Once or twice a year, I think I'll let you know what's been going on. It is now September, 2000. About time for a little news, yes? I will now fix that with this section, tossed haphazardly into the middle without regard for readability or anything else. You wanna know what I'm like? This page should be a big hint.
Update, September 14, 2000:
Looking back, 1999 actually was a pretty good year. Denise and I hooked up and moved into a nice little apartment here in Madtown, I settled in at work and did some serious healing up. This job, some outside work, and a small inheritance have reduced my school loans to something handleable. I have insurance. When I tell people what I do, they no longer reply with "Sure beats working, don't it?". I swear, if I had heard that one more time while I was still in school, I'd have snapped like a twig. A 40 hour work week is nothing compared to pulling a full-time curriculum at Engineering campus.
I cannot recall a period of my life other than this one that I could honestly say was stable for any great length of time. After those hippy/hitchhiking/traveling/rock festival years in the 70's (okay, that part remains one big blurry, very happy time), there was always something. Money, relationship, lousy job, money, self esteem, drugs/alcohol, money, relationship, lousy job... you get the idea. The drugs/alcohol part has been out of the picture for many years, implying that the instability wasn't a direct result of that. (A shrink once told me she thought the drugs were a form of self-medication, which would explain why the hippy years were so idyllic, but I digress.)
The job continues to be satisfying and, usually, fun. The social life has improved
to the point where I and Denise, instead of wishing we had something to do,
must pick and choose from more things than we can possibly fit into our lives.
From time to time we are faced with the task of choosing one (or more) groups
of people whom we really like to say that we cannot attend their event because
we'll be attending a different event hosted by a different group of people whom
we like equally well. It gets to the point where we either flip a coin or don't
attend either event. At those times we look back on the "quiet days"
with a bit of nostalgia. We now cherish the quiet weekends we can spend just
running errands, hanging around the house calling each other cute little nicknames,
and shoving the cat (Frodo) and dog (Zeke) off the couch. Spirit Pathways grows
and grows, its traffic increases (60 or 70 unique visitors a day, if the logs
can be trusted), and I have begun to receive questions from well intentioned
people who seem to think that maintaining a website like this means that I must
be some kind of teacher. I am more humbled by this than flattered, and I tend
to shy away. We are all students and teachers, but for the most part I place
myself firmly in the Student camp. Those of you who will ask for teaching anyway
can expect to be referred back to these pages, and perhaps the Wisconsin
Pagan Mailing List, where good people of many paths would be happy to help.
October 6, 2001:
What a difference a year or so makes. Denise and I have bought a little house on Madison's Near East Side, near the Yahara River and close to Lake Monona. This could be considered the Willy Street Neighborhood, although we are probably outside of a strict definition of the border. We absolutely love this neighborhood. We also like the fact that we are a few minutes walking distance from four restaurants and the neighborhood market, and within biking distance of a friendly Ace hardware, a bike repair shop, and a couple of "eccentric" coffee shops. Great neighborhood, and the bike path is a block away. Everything I could want in a place to live. All this and storage space too.
We still seem to be running from event to event. Maybe that will slow down with the coming of winter. In three weeks we travel to Arkansas, to the Coleman Miller Mountain Mine, digging quartz crystals out of a big pile of red clay. That's our vacation for this year.
Next September, we will be Handfasted at a location yet to be determined, at a time yet to be named. Want me to post pictures?
My Father passed beyond the veil this past May. He crossed over easily when the time came, and I was priviledged to be there. May he rest in peace and may he find the things he sought on the other side.
Perhaps you'd be interested in what our summer was like. Here's a quick summary:
May 1: We moved into the new house. We celebrate by attending the Gordon Lightfoot concert at the Barrymore Theatre, which is now walking distance away.
The next week: Dad is hospitalized, and my sister and I begin Deathwatch in Rockford, Illinois.
Later that week: Dad crosses over.
The next week: Dad's Funeral. My daughter finagles with UW Eau Claire officials so she can attend the service and still take her finals.
A few days after the service: I am returning home with the last of the items from the storage locker we rented during our apartment days, and am rear-ended on a busy street by someone who hadn't noticed traffic had been stopped. My car won't be out of the shop for two months.
The next week: My daughter's graduation from UW Eau Claire.
Ongoing, from the time Dad crossed over, till sometime in August: The settling of the estate. Although Mom and Dad had taken pains to make things as easy as possible for us (Mom died in 1998), there were still myriad details to be buttoned up. My sister was closest, and I was within driving distance. The other two were in Seattle and near Asheville, NC, and so were unable to offer more than moral support. In fact, to this day there remains one checking account open, until we are completely certain there are no more incidental bills left to pay.
I thought I'd had enough time to absorb all that, but I have been informed by people I trust that I won't really return to my "normal" state for a while yet. Certainly there were signs that maybe I ought to slow down a little. So I have, and I find I kinda like it. :-)
Okay, that's it. Next update, maybe sometime in December or January.
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Last Updated: October 6, 2001