I’ve not traditionally been a summertime person. I do my best, really I do, but usually I find myself longing for fall by early July. That wasn’t the case this year; orientation begins tomorrow and I’m still clinging to the last bits of the season. It’s been a marvelous summer, really.
Miles driven: Approximately 4,000
Total miles traveled, including air and train: 10,750ish
Weeks away from home: 5
Total times through New York City: 3
Correction of Interesting Place Not Visited While Living in Midwest: Circus World
Museums visited, either in London or in the US: Several. The Tate Modern. Carl Sandburg’s boyhood home. The Star Trek museum in Riverside, Iowa. Circus World. At least one music museum in TN. Loretta Lynn’s doll collection at her ranch, which is open to the public.
Having visited Greenwich, CT, did I also visit Greenwich, England? No. Even though that’s where they keep the time, as one of my archivist friends put it.
Articles drafted: 1 that I still haven’t turned loose of.
Book proposals drafted: 1, now halfway through revision before being sent off to my research mentor.
Do I have any idea how I somehow got involved in a second book proposal? No. I do not. But there it is, and with a collaborator I like and respect.
Archival research accomplished: Just about a solid month, what with prep, online research, and actual time in London.
Conference papers delivered: 2 (one on vandalism in Wikipedia at C&W, one on 18c Crowdsourcing at RSA.
Round tables sat on: 1 (the annual discussion about the job market at RSA). This was a bit odd for me, since I have very clear memories of sitting in the audience at the 2006 discussion. Moving to the other side of the room is both the shortest and longest hop in the world.
Days in London: 14
Archives visited: Grand Lodge, British Library, Bodleian, New College, Gray’s Inn.
Number of plates of fish and chips eaten: 2
Number of pints consumed: Dunno. Didn’t count.
Musicals viewed, continuing my tradition of seeing stage productions a decade after they debut: Wicked.
Old blog-friends now made real-life friends: 1. or 3, if we count the Bs.
Minneapolitans hung out with and thoroughly enjoyed: 1
Former professors also in London, but not at the same time: 2
Oxford pubs visited that were formerly occupied by Inklings: 2
Pairs of shoes completely worn out in between April and August:1 (evidence)
Ankles that still aren’t doing all that well, either: 1
Wondrous flying machines found in early-17c magazines: 1
Old garden beds stripped and replanted: 2. All along the front and east sides of the house.
New yard items installed: 1 kitchen garden, 1 new bed around the mailbox and lamp at the foot of the driveway. (New mailbox too, thanks to Justin.)
Does the potted herb garden on the deck bear repeating in future years? Yes indeed.
Basil grown: entirely too much.
Tomatoes grown: Early Girl, Black Russian, Patio. None were planted until after July 4th. The plants are currently heavy with tons of green fruit. So we are hopeful.
Garden beds left to renovate: 2
Trees that still need to come down: 3
Will all that happen this year? Probably not.
Travel is education, and part of the reason I love these trips is because of the reinscription that happens as the yellow lines and clouds roll past. After a few thousand miles, you know something different about yourself when you come back to your own doorstep. At first I thought this year’s road trip hadn’t allowed for that, since it was so many places we’d been before, so many (lovely) people we already know. But when we came back into New York and its green hills, it dawned on us that we live here now and that this was the payoff from this trip. Neither of us had really had a sense of home this past year, and had instead been running in endless cycles of negotiating newness. For an Arkansan and Californian who had been living in the upper Midwest for half a decade, upstate New York is rather different. Entirely different, in fact: different culture, different weather, different community issues and values. I’ve been figuring out how to be a professor instead of a grad student and he’s been figuring out how to be an independent scholar and househusband. So it was a surprise and a relief to finally have a sense of being settled and invested in this town, village, and house.