December 14, 2016
Yesterday, I shared a blog that might be of general interest to everyone. Today, the article is a bit more family oreinted. This might be a good time to pass on the blog
In our third day in Perth, we went in search of a great sunset and some beach time.
The beach was lovely with white sand and clear water. As the camera captures this beach, it looks ideal. What the photo might fail to capture is the brisk water (72 degrees) and the high winds (15-25 MPH). So our day swimming became more of a day of visual appreciation.
It was actually somewhat odd to know that we were looking east over the Indian Ocean. Across the ocean, we would see Rottnest Island (15 miles away). If we had superhuman eyesight, our next site would be Madagascar and Africa.
So while we might not have been able to swim, we still had a lovely time.
While beautiful, it was not a day that would normally embrace grand insights. But it was a bit of an odd day for Liam, who was often quite silent. As I have mentioned before, this trip is a mixed blessing for our three oldest. In particular, it is particularly hard for Liam. In many ways, Liam longs not just for college, but for adult life. Spending time looking at sunsets and taking pictures with his family seems a staggering distance from being an adult. He is not rude or disruptive, he would see that as rude or unappreciative. But he does want to be elsewhere at times. The key to retaining his sanity is to strategically find his space.
So we got sunset shots.
And we got Liam-looking-soulful shots.
While we are talking about the kids, its worth giving a brief update on the rest of the crew.
Wiley continues to be a combination of a diplomat and a comedian. His gift is to be comfortable and happy where he is and what he is doing. Wiley is a zen master – fully present in the moment. OK, to be more accurate, he is a zen master that can deliver a quality joke. His is also kind. I am reminded of my favorite line from the play “Harvey”. The hero explains the key to his life’s philosophy, ““In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.” Wiley’s great gift is that he is “oh so pleasant”.
Terrill is ready to fill the leadership vacuum. Wait, did I not mention the leadership vacuum. Neither Susie or I have failed to make good decisions or provide a great itinerary. But Terrill is vigilant. If a gap appears, she will be there. It is worth noting that she is an extraordinarily talented navigator. When we are driving around Western Australia, we download a map on our phones. While we do not have data roaming, iPhones are able to track a location if you have downloaded a map.
Virginia is a source of surprises and smiles. She finds photos, podcasts and videos that consistently amuse. More impressively, she has honed a wit that holds its own with her older sibling. When we need someone to be a positive conversationalist, she is the key. Our only challenge is the fact that she is the first Baskin child to embrace the sleeping behavior of a stereotypical teenager. Most bears hibernate with less enthusiasm.
Finally, I need to acknowledge Susie. She is really the center of this journey. She is consistently thinking about everyone else. She also loves travel almost as much she loves her family. When we have a tough day, she is the person who finds the right joke or distraction to assure that the family is in the right frame of mind. As we travel, I find myself becoming increasingly appreciative of my co-parent!