Archival Pix, Part 5

As mentioned in Part 4, life changes when you have children. One’s perspective on one’s job, work, money, and rent-controlled apartment at the beach shifts, and then so do you. Remember China in the last post, well, thanks to Dr. Shipkowitz and the miracles of medical science, we didn’t go back to China.

Then, there was the startling discovery in the sonograph. Then, after perhaps too much Thanksgiving dinner in Riverside, Charles Evan Vail decided to start three weeks early – and apparently wanted the rest of the family there for the experience.

Of course, work did continue. The Naturalist Academy which I had started with a grant from the CDE thrived in the early 2000’s with our first graduating class in 2003. In 2004, we matched valedictorians with the HGM and the program grew. While the HGM gig might have been my best teaching job, the Naturalist Academy (and then the creation of the Home Engineering Academy) may have been my career peak (tho’ at this writing, I’m not quite done).

So this batch starts off with some pix of that first group (many who you saw in previous posts), including our work with Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon. After going to several Shakespeare plays, we redid their Shakespeare garden, which is how I became a Service Learning Model Practitioner.

That hawk took down that poor other bird and then just ate right there on the lawn of the Ag Area (amazing nature in the middle of the city).

Then there are some pix of the art thing in Ferndale, followed by some of the Home Engineering Academy. We were featured on the Discovery Channel show Monster House in which our woodshop was completely renovated. Different from the academic environmentalism of the Naturalists, the Homies were about construction and many connections with that industry and the trades…

So, back to the kid pix and a few road trips. Foreshadowing the future, there’s one of the Galaviz family from whom we bought our nesting site in North Hollywood. We only lived there for four years, but it was great for babies and for the next transition (and as an investment!). Also, please note ML got pregnant again…!

…as mentioned above, when ML got pregnant for the second time it was evident that the beach pad days were over. And, unlike Charlie who came unexpectedly early, Veronica arrived as planned ahead of time on March 25th 2004. Dr. Shipkowitz, who made it all possible, was there to deliver the goods and suddenly ML & I had doubled our number…

This next batch starts off with some reality that photo albums don’t always depict. Then, the rest of it is just lots of good family times…

Our little family was not the only one going through changes!

Ron & Heather (with Lalayna & Julian) had moved to New Zealand, and Nancy & Jered were in the process of creating Pie Ranch – and some kids. Lucas came along the same year as Veronica, and Rosa followed in 2006. It is noteworthy, that each of we three siblings have had the blessing of a girl and a boy (albeit not always in that order).

Nancy & Jered bravely homesteaded for their first decade or so in a yurt. As depicted previously on this blog, they’ve since build their own house (in the spot where you see Jered walking with Lucas!). Tragically, the beautiful old house (build in the 1860s) shown near the end of this collection burned in the fires of 2020.

But their work in creating Pie Ranch has been amazing and much more will rise from those ashes. Incidentally, Veronica is modeling the sweater that ML knit for Rosa, who has now long outgrown it. Ahhh, what we outgrow…

This last batch is just more family fun, the kids growing up, and some trips to Mississippi and Florida. In 2006, for Mary Lynn’s birthday – and for our family – we got Sugar Pie (building immune systems requires doggies). Sadly, she’s gone and the kids are about to be.

Just about enough of this looking back; let’s think about looking forward! First, speaking of last (pix at the end of this collection), please note the exquisite table set by ML featuring some now broken or packed away wedding presents, etc., and the bitchin’ playhouse I built behind the garage at our little house in North Hollywood. [BTW, that was a great garage with an awesome mancave office (sorry, no pix).]

Thanks for looking! Thus concludes my nostalgia tour, altho’ there are many more pix in the albums in the crates in the garage. That last photo album marks the end of an era in visual technology. No longer would I take rolls of film to be printed, no longer would I sift through arrange those photos in albums. Digital cameras changed all that, and not just for me.

The next phase of life for Mary Lynn & I happened in the summer of 2007 when we moved north. Jered had turned me on to the existence of Pescadero High School, and we happenstancedly found our home in La Honda. A lot of luck & serendipity, along with some purpose & intentionality. Between the end of film photos and the beginning of this weblog was almost a decade! Many changes for us, the deaths of loved ones, and kind of a rough stretch in my teaching career, balanced fortunately by living in nice place. In another year or so, I’ll have been at PHS as long as I was at NHHS. And I’m hoping the 2021-22 school year will be the best yet…!

RandomVail needs to evolve, as do I, so while I’ll keep taking photos (and in fact will be teaching photography as part of my new Art classes), it’s time to post some writing. Stay tuned…

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