Sunday, February 8, 2009
You know, as a writer of fiction, I often tend to focus on stories that deal with father/son relationships. I am not sure why this is. Perhaps, it is because most of my fiction is based upon Michigan landscape, and I feel that I often experience that landscape through fishing, hunting, and backpacking: all activities I do with my father. I would like to submit, however, that it was my mother's motivation and encouragement and support that put me on the Appalachian Trail in 2002. And, it was through her guidance - and her worries - that I sought my way south through the Smokies to Mountain Mamas in North Carolina. Though she worried often, she tried hard not to let it show. And this makes me think about the beginnings of my outdoor passions. Though I know I hunt and hike and fish with my father, I began these endeavors through the 20 mile bike rides my mom insisted the family go on. And I received my hiking/camping instincts from the week-long trips my mom would plan at Higgins Lake. And my passion for the road, also inherited from my mother's proclivity to travel. Pending grant funding, I am about to embark on a train trip that will take me across the country 3 times, plant me in hostels and campsites in Portland, OR, Albuquerque, NM, New York City, NY, and Los Angeles/San Diego, CA, and place me on a train for over 150 hours. Total trip time: 30 days. As I wrote the grant proposal, I began to dream a bit about its possible acceptance. Though I felt I should be excited, I actually began feeling the recurring onset of an anxiety attack that has been all too frequent lately. Though, the more I pray and and think about the trip (that may or may not happen - pending funding) I realize that I have the know-how that is necessary for this trip to happen. This know-how came from my mom. Through the trips to Haight-Ashbury, to DC, and to Buckskin Joe's, I feel somewhat prepared for the uncertain. In short, I don't think my mom could ever actualize the impact she has had on me, and I know I don't express enough the fact that everything I am doing has only been made possible with the experience she has equipped me with. I love you mom.
Monday, February 2, 2009
I love the snow. It's coming down pretty good right now in Marquette. I''m hoping that, following my reading of "The Rape of Leander" and The Old Arcadia, and the grading of 25 student essays, I will have time for snowshoeing this weekend.
Stacey and I celebrated our 4th anniversary on January 22nd by renting a cabin in the woods where we read books, listened to music, did homework, hiked, cooked, drank margaritas, and played cards.
Also, I just recently started two new batches of beer. My good friend, Kevin, came over and helped. We drank a couple of his home-brews and played cribbage while we waited for the batches to cook. One of them is a revision of a Strawberry Wheat that I made around this time last year. It is Stacey's favorite, so I've appropriately dubbed it Stacey's Ale. The other was meant to be an English Bitters, but it may turn out to be more along the lines of a Porter because I used a lot of dark grains. Either way, I had a few problems with both (the Strawberry Wheat was fermenting so strong its lid blew off and hit Stacey in the forehead!) . The other brew also fermented quickly. When I tried to unplug the airlock, a geyser of fermenting beer wort shot straight into my eye. But, now things are finally under control. They've slowed down considerably, and I will try to transfer them this coming up weekend.
Also, I've decided to try to learn how to play racquetball. I'm going with a friend from work for the first time this Tuesday. Are you supposed to wear a cup when you play racquetball? Seems like a good idea.
Other than that, I've been extremely busy. I just finished a non-fiction draft for a workshop next week. My heart is in fiction, but it is fun to play around a bit with the other genres. Well, I really should be working. If I'm going to have time for dinner, I need to get reading.