According to actuarial statistics, a male born in 1958 has a life expectancy of 74.5 years.
According to updated longevity tables prior to 2020, male life expectancy is 83 years.
According to the CDC, COVID reduced the average life span of an adult to 76.1 years.
According to family genetics, my father and mother lived to be 85 and 91, respectively.
According to Job 14:5, my next breath could be my last.
So, on the occasion of my 65th birthday, where does that leave me?
“3D vision” refers to the effect of our brains merging the two dimensional images from both our eyes to interpret depth, thus “seeing” in 3 dimensions: length, width, and depth.
I’d like to borrow that definition and create a new metaphor: Vision that utilizes 3 representations of time: past, present, and future.
As a newly-minted 65-year old, I want to recognize the importance of all three.
Past is history
Present is reality
Future is opportunity
History – Every past success and failure in your life can be a source of information and wisdom – if you allow it to be. The wise 65 year-old has learned both from success and failure, and realizes there will be more of both. Don’t be satisfied with your successes, and don’t be dismayed by your failures. History is important: it is not a rock to weigh you down, but a bridge to build the future.
Reality – No matter what we learn from the past, it will never tell you all you need to know for the present. The wise 65 year-old is constantly gathering information from many sources about what’s going on in the here and now – because that’s where we are at. They ask others on their team, they talk with their family and friends; they look to other wise people of all ages for insight. Though formal schooling may be long in the past, it’s always important to continually be students of the people surrounding you.
Opportunity – Wise 65 year-olds should strive to see tomorrow before it arrives. They have a vision for a preferable future, they understand what it will take to get there, they know who they will need to become in order to be successful, and they recognize obstacles long before they become apparent to others.
Wise 65-year olds will understand the three dimensions of past, present, and future, and realize they are not an illusion, but a powerful force that will help them reach their real depth and dimension, and in doing so, help others do the same.
Therefore, as much as it is in my health, resources, and capacity, I resolve to:
The legions of ancient Rome were composed of ten cohorts each: cohesive units of 300-600 men who trained, ate, slept, fought, won, lost, lived, and died together. The strength was their ability to think, act, and react as a unit. Though composed of individuals, training and socialization equipped them to behave as if of a single mind when called to battle. Social demographers, students of the effects of population on society, use the term cohort to refer to people born in the same general time span who share key life experiences – from setting out for school for the first time together through reaching puberty at the same time, to entering the workforce or university or marriage or middle age or their dotage at the same time.
The six primary generations of today’s American lifestyle span a remarkable slice of American and world history. Three major wars, countless minor (?) ones, economic booms and busts, social upheavals, rocketing technological achievement, and even stepping beyond our planet are among the milestones that have directly and indirectly shaped the times.
I count myself fortunate to have a direct connection to all six generations. To me, understanding more about how each of them think, feel, and act is not just a mental exercise – it’s a necessary part of life.
Builder Generation (1922-1945) My father and mother were born into the early part of this cohort. He entered military service just as WWII was ending; she was in college and then taught school; they were part of what some call “The Greatest Generation”. Think “American values” and you’ve got their number: civic pride, loyalty, respect for authority, and apple pie. My father passed away in 2012, and my mother in 2018. They may not be physically present with me, but who I am was shaped by their influence, and they impact me every day. Additionally, this cohort, as their generation moves into their twilight years, still controls a significant part of the economy and will continue to be influential in the years ahead outside of their numbers.
Baby Boomers (1946-1964) My wife and I are late Baby Boomers. Born in the latter 50s, we are a part of what was until recently the largest cohort in US history. For over thirty years, the sheer size of the Boomer generation defined the organization’s social landscape in a majority-rules cultural takeover. We were the civil rights, empowerment, and diversity generation. Never content with the status quo, we are always redefining what it means to be old and cool and important and successful.
Generation X (1965-1982) My oldest son and one of my daughters-in-law are Xers, even though they sometimes exhibit characteristics of the next cohort as well. Technologically adept, clever, and resourceful, the Xers are a deeply segmented, fragmented cohort. Their need for feed back and flexibility, coupled with the dislike of close supervision is but one of the many complex nuances of this generation. They are all about change- they’ve changed cities, homes, and even parents all their lives. Often seen as pessimistic with an edgy skepticism, many Xers are more positive about their personal future than the group as a whole.
Millennials (1983-2000) My other three children, two daughters-in-law, and a son-in-law all fall into this cohort. They are the children of the soccer moms and little League dads, and endless rounds of swim meets, karate classes, dancing lessons, computer camp and … you get the picture. They consider themselves the smartest, cleverest, healthiest and most-wanted group to have ever lived. Born into the technology boom times, barriers of time and space have little absolute meaning to them. They are willing to work and learn. By sheer numbers (their total births eclipsed the Boomers by several million) they are going to dominate history in new ways. They are the hyper-connected: constantly connected to multiple devices in order to know what and whom they need to know.
Generation Z (2001-2015) As the generation of the first six of my grandchildren, it is important to me to try to fully understand them. Technology is the hallmark of this group, which is the first generation to be raised in the era of smartphones and social media as a daily part of life. They’re growing up amid the promise of technological innovation – but also in the environment of economic uncertainty, a sharp decrease in well-defined and reliable career paths, increasing political divides, and the effect of decades of repressed racial tensions. The preeminent event of this cohort is the 9/11 attacks and the rise of terrorism around the world (and the U.S. response to it). Consequently, when compared to their predecessors, this group is both more cautious and more anxious.
Alpha Generation (2016-TBD) I have two grandchildren in this cohort, and there is one more on the way! While it is too early to define the characteristics of this cohort in any meaningful way, consider the early memories of children born since 2016: They will assuredly recall adult populations that were divided, diseased, and depressed. Their early years were launched alongside the large differences of the Trump and Biden administrations; their memories will be forever marked by the pandemic, ongoing political polarization, and increasing international unrest on a scale not seen since WWII.
There are some indications that generational cohorts repeat every four generations, so we’ll just have to see. Led by the thoughts of William Strauss and Neil Howe published in the late 1990s, this idea of “cycles” is getting more attention now that their predictions of today’s Millennial cohort are proving to be on target more often than not. That will definitely be my radar in the future!
An interesting fact, and the origin of the title of this website: there are 27 years between each of the first born in the above first three generations of my family, thus 27gen.
Here’s the last time all of #TheAdamsFamilyExperience was together in one place: Thanksgiving 2021, in Greenwich, NY.
The next five years are going to be very interesting as each of these five generations exert influence on each other. I will be actively watching my own microcosm of society.
My latest reading on generations: The release of A New Kind of Diversity by Tim Elmore was much-anticipated. Elmore brings his decades of research and leadership experience to bear on what might be the biggest, most dramatic, and most disruptive shift the American workforce has ever seen: the vast diversity of several generations living—and working—together.
For the first time in history, up to five generations find themselves working alongside each other in a typical company. The result? There can be division. Interactions between people from different generations can resemble a cross-cultural relationship. Both usually possess different values and customs. At times, each generation is literally speaking a different language!
August 9 is birthdate of my father, who was born in 1927.
It’s also Book Lover’s Day.
Those two seemingly incongruent circumstances actually have a powerful connection for me.
After suffering a major stroke on February 10, 2012, my father passed away on February 25. By the time I was able to get back to Tennessee to see him, he had lost motor functions and speech capacity. Over the few days I was there, the slow but steady decline continued.
I had last seen him during the Christmas holidays. While there, I spent some time alone at home with him. After suffering a series of strokes over the past several years, he could no longer read – but the legacy of his reading lined the bookshelves all over my boyhood home. In the quiet hours when everyone was asleep, I scanned the shelves and remembered hearing him talk about this book or that one. I pulled a few off the shelf, and opening them, was instantly transported back in time to a conversation about the subject, or to memories of the event itself.
I’ve been a reader of books since, well, before I can remember. My father was an avid reader, and he passed that passion along to me at an early age. Even though he worked 6 days a week, 12 hours a day, he often spent several hours reading at night. He insisted my mother take my brother and me to the library in the next town and check out books – every two weeks. I would get the maximum number of books, take them home, and read them – usually in the first day or two. Then it would be an impatient wait till the next library trip.
Reading is a passion I treasure, and one that I am thankful my father instilled in me.
Tuesday August 9 will be Book Lover’s Day – not an official holiday but one I eagerly celebrate. Book reading is a great hobby. It’s an important one, too. Employers look for it on resumes. Reading is educational, informative, and relaxing. It makes us both smarter and happier people.
Book Lover’s Day is a great day to celebrate. Just grab an interesting book, find a quiet, cozy place, and crack open the cover. Celebrating Book Lover’s Day in August is pleasurable on the deck, under a shady tree, poolside, or in a cozy hammock. If you fall asleep while reading, that’s okay. It’s all part of the relaxing benefits of being a book lover.
I love (and practice) the 4 different levels of reading as espoused by Mortimer Adler in his great book, How to Read a Book, but I really like to latch onto a topic and practice synoptical reading. Also known as comparative reading, it is where many books are read, and placed in relation to one another and to a subject about which they all revolve.
For many years, an ongoing topic of synoptical reading has been about Walt Disney and the “kingdom” he founded. My current Disney library is over 450 books – and I’m still actively researching the subject, and discovering new authors and books regularly. Here’s a few of my latest acquisitions:
In addition to the pure enjoyment of reading on the subject, these books provide a constant reference for illustrations when I’m writing about Guest Experiences.
In addition to Disney synoptical reading, I’ve always got small threads of other, diverse, synoptical reading going on, often spurred by long-running interests and subsequent book searches. For example, have you ever heard of Fred Harvey? Many people haven’t – yet this English-born immigrant moved to America at a young age in the mid-1800s, and subsequently developed a hospitality empire that stretched across much of the U.S. from Chicago west to the Pacific Coast. And he built it in lock-step with the growing railroad industry. Fred Harvey was Ray Kroc before McDonalds, J. Willard Marriott before Marriott Hotels, Howard Schultz before Starbucks, and Walt Disney before Disneyland. The common theme? Harvey created a hospitality industry along the rails of the Western U.S. that influenced the development of organizations over the next 100+ years that themselves are now renowned for hospitality. Here are a few books with Harvey’s story:
One of the greatest contributors to my synoptical reading was an Auxano project, 8+ years in the running, that ended in 2021. You can read about it here.
Even with that big change in my reading habit, there’s always a book at hand!
There’s current reading for Auxano social media (Tweets, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook posts), other internal Auxano writing projects, and believe it or not, reading just for the pleasure of reading – a nightly occurrence. Currently a few topics I’m reading for pleasure include: ongoing research into the concepts of hospitality in the home (what I’ve termed,”First Place Hospitality”); tracking the development of hospitality concepts in the U.S; the collected works of Wendell Berry; select works about the future and all that entails; and of course, there’s always some Disney history in the mix!
So, on Book Lover’s Day, and in memory of my father, I’m trying to emulate Thomas Edison, who believed that voracious reading was the key to self-improvement. He read books on a remarkable range of subjects to address his endless queries. As Edison noted, “I didn’t read a few books, I read the library.”
If you want to know more about my dad, here is the eulogy I gave at his funeral. After the funeral, while my sons and I were moving some things around his gas station, I discovered one reason I am so passionate about guest experiences. And read this post to find out why readers are leaders.
My recent trip to Walt Disney World for the kickoff of its 50th Anniversary celebration was a special time all the way round. My wife and I were joined by my daughter and son-in-law for 5 days and four nights of non-stop fun, food, and memories.
With a solid passion for Disney history, I was certainly an outlier of the tens of thousands who began lining up at the gates as early as 4 a.m. on October 1. (Note: I didn’t line up that early – my wife and I walked over from the Contemporary Resort at a much more respectable 7:30 a.m.).
Unlike the majority of Guests there, I wasn’t driven to acquire the large assortment of special anniversary merchandise (more to come on this in a future post).
I was there to celebrate an extraordinary achievement of the vision of Walt Disney, culminating in the efforts of thousands of team members for over six years: the creation of Walt Disney World.
The realtime thoughts and images of the 50th Anniversary kickoff were documented on my Instagram account.
As a bona fide Disney fan, focusing on the history of the man and the company that bears his name (especially from the late 1920s to the mid-1960s), I can trace “railroad” stories from Walt (and about Walt) that reinforce this.
It’s a fascinating book, and when the author knew of Walt Disney as “Uncle Walt,” and had the enviable role as a teenager to assist Walt in the operation of the Carolwood Pacific Railroad (Disney’s personal, rideable miniature railroad in the backyard of his home), you know the stories are going to be memorable, filled with detail, and a fascinating read.
You see, Michael Broggie’s father Roger E. Broggie, was a precision machinist who joined the Disney Studios in 1939. Broggie’s accomplishments at the studio were wide-ranging, but in the early 1950s he was promoted to the head of the Disney Studios’ Machine Shop, where he became a transportation specialist.
And where did he fine-tune the skills needed to create all the unique transportation vehicles found at Disneyland and later at Walt Disney World?
In building Walt Disney’s backyard railroad.
On the Carolwood Pacific Railroad.
The Carolwood Pacific Railroad (CPRR) was a 7 1/4-inch gauge ridable miniature railroad run by Walt Disney in the backyard of his home in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
It featured the Lilly Belle, a 1:8-scale live steam locomotive named after Disney’s wife, Lillian Disney, and built by the Walt Disney Studios’ machine shop. The locomotive made its first test run on December 24, 1949. It pulled a set of freight cars, as well as a caboose that was almost entirely built by Disney himself.
It was Disney’s lifelong fascination with trains, as well as his interest in miniature models, that led to the creation of the CPRR. The railroad, which became operational in 1950, was a half-mile long and encircled his house. The backyard railroad attracted visitors to Disney’s home; he invited them to ride and occasionally drive his miniature train.
With the creation of a personal railroad, Disney’s next step could only be designing and building the real thing.
Research into the earliest development of Disney’s “park” reveals a constant: the presence of a railroad with a steam engine pulling cars that people could ride in.
So, any visit to a Disney theme park for me must include a ride on the Disney Railroad.
Unfortunately, at Walt Disney World, the railroad has been out of commission since 2018 for the pandemic-delayed construction of the TRON Lightcycle Run, a new attraction coming to the Magic Kingdom in 2022. The train tracks have been rerouted, through the Lightcycle attraction inside a tunnel, according to information released by Disney in concept art.
I knew that any surprise announcement that the train would be running on October 1 was unlikely, but it wasn’t until I rode the People Mover early that morning and saw the view of the dismantled train tracks, plainly visible where they would run through the future Lightcycle attraction, that the disappointment set in.
In the meantime, the train is available as the perfect backdrop for a memorable photo at different places in the park.
For me, “the perfect backdrop” of a static display is a far cry from the swaying motion of the train as it circles the park.
The way Walt Disney dreamed about it from the time he was a young boy…
…until he made it happen.
This (somewhat) detailed explanation of a personal miss for me highlights a bigger missed opportunity for Disney during the opening days of their 18-month long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World –
Disney seems to be forgetting where it came from, and therefore, is struggling to determine where it is going.
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
The words above are taken from a 1942 speech by Winston Churchill concerning the Second Battle of El Alamein, one of the Allies earliest victories during World War II.
The occasion of my use of the quote is not nearly so dramatic, yet it begins to sum up where my office renovation project stands today.
You see, it’s not finished – and probably never will be.
I’m drawing upon another historical figure to give that statement some context:
The park will never be finished. It’s something I can keep improving every year. I’ve always wanted to work on something that will keep on growing. I have that now. Disneyland will never be completed as long as there is imagination left in the world.
As you will see in both images and quotes from several books that have been guiding my thought process in both planning and undertaking the office renovation, the two quotes above will make more sense.
Having removed dozens of crates containing thousands of books, my first and biggest decision was to NOT bring the vast majority of them back to the renovated office.
As referenced in an earlier post, one of the – if not THE – primary measure of this successful renovation project was a vast reduction in the number of books in my office.
Guided by the wisdom of several authors who are experts on the subject of organizing a home library, see for yourself if the following quotes and images made the project a success.
Surrounding yourself with books you love tells the story of your life, your interests, our passions, your values. Your past and your future. Books allow us to escape, and our personal libraries allow us to invent the story of ourselves – and the legacy we that we will leave behind.
Nina Freudenberger, Biblio-Style
When we add books – any printed books – to our homes and lives and make space for them, something almost alchemical happens. We combine the author and their story with who we are and our story. The combination of the author and their story plus us and our story is a new story, and it is completely original.
Books are beautiful objects in their own right – their bindings and covers – and the space they fill on shelves or stacked on coffee tables in colorful piles add balance and texture to any room. And just like any other part of a home, books require maintenance: They need to be dusted, categorized, rearranged, and maintained. Our relationship with them is dynamic and ever changing.
In this fast-paced, digitally saturated, screen-overloaded era we live in, printed books are a refuge of space and time. It’s OK to slow down and read; it’s OK to fill your home and your shelves with printed books and to celebrate the comfort and meaning they provide in our lives.
When we decide to keep a book and make space for it on our shelves, it becomes more than just a book. It comes a placeholder, a breadcrumb, an invitation that we can return to at any time. Perhaps it is to re-read it; or just to think about it for a moment as we pass by; or to respond to a guest who notices it and says, “I didn’t know you were interested in philosophy.” Walk into a stranger’s home anywhere in the world – want to know something about them or what to talk about over dinner? Simply look at their bookshelves.
The books we keep reveal a story that is never-ending. It can constantly be rewritten, edited, and have chapters added, simply by changing the books on the shelf. Whether the books are in our hand or on our shelves, their covers open or shut, they keep on telling stories. And so should we.
We are readers. Books grace our shelves and fill our homes with beauty; they dwell in our minds and occupy our thoughts. Books prompt us to spend pleasant hours alone and connect us with fellow readers. They invite us to escape into their pages for an afternoon, and they inspire us to reimagine our lives.
And so here it is: my office renovation project, finished – but only as of today.
It will surely change; if not by the time you read this, then shortly thereafter.
If you have been challenged, inspired, puzzled – you can insert the word of your choice here – take a look at the outline Thatcher Wine and Elizabeth Lane provide in For the Love of Books for styling a bookcase:
How to Style a Bookcase Step-by-Step
Step One: Before You Begin
Step Two: Remove books from shelves
Step Three: Place objects and test book’s positions
Step Four: Move books (even if you love them) if they don’t look right
Step Five: Test out vertical and horizontal placements
Step Six: Experiment with different types of objects and accessories
Step Seven: Experiment with placing pretty covers with front facing out
Step Eight: Find themes to repeat
Step Nine: Try more unusual objects
Step Ten: Fine tune
Step Eleven: Trust your gut
Step Twelve: Take a step back
Step Thirteen: Group books by color subject and size
Step Fourteen: Be patient with the process
Why don’t you think about organizing and styling your bookshelves?
You may be wondering what became of the books that didn’t come back to my office.
Welcome to my office annex, a project in the making: About 2,000 books, cataloged and sorted for somewhat ease of access.
A few years ago, my wife and I replaced our antique brass bed with a new bed. That led to a minor redecorating of our bedroom, which led to a major effort to simplify life in our house. As parents of four, but being empty nesters, we decided to reduce our furniture footprint, change our room use around, and redecorate our house – to be accomplished over several years.
After a few trips to Goodwill and Restore to donate furniture and other items, we had a working kitchen with plenty of space for 3 chefs at a time (we’re a foodie family), a small home office tucked away to one side, and an island for casual eating for 3. The family room lost the media center, replaced by a wall-mounted screen and sound system. The fireplace wall’s built-in side book shelves were cleaned up, organized, and looked great. Free standing bookshelves were rearranged, relocated, or removed. New furniture was chosen and delivered to create a simple, clean look. A complete redesign of the room-facing fireplace wall brought a new focal point to the entire room. The original dining room – our computer room and my office for 17 years – was returned to a dining room furnished with art from several Charleston trips, along with a custom-built dining room seating ten. One of the front bedrooms – our daughter’s – became known as the Disney Princess room, decorated with Disney art, a “magic mirror,” other Disney features, and a Lego Disney Castle, all just waiting for our grandchildren to visit. The other front bedroom – our youngest son’s – became Anita’s office, but also a guest room, courtesy of a Murphy bed mounted to one wall. The front bathroom was remodeled with a new designer vanity and tile flooring. The entire downstairs ceilings were stripped of that awful 90’s popcorn ceiling, smooth-coated with plaster, and painted. All of the downstairs rooms were painted in shades of grey. My office was relocated upstairs to what was originally a bedroom for two of our sons, and also fulfills a guest bedroom role.
I was completely happy to be out of sight from the main floor, and relocated my work there. Since Auxano had been founded as a digital company in 2004, most of my work took place there.
Therein lies the problem.
My vocational title at Auxano is Vision Room Curator and Digital Engagement Leader, which is a really cool title, but functionally I read, research, and write – a lot of all three. Which involves books – lots of them (even in the digital reader age). And project files (I’m trying to go digital, but it’s taking awhile). More books, as in book towers – one for each of the 7+ years of SUMS Remix. And visual learning objects – lots of Disney items including a Sorcerer Mickey hat and Mickey hands; gas station memorabilia; Starbucks cups and barista training materials; pirate gear and props, etc. – all related to projects I’m currently working on and/or keeping updated. Then there’s special family photos, challenge coins and patches of my Air Force son’s career, and did I mention personal books?
My name is Bob, and I’m a horizontal organizer.
I like the things I am working on spread out on a surface in front of me, where they can beckon me to continue working on them. Efficiency experts and time management gurus live in a world of vertical file management and a digital, paperless world, but me – not so much.
As a horizontal organizer, I am at a situational disadvantage. The whole world is set up to help keep vertically organized people on top of things. On the other hand, all my work is on top of things – my desk, the tops of filing cabinets, bookshelves, the nearby futon (I’m getting better, Anita – I really am!), and the floor.
As you have no doubt heard, a messy desk spread thick with paper and stacked high with books is the sign of a genius at work.
At least that’s what I tell myself.
The relocation of my office from the main level of our home to the second floor has had many benefits, not the least of which is increased domestic tranquility – a phrase not exclusively limited to governmental issues by any means. Because of my tendencies towards horizontal organization – actually, more like a full-out embrace – my working office is out of sight, but not out of mind – the office must also remain a guest room (but give me a couple hours notice, please, to ahem – rearrange things).
Anita has gently, but, firmly, been suggesting for several years now something to the tune of “that mess office needs some work.” As with much of life, it was put off some, and then some more.
At this point I need to pause and give special thanks to my youngest son Aaron, who in his senior year in college pointed me to the book The Art of Procrastination, by John Perry. After he bought the book, read it, and wrote a paper on procrastination the day it was due, he gave it to me to read.
Through it, I was introduced to the concept of horizontal organization. I enjoyed learning about, and practicing, Structured Procrastination, To-Do Lists, Procrastination as Perfectionism, and other strategies for the serial procrastinator.
With that under my belt, I became aware of another book with a similar topic: Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me. Author Andrew Santella explores a diverse group of individuals, from Charles Darwin to Leonardo Da Vinci to Frank Lloyd Wright, to ask why so many of our greatest inventors, artists, and scientists have led double lives as committed procrastinators. Here’s a couple of quotes:
In the process of trying to avoid one task, I was in fact completing many other tasks. Even procrastinators can become task-oriented, when the task they are oriented to is procrastinating.
Procrastination is really a kind of time travel, an attempt to manipulate time by transferring activities from the concrete past to an abstract future.
As noted in last week’s Friday post, Anita had had enough. In the genuine spirit of a combination birthday and Father’s Day gift, she said we would be redecorating my office. And, by the way, something had to be done about those books.
The entire office was crated, cataloged, and moved to first the garage, and then a storage unit. If you’re counting, that’s 42 crates as pictured above, plus another dozen or so boxes of various sizes.
In recognition of National Personal Chef’s Day today, here’s a trip down memory lane from the end of summer 2014. Neither of my two sons who are chefs are personal chefs, but the recollections made me smile.
My 19 year-old son finished his first year at Johnson and Wales University on May 24 this year. On May 25, he reported to Cornerstone Christian Conference Center as their summer Sous Chef. He proceeded to work 14 hours a day for five or six days at a time. He returned home a week or so ago, begins his sophomore year on September 10. After a year of dorm life, he decided that he would live at home for the current year. There are few downsides, and a great many benefits!
It’s been interesting to note the changes in our house just during this brief interim period and first few weeks of his sophomore year:
We are eating more, and better, meals at home
The number of dirty pots and pans has increased exponentially for said meals
Consequently, we find ourselves running the dishwasher every day at least once, in addition to hand-washing several items
Therefore, our water bill is undergoing steep inflation
We don’t have a good kitchen to work in (according to the chef-in-training)
A remedy to that starts with a little reorganization, including mounting a rack to the wall
Fresh is always best
It’s amazing what wine does to enrich ordinary sauces and dishes
The proper knife and technique make preparing fresh foods fun
If he had a proper mixer, we could be having fresh breads, pizza, and other pastry items on a regular basis
His explanation of culinary terms is straining my two years of French (that, and the last French I regularly spoke/heard/wrote was over 36 years ago)
When we eat out, we now have an instant food and service critic with us
He’s pretty good at what he does, and he’s eager to learn more
His oldest brother (twelve years his senior) has been involved in food service since he was a sophomore in high school in 1997. From dishwasher to general manager at a national chain and everything in between, food and the preparation of it remain a part of his life.
Taking a look at the above, and thinking of about a dozen more stories, and combining it with my long-time love of culinary reading and research, the idea for a new periodic series on 27gen is swirling in my mind: Chef Stories. I hope you will enjoy these little interludes in my normal postings, but be careful – you might just learn something here as well!
One of the reasons we chose our home over 26 years ago was that it was being built on a very special street, one that backed up to a park…
…a 100 acre wood, if you will.
As kids of all ages know, the One Hundred Acre Wood is home to Winnie the Pooh and all his friends, and the setting for the beloved stories about his adventures there.
The Hundred Acre Wood is based on an actual place called the Five Hundred Acre Wood, situated in the Ashdown Forest, in East Sussex, England, where A. A. Milne was living when he wrote the books.
Today, areas of this wood have been named after locations seen or mentioned in Milne’s Pooh books, as a tribute to the author, including a bridge identified as the Poohsticks Bridge, and an area designed as the Enchanted Place. There is also a memorial plaque dedicated to both Milne and Ernest H. Shepard, who illustrated the classic books.
During our children’s early years, the stories of Winnie the Pooh were read and reread by my wife and I, and then read by our children on their own. It was an easy leap of imagination to think that our “One Hundred Acre Wood” was the same as Winnie the Pooh’s, meaning adventures of all kinds were to be found there.
And so they did, discovering adventures in the woods or making them up with friends.
Now, our children have moved away. Their children have been introduced to Winnie the Pooh and his friends. Our children may or may not remember our “One Hundred Acre Wood,” but you can be sure that when their children come to visit Nina and GrandBob, they will introduced properly.
Then again, maybe we’re rereading the stories for ourselves.