I can't even believe I haven't blogged since last October. I haven't written since I closed on my house on Halloween, dressed like a jester (Emma Willard's mascot). I haven't written since the movers came with all of my stuff just as I was recovering from a stomach bug. We've had friends' Thanksgiving at the Horn-Eldred home in Holland, and Christmas Eve in my new house, and Christmas Day at Kef's house. We've had Revels at work (a crazy, fun holiday tradition), and launched ourselves into 2020. I got into a rhythm of going to work and coming home and settling in.  In January sometime, there were news reports beginning about a new virus that had started to spread in China. This had happened before with bird flu and swine flu, and I really didn't think much of it. As time marched on, the reports became more dire. They were having to build more hospitals. What?! Since we have a large population of Chinese students, it started to become evident that

A Season to Settle

When I wrote that title just now, I decided settle might have a bad connotation. I don't mean settle for less than the best;  I mean come to rest . So I went to for some alternatives. I had to laugh out loud when one of them was "plop." A season to plop. Mmmmkay. We've just enjoyed a long visit with my parents, who decided that fall was a much better time to come to New York than Christmas. On the plus side, they came early enough that we could celebrate dad's birthday together. On the unfortunate side, the fall colors really haven't peaked yet. So they didn't get a fall color fix, even though we tried. It is, however, very definitely autumn. The temperatures are much cooler; the heater even kicked on when it got down to 37 degrees the other night. Every day when I go to work, there are new trees starting to display the tell-tale golden hues of letting go. I, too, am starting another season... one of settling in. At the end of the mo


I suppose it was inevitable that shortly after I announced my return to full-time work, my career as a daily blogger came to an abrupt halt. I had all good intentions of keeping up with it, but a tiny voice in my head told me I didn't have to because things were going back to normal. At first, my mind was solely focused on preparing to re-enter the work force. I needed to unsubscribe from all of the job-search notifications, de-activate my open resumes, and decide what to wear the first day of work. Then there was the first day. I felt, in a way, that I was narrating my life much like Genesis. In the beginning, the job front was formless and desolate. Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. I went to work, picked up paperwork, got an ID, met with my new boss. There was evening, and there was morning. The first day. Then God separated the sky and the waters. I had projects assigned, had more work than I could finish, and went home to a busy weekend. A

Hettie Ten Eyck

Today was a beautiful day in Albany. The sun was radiant, the few clouds withheld rain, and a swift breeze cooled the air... a perfect day for a walk through Albany Rural Cemetery. Many times, I have tried to photograph entire sections of the cemetery. Today, however, I wandered through taking photos of Celtic crosses and checking here and there for headstones that haven't been added to Find-a-Grave. There are many of both. One memorial in particular caught my eye today... a unique carving of stones, draped with roses and calla lilies, topped with a cross and anchor. It belonged to a young woman named Hettie Ten Eyck. The Ten Eyck name always catches my eye because that was the surname of the woman who worked in the communication office at FUMC Grapevine before me. That, in combination with the stunning headstone and the fact that she died on my birth date (87 years earlier), made me curious about Hettie and the life she led. I thought the anchor was interesting and won

Hodge Podge

Today I was back in Troy to go on a tour of the Emma Willard School campus before I begin work. This was my first introduction to an "Emma Girl" as well. The young woman who showed me around, a senior day student, was excited to tell me everything about her school, her interests, her projects, her friends' projects, what she's learned and what she hopes to learn. At the same time, I got to see the inside of each of the original buildings on campus, as well as the new additions over the years. I also got to see my office, which is ready and waiting for me to show up next Thursday! When I left Emma Willard, I drove through the surrounding neighborhoods to see whether I might like to live in any of them. There are several houses for sale that are within a few minutes of the school, and even some that might be in my budget. That will be another upcoming adventure! On my way to the school, I had passed a sign that said "Welcome to Troy - Burden Pond." I have

What Do We Do?

I've been "blog silent" for a couple of days and much has happened in our world during that time. Domestic terrorists (meaning, our neighbors) have killed many people, among them a young mother (the great-niece of a dear friend of mine) and her husband. Three children under the age of 5 were orphaned by a man who held hatred above all else. (And that's just the one family I'm most aware of... how many others are there?) On the other side of the country, another friend was verbally insulted and made to fear for his safety and that of his family. Why? Because he was skipping with his daughter. A stranger felt hatred above all else, and felt it so profoundly that he ruined a perfectly innocent moment between father and child. These acts of physical and verbal violence have hung heavy over my spirit these past few days. This morning I was at a breakfast meeting with a room full of people I've never met. The last thing on our minds was hatred. Our interaction

The Ballad of Copper O'Malley

It all started one mornin' on Kef Mason hill... the workers had gone and the air it was still. Our brood was itchin' to get on outside, when there in the distance we saw a fox stride. 'Ole Roxy was chompin' to give 'im a chase, while red tail a-flippin' he crossed the fence base. At lunch a bit later I says to my sis, that fox he was Irish 'cause red 'is hair is. Well I can't seriously write a whole blog like this because I'm done with the rhymin' and droppin' my g's. But you get the idea. This morning after the yard guys had finished up, we were preparing to let the herd loose when I spotted a fluffy red tail following after a tall, slender fox. Inside the yard. The doodles saw him too, and my two were oblivious. As Kef was about to go shoo him away, I was preparing to close the dog door so the hoard wouldn't go after this poor soul. Before we could act, he slipped his slender body through the fence and out into the