Fall Back 2009

Oh, thank God (or the deity/non-specific/non-existent being/force/suggestion of your choice).  We get to sleep an hour longer tonight (except in Arizona, Hawaii, and some parts of Indiana) by changing from Daylight Savings to Standard Time.

The Persistence of Memory

Time.  What a concept.  If you want to know what time it is, or at least what time we’re supposed to think it is, look here.


Aquavit Update

Aquavit 2009Almost four weeks ago I poured a bottle of vodka (grain, not potato, alas) into a large jar with an assortment of spices and flavorings and left it in the dark, but for an occasional swirling around, in the bottom of our hutch for about three and a half weeks.  With everything going on the last few weekends I left the vodka to infuse about a week and a half longer than I have before in my attempt to create an aquavit-like drink.

After pouring the now amber liquid into a strainer lined with coffee filters and transferring it back to the original vodka bottle, I put it into the freezer to rest.  I haven’t sampled it yet, but the caraway and cumin definitely made their mark.  We’ll have the coming winter to see whether the dill, coriander, fennel, orange peel, and clove are there, too.

College Tour 2009: Wheaton College

Last Thursday, after leaving work a little early to pack, our middle daughter and I were on the road again.  Our overnight destination was the Holiday Inn Express in North Attleboro so we wouldn’t have to deal with morning rush hour traffic in Boston.  Next time, if there is a next time to visit Wheaton College, we will not – repeat not – follow Route 1 through Boston.  I’m generally a pretty fearless driver and I’ve driven this particular stretch before, but I have to say that I didn’t care much for it this time and will avoid it in the future, no matter what the GPS says.

Mary Lyon Hall

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LeavesGolden late afternoon sun
warms my face.
Leaves clutter-clatter in the driveway
stirred by a chilly westerly breeze.
Smoke from a nearby wood stove
tickles my nose.
I gather the mail from the box
by the road
in no hurry to go inside.
Fall goes by
too fast.

College Tour 2009: There and Back Again

It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago, as I reported, our middle daughter and I visited Connecticut College in New London.  Last weekend, though technically not a college visit in her case, we flew to Washington to visit our eldest daughter at George Washington. 

This week middle daughter and I left late Thursday afternoon for Massachusetts and a visit to Wheaton College in Norton the following morning.  Our itinerary included Wellesley College Friday afternoon and Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York before returning home late yesterday.  After three days, three colleges, two hotels, and over seven hundred miles I need another weekend, but tomorrow is Monday and I might not get back to post about our trip until later in the week.  For now, let me just say that the trip was worthwhile, though I’m not sure how you would define “success.”  There was no big “ah ha!” moment, no epiphany, but it was still worthwhile.

College Tour 2009: Connecticut College

“Tanquam lignum quod plantatum est secus decursus aquarum.”*  Columbus Day at Connecticut College in New London.

Connecticut College Chapel smEighteen months ago I was reintroduced to the world of higher education visiting colleges and universities in the Washington, DC and New York City areas.  Sitting through information sessions, walking around on campus tours, listening to presentations on the ins and outs of admissions and financial aid made me realize how little I really knew about all this.  Fortunately, going through seven of these in five days served as a kind of crash course in how contemporary higher education works.  Truthfully, though, I’m still not sure I know very much, at least about this.

With all the talk of SAT/ACT scores, admit rates, “demonstrated need” financial aid, and the difference between core curriculum and distribution requirements, I think I learned more about our eldest daughter than I did anything else.  I looked forward to the visit to Connecticut College with our middle daughter, and the visits we will make in a couple of weeks to Wheaton, Wellesley, and Vassar.

Last Sunday afternoon we packed what little we needed for an overnight stay in New London and headed south.  The roughly three and a half hour (almost four, if you count the slowdown near Haverhill, Lawrence, and Lowell) drive was spent talking about nothing and listening to the New England Patriots lose their composure and early lead to the Denver Broncos.  We passed the main entrance to Connecticut College in the early evening darkness, several of the buildings lit up giving us our first glimpse of where we would spend our Monday.

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