Showing posts with label Eureka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eureka. Show all posts

Thursday, November 28, 2013

View-master reels about Redwood Hwy.

Yesterday I wrote a trail guide summary about the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park. It's the location of a giant tree that had a tunnel carved through it so people could say they drove through a tree! I remember that well because as a child I had a View-master reel about the national parks, and one of the pictures showed the tree. I always thought going there would be very cool!

That got me to thinking about you. Why? Because I once found a View-master reel set about the Redwood Highway, which included a picture of Crescent City, Calif., where you lived as a baby (You were born just off the highway in Eureka, Calif.). I bought it and stored it in a tote, hoping to give it to you one day.

In all of the moving around last year, I don't know if I still have it, though. I am very sad when I think about it possibly being lost. Soon, though, I will unpack all of that stuff and look to see if I have it. If not, I somehow shall find it online!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The hospital where you were born

I've been going through some old photographs and came across one of the hospital where you were born! You were born at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, Calif., a minute before midnight on Feb. 23, 2007.

We lived in Crescent City, Calif., at the time with Eureka about 80 miles to the south along the coastal highway (U.S. Hwy. 101). The delivery section of the hospital was on the first floor.

There was an earthquake a few hours after you were born. It was very small, only 4.4 or so on the Richter scale, and while not doing any damage, it still rattled the walls! You slept through it!

The morning after you were born, I bought a really cool blue wrap-around for swaddling you. It had a spaceship on it!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Past the big trees and the big waters

Kieran, 10-12 weeks old,
Crescent City, Calif.
Caught the end tail of a televsion program about Redwood National Park and instantly thought of you. You were born in Eureka, Calif., when we lived in Crescent City, Calif., wich is where Redwood National Park is located. Redwood State Park near Crescent City is where I took you on your first hike when you were just four months old.

Both cities were on the Pacific Ocean. Eureka was the larger of the two cities; the Eureka-Arcata area had about five times as many people as Crescent City, so about once a month we'd go shopping there at the larger stores and mall.

Whenever we'd go to on the trip, I'd say to you, "We're going on a big trip past the big trees and the big waters to the big city!"

You'd just smile back!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My email to you on Feb. 23, 2013

Here’s the email I sent to you on Feb. 23, 2013, just in case you do not receive it:

Happy birthday Kieran!

Congratulations on turning 6 today! Do you have any big plans – a birthday party, maybe going to Chuck E Cheese for dinner? Don’t tell anyone your wish after you blow out your birthday cake candles or you’ll jinx it!

I remember the day you were born very well. I was working as the editor of the newspaper in Crescent City, Calif., where we lived at the time. Your mother had a doctor’s appointment in Eureka, Calif., the next biggest town which was about 80 miles away down the coast. She called me around 5 p.m. and told me she was being admitted to the hospital there and you probably would be born that night!

I was all giddy yet nervous as heck about being a new father! You’ll understand one day when you grow up and become a father yourself. So I went home and changed and got a bag of clothes and started driving toward Eureka. It was dark by the time I hit the road, and as the highway between Crescent City and Eurkea skirts the ocean, we were getting rain. Then, as the road climbed to some higher elevations through the coastal mountains, it started to snow! I had to drive super slow. Did you know that the night I was born, my father also had to drive through snow on his way to the hospital?

Finally, I reached the Eureka hospital close to 8 pm. We waited and waited for the doctors to decide what to do. Around 11:30 pm, they wheeled your mother into the delivery room.

You just missed being born on Feb. 24 by one minute! You came into the world at 11:59 pm, about 10 inches tall and weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces. You had a tuft of dark hair with reddish tints to it and the bluest eyes I’d ever seen!

After a few minutes, they wheeled your mother to the recovery room, and I held you for a whole hour while I waited for the nurses to bring back your mother. I talked to you, and you listened very intently, and feel asleep a couple of times. I guess you’d had a big day!

That night I wore a very special shirt that I still have and am keeping for you. It was a gray T-shirt with a patch for Gemini VII, the spaceship that was in orbit around the planet the day I was born. My mother says she remembers that being in the news. The big news the day you were born was a train derailment in England and the U.S. Army agreed to give up control of the South Korean Army. The No. 1 song was “Glamorous” by Fergie.

I look forward to seeing you in just a few days – we get together next Friday on March 1! As Easter comes before we get together again in April, I will bring your Easter basket. Please bring your report card with you on March 1. Since it has not been emailed to me, I presume your mother does not have the hardware/software to scan it into her computer. But a photocopy of it can be made at a library.

I miss you very much!



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My brief job in Eureka, Calif.

In July 2007, I unfortnately was laid off at the Crescent City newspaper. The newspaper industry was rapidly shrinking thanks to competition from the Internet and the rising cost of raw materials, especially paper. When the economy got rough in any way, newspapers cut back on their expenses somehow...including getting rid of people.

Fortunately, I was able to find employment as the copy desk chief at the Times-Standard, the newspaper in Eureka - the town in which you were born! While I liked many of the people there, it was a real step back in my career, as I was doing the same job I had in manitowoc six years before. Still, I was determined to work hard and regain my footing in what had become a declining industry.

On Dec. 11, 2007, we parted ways for a few months, Your mother decided to move back to Wisconsin and live with my parents, Grandma and Grandpa Bignell. It was a very sad several months for me while you were away, but it was not my choice. I will explain more to you about the truth of what happened when you are older and can better understand it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Places you've lived

Although you're only five years old, you've lived lots of places!

Here's a list of them:
g Crescent City, Calif. (birth to Sept. 2007)
g Eureka, Calif. (Sept.-Dec. 2007)
g Knapp, Wis. with Grandma and Grandpa Bignell (Dec. 2007-Sept. 2008)
g Santa Clarita, Calif. (Sept. 2008-Feb. 2009)
g Lancaster, Calif. (the "green house") (March 2009-March 2011)
g Palmdale, Calif. (April 2011-May 2012)
g Plymouth, Minn. (May 2012-current)

Where will you live next?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

First moments together as father & son

I want to share my very first moments with you, Kieran – they came only seconds after you were born. Once the nurses had cleaned you and wrapped you in a blanket, they handed you to me, and I held you in my arms for more than an hour. Your mother had a C-section and so was wheeled off into recovery; why they wouldn’t let all three of us be together, I don’t know.

But there you were in my arms, no more than a few minutes old and already looking around at the room around you with this most confused look on your face, as if you wondering where in the heck you were and how the heck you got there. Your irises were so blue against the white of your eyes.

So I said, “I bet you’re wondering where you are?”

You looked up at me as if you recognized my voice but couldn’t quite figure out who I was.

“You’re in the Milky Way galaxy on a star about a third of the way from its center,” I said, and your face lit up as if you were all excited by the prospects. “That star is called Sol, and you’re on its third planet, Earth, specifically the North American continent in a city on the Pacific Ocean called Eureka.”

I no more than said Earth and you grimaced, as if thinking, “Of all my lousy luck, I end up on Earth!”

Then I continued, “And I bet you’re wondering what time it is, too.”

Once again, you gazed up at me as if you recognized my voice but couldn’t quite figure out who I was.

“It’s about a 14.5 billion years after the Big Bang,” I said, and again your face lit up as if you were all excited by your good fortune. “It’s the 21st century, specifically the year 2007, and it’s just a few minutes after midnight on Feb. 24.”

I no more than said the 21st century and you again grimaced, as if thinking, “Oh damn, of all the times to be born on Earth, it had to be the 21st century!”

I smiled and we gazed into one another’s eyes for a while, and then you fell asleep. You looked so peaceful.

The night you born, and as holding you, I wore a T-shirt with the mission patch for Gemini VII, the craft that was in space the night I was born. When you are older, and we meet again, I will give you that T-shirt. It still has your sweet baby scent upon it.