Category Archives: family

A change by name only

You ever think of doing something but you are unsure of how it will turn out? Well, that was me several months ago.

I thought of changing the name of my blog. This was not the easiest of decisions as I have been doing this blog since August of 2011.  So you can imagine how it would feel to make a change. Yet, finally I went ahead and did it

 

You may be wondering:  Why the change? Well, I will tell you. It’s because I like to post links to my blog and I thought it was a good idea to change to a less personal name that still fits me.

Swift110.

I came up with that handle in 1998, pretty much because I was (and still am) a fast runner. In fact, in high school I wanted to be on the track team but then changed my mind because it would have interfered with the time I spent with my aunt, uncle and cousin who I would go to see on the weekend in D.C.  I look back and I am actually quite happy with my decision.

Hindsight is really something else lol!!!

Anyway that is really all I have to say on the matter so in the mean time feel free to check out more posts as I have lots and lots of them.

 

 

Childhood memories and Persimmons in DC Part 2

 

Please forgive the picture quality

Please forgive the picture quality

Remember when I said that I had a surprise for you?  Well look above and you can see exactly what it is.  Just last week I was out for a walk and came across two familiar Persimmon trees.  Not really all that surprising at all.  But what I saw on the trees was something that made my jaw drop.

Ripe fruit in September!!!

But i thought they only fruited in the wintertime I exclaimed, but there they were, those beautiful orbs of sheer goodness.  An intensely sweet flavor that is even better when still warm from the sun.

Some kind of wonderful!!!

One of the trees kind of had a lean to it, not because of a bounteous bounty of fruit on its branches but just a lean.  I just hope that it doesn’t mean that  the tree is on the way down any time soon.

bigpersimmonbark

That would be a real bummer!!

Once upon a time, a bit over a decade ago  I knew of a lone persimmon tree in Hyattsville, MD in Heurich park, it just stood in the middle of the grass.  Unfortunately not long afterward the tree was gone it had likely fallen in a storm. I was curious if its seeds would indeed be fertile since there wasn’t another Persimmon tree in the general vicinity.

Goodness I miss that tree

That tree was quite interesting as it appeared to be the only one of its kind, good thing it wasn’t because there was one or two more trees not very far from it next to Nicholas Orem Middle School. I distinctly remember seeing fruit on the trees only in the wintertime.  I hope that those trees are still there as recent construction may have destroyed them so I will have to check it out and see if they still remain.

So now it makes sense that I would quite surprised to see the ripe persimmons in September.  It made me curious as to whether or not there will still be fruit on the same trees in December 2013 to January of 2014.  Also, will it be both trees bearing fruit at that time or just one like I saw last year.

Time will tell, apparently.

 

 

Childhood memories and Persimmons in DC

persimmontagI have been interested in native edible plants ever since I came across the book “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” by Euell Gibbons.  This would have been around the year 1995 which means I would have been about eleven years old at the time. Two of the plants that I recall from that book are the Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) and the Pawpaw (Asimina triloba).

You could say this was all because of my mother, who took me to various libraries when I was a child and so  I was able to explore a world far beyond anywhere i could get to physically.  This was a time before the Internet became a ubiquitous part of everyday life and folks actually read books.  Literal books in which you actually have to literally turn the page to get to the next thought.  It was a tactile thing.  As a result from a very early age I loved to read and it was one of my favorite things to do. Those books in turn motivated me to explore the outdoors near my home and over years I have learned so much from that.  The curious child that grew into the curious adult. I have been able to learn things that the vast majority of my peers just don’t and it’s given me an appreciation for the natural world that again sadly, most people I come in contact with just don’t have so for that.

Thanks MOM!!!!

In fact, it still is although now I find myself reading from my laptop or iPad screen than an actual book.  I am always amazed at how much things change but yet they stay the same at the same time.

What a wonderful life!!!

So anyway, last week I decided to visit the National Arboretum of Washington DC.  This was a place I loved to come to years ago when I moved to N.E. DC.  I would spend hours there sometimes with friends and sometimes by myself.   I recall walking down the street to Heart Pond and looking at all the beautiful Koi that was in the water.  I also remember seeing a Northern Water Snake.  It was in one of the few tributaries of the Anacostia to survive to modern times called Hickey Run.  I promise it wasn’t a romantic walk that ended with a kiss by the way it was just me enjoying a nice long walk…..

All by myself!!!

persimmonleaves

Anyway I came across a truly magnificent Persimmon tree (diospyros virginianum).  I could easily recognize it from its rather knobby bark. Unfortunately it seemed to be leaning like the tower of Pisa which I hope doesn’t spell a quick demise for it.

That would be quite sad  😦

persimmonbark

What I saw next you’ll just have to wait and see, but it was quite surprising.

 

 

 

How to be nice

Sometimes we do things because we fee it’s the nice thing to do and while we may have good intentions, the result of our actions end up being the opposite of what we hoped for.

This brings to mind an old saying that goes like this:

“Feed a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach a man a fish and he eats for a lifetime”.

Wise words eh? Now think for a moment, Of the two choices, regarding another person which leads to the best outcome?

Well you could go for the first choice, problem is the person in need doesn’t ever learn how to take personal responsibility for himself. Instead, he learns how to rely on the one thats going to do for stuff him over and over and over again. In other words, your not not really helping him you are enabling him to become a burden on others even when you are not around. Again, your intentions are good, and it may be easier to just feed the man rather than invest the time and energy to teach him how to provide for himself.

However, you are hurting not only him but yourself and all that care about him as well. In other words everyone loses.

Yes, you may say to yourself that tough love sucks. But how do we make it so that our friend truly benefits in the long-term?

Well, take the time to teach your friend a skill? This may become a real investment of time but now he grows not only in self-confidence but he learns to do for himself and is no longer a problem for others. In fact, he has the chance to spread the love and by doing so he can assist others who may be in need.

With all that said, to be nice isn’t always about doing whats easy. It’s about doing what is best overall.

Nothin’ like family

Just a little while ago I was having a conversation with some friends about family and it really got me thinking.   It is such a privilege to have a warm loving family as not everyone has that luxury.  While I wasn’t raised in a “traditional” family setting, it was still quite reminiscent of one.   For instance “Dad” was my maternal grandfather, I also have a wonderful uncle that has been a father figure to me as well, not to mention my friend’s Dad.  So really, instead of having one Dad I have three.  🙂

Moms well I have several of those as well. Not to mention a host of aunt uncles and cousins.  Here i am a grown man and I still really appreciate these ones in my life, although sadly my Dad has passed away.  I miss him oh so very much, you know one of the problems with when someone dies is that you have to live your life without them continuing to be there to talk to to visit to hold, it feels like an empty void that they once filled.  Losing him felt like a meteor hit me and the after-shock of it all was ferocious indeed.  Memories of my childhood flood me at times, in fact I am thinking of him right now and tears are welling up in my eyes as I write this, but I know that this post is something I have wanted to do for some time and the time is now.

Its amazing that in the mid 1980’s there are a number of my family that was still alive.  In fact I have met three of my great grandparents.  Two of which died soon after I was born and as a result there is no impression of them in my mind. but my maternal grandfather’s mother died when I was eleven .  I would have loved to know these ones for the people they were but sadly I was unable to do so.  Now I no longer have any grandparents left either.

Stupid Adam!! 

Well at least I have siblings of my grandparents alive, while there quite up in age they have pretty good memories and do their best to share with me family history that would have been impossible for me to witness firsthand because I was born too late to do so.

For instance, my maternal  great-grandmother was born a twin but that her twin died soon thereafter.  I also  learned that a major reason for my so many of my grandmother’s family leaving the Eastern Shore of Maryland was because of racism. Not to mention they were looking for jobs to the north as well.  Interestingly while it was awful what they went through by them moving to the DC area and Philadelphia events took place that would change their courses and would ultimately result in my birth.

No complaints here

I am also blessed to have relatives that are interested in preserving our family history and they have genealogy software that helps to keep track of us all.

Oh and here’s a neat tidbit…I may be related (albeit distantly) to the late ornithologist John Value Dennis.

Imagine that!

The cool part is, that is just the tip of the iceberg as there is so much more to learn and I will continue to learn more because their is nothing like family.