25 Things about Dave
1) I grew up 4th+ generation in Cowlesville, NY, a VERY small rural town just east of Buffalo, with no stop light and more cows than people. My dad and grandfather ran 2 generations of a plumbing and heating business, and my great grandfather was a farmer. We lived across from a corn field and dozens of acres of uninhabited woods behind us that I loved to explore for hours on end. I feel a very strong connection to my past and the people that came before and who are a big part of me.
2) I wouldn't trade my small town childhood for the world. The lake-effect snow was wondrous as a kid to play in, and the people I grew up with are really great.
3) I rode the bus daily 9-ish miles to school in Attica, another rural small town (but bigger than Cowlesville). Our high school was across the railroad tracks and just a skip from the maximum security prison. During soccer practice after school we could hear the music and announcements from the prison yard loudspeakers. I remember a couple field trips in high school to talk to inmates.
4) My mother grew up in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and her family ran an ice cream and burger shop called "Imperiales". During the 1960s there was a series of revolutions after the dictator was overthrown, and the US marines were called in to keep the peace. Their house was on the front lines between the American and unstable areas, and she lost a cousin to a grenade that was thrown into their house. She met my dad when he was in the Peace Corps in 68/69. I remember as a child her taking the oath of citizenship at the city hall in Buffalo.
5) I wish I could speak Spanish, and converse freely with my Dominican relatives. It seemed normal as a kid traveling there, it's now I realize how lucky I was to be exposed to such a different culture, all the smells, foods, people, and experiences.
6) It amazes me how smells are so strongly associated with memories. I can still smell the musty, creaky old wooden floors in the Cowlesville post office (closed long ago, town too small to support); hot rank garbage (of all things) takes me to the hundreds-year-old narrow, crowded colonial streets of Santo Domingo outside my grandparents old ice cream shop; the smell of gasoline and oil (depending on the ratio!) takes me back to riding for hours along in a backhoe, loader, trucks, tractor, or bulldozer with my grandfather as a kid.
7) I think about my grandfather, Paul North Kilian, all the time. He was the kindest, gentlest, most caring person one could have the honor to know. His self-sufficiency, work ethic and inventiveness was inspiring. I have some tools that were his and they are priceless to me. We lost him last year, at 90, and to see all the people that came to remember him, and how much he meant to them at his memorial in Attica was moving. If I could be a fraction of who he was, then I will have lived a very fulfilled life.
8) I am looking forward to meeting North Miles Kilian, our son-to-be, who is due in early April. I wish he could have met his great grandfather. I am excited beyond words to be a daddy.
9) Although it took me years to meet her, I am so grateful for the life that my wife Sonya and I have built together, and look forward to our next chapter: parenthood. When we met I felt like I had always known her. I hope she realizes how much I appreciate her.
10) I've always been an optimist, and tend to see the good and humor in any situation.
11) I'm a project person: I always have a project or ten going on around the house, and love to continually improve on something. My wife must have the patience of a saint every time I get a hair-brained idea. This week I got mad at all the drafts in our house so decided to tear down some drywall to insulate a bedroom, and have been caulking all over the house like I'm on crack.
12) Our dog, Jake, is going on 13 and rides with me to work daily, and sleeps just a few feet from my desk. He's happy as can be as long as he's with his people and LOVES to travel, and is giddy to ride along in the kayak. I'm cherishing the short time we still have left together, he's a good buddy.
13) I've never been much of a yakkity phone person. Guess I'm a little on the introverted side, but just 'cause I don't call often, that doesn't mean I don't care or think about you.
14) I make pancakes every Sunday morning. LOVE them. My mom did the same for us growing up, but on Saturday mornings. My grandfather would come up to have pancake breakfast with us and then we would load all the trash for the weekly trip to the dumps. I also love French toast but can't make it to save my life.
15) Clutter and mess makes me uneasy. One side effect to moving into an older house with very little closet space has been the paring down of 'stuff' quite a bit. It's freeing. Although, to be fair, I hoard hardware in the garage, and have bins full of random parts, nuts, bolts, etc. Never know when they might come in handy.
16) I think anyone who is running for President must have travelled beyond the confines of our country. The more cultures and countries they've been exposed to the better. The world is a small, small place and to think any one nation can go it alone without deference to this spinning globe as a whole is ludicrous.
17) Although the world is a small place, I wish we had more time and $ to see and experience more of it.
18) I feel eco-guilty if I throw away even the smallest scrap of paper without recycling it. I look forward to becoming less dependent on non-renewable resources. Someday I'd like to install passive solar heating panels or other forward-looking efficient technologies as time/budgets allow.
19) I'm a sucker for outdoor activities, like camping. I've enjoyed exploring the natural beauty of NC and can't wait to introduce North to it.
20) I LOVE road trips almost as much as our dog Jake. They refresh the soul. My mind is a huge file cabinet of happy memories of camping and other crazy adventures.
21) Jackie Chan cracks me up.
22) I'm a photo geek, and left to my own devices, could happily spend hours documenting any given event.
23) Very rarely do I not have background music going. Radioparadise.com or iPod on shuffle mostly.
24) I miss my friends and family who live outside NC.
25) I've really enjoyed reading every one's versions of this list, and diving deeper into people's personalities. I know there's some overlap, but if you have the time to knock out a list of your own and share it, I'd love to read it.
So that's the end of Dave's meme. I understand if you need to excuse yourself to go blow your nose and wipe your eyes. If anyone would like to share their 25 things (or even 10 things, 5 things or 1 thing) in the comments section, we'd love to read them and learn more about you!