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 and a 2020 inductee into the Rail-Trail Hall Of Fame, this trail system rocks!
Morgantown: small town, college town, river town, downtown Morgantown, and the historic Greenmont neighborhood. Meandering walks include visits with car geeks at bro's Brockway Auto Repair, strolling across the Walnut Street Bridge for coffee and conversation at Blue Moose Café, hiking up High Street and around the corner at Willey Street for more coffee at The Grind, eventually cozying into a WVU Downtown Campus Library reading chair in an "extreme quiet zone" room. 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 gain perspective and sense of self than hiking the Colorado Rockies. If you've a goal of ascending 14ers, keep track by listing the 58 Colorado peaks rising above 14,000 feet. (Note: summiting multiple peaks connected by saddles requires a 300 foot elevation gain from each saddle's low point.) After a somewhat lengthy, sad absence from Colorado, my 14er visits recommenced in 2016 (Bierstadt) and 2018 (Grays and Torreys), made infinitely more enjoyable with Parsonsfield hiking partners on virgin 14er ascents. Their friendship is one of life's highlights.
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!