In our basement is an odd collection of boxes left over from a storage unit we had been using while moving. I had never gotten around to sorting and throwing away, so I thought now was to time to reclaim some floor space. Easier said than done. Most of these boxes contained things such as old yearbooks and memorabilia, and I found myself reading more than throwing away.
I was a scrawny kid, and the yearbooks reminded me of this. I wish I was in as good a shape as I was way back when, but I’m more comfortable with my size and physical appearance with at least a little more weight. (OK, OK, I know I could lose a few pounds, but even so.) Even when I started my teaching career, I was very thin.
The discovery that really killed the time was that of the journals I kept on our yearlong sabbatical to Tucson, Arizona. It was almost exactly 14 years ago that we loaded up the car and cats and drove across country so that Laura could study scanning, tunneling microscopy at the University of Arizona. I had quit my job teaching in Gray Court, and was only minimally employed while out west. During that time I explored, and kept fairly detailed records of our travels. The journals are in six spiral volumes, all hand-written with a fountain pen (which I thought would be cool.) These only cover the first six months of the year. I ran out of steam about the time I took the extended trip into the Sonora region of Mexico and into the Pinacate Volcanic Zone. That trip was so intense, I found it hard to record everything that happened, and subsequently fell behind. I wish I had kept up with the journals, because I missed out on a record of exploration of Grand Canyon and a huge part of California, including San Diego, Joshua Tree, Sequoia, Yosemite, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
I found myself absorbed reading the old journals. As I relived that year of exploration, it occured to me that Laura starts another sabbatical year this year. Now, we have a new house, jobs not as easily discarded, and other obligations, so we’ll be staying close by. However, I think it would be wonderful to once again drop everything and wander in the desert for awhile.