Squeakers (Denver)

Denver was our purebred Siberian Husky sired by our other purebred Siberian Husky London and Born February 14th 2007.

Although it happened more than 2 years ago and I started writing this post almost right away, it’s taken me this long to decide to finish it and make it public. Even now finishing the last little bits it’s difficult for me to get through. He would have turned 9 today.

On January 3rd 2014 Denver was hit by a car traveling on Route 56 in the Adirondacks. I have no way of knowing for sure but from the injuries my assumption is that he died instantly. It’s an incredibly sad and unfortunate turn of events but I am thankful we have some closure. It didn’t start out that way, after realizing he was missing we searched for hours. Eventually the person from the DOT that found him, got in touch with someone who knew we had huskies, and they got in touch with us. Telling the kids was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Delilah grasped what was happening right away but Reece just hugged us and couldn’t understand why we were so sad.

When I think back to the last few days and weeks Denver enjoyed though, it makes me smile.

We hadn’t bought the dogs toys in a while, but for christmas we got Denver a fox with a christmas hat on it and a squeaker in each end and he was beside himself. We got London an identical raccoon and he couldn’t care less. Denver destroyed all 4 squeakers and couldn’t have been more excited while doing it. He always did. A squeaking toy never lasted more than 24hrs in our house once he joined the family.

On top of that in the few weeks before he was hit we had him groomed, got him a new nametag and let him sleep on the bed at camp. We had been grooming him (and London) ourselves for years but we had a coupon for 50% off a grooming appointment and we had both of them done. they looked better than they had in years and Denver in particular almost seemed proud of his new look. Seriously, he was literally strutting.

Denver was a funny dog. He would try to bury bones in the winter time but because the ground was frozen he would scratch it and just kind of push little bits of dirt (and sometimes snow) on top of the bone. In the morning time if he had to go outside he would jump on top of the bed, stand over us and just stare down at us until we woke up.

Like most huskies he liked to howl and talk. You could ask him “where’s London?” and he would go nuts howling.

When we got married we were gone for 2 weeks on our honeymoon and Denver missed us so much that when we got home he tackled Rachel and knocked her over, whining and crying the whole time.

Denver had a wild side too, he seemed closer to the wild than any other dog I’ve had. I got to see a whole different side of him when he investigated a porcupine in the woods at camp and ended up with 57 quills in his mouth. I Rode in the back of our truck trying to keep him calm while a friend of ours drove us hurriedly to the closest open vet (about 25 miles away). Eventually it seemed like he thought I was hurting him and so he tried lashing out at me but I was able to keep him calm long enough for us to arrive and get him a tranquilizer. When we brought him back he was the happiest dog alive.

I’m gonna miss that crazy lanky husky.

We love you buddy.

2627513749_3656fe0057_o 2628963287_4bbd748015_o 2629321197_52d011ba39_o 2629564595_d5bf52de67_o 2630288381_8ab53a1428_o 3637118833_f64fda999e_o 3637199919_5d6806793b_o 3637312801_09ae5f7c98_o 4912884994_8d4f443944_o 4943309153_eb6ee4f554_o 5500330686_de6016fd7f_o 16145162659_5a5cc01d1a_o 23711437066_1fe8d11bc4_o 24277349660_e57ff2aca3_o

Grandma Kerber

I wasn’t born into a huge family but I was drafted into one. As my mother put it I am “one of three only children.” We were separated by so many years that my first memory of my sister is playing at her apartment and my first memory of my brother he was (as a senior) helping me get on the bus (as a kindergartner or 1st grade I can’t remember). Both sets of my grandparents passed when I was very young & I have only a few memories, none of which are very vivid.

My first memory of Grandma Kerber is crystal clear & all about family. It was twelve years ago or so when I stepped my first foot into that soda filled hallway, turned the corner and met Grandma Kerber sitting in that brown chair (the same one that now sits in my living room along with all the memories that come with it). She wasn’t by herself by any means, Aunt Marty was there by her side, along with her whole clan. In fact in the twelve years I knew her I can only remember two instances where she wasn’t absolutely surrounded with family. Once when my wife and I took her to lunch, and another time when she couldn’t wait to meet our new puppy London (curled up at my feet at the moment). Even though her family was large she welcomed me and any of her relatives significant others in as if they were her own.

So far her descendants include: 9 Children,17 Grand Children, and 19 Great Grand Children. With the exception of a few of the newest members of the family, this entire clan (and their spouses) were crammed into Grandma’s house every Christmas Eve for the traditional family Christmas party. Although I wasn’t around to see it, I’ve been told that the same was true for Halloween trick-or-treat parties & Memorial day picnics when the grand-kids were younger. So many memories all shared by everyone, some of them even carved or written on the walls in the basement.

Rest easy Grandma. Your dynasty lives on along with your memories and traditions. obituary

100_0070 100_3805 20090919_W_0965 AL0195 AL0201 AL0202 AL0204 AL0481 AL0642 AL0649 AL0652 AL0931 DSC00348 DSC00400 DSC00781 DSC00952 DSC01675 DSC03419 DSC04155 DSC04267 DSC09256 IMG_0345 IMG_1781 IMG_1840 IMG_1878 IMG_2004 IMG_6920 IMG_6949 IMG_8268 IMG_8309 img022

The Camp Chair

Every home needs a Camp Chair whether it’s your primary residence, vacation home, RV or your cabin in the woods. The camp chair should be warm, cozy, well loved, big, green and a tiny bit of smell doesn’t hurt either. It should immediately make you sleepy, or at least make you contemplate a nap. It should have a nice view of the fire and be in close proximity to it so as to add warmth to make you sleepy. It should have memories, and it should be not just yours, but everyone’s favorite seat in the house. It should never stay unoccupied for long because someone else will surely be along to slumber in it.

I’ve had 2 previous camp chairs in my life and both fit that description perfectly. We just recently added a lazy-boy recliner from Rachel’s grandmother’s house to our living room and it immediately struck a chord. It’s brown not green but it’ll do nicely.

The really fun part though is planning the camp chair for the new addition on our camp. I think I have a perfect spot picked out we just need to find the chair.

A Wedding Toast

Congrats Brian and Kelley! What a great wedding/party. EVERYONE had tons of fun, from the golf carts to watching you striptease for Kelley on the dance floor… Love it!

The Best man speech I gave at my buddy Brian’s wedding yesterday:

Ladies and gentlemen. It takes a strong and intelligent man to realize his dreams and achieve his goals in life and love. A man not afraid to live life to its fullest and embrace what is truly important. But enough about me… I’m here to talk about Brian and Kelley.

I’ve known Brian most of my life. We lived just a few miles apart. That might sound like a lot, but in Marion it’s really only like 3 houses. Later we were college roommates so naturally I know a lot about Brian, most of which is not appropriate for this type of setting so I’ll try to keep it clean.

Once Brian had a car Jeff and I never left his side. Mostly because we needed a ride. The first time we went out, we made it maybe a mile down the street, when the hood flys up like that scene in Tommy Boy and all I can hear is Brian yelling “That’s not good! That’s not good!” No Brian, it wasn’t. I could go on and on about Brian’s automobile misshaps and hijinks:

Like the multiple times he left his beat up Chevy S10 in the CarShow parking lot with the hood popped like some show car while he put in an 8hr shift at Burger King.

Or the time he was driving down a country road in that same S10 and a deer hit HIM.

Or the time he decided it was a good idea to drive THROUGH a construction zone with potholes FEET deep & his headlights off so as not to arouse suspicion. Probably one of the scariest moments in my life..

Or the time I had to take over driving on my first day with a drivers-license because Brian had been pulled over for speeding (again) and was too nervous to drive any further.

Or the time he told me he didn’t want to buy a sporty car like the Subaru STI because he didn’t need to go fast, he wanted luxury, so he went out and bought BMW’s ROADSTER.

But I’m not going to talk about any of that, because I’m supposed to tell you about what a great guy Brian is and tell you about all his magnificent qualities. Brian is Dedicated, Kind, Funny and… what’s this one? … Sorry man, I never could read your writing.

Brian is one of the funniest guys you’ll ever meet, and he has no shame, literally… I don’t know any other guy that is excited to get cat calls while dressed up as Britney spears, wearing his sister’s skirt and a wig walking down Monroe ave.

He’s up for anything, which is exactly how he got so lucky with Kelley. Kelley, I don’t think forcing him to ride the bull for 8 seconds before he’s allowed to talk to you was ever going to stop him. One time he took his pants off in the middle of a bar and traded them with a girl wearing a skirt just so she’d ride the bull.

Brian, Some of us still don’t know how you did it, but you’re a lucky guy and somehow you tricked Kelley into marrying you. She’s beautiful, smart, funny, warm, loving and caring, and she deserves a good husband. Thank God you married her before she found one.

Kelley, it’s funny how history repeats itself isn’t it? 20 some years ago your Mother and Father were putting you to bed with a dummy…and now it’s happening all over again

All kidding aside though, I’m Ecstatic for you guys. I want to thank you both for having me be part of your special day. I know Brian couldn’t be happier, I see it in his face every time he looks at Kelley.

So if everyone could raise their glasses in a toast… To Brian and Kelley,

May you have love, health & wealth; but most importantly, may you have the time together to enjoy them all.

How I Stole From a Monastery

So, I have a confession to make.

Randy Aldrich is a thief.

I stole from a Monastery back in 1998.  Not much, but it happened.  We stopped at Ettal on our way to Neuschwanstein & I took a little booklet that described the abbey and the monastery.  At the time I thought they were free.  I didn’t know that they weren’t until we got back on the bus and someone else asked me:

You bought one of those!?

To which I responded “bought?”

Anyway… turns out they were 5 Marks (at the time Germany had not yet adopted the Euro).  Herr Stoker told me just to drop a 5 in the donation bin at the next church we went to and I’d be square with the big guy in the sky.  Seemed like a good enough Karma move to me, so that’s what I did.

The picture to the left is a scan of the cover of that book, which I still have and will probably keep forever just as a reminder.  However; even to this day, I don’t believe I’ve ever read it… *sigh*.

That being said, the Monastery is beautiful so if you’re in the area, I highly suggest it.

The Legend of The lightning Eagle

I’m a published author, didn’t you know? Apparently in 1991 I wrote some goofy story about an Eagle and they published it into a little bound book.  Just found it in a pile of stuff from my mother.  Kinda funny.  I was 8 so be gentle…

The Legend of the Lightning Eagle
by: Randy A Aldrich
Published in the Marion Elementary Publishing Center 1991

A long time ago, there was an Eagle who lived in a huge nest.  He loved to fly above a big open field.

One day when he was flying he decided to go into town.  When he did, people saw him and tried shooting him.  Then he flew back to the field.

The next week he went back, but during that period he learned to fly very, very fast.

When they tried shooting him, he flew as fast as the wind.

When he went back to his nest during the night, people thought of a name for him.  “It is done then.  His name is Lightning Eagle,” said the counselor.

They told everybody in the town.  The very next day some kids started a club.  It was called the Lightning Eagle Club.

That day he flew into town.  He was very surprised because no one shot at him.  “Why aren’t they shooting?” he thought.

The people in the Town yelled, “We’re not going to shoot you.  We even made a name for you — Lighting Eagle.”

About the author: I am 8 years old.  I like to play baseball during summer vacation.  I like to go for rides on our boat and go to the thousand islands.

It is done then.

1998 Europe Travel Journal

I found the following Travel Journal in a bag of my old stuff given to me by my mother.  It’s from my from my Trip to Europe with school in 1998.

I’ve provided it below, unedited And awesome. I’ve left it mostly intact and punctuation preserved for your enjoyment.  Go ahead and laugh, I did.

4/16/1998

Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind which are delivered down from generation to generation as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn. ~Joseph Addison, Chicago Cultural Center (former library)

I expect Germany will be like country kind of towns with lots of public transportation and then in the big cities more very modern looking buildings and I expect the people will be very friendly.

4/17/1998

The towns here just kind of end.  And then there is nothing for miles.  Walking in Rothenburg was like walking back a few centuries.  Even in the smallest town, which is where we are staying, there is a bus stop.

4/18/1998

Today we went to Dachau.  It was interesting.  There were many more concentration camps than I thought there were.  I guess we only hear of the big ones.  I also learned that Dachau’s gas chambers were never used to kill anyone.  The gas chambers at Dachau were never used and nobody knows why.  It was strange being at one of the Nazi concentration camps where people actually died by the hundreds.

4/19/1998

We had to get up at 5:45 this morning which meant I got about 5hrs of sleep.  That stunk.  We headed out to Neuschwanstein, Ludwig II‘s castle.  When we got there we hiked up the mountain to the castle and toward it.  After touring the castle we went up on the bridge that was a few hundred feet high.

4/20/1998

Today was travel day.  We have to go to Venice which is about an 8hr trip but we stopped a lot along the way.  Our travel plans were sort of changed because of some snow conditions.  Instead of going to Innsbruck on the way to Venice we stopped at Salzburg.  That was just as good because Mr Stoker lived there for a while and showed us around quite a bit.  I bought some spoons there while shopping and a chocolate pretzel which was very good but was so rich I could only eat 1/2 of it. When we got to Venice it was suppertime and we had pasta and then some viel stuff hat I didn’t like at all.  After all that just our group went out and walked around the town we were staying in (not Venice but close).

4/21/1998

Today was the best shopping day so far.  When we got up we ate (the same thing for the 6th time in a row) and then took the bus to a boat.  When we got to the boat we had to wait about 10 minutes before they got started.  Then it was about a 15min ride.  After that we took a 2hr tour around Venice and saw the “sights.”  I imagined Venice to be much better than it was, but it was really a dump.  But I suppose if you build a city on top of water it will tend to do that.  We had freetime for about 6hrs and then went back to the hotel.  The worst part about the day was it rained for most of it.  In Venice it normally is quite whet though, so…  They even have planks a foot off the ground to walk on in case what they call a (double high tide) happens.

4/22/1998

This morning we left from Venice for Verona and then on to Lucerne.  Today for once it’s not raining.  Big surprise!  It’s travel day and it’s not raining because we’re not doing anything.  It took about 10hrs to get from Venice to Lucerne.  I only got about 1hr of sleep on the bus.  When we got to Luzern nothing really happened, we ate then hung out for a while and went to sleep.

That’s it.  Which is really sad, because Lucerne was my favorite part of the trip.  I think Switzerland really spoke to the outdoorsman in me.  This makes me wish I had kept a real journal of everything.

Our First Climb – Crane Mountain

In 2005 we climbed our first mountain (Crane Mountain) together. I had climbed a few in the past but this was our first together.  We were spending a week in the Lake George area and what better way to explore the region than from above?

While not the tallest mountain we’ve climbed, it was pretty intense with several incredibly steep rocky sections.  One of the steepest sections even had a ladder, which was good because being our first mountain together… we didn’t exactly have scaling equipment.

As is always the truth in the Adirondacks, the views from the top were simply amazing.  It was on this climb that we really learned how rewarding such a strenuous hike can be.  On our way back down we passed by a little pond and it was so hot  we were going to take a dip.  However; when we took a closer look we realized it was infested with leaches.  Nice!

It was really a good choice for our first Mountain Climb.  The trail wasn’t that long, but intense, and the views were stunning.

We might go back some day, maybe with the little one.

Crane Mountain will always hold a special place in our memory.