Monday, December 30, 2013

A temporary return to Reese Hollow

I am back into the swing of things after returning from Charleston. I took a nice hike this morning, checked the solar batteries (which did need some water), and switched back to the 500 gallon tank (with 67% in the 100 gallon). I rode the stationary bike for 40 minutes and did my weights and yoga. My side still hurts a little but not too much. I screwed in the storm door screws and it hurt just doing that. I have to get my package ready to send to San Antonio for the 2nd. I won’t need a lot of stuff but I have decided against carrying all the stuff on the train with me. With Gabe having paid me back fully, I am now in pretty good shape. I shouldn’t have to touch my 403B for two years and by then I will be close to retiring and have about 12K extra in my 403B and my TIAA account. I did not sleep well last night (my first back) and after 5 days of very steady sleep at Wild Dunes, I wonder if I can figure out why I am having a problem again.

Friday, December 27, 2013


My visit to Wild Dunes had been very pleasant. I have done bike riding every day for about 10 miles, fished a couple of times and caught what I think was a 2 pound sea trout (which I released), played the Links course on Christmas Day and shot a 46 from the red tees. I have done a number of beach walks during the day and then I have spent almost every evening sitting out on the Grand Pavilion listening to the roar of the ocean. Very calming and a little mysterious in the darkness. I had a great Christmas dinner at Marv and Joyce’s house, with Aunt Theresa there, and stayed until almost 11, and I am planning to go back to play golf with Joyce on Saturday. I had a wonderful dinner with Gabe, Francesca, Julian and Arlene. Julian has certainly grown and he was fun to play with but he was also very obedient at McCrady’s. Gabe finished paying back so now I should be okay for the next two years. I finished my poem for Lucia and then I wrote a new one for Kelly based on our second tree decorating experience when I visited them recently. I think it is one of my best, and Kelly though it was lovely. My stomach has been pretty good even though I have put on a few pounds so I am not sure what causes it to hurt so much at points. Perhaps it is just when I work with drill guns and things and that stretches the scars. I have basically finished me outlines and rules and I will finish as soon as I hear from CEA about when I am presenting my paper. The paper itself has been sketched out and I think I have enough ideas to fill it out. I am so glad that my brutal semester is over. I hope I never have another one like that.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


I am relaxing (having finished my Lumosity training for the day) and having ridden my bike on the Huckleberry Trail and played nine holes of golf (43) along with a fine walk this morning. Yesterday was awful. I waited all day for Suburban Propane to deliver and at 4 when I called to check I was told that the driver (who had gotten stuck before) had tried to deliver and couldn’t. I was beside myself and I gave it to Travis, the manager, and even sent him pictures of the road to show him that it wasn’t muddy at all. Anyway, on this morning’s hike I tried calling Suburban (to see if they could deliver since the road was rock hard) and I couldn’t get in touch with Travis so I gave up and figured I would try to get a delivery after I returned from Charleston. I was annoyed and frustrated and what happens but just as I start back from the orchard, I see a Suburban truck working its way through the pasture. I was more than amazed and though I couldn’t catch the truck until it was up at the house, I did see that the driver (not yesterday’s but one who had been up before) had no problem getting up. I was very happy to get 180 gallons even though the price was close to 4 dollars a gallon. Now I have enough gas to at least early September. No worries about gas this winter. I called Travis and thanked him immoderately and life was once again good. I made my reservations in Charlotte and Columbia and I will be off on Saturday for Charlotte and golf I hope. Tracy did thank me for my birthday greeting, so that made me feel good. I wish I could see her but that is unlikely to happen since she doesn’t seem to want to have anything to do with me.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

enjoying my free time

It is Tuesday, December 17 and I had a good day, starting with a hike in the hollow and then some sorting of the cards and letters I have collected over the past 30 years. It was interesting to go through some of them, especially the ones from Kelly and from Beth. Kelly and I have a solid relationship and I am very fond of her daughter Lucia and I very much like her husband Alfredo. The letters are full of moments of tension but obviously there was a strong enough relationship to keep things going. The letters from Beth were more painful and I know that I should have handled things better with Beth. I wish I could apologize to her but I don’t think it would be a good idea to try to contact her. The other letters, from Dolores, Gloria, Sheila, Barbara were okay to read, although the ones from Judy Isacoff brought back some unpleasant memories. I have about half the box left to go through and I’m sure there will be more interesting moments. At my present pace I should have the cabin fully cleaned by the spring. I also fixed the cabin shed so no insects can get in. The bike repair class was pretty solid, although I don’t think I will do much out in the field. I had a great visit with Kelly and Alfredo and Lucia, and I will see her again when I give my paper at CEA in late March.

Friday, December 13, 2013

semester almost over

I have spent the whole day in the hollow because of the threat of a significant ice storm but I think that threat is lessened. Today there was some sleet and freezing rain but not enough to affect my two hikes to the orchard or my getting up to the cabin to continue cleaning it up. I got three more bags of garbage out and I have finished getting everything out of the loft. I did some work up in the attic in the log house last week and I really have most of the stuff I am not going to use cleaned out. It was a peaceful day, to be sure, with several naps and watching football and golf, but it made it clear to me how restless I would be with a steady diet of staying in the hollow all day. When I was younger I could do a lot more activity so the days went quicker, but now as I’ve passed 62, I can only do so much physical stuff (maybe three hours a day), perhaps an hour or two of writing, perhaps an hour or two of reading, an hour of biking on the stationary bike, some yoga and weights and still much of the day remains. I certainly wouldn’t want to have to be running around doing things for a partner, but being by myself is not ideal. I have about 20 weeks off a year so I already have more than enough time to travel. I think the solution will be to do some volunteer work after I retire or I will be very bored. I always liked volunteer work in the past and I think I will again. Perhaps I should try a little bit now but during the semester I am often very tired and I don’t want to feel overwhelmed. Since I am going to work 5 or 6 more semesters I will have more time to figure things out.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

the end of the semester draws near

It is the 3rd of December and classes end on the 5th with a week of finals coming up. I have basically made it through, although I still have the 202 final to give and grade and I will have to look at some rewrites. My left side is hurting (probably from all the cleaning I have done in the cabin and the house). I took an easy hike this morning and rode my bike very gingerly after my 444 class. I have gotten almost all the stuff out of the loft (and the rest is right up front) and I got rid of a lot I took down. I bought a shredder and shredded a lot of old documents (getting three big bags full of shredded paper). The propane is at 62 percent so I can get a delivery soon (minimum 100 gallons) and that will guarantee me no problems until the spring. I have to put some tape on the leak in the septic but David thought that a small leak while purging would not be a problem. I have insulated the septic pumps. I covered the lettuce trays with 2 inches of hay and I won’t go back in until March. I stayed home through the break and that was a very smart move. I got all my grading done in a relaxed manner. I think this is the way to handle Thanksgiving. My finances are okay but it will be nice when Gabes pays me back the rest of the money. I can get by but January and February may be tight.