To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard, think quietly, talk frankly;
to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasion, hurry never;
in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common:
this is to be my symphony.
-- William Henry Channing
Seasons around the house. Having made it through one full cycle of the seasons, the time has come to post pictures. From spring to summer to autumn to winter, the seasonal changes are delightfully inspiring. Most of the landscaping was completed before I moved in, but I'll make every effort to nurse, updaate, and post home pics as often as possible.
Rail Trails: Mon River/Caperton/Deckers Creek. As much as I love the Katy Trail in Dallas, the rail trails in and around Morgantown are amazing. Scenic. Lengthy (48 miles). Hilly. Flat. Convenient. And a great way to get from place to place. Granted, don't be in a hurry, and don't be afraid to sweat a little bit. Walking. Jogging. Biking. Eight miles paved for in-line skating. And one option that Dallas couldn't advertise very much, if at all: cross-country skiing. Designated a National Recreation Trail, this trail system rocks!
Morgantown: small town, college town, downtown Morgantown. Downtown walks usually consist of visiting my brother, nephew, and other car experts at Brockway Auto Repair, then strolling across the Walnut Street Bridge for coffee and conversation at either Blue Moose Café or hiking up High Street and around the corner on Willey Street to The Grind, and eventually ending up at the WVU Downtown Campus Library, most often in one of the two "extreme quiet zone" reading rooms. Ahhhhh, contentment.
St. John's College Santa Fe has been a summer destination for a dozen years, though not strictly annually. After two "introductory" weeks in Summer Classics (one each in 2003 and 2004), the next four years consisted of eight-week summer semesters enroute to a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (2005-2008), a Great Books program. Segments: Literature; History; Math and Science; Politics and Society. 2009 marked a return for the optional fifth segment (Philosophy and Theology) but was sadly cut short. Summer 2010 found me reading Cervantes and Homer and working on a master's essay, its oral presentation occurring in April 2011. Summer 2011 saw a return engagement with Philosophy and Theology, and summer 2012 a Husserl precept and Ancient Greek self-study. A four-week engagement with the Greek Institute in summer 2013 was followed by four weeks of supplementary research and writing on Homer's epics. 2017 marked a return to Summer Classics.
Colorado fourteeners. There's no better way to recapture your perspective and sense of self than a week or two hiking and backpacking in the Colorado Rockies. If you start hiking (in some cases climbing) fourteeners and want to keep track of your ascents, make a list of the 58 Colorado peaks rising above 14,000 feet. (Note: to officially count multiple peaks connected by saddles requires a 300 foot elevation gain from the bottom of each saddle.) After a somewhat lengthy, sad absence from Colorado, my fourteener visits recommenced in 2016 (Bierstadt) and 2018 (Grays and Torreys), made all the more enjoyable with hiking partners from Parsonsfield, virgin 14er ascents for them both. I'm so incredibly thankful for getting to spend time together!
Dallas White Rock Lake. For those lengthy runs, bike rides, and general all-around outdoor activities at the "water heart" of Dallas.
Dallas Katy Trail. It was essentially in my backyard! The perfect trail for a short run, a quick bike ride, a walk to Victory Park, hustling to the Victory Park DART Station, or a stroll to dining, drinks, downtown, Uptown, Southern Methodist University, or just about anywhere in between. Mom loved it, too!