Husband. Father. Educator. Headmaster.
Gymnastics Enthusiast. Pop-Culture Analyst. Brooder.
Travel Enthusiast. Old-Soul.
TRAITMARKER BOOK'S CREATIVE DIRECTOR
My friend, Michael Lee, gave me this YETI mug from my birthday. Keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot.
I found this beard oil at my local mall. Carried by CAN YOU HANDLEBAR beard oil &
I love this cap. Patriotic without being socially awkward. The only cap that I wear, even though mine is sun-bleached, sweat-stained and weathered enough to be vintage.
When I travel, I like the comfort of knowing that my wallet is tethered to my pants. I've taken this wallet to China and back without incident.
I fell in love with the bitter-tart pomegranate taste of the original POM and recently have taken a liking to the blueberry blend.
When I write, I like to use one side of a piece of paper. The Sharpie
fine-tipped pen feels similar to a calligraphy pen to me & the physical sensation of writing with this pen on quality paper is therapeutic.
I was born an Air Force Brat in Florida. Several years later, the Air Force sent our family from Florida to Germany. Growing up in Germany shaped me. My parents chose to raise us on the economy, in a small German village, instead of in base housing. So I learned German early from the radio, the television, the Eierfrau (egg lady) who would stop and talk when she delivered our eggs and milk, and my German landlord, who would let me watch him make sausage from the pigs he raised (everyone is right - you don't want to see that).
Being functionally bilingual let me into another world than the one my parents knew. I understood everyone around me, and I felt like them. I felt German. Not until much later did I really understand that I was not. While I was a kid, Germany belonged to me: the land, the language, the bratwurst and brotchen, the smells of beer and grazing cows, and the stone houses and barns built earlier than the White House back home.
Our next major family move transferred us to England, where my father was part of Reagan's wall against Communist dictators. In England, I felt some American pride when Reagan faced Qadaffi down. Young as I was, I learned that I was an ambassador for my country and that what I did reflected on everyone back home.
But England was gloomy for me. It rained, and it seemed dark; I had to stay inside a lot. The isolation was near torture for an extrovert like me. When we moved back to Germany four years later, even the smell of the earth seemed like home. I could taste the difference in the potatoes. For the first time in six years, I heard German spoken around me and had people all around who would speak it with me.
As a teen, I worked as a youth counselor with small Air Force brats, hearing their family troubles and fears and hopes. I knew that I was supposed to do something with the military - something with helping families and children to live better lives. Around this time, too, the Iron Curtain fell, opening the Communist world to the rest of us. I loved seeing the change freedom made in people's lives.
My college years led me back to the United States. After graduating, I married an American (Sharilyn Grayson) and have raised six children here. I've accepted the challenge of bringing a European perspective to my everyday American life. But Germany still shapes my loves (which is probably why I live here).
I love the countryside, the smell of earth, beer and sausage, and having an open home. I love the European way of life, the way it slows you down and focuses you on what is truly important. I love old things and things that are sturdily and skillfully built. But I love people most of all - getting to know what they value and figuring out the knots they tie in their lives. I love connecting them with each other and watching them discover what is unique and valuable in one another.
And if anyone out there wants to chat in Deutsch over some bratwurst and brotchen, just give me a call. Ich bin hier.
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