Sunday, October 25, 2009

Taking breaks, taking stock, playing goalie

The last two weeks have been thick with activity, from grading midterms, meeting with school administrators, and fitting in a weekend in Ithaca to celebrate Brian's advisor's retirement. Meanwhile the roosters are crowing - not enough to wake us two floors up from their garage home, but enough that we fear they will not be welcome in the neighborhood as soon as our coop is finished - today? tomorrow? Progress slowed with our absence last weekend, but we're getting there. What next for Bolt the Brahma and Chicory and Bluebird, the strutting but diminutive Japanese cochins? We are clearly beyond the point of these being meat birds, but we can't quite grapple with the reality that roosters are a relatively unwanted commodity.

Having raked leaves and scraped 4" of snow off our car in the last week, I'm entirely too aware of the season changing. Yesterday the girls made a fort of leaves in the yard; last Sunday, visiting Ithaca, I felt transformed back to autumns long before our children. I wouldn't alter the course a bit, even if the trip through 36 hours of nostalgia and a lovely drive across the southern Tier expressway were welcome breaks.

Coming back this week, I missed meetings I would like to have attended, and attended meetings I would rather have never heard of. I turned in midterm grades, and made a couple of students happy while making others anxious or worse. I thought of blogging tens of times, and just made it to the computer this morning, still wondering what I could say but only knowing for certain that I have a few images to share.

Yesterday, Emily played beautifully in a tough soccer game, facing down two penalty kicks in a row (the first she caught; the second went wide of the goal under her stare). In the second half, her teammate played goalie and also stared down and then chased down a penalty kick, leaving us 3-2 against an opponent who ended the game with far more shots on goal, but just one fewer shot in the goal.

If I get through the next month without dropping any balls myself, I should be as elated as Emily was yesterday. There have been a lot of shots on goal against me in the last week, and it remains to be seen how many have been blocked.

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