Tuesday, August 4, 2009
A quiet day on vacation
(The view from my bedroom overlooking the driveway - as always, click to enlarge.)
I'm sitting in the cool lower-level family room of my parents' lovely home built on a hillside at the edge of Pocatello. Below the hill is the Portneuf River valley, a wide expanse build over millenia by the meandering small river that runs through town, faced on either side by land rising up into mountains, a branch of the Rockies. Through our childhood, my brothers roamed and got familiar with all this terrain while I lived in a world of books, mostly, though I also wandered a bit through the dry, sage-brush hills right beyond our block of houses (we lived close to Idaho State University in those days). Just after I left for college, my family (parents and younger brothers and sister) moved to Inkom, a small town just through "the gap" - a place where the mountains come closer together around the river and the interstate that goes through the valley - on the other side of the gap is a different micro-climate. While Pocatello sometimes sweltered in a smoggy haze, Inkom was always clear and fresh, though only 15 miles away.
This visit is going fast. Friday was spent traveling. Saturday visiting (and riding behind my biker brother* on the back of his Harley for a short trip). Sunday I attended the very small Quaker worship group in Pocatello, after checking with Judy Brutz that it was still going with (she's a midwestern Quaker who relocated to Pocatello to be close to her daughter and granddaughters). Then I accepted the invitation of Judy and David to have some tea and snacks in their home nearby, and ended up having a two-hour-long conversation about their worship group, Judy's writing projects, and my own circumstances. Late Sunday was another all-family dinner of hamburgers, eaten out on the patio, followed by root-beer floats (my dad's favorite). Monday - hmm - that was a lazier day, with the high point being lunch at a Mexican restaurant and a shopping trip to Costco. I also finished a re-reading of Harry Potter #5 rather later at night than was truly good for me.
(*"biker" when he isn't running his business)
Today, yoga in the living room, and then I finished up a complete back-up of my laptop, as my sister had a recent hard drive meltdown and hadn't backed things up. I also spent too much time yesterday and today trying to get through to my workplace files via the "VPN" software - virtual private network, I think it stands for. But the ISP settings of my parent's internet service aren't letting me get through. Darn!
So instead of doing job-related work (other than a stray e-mail or two), I went back and finished two long posts I had drafted earlier:
One is the history of Rufus written last June;
and one is a July 19 piece of reflections on feminist spirituality written in the wildflower garden (the blog piece is reflections on writing my dissertation - a discussion of William James and feminist spirituality - for anyone with hard-core interest, here's a corrected link for a downloadable copy of the dissertation bibliography).
I'm posting these in my new adjacent blog, More About Me (Than You Wanted to Know) - a place I can "park" pieces that are stand-alone or background stories, then link them for anyone interested.
Later today? I could finish reading The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, which I bought in a little used bookstore down in Pocatello on Sunday. Or - we might drive up to Lava Hot Springs, a lovely little town built around pools of non-sulphered natural hot springs. But the temperature is in the mid-90s, so the hot pools themselves aren't a real draw. We could take a walk along the volcanic rock hanging gardens, though, in the cool of the evening. A chance to take some more photos!
I've been taking many, many pictures with my little Nikon, getting better at using it, especially when I use the little flexible tripod that Peter bought me. Here's a sample of some of my favorites so far: