Home from the “Desert”

Wednesday Noah and I head home to Potsdam.

I’ve learned a couple of things on this trip.

Home can be many places.

I am excited to get back to Potsdam. I miss MY bed and MY kitchen. I miss my trails. I miss my roads. I miss my hyper dog. I even miss my cat just a little. (Noah definitely does not miss Bailey’s rabbit.) Mostly though I miss the people in Potsdam who are special to me. It’s the people that make a place special. First are Coreen and Bailey. I miss them. I have missed seeing Bailey turn into a runner. And even if he is misplacing is suffering, by not doing it on a bike, I am proud of him. I would never have picked Bailey to get into a sport that requires suffering. Strange how our children can amaze us when we think we know them so well. I missed Bailey bringing a girlfriend over to meet his parents for the first time. But I won’t miss being there when he gets his drivers licence ;). I have missed supporting and being supported by Coreen through this personally difficult fall. I missed celebrating with Coreen when she got a new job that she is super excited about. She will be working with the local hospital to make fundamental changes on how they treat people with chronic illness. I am proud of my “People Whisperer”. It seams like for some reason we are apart when we get big, good career news. (I was in Utah when my tenure decision came, bummer!) Coreen makes me a better person and I hope that I do the same for her. I miss my friends. Potsdam is special for us because we have great friends there. Thursday we are having Thanksgiving with many of them. As is our “tradition” we are having our non-US citizen friends over for an American Thanksgiving. It seams like our American friends get to go visit family while the non-US friends are stuck in Potsdam. It’s great fun to share that tradition with them.

I did my graduate work at Michigan State, and coming here was like coming home. East Lansing was the first place that Coreen and I had an “adult” life. We got married while were were here. We bought our first house here. We had both of our children here (with the same midwife and delivery nurse for both!). We have many fond people and places that we miss. It was our first home together and so its special. It’s been nice to catch up with those people and to take Noah to do some of the things we did with Bailey when we lived here.

Wisconsin in my Home. It’s been bitter sweet this fall. While I am sad about my uncle passing, it was also really nice to connect with my family out there. So many new Facebook friends! Still chuckling that one of my cousins was locked into the chicken coop by her very young son. He’s a stinker and fits right in with our family.

Sabbatical is like going into the desert to be tempted.

Sabbatical is about having all of the fun parts of your job, without any of the crap that goes along with it. I think the senior faculty know, but don’t tell you, sabbatical is something like going into the desert to be tempted. It is a time to experience the “greener grass” on the other side of the fence, without seeing all of the dirt patches that go with it. Because you have no real responsibility at your temporary home, well, it can seem WAY better than the place where you are ACTUALLY employed. That’s doubly true here because I am familiar with this school and lab, and so I can function in it really efficiently. I love working with my PhD adviser. We compliment each other really well. It’s tempting to wonder “what if”. But it’s also dangerous. That’s probably one reason why they make you sign a contract saying you will come home for at least a year before you leave for a new job.

Fatties Are Awesome!

Those of you who read Fat Cyclists blog and are a Friend of Fatty know how awesome FoF’s are. When you meet a FoF for the first time it is like meeting an old friend that you haven’t seen in a long time. They are a generous bunch. It makes me proud to wear the colors. Because I went to a race and wore a Fatty jersey I met up with a fellow FoF and then got a chance to meet and ride with a group of people I would not have otherwise met. Dave thanks for welcoming me. Brent and Scott it was great to ride with you guys a little bit and get to know you some. If you are ever in Northern NY let me know. We have a basement apartment to crash in and many many cool trails to ride. We also have these things called “mountains” for which “mountain bikes” were named. How about a 45 minute climb?

Jenni Hoops, thank you so much for the texts, conversations and support this fall. You are a true FoF.

Picture of the Day (Well its not really a picture as much as a video, and its not really mine, but it is me)

 

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