Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Men, men, men...

Sean, Tyler, Kevin, and Rod at Kevin's post-graduation party in Frostburg. We don't have enough opportunities for such a picture!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Kevin's Graduation.

My nephew Kevin graduated this weekend from Frostburg State University in western Maryland. We traveled down on Friday and were able to attend both the Honors ceremony at which Kevin received recognition as the outstanding undergraduate in the Political Science department, and the graduation itself on Saturday morning.

Both events, though long on pomp and circumstance, were really enjoyable. To see so many young men and women so intellectually curious and focused on their goals made me feel just a bit more hopeful in these troubled days. Seeing Kevin recognized for his hard work and insatiable curiosity made me proud and hopeful for the future. We wish him the greatest success in maintaining that curiosity for years to come.

Here is Kevin accepting the Honors award on Friday night:

This is a shot of Kevin entering the hall for the graduation ceremony.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


We have a new resident in the area - a wild turkey! The deer that often graze in the field found him (her?) pretty darn fascinating...

Happy Squirrel...

Snapped this guy enjoying some sunflower seeds on our deck...

Sunday, May 13, 2007


We saw this fellow hunting in the field below the house this morning. What a huge tail!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Laid up.

Well a week ago at this time, I was preparing for foot surgery. My Mom's side of the family blessed me with a full head of hair, a happy disposition, and some truly hideous feet. Ever since I can remember, shoe shopping was a chore. My earliest recollections are of having the shoe store (oh, the name escapes me...) install "cookies" or arch supports in my new sneakers. Later on in Maine I was introduced to "bio-mechanical orthodics" which was a fancier and more effective cookie.

I've been biding my time for some time with surgery lurking inevitably in the future and I finally decided that the time had come. The podiatrist suggested that waiting longer could possibly mean a more serious surgery than the one that had been discussed for some time. Though that seemed enough for me, I consulted another podiatrist who recommended the more aggressive surgery right now! After some discussion, I opted for the original surgery which itself is aggressive enough for my liking as it involves sawing bone, screws, and pins sticking through the skin.

All that said, and having gone through the first week of this experience, I'm astonished and pleased at how polished and successful this has been. Despite the saws and screws, the surgery is done via a local anesthetic with sedation - no more general anesthetic! After the surgery, they attach a local IV drip of novocaine to dull the pain. I was leaving the hospital several hours after "going under" in very reasonable comfort!

I got a glimpse of my new foot a couple days ago and it truly looks nothing like the one my Mom gave me. I'm looking forward to a vast improvement as I heal up and get to using it.

So I've been sitting around the house for the last week - generally in somewhat of a haze from pain medication - trying to occupy my time. I've read less than I would have before the advent of TV, personal computers, and video games but still managed to enjoy finishing up "Sacred Games", the sprawling and engaging novel about gangsters and policemen in Mumbai, read much of "Feeding the Monster" about the construction of the 2004 Red Sox World Championship team.

That said, much of my time has been spent on my new MacBook communicating with friends and family via email. Sometimes a forced time out is a good thing, allowing reflection on things that aren't at the top of the everyday priority list. As much as e-mail seems like a weight to bear sometimes, it's also such an amazing opportunity to be in touch (lightly) with friends from all over - a task that years ago would have required a significant amount of paper, stamps, and time.

I've started thinking about work again, called in for a meeting, and more are scheduled. I'll try to get into work for at least some time next week to get re-engaged. Seems like I've been away for a looong time which is both good and bad.

So back to sitting around a bit more... I am getting better every day with the crutches!