Chess

chesssets

Store display in Valleta, Malta

I discovered chess when I was in high school. It was in math class where I saw fellow classmates playing chess during break time. I knew of chess, the game, but did not play. But, because those playing chess were the whiz-kids, I got to thinking if I could play the game I would know if I could even beat them in the game. Chess did not require having good hearing.

I bought a book about how to play chess and read it from cover to cover. I applied myself to study the game and understand the rules. When it began to make sense to me I went back to that math class and when an opportunity presented itself, I asked if I could play. After defeating them all, I felt, for the first time, that I had some worth or capability. This is because school was always a struggle for me, being hearing-impaired, and I did not have good grades. No one would have thought I could beat those math-whiz kids in chess. Continue reading

Freedom?

Grey Crowned Crane Seen at DisneyWorld

Recently my wife and I were enjoying an early morning breakfast. We were on vacation at Walt Disney World’s Kidani Village where animals roam the resort. This was our first visit and everything was new and marvelous. Our breakfast table was next to a window and we watched different animals outside. We saw giraffes, zebras (two kinds), okapis, ankoles, ostriches, impalas, and many kinds of birds. Suddenly, a Grey Crowned Crane sauntered right up to our window and I snapped its picture.

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Gifts from the Magi

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One of my early Christmas memories as a child is our family Nativity Set. The Stable was a hand-made, wooden stable with a built-in manger. It had a single, mounted Christmas light for a Star. The nativity set included an Angel, Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Three Magi with gifts, and Shepherds with a collection of farm animals. The family set it up every Christmas through Ephiphany, the Twelve Days of Christmas. Very inspiring.

About that time,  I was 7 or 8 years old. I still believed there was a Santa Claus. But I also told my parents I wanted a gift that was advertised on TV. We had a Philco TV model black and white television set. We got an absolutely incredible three channels when using “rabbit ears” antenna. At the time it was amazing technology.

Since I had my first hearing aid, I was able to watch and understand Saturday morning cartoons and commercials. Including about Christmas toys. It was during the “Cold War” years with the Soviet Union, and a popular toy was a “Mobile Rocket Launcher with Searchlight”. The searchlight could light up a target display on a wall and you tried hitting it with the rubber-tipped dart launcher. It was a lot of fun until it broke within a week of play. It was a toy I wanted that year, but now I remember it mostly because it broke so soon. As a toy and thing it was very temporary. Continue reading