The Road to Farley

The Road to Farley

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wanderlust versus Homebody

First of all, I woke up this morning and it was the last day of November. Where does time go? I really need things to slow down! It seems like yesterday that I wrote my last post about it being November 1.

I just returned from a 10-day trip to Burlington (Vermont - not Iowa) and Boston. In some ways, it seemed I was gone a really long time. But, actually, I was only away from work for six days. And, that isn't even 100% true, because I checked my e-mail and kept up with critical work items every day.

When I travel--which, to me, doesn't happen nearly enough--I find myself being absorbed into my new surroundings. I sit, observe, and wonder what it would be like to live and work wherever it is I am visiting. What would I be like? Would I talk differently? Would I eat different foods? Would I enjoy other activities? Who would be my friends? What would be my favorite restaurant? How would I get to work -- drive or public transportation? What house would I live in? In my private anthropological excursion, money is no object, and I envision myself living in some fantastic places.

I visited Boston for the first time on this trip. I loved it! If I lived in Boston, I would live in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Like here:

Acorn Street - Beacon Hill
Or here:

I would walk everywhere and would frequent the fabulous restaurants in the North End and the numerous Irish Pubs.

Wanderlust: A strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

The other thing that happens when I travel is that it heightens my desire to travel more. Oh, if only there was unlimited travel funds and unlimited vacation time from work available!

Getting ready to hike the Freedom Trail

Homebody: A person who enjoys the warmth and simple pleasures of being at home.

Now, as I sit in my own bed, surrounded by my own things (missing only my baby Bailey, who is still at the farm), I think that there is a side of me who loves to be at home.

On the heels of Thanksgiving, of the many blessings for which I am forever grateful, I am thankful for my health and my steady employment with a company that provides me with paid vacation.

Wanderlust or Homebody -- I'll take both, thank you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I woke up and it was November...

Man, have you noticed that the older you get the faster time passes? Why is that? I remember being a kid and thinking that time moved ever so s-l-o-w-l-y. Christmas...took forever to arrive. The end of the school year....agony. Now, it almost seems like a month zooms by while you are sleeping. Well, maybe that's just at my house because I'm keenly aware that I'm now 63 days from the big 5-0. And, no, I'm not referring to Hawaii 5-0.

Fittingly, when I went to the ski swap on Sunday, it was rainy and freezing. Oh, sure, it was probably still about 50 degrees but the constant rain and the cold wind made it just miserable to be poking around under a big tent looking for skis and boots. Now, today, on the first day of November, it was sunny and 74 degrees when I walked Bailey after work. What a beautiful day. I was reminded that it was time for my monthly update on the passage of the seasons. As a reminder, this was October:

Willow Park - October 1
And this was today:

Willow Creek Park - November 1
The beautiful golden leaves are gone, and the grass is going dormant. This picture was taken at about 5:00 p.m. What is another sign of winter encroaching is that by this time next week, it will nearly be dark at 5:00 p.m. after we "fall back" this coming weekend. We're on that slow decline to the shortest day of the year.

A friend posted something on Facebook today about All Saint's Day. I was immediately transported back to sixth grade at Farley-Bankston Catholic Grade School. We didn't wear costumes to school on Halloween. Oh no....we got to dress up as our patron saint on November 1 for All Saint's Day. I hated sixth grade. My school had this brilliant idea to split up the sixth grade class and send half of us "upstairs" to be mingled in with the seventh and eighth graders. The other half stayed "downstairs" and were mingled in with the fourth and fifth graders. I'm not sure how you were chosen for one or the other group, but I suppose they thought those of use sent upstairs were more mature or smarter or something. Well, after a few months, really all that happened is that my confidence and self-esteem were shot to hell. I'm not sure I learned much of anything that year. There was a particularly ornery group of eighth grade boys who delighted in disrupting class each day. Our poor English teacher, in her first year of teaching, was so traumatized that I'm not sure she ever taught again.

But I digress -- All Saint's Day. I was all excited to dress up as Saint Carol because I was the only Carol in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. But, then, Sister Mary Anne told me that Carol was the feminine of Charles, so I'd have to dress up as a man. NO WAY! So, then I planned to dress up as St. Ann, my middle name, but one of the seventh grade girls who was kind of intimidating was dressing up as her. Even back then, I went out of my way to avoid conflict. I went with Marie (derivation of Mary), which is my confirmation name and my Grandma's name. Yup, very original, I dressed up as the Virgin Mary. I cut a hole in an old white sheet and put that over my head then wrapped an old blanket that I dyed blue around my shoulders. I did all this without my mother's assistance. Who knows where I got the sheet, the blanket, and not to mention the blue dye! My resourcefulness was outed when I was selected to be in a photo for the local newspaper. Then, my mom was like "why didn't you ask me for help? That didn't look very good?" Well, I'm sure Jesus didn't care what Mary looked like, now, did he?

There was a great episode of This American Life on NPR last Saturday. The whole hour was devoted to the awful experiences of middle school. It was funny and sad and real all at the same time. I highly recommend it. You can find it here:

The rest of this month is going to be crazy. I have to go to Arlington, Virginia next week for work; Lawrence, Kansas the week after that; then off to Vermont for 10 days. I hope my baby doesn't forget about me while she's on her extended stay at the farm.

Sweet Bailey at Willow Creek Park