This morning I walked my dog Roxy out in the drizzly damp which will typify the Seattle weather for the next five months or so. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself because no matter how cold, how dark, how god awful it’s going to get….I am not going to be here to deal with it. I am heading to the land of sunshine and warmth. What a treat to escape an entire winter.
But there are some things I AM going to miss…and dearly. As our departure date approaches, I am feeling almost nostalgic for things I sometimes take for granted. When I made my list of “things I will miss,” I started feeling very grateful. Despite my excitement for the opportunity to “get away,” I have a damn good life right here and now. So here is my list of what I will miss….in no particular order.
1. My kids.
I have been blessed with great kids. My oldest son Tim is one of the most intelligent and articulate people I know. He is my political adviser and dear friend.
Then comes my Kelsey Gaynor. She’s about to graduate from the University of Washington with a degree in anthropology and I don’t know if it’s occurred to her yet but I am going to miss her graduation. I am really sorry for that but I hope to make it up to her when she comes out to visit in the spring. Kelsey is one of my soul mates in this life. Unique, playful, sensitive,….and talented as hell.
Connor! Another kid to brag about…I can’t help myself! The Con Man is a sophomore at Central State University and since leaving home has come into his own…big time. He looks so grown up, has a new confidence that is so cool (reminds me of James Dean), is passionate about his opinions and in playing the guitar. He also loves his mamma and is not afraid to say so.
2. Roxy Lu
My dog Roxy is such a pain in the butt…and I will miss her terribly. She gets very upset and starts barking whenever one of us gets ready to leave the house. We have to make her sit on the couch and WAIT for a treat so that we can get out the door. But she also follows us around the apartment and snuggles in bed like a champion lover. We are leaving her with some good friends who have kept her before during our vacations. I am assured she will not forget me…I sure hope not.
3. Queen Anne neighborhood
When Jimmy and I moved to the city a little over a year ago, we couldn’t have picked a better neighborhood than Queen Anne. We love it here. And when we return to Seattle, this is where we’ll find our new apartment. We can walk to the grocery store, the cinema, coffee shops, and tons of ethnic restaurants. We can hop on a bus right across the street and be downtown in five minutes. I can walk to work if the weather is nice and I often do. And if you head up the hill just a few short blocks, you come to one of the best views of the city…which brings me to the next item on my list.
4. Kerry Park
It always looks different, day or night, rain or shine. There’s usually a few tourists up here but mainly folks with cameras set up and often wedding parties using the view as a spectacular backdrop. I walk up here with Roxy often. You can get a great look at #5 on the list….
5. The Space Needle
Maybe it’s corny, but I love the Space Needle. It’s only blocks from our apartment so we often walk right underneath. We can also see it from our living room window and it looks especially beautiful at night. It’s got Christmas tree lights on top of it right now and if we were going to be here on New Years Eve, we would get to see a spectacular fireworks display. Maybe next year….
6. My Students
It’s hard to leave my students, especially the ones who will graduate before I get back. They are an awesome bunch…all trying their hardest to be successful, despite many obstacles. I feel privileged to be part of their journey but what they don’t realize is that they are also part of mine. I learn so much from my students and I really love them. This sabbatical is the realization of a promise I made to them to write this textbook. In this, they are along for the ride.
8. My dear friends.
I have many. Paulette, Jenn, Jim Anderson, Sharon, Lidia and Cecil…and more. Some I don’t see often but I will know that should the spirit move me, I will not be able to call them up and say, “Hey! Let’s get together!” I’m sure for those staying home, they time will fly and I’ll be back in a flash.
9. The Art Institute
I have the good fortune to work with and for some fine colleagues. Teaching at the college has been very positive this past quarter and I am grateful for the support I have been given. Special thanks go to Scott , Zanetka, Dave, Carl, and Tony. Hold down the fort would you?
This has been a good home and I will always think fondly of my time here. We are putting everything in storage for the time away so when we return it will be to someplace new.
So that’s the short list. Perhaps six months is not such a long time, but for me it feels like a new chapter is beginning. I’ve been clearing out my email, getting rid of the superfluous, and generally streamlining my operation. That’s all good.