip idea….

What?

What?

Okay, with 4 AM fishing trips put out on-a-line, it meant we had time to finish a very difficult puzzle. We gathered for a shot to celebrate two weeks of hard work, and the completion of a master piece-Bonaparte style…

Completely done, and with an added brown overlay tinge for effect.

Completely done, and with an added brown overlay tinge for effect.

Trouble was, the sun kept rising and then the day vanishing before yet again another sunset had to be rated…We turned around, took one swim, a short nap and the dang vacation was over! Someone really needs to look into the time problem up at the Lake. I’ve got my buddy, Paul Doherty, hot on the case-He’ll fix this crap , I just know it.

There's just no way that was 14 days...Pllllease.

There’s just no way that was 17 days…Pllllease.

And since when does time speed up in Mud Lake worse than a Formula One X 2016 at the Daytona speedway?

Ya know-it's like impossible to take a photo of Paul without having a loon photo bomb the shot...really--try it.

Ya know-it’s like impossible to take a photo of Paul without having a loon photo bomb the shot…really–try it.

Anyway, we watched our last sundown-

A most beautiful and untouched up photo--I had to think about the rating.....

A most beautiful and untouched up photo–I had to think about the rating…..(thanks Daley for the pic!)

I spent the next hour thinking of how I might fake falling down the cliff, break a few bones here and there, and get to stay a couple of extra weeks….None of it seemed likely.

I bet our visit put a smile on mom's face...so we to leave, and in just

I bet our visit put a smile on mom’s face…

So we had to leave, and in just 11 and 1/2 weeks we’ll be back. That’s a mere one thousand nine hundred and thirty-two hours….a piece of cake. Actually, I think just under three months sounds better. Anyway, the whole crew is coming back, and I can’t wait for that next early morning fishin’ trip.(Gonna wear my life jacket this time.)

 

Franque23 loves the Lake.

 

 

 

 


The tide went out by afternoon and left the standing on bare ground.

The tide went out by afternoon and left the Torii gate standing on bare ground.

​It wasn’t too far from my daughter’s home in Kitsuki….a quick hour train ride-several hundred miles-and then a ferry over to this famous Island spot -the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyagima–We’d just arrived when a helpful person took our picture, and we would spend the entire day there–Kelly and I climbed up a steep path cut in stone to the top of a mountain higher than the one in the background…We had about 300 more yards to go to reach the top when we both decided to turn around and go back. The view was fab.

One thing-there’s a strong tide here–by afternoon the famous shrine stood completely on dry sea bed,,,people were everywhere digging up clams…we walked under the shrine that has stood in place since 1875. There had been a series of others in its place before then. The structure is made entirely of camphor logs…way thick, maybe fifteen feet around at the bases, and that thing stands about fifty or more feet tall……

Wild, miniature deer were everywhere to pet, feed or just enjoy.

soft and warm....

soft and warm….

The smell of easy to eat nibbles- skewered veggies and various meats-drifted through the air. A bunch of shops and vendors selling wares of every type lined the land side of the ocean walkway—As in many of the places we saw in Japan, there was an abundance of finely made china for sale, cups, plates, every kind of bowl. Most places offered to ship either for free or for  very little cost.

.205749_1996168028892_3412203_n

Kelly’s home in Kitsuki was flanked by large bamboo….

The streets were crowded with open fish markets and veggie stands in some parts of Beppu.

207470_10150568019070548_6312731_n

We strolled by thermally heated smoking land vents that hissed in many places about the town.

This pic is taken at a local park,, but steaming vents like this one is common around town.

This pic is taken at a local park,, but steaming vents like this one are common around town in Beppu.

Most memorable was lying in the naturally heated black beach sand by the ocean-quite the thing. Dale noted that after that hour-long rest, and quick shower, the heated summer day felt remarkably cool. The process was simple enough.

Someone shovels the heated sand on you...

Someone shovels the heated sand on you…

Then you lay like a heated lump on the beach for about an hour.

Then you lay like a heated lump on the beach for about an hour.

 

205626_1996162468753_7543855_nOf course, we had to go to the famous Gion district of Kyoto where Memoirs of a Geisha took place. We saw several Geisha impersonators,,posing for pictures as if they were Geisha’s, which our daughter explained would never happen. Then, by stroke of luck, we came upon a gang of paparazzi who were wanting in the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of a real geisha as she excited her apartment and fled into a waiting taxi… But best of all was the, “All my favorite things,” (omyyakamomy -maybe) pancakie thingy I ate in some off-street food joint that served beer as well…really fun,,,and the whole scene(abstractly written) is in my second book of Avatar Magic-The Code of Avatar Magic-*

The sakura, cheery blossoms, were in full swing that May-

The sakura, cherry blossoms, were in full swing that May-

We were lucky to hit the Sakura bloom just right. The land blazed light pink and cherry colors everywhere. While this riotous season is happening, the Japanese talk among themselves as if reporting the blooms like a weather event….It’s not a 90 % chance of rain, but rather, “The Sakura is at 85% south of Kitsuki.” Another might respond, “No, I think it’s more like 90%.”

The shrines, the Sakura, tha mountains and ocean, all of it made Japan a magical place to see.

The shrines, the Sakura, the mountains and ocean, all of it made Japan a magical place to see.

Kelly lived in Japan for five years teaching English to middle schoolers.

Kelly lived in Japan for five years teaching English to middle schoolers.

I loved every minute we spent in Japan--you really should go.

I loved every minute we spent in Japan–you really should go.

One of our first stops that visit was the Emperor’s palace and garden grounds…Hello…really? Disney can’t touch this.

I believe this is where Dale and I saw a wedding taking place on the Emporer's grounds....

I believe this is where Dale and I saw a wedding taking place on the Emperor’s grounds….

The whole country comes alive to the sight of the Sakura....

The whole country comes alive to the sight of the Sakura….

So yeah, even though I’ve previously posted three other globs covering our visits to Japan, there’s still so much more to tell. The last samurai castle to once have actively guarded a place in Japan, Kitsuki; the one million monkeys of Monkey Mountain; Oita and the walk on my back; ground zero at Hiroshima and the real beef of Kobe that I got to eat ON MY Birthday! Wowowow….Tender gains a new meaning.

We really need to talk this over in an onsen. There’s nothing like a Japanese hot public bath house….I’ve completely covered the procedure to follow in one of these houses* in another blog/glob so you won’t be freaked when we meet there…

The Japanese Onsen-a better part of our world.

The Japanese Onsen-a better part of our world.

You can go men/ women or separated-up to you.

You can go men/ women or separated-up to you.

But I have to say, going to men only and then bowing to a cleaning lady/girl while standing butt naked felt a bit off…

Cheers from the beautiful memories of Japan….

Franque23.

 

Exactly how to do an Onsen in Japan…https://franque23.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/onsens-for-a-clean-life/

 

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