By the end of 2016, I was running 10 miles at my longest stretch. Then I injured my hamstring. Then 2017 came. I was on sabbatical, which sounds like “academic vacation” but isn’t. My exercise schedule was disrupted. My teaching schedule in the fall of 2017 was a mess that disturbed any semblance of regularity. I got sick in the spring with a really bad cold, then sick in the fall with hand, foot, and mouth disease, then a cold, then the flu. I injured my right foot, and even walking became a problem. By 2018, I had gained 12 pounds from my low of 188lbs. 2017 was not a good year. But, then, you probably all knew that 2017 was not a good year.
Bombogenesis. Noreaster. Bomb cyclone. Polar vortex. These are none of the words you can use to describe the first day of our return trip to Texas. After a wonderful 5 days of play and rest wtlith family in northern Wisconsin, Jodi and I loaded up the car with bags and cats and hit the road for home.
Uneventful. Now THAT is a word that applies. The weather was cold but generally clear, even with overcast skies. But we had blue sunny skies, too. No real snow fell on the drive. We went from -13F when we started to 10F by the time we hit Des Moines at 3:30pm. No bad traffic. No major road construction. We are far west of the weather excitement pummeling the east coast today. It shows.
This weekend is drawing to a close. I write this not from Dallas, where Jodi and I finally returned home 2 weeks ago after a brief (and originally unplanned) vacation in Wisconsin, but from the SMU campus in Taos, NM. It is Sunday morning. The past week – the first week of classes for this fall term – was long and painful, brightened by the students I get to work with this fall in class and on research and dimmed by the usual complexities of life in an academic department. I won’t get into the dimming. I’ll focus on the bright spots of the week.
The first half of the summer was packed with a bunch of stuff, including a busy travel schedule followed by the death of a beloved pet. The second half of the summer has been a little bit more sane, involving more focused travel followed by a break in work-related travel for some recovery before the fall semester begins. In pictures and words, below, are some scenes from the second half of the summer.