Monday, December 14, 2009

December 2009

Happy Holidays December 2009

Hello Everyone,

Just a preliminary disclaimer that some of this information was in the last blog--however there is also some new stuff. So, peruse as you see fit. There will be photos on an associated link at the end.

It has been a year unlike most years that you have heard from me. After I came back from Antarctica last February—with a short stay in New Zealand on the way home—I have not traveled more than a few hours from my Vermont home in Wilder. Where I live now is a cozy (read: small) apartment in a little settlement in Vermont. For the first time since 1999, all my stuff is with me. Last fall just before I headed to Antarctica, I flew to Wyoming, emptied my storage unit and drove it all back, then flew to Antarctica. One of my adventures this year has been trying to figure out what I own, which Rubbermaid bin it is in, and if it still: fits, is in style, functions, has the owner’s manual—very interesting!

My apartment is a few miles from Hanover where I am still at Dartmouth, though I am no longer a graduate student. I miss the classes and learning, but I am very happy having my evenings and weekends to myself; I am working as a biology field/lab technician—a position I actually quite enjoy! I am hoping to secure a bit more long term position this spring but in the mean time I am also working at a small outdoor gear store—great for getting Prodeals on all that outdoor gear I think I need. I will also be teaching snowboarding at Dartmouth’s Skiway on Saturdays (once it opens, hopefully this Thursday) and working with a local guy on Sundays doing Nordic skating workshops ( there's some ice.

Let me backup and recount some the year’s events. Most of you already know that my mom died last winter. She had been ill but waited until I returned from Antarctica to say good bye though I still would have liked to spend a bit more time with her before the end. I did spend some time at her house this summer, tidying up gardens and clearing out her belongings—a sad task regardless of the situation. I found the album of old photos including ones of me and my brothers as kids.

At the end of May, Simone (a fellow grad student) and I attended a small conference on Alpine Areas in the Northeast. It was a fun group and hiking up Mt Wright in the Adirondacks was part of the conference--that's my kind of conference. In early July, I spent 6 days hiking on Vermont’s Long Trail—probably as rainy a week as we had this rainy summer. So I don’t have many photos from that trip except a foggy swamp one. However, Don—that’s the boyfriend—and I drove up Mt Mansfield later in the month to see the view I did not get to see while hiking.

Also in July, I attended my 30th high school reunion—fortunately no photos of me doing anything particularly stupid. I did have several other small adventures over summer. One was an overnight trip up Mt Eisenhower, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I was helping a Simone collect field samples, and we ended up hiking down in the dark with a full moon. It was a lovely trip. Don and I also did a bit of local hiking and canoeing; he caught a very nice Northern pike that, unfortunately, managed to escape.

In October, my friend Melissa, from Wyoming, and two of her friends made it to the East Coast after biking across the country promoting cycling ( They invited me to bike the last forty miles with them to Boston. It was a great day for biking, and we made it to Boston in time to enjoy an ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s, then join the local biking madness—Critical Mass—a monthly event when the bicyclists take over the streets for an hour or two.

Otherwise, my life has been somewhat domestic. I have gotten to bake all sorts of things that I have not had time for in years; tried cooking various dishes that sounded interesting; made applesauce and blueberry jam several times; and read far more non-school books than I have since my last winter in McMurdo. It has also had some drama, like when my car came out of gear, rolled away, then flipped down a hill. I fixed the drive-type of damage, but I am afraid that the dents are just painted over.

In general, the year has had its ups and downs, but life goes on. My nebulous back injury is still around, though not so dramatically as last year. Don and I have been together over a year and still seem to like each other. He even likes my cat, Phoebe, who seems to be doing fine except for the recent bout of parasites and upset GI. Hope that clears up soon as shooting liquid antibiotic down her throat is really not my idea of a fun way to spend time with the cat. All in all, a pretty good year. I hope that you have had a good year with good health, with moderate wealth, and with at least a few adventures to keep you on your toes.

(Sorry about the mix of fonts--the blog seems to be having a mind of its own and the menu to change the fonts disappeared.)

click the photo for the link to the photos associated with this posting.

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