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In Spite of it All...

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 I haven't written in ages. I know. I'm not alone. Everything I try to write pales in the face of the reality of the world we live in now.  It's horrible Until it wasn't. At least for a little while. I finally had something to tell you about. It was the most beautiful day.  East Gauntlet Trail Last Sunday I rode with my sister and her friend Elizabeth at Elm Ridge in the northern Catskills. I've ridden here a few times and the last time the leaves were beginning to change and I though I should drag them out of the lower Hudson valley to get a bit of leaf peeping in on their new, wretchedly expensive mountain bikes. The three of us had been riding together for the last couple months. We're a good match. I'm probably a better technical rider but they are both stronger than I am. It's a good mix of push and challenge. My sister would nip at my heels all the way up a climb and Elizabeth, who's the biologist for the Mohonk trust would just tal

The Door

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Last weekend I fixed a door in our house. I probably should have sewn masks or delivered food to shut-ins; something meaningful, something that might help in the context of the greater good. I don't think I'm a very good person. In my defense, that wasn't the only thing I did last weekend. I ran power to the garage. I extended a 20 amp circuit into Carolynland, so she could run her iron and a light at the same time without throwing a circuit breaker. It was not without challenges. When I cut the hole in her shop wall, an endless stream of vermiculite started pouring out. Some previous owner decided to insulate an interior basement wall with toxic cat litter. I have this theory that a previous owner's husband was trying to murder their wife with home improvement. This confirmed my suspicions. Needless to say, hilarity ensued as I tried to stem the flow gushing out of the wall while fishing cable through it at the same time. Really, a much better story. Still, I keep comi

The Encroachment of "Harm's Way"

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8 months into our new life in Albany I had thought we would be settling in to a new normal of an East coast job and finding new friends and new places in our new home. I didn't think this would happen. I'm still working for Linfield (albeit remotely). My new friend Jill I've never met in person. Carolyn and I take turns going to the grocery store to pick over the shelves that are positively Soviet in their depletion. A quarter of my retirement savings are gone (so far). Everyone wears masks. The streets are largely deserted.  Every time one of us sneezes we look accusingly at the cats and are quietly relieved we have them to blame because the alternative isn't funny. Even hiking has become "complicated" I guess none of us saw this coming. We like to think we did. Americans love to be afraid. Gives them purpose. I'm actually kind of proud of my fellow Americans right now; at least the ones in my sphere of awareness. I'm seeing g

The Rest of the Trip

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Our first stop after Park City in Western Nebraska July 10th we loaded up our dirt and salt covered cars. We said goodbye to Anne and Chris and pulled out of the garage of their condo outside of Park City. We had a great time there and everyone was friendly and welcoming. I suspect some of their neighbors were happy to see us hit the road. At least their cars would stay cleaner. I had this feeling there was some static charge built up on our cars. It seemed like the ones next to ours began to look as dirty, like it was jumping from our cars to theirs. We ended up putting the Subaru in Chris' garage just to keep the dirt contained. We ramped on to I-80 heading East. We had been on the road for about 11 days and we picked up the pace, covering the rest of the country in about 4 days. We had planned to visit Zack and Maddie in Durango but they were out of the country. We were also feeling the pull of our new home. We wanted to get there and get settled. The term "flyove

The Journey East

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Heh. I have a pile of fragments that have never seen the light of day. I found this one I probably wrote back in May. "It's been some months since we decided to pull up stakes and move back to NY. I haven't written as much as I thought I would. There's a bunch of half finished posts. Even more half finished thoughts that never made it to the keyboard. I'm sorry about that. Mind you, there are a lot of stakes to pull up in unexpected places. We're still pulling them up and I've learned it's hard to write about something when you're doing it. There's no perspective. Our days are filled with little revelatory things. Inching out on the roofer's scaffolding to lean over and paint the top trim on our house I realized I'm growing afraid of heights. That was revelatory. Not a whole blog post of revelation but I'm afraid most of the rest of the trim will remain peeling for the sale." It did. Nobody noticed.  Of course now we&

Beginning the Journey Home

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On the afternoon of June 28th, after cleaning up the house in Dundee, loading our new gigantic  cooler with ice and consulting our maps. we started our drive from our old home to our new home. After we moved out, it was just a box, albeit a colorful one. I was going to launch right in to the travelogue post but the whole thing kind of veered off because of a question that needed to be answered: Why did we leave?  We know why we go on vacation, or to the store, or to visit family. Why did we quit our jobs, sell our home of 18 years and leave the state we've lived in for over 30 years? I suppose we left for the same reason most people leave: the reasons to leave outweighed the reasons to stay. For some it's a better job. For others it's love. For too many,  it's fleeing violence or famine. For us it was well, it was for less dramatic reasons. Growing up in New York, I always understood America as a journey from East to West. When I was in high scho

The things we keep

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I have so much I want to tell you. Too much, I think. I have flashes of insight about the last month but it's hard to describe without simply telling you where we've been. I'll get to that. First I want to tell you about our last weeks in Oregon. In the run up to those last weeks, we spent time with friends of days and years past. Our old theatre friends threw a couple of dinner parties for us. MichaeI Smith flew up from LA. Nancy Zaremski came up from Ashland. Deb Bruneaux was there too. She and Nancy managed the costume shop when Carolyn was there. Nancy was our neighbor on Belmont street for years. Cindy Fuhrman came. She' the Managing Director of Portland Center Stage, the theater Carolyn and I moved to Portland to help start.  Joanne Gilles dropped in too. She volunteered in the prop shop the first year I was there and worked with me until I left the business. Her husband Otis and I did Cycle Oregon together twice. Joan Hartzell hosted and the old theatre crow