Not Throwing In The Towel

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Towel-Dog-760x500May 25, 2018, Prescott-

An erstwhile friend has decreed today as Towel Day.  I will stay on the fringes of these festivities, as that’s how she and her significant other seem to want things.  Besides, my schedule, these next two days, is packed- as I will be, by Sunday morning.

School ended yesterday, and for me, it was as successful as 2015-16, and a far cry from last year.  I did not limp to the finish line this time.  The kids, and my co-workers, will reconvene in a week’s time, for Extended School Year.   I will sit that one out, having a major family event in mid-June. The wedding of my youngest niece will bring us all together, and will be one for the books.

As always, I have taken the steps to certify that both my car and I are ready for this year’s long road trip.  Vehicle has taken its lumps, but I have repaired most of what’s gone wrong and will tend to the cosmetics over the next day or so.  Ditto for yours truly, and while my cosmetics are showing their age, my health care providers aren’t putting me anywhere near the scrap heap.  I’m content with what I see in the mirror.

After two, and maybe three, important events here in town, today and tomorrow, I will head northwards, to Carson City, for an annual reconnect with one or more members of my extended spiritual family.  From there, the route looks like Utah, Colorado, Kansas, central Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, Montreal, Plattsburgh, NY, Vermont,Massachusetts, Connecticut, West Point, eastern Pennsylvania (especially Philadelphia), Baltimore, Delmarva, Hampton Roads, across Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, southern Missouri, Oklahoma, Amarillo and Albuquerque’s Old Town, before getting back to Home Base-somewhere around July 4.

In spite of all this seems to entail, I have built in a goodly number of daily rest stops, visits with friends and family and good clean fun.  My main mode, rain or shine, will be camping along the way and relying more on picnicking, than the heavy restaurant visits of past adventures.  There will be a few of those last, though, when I can at least treat those who have been so caring to me, over so many years- and special places in my heart, like Artful Dodger, Cupcakes & Cravings, et al.  Porthole Pub, in Lynn, MA., is slated to close soon, making way for some sorely needed luxury condos. (Wonder how we’ve gotten along without them, all these years!)  I ought to prevail on a few family members to pay a last visit to Porthole.

Whether here or there, my Faith is essential to keeping me going, on a daily basis.  So, one of the events this evening is faith-based, several of the people with whom I will visit, in the coming weeks, are my fellows in faith and the Baha’i House of Worship, in Wilmette, IL falls into the middle of my outbound itinerary, as is only proper.

One way or another, I will maintain a daily presence here- letting all my peeps in on what’s going down, as in the past.  After all, there are plenty of coffee houses and such, along the way- and Good Sam Parks are reliable with WiFi, to boot. Instagram, a gift of the above-mentioned erstwhile correspondent, remains on my network.  One keeps the baby, while waving farewell to the bath water.

 

Onward

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January 1, 2017, Chula Vista- Seems people were so fed up with the year just past, that my retrospective montage was received like a lead balloon.  No matter- the clouds have cleared, from the torrential rains of the past two days (most welcome, here in southern California, and the neighbouring states of Arizona, Nevada and Baja California Norte).  My hope is that the clouds hanging over our nation, and over many parts of the world, will dissipate, as well.

I have a few, short-term, goals for this year:

January- This week, for the most part, will find me in the San Diego area, largely here in CV, with an Orange County outing, to Crystal Cove, on Thursday, before I head to Phoenix, and a dental check-up on Friday.  Training in Psychological First Aid, on Saturday, will let me bone up on those skills.  Who knows, as to just how many occasions such will be necessary?  Next Sunday,  my penultimate trek along Black Canyon Trail will bring me to the Emery Henderson Trailhead, in New River.  The last hike on that trail will follow, later in the month, (probably on the 21st. ) Over the Martin Luther King Day weekend, Aram is likely to visit, so the three days will be open-ended, to his preferences.  Other weekends will be divided between Baha’i studies and the trail.

February-  Son heads out to South Korea, the second week of this month, so I will spend 2-3 days in southern California once again, to see him off.  It’ll mean 1-2 ,years of Skype and a once-a-year visit.  I’ve been in those shoes, several times.  President’s Day weekend will likely find me in the McDowell Mountains, northeast of Phoenix.  A service project will also be done, during the Baha’i days of giving and service to others, known as Ayyam-i-Ha (Feb. 25-28).

March- This being a month that features a Nineteen-Day Fast, with Spring Break coming towards the end of said Fast, my plans are open-ended.  The inclination is to head over to  southern New Mexico and western Texas, to pay a couple visits to friends in the area, and take some relatively moderate hikes, the likes of which have worked out nicely, over the past few Fasts.  The Baha’i New Year (March 20, this year) will be followed up by a journey to Native American Baha’i Institute, to re-charge spiritually.

April- This is the month of the twelve-day Baha’i festival known as Ridvan,  commemorating the days when Baha’u’llah declared His mission, in 1863.  My energies will be thus directed. A few jaunts along trails in the Sedona and Payson areas will also be on the agenda.

May- Decision time, as to keep my current position, or move to a different school, will be at hand.  A long-postponed revisit to Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and neighbouring Superior, is the only existing item on the hiking agenda, for this month.

June-The first month of summer will keep me in the Southwest.  A week in SoCal will focus on Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.  Visits to Navajo and Hopi are also on the agenda.

July- My now customary week in Carson City and Reno will move to the first seven days of this month.  Then it will be northwest, to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. From there, finances and circumstances will dictate my direction- either a week’s visit to Korea, or down the road, through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

August-Back to whatever work assignment awaits, and whichever forays into nature are allowed by the Monsoon rains.

September-The Bicentenary of Baha’u’llah’s Birth will be celebrated next month, so this foot soldier will be ready to do whatever the Commemoration Committee needs done.  Otherwise, Labor Day will take me up Granite Mountain, and the end of the month will mean a weekend in Flagstaff’s Inner Basin.

October- The aforementioned Commemoration will take place on  October 22.  Hope Fest will also happen this month, so there will be much work, in service.  Fall Break is a cypher, at this point:  Tucson and vicinity will get first dibs.

November- Thanksgiving, this year, will be observed at Desert Rose Baha’i School, between Phoenix and Tucson.

December-  Christmas week will find me in Massachusetts, with family whom I feel have been somewhat neglected, over these past several years.  Several fences need mending.  That will include a train trip to Philadelphia, right before New Year’s, and on down to Tampa Bay, for the first week of 2018.

Books?  “The Brothers Karamazov” slog continues.  “The Standing Stones Speak”, by Natasha Hoffman, “The Century Trilogy”, of Ken Follett, “The Alchemist”, by Paolo Coelho and a pair of books on rebuilding communities take top priority.  Speaking of which, my long put-off book of poetry and short prose will be put together, starting with choosing the better of the poems I wrote, over the past year, and adding verse as it comes to mind.  No specific promises, as to date of publication, but it will be sometime this year.

So, off we go- Trump’s wild ride,  widespread exercises in patience with one another, and continued healing (on both a personal and a collective level) will define this next chapter in the life of this beautiful humanity.

 

Amen To All That

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May 17, 2016, Prescott- Things went better at work today, as I knew they would.  Contrition replaced stridency, and my supervisor announced, at the start of the day, that no one would be allowed to talk politics in class.

My son had a successful laser eye treatment, this morning, and is now at his home, enjoying renewed clarity of vision.  We had a fine conversation, this evening, as usual. He is proactive with his personal affairs, so I feel a firm foundation was set, both with our guidance and with our mistakes, from which he learned.

Preliminary job feelers have come out, regarding next academic year, from my current department.  It’s nice to be again making a good impression.  I would be primarily responsible for helping a young autistic man, with academics and life skills, and, by extension, working with others who need academic assistance.  The process should take not much more than a week.

I have been admonished by some who feel I am too busy.  Well, there is always a lot going on, but here I am with the free time to write, in clear-headed fashion.  There are end-of-year events, this week and next, along with a charity dinner for the family of a woman who died from childbirth complications.  I will need to get my vehicle serviced on Friday, and head to an old stomping ground, Keams Canyon, on Saturday, to support Baha’is who have moved there recently, at a devotional meeting they are having.  Then, once school is done, it’ll be time to help a friend in Reno move to Carson City.

Busy, somewhat, but feeling productive is a good thing, for me.

NEXT:  Another hike along Prescott Circle, this time in Granite Basin.

 

 

 

 

May’s Agenda

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May 1, 2016, Prescott-  Yes, I shall certainly backtrack and tell of my ten-mile round trip in Black Canyon, yesterday.  I will do so tomorrow, or Tuesday.  Today, though, bear me with me, as May unfolds itself.

I certainly had a good start to the month of amazement- enjoying a breakfast at Zeke’s, where I sat at the counter, surrounded by the constant motion and banter of beautiful women who were working hard, very hard, as I enjoyed my Chorizo Scramble, with sourdough toast and coffee.  Zeke’s is always packed in the morning, on Sunday, particularly.

Then, it was off to Montezuma Well, about fifty minutes from here, for a brief meeting with Baha’i friends who were gathered for sacred readings, followed by a picnic lunch.  I ate enough to be polite, of course, but the real reason for my being there was to connect with those who have taken up residence in Keams Canyon, where we once lived.  There is an in-gathering, of sorts, taking place.  I am again connected with some of my former students, now adults with their own families- gladly telling me of their ups and downs. I will go back up there on May 20-21, and join in a devotional meeting.

Back in Prescott, shortly after 2, I was able to attend most of our own community’s Twelfth Day of Ridvan observance, again with sacred readings, commemorating the departure of Baha’u’llah and His entourage from Baghdad, onward to Constantinople (Istanbul).

This month will find me largely at Prescott High School, with four days at Mingus Springs. Travel means a day in Phoenix, for a wellness check; the aforementioned jaunt up to Keams Canyon- and Holbrook; and at the end of the month, a drive up to Reno, to help an old friend move from there to Carson City.

Reading-wise, I continue with “All The Light They Cannot See”, “The Billionaire’s Vinegar”and begin “Moral Tribes”, by Joshua Greene, which explores the concept of Us and Them, as well as “Gravel Ghosts”, a recent anthology of poetry by Megan Merchant, about which, more tomorrow.  Those will be my May reads.

Well, work will be beckoning soon, so time to get to sleep.  Merry May, all.