Foot Paths and Festivities

Dear J-

I should probably do something to recognize my coworker’s one-year anniversary (today!) at work but I may end up being lazy and not mentioning it, although that would certainly be less cool than anything else I could think of. On the other hand, maybe there’s something low-key we could do instead. If the last month has taught me anything it’s that you should make hay (and be productive) when you can, since there’s no guarantees what your schedule might bring or who you’ll be working with in a year. Uncertainties will drive you nuts, so do what you can and look up every once in a while to see what’s new.

If nothing else I can envision the changes of the past year in what changes have happened with the kids; we went on a walk yesterday — a good long walk from the house to downtown and back in a big loop; if I put the distance into a map I think we’d tote up maybe a couple of miles or so, but they are pretty enthusiastic about getting something to eat so we were well-motivated throughout (except at the end, with the incessant ‘are we there yet?’ cries). I was interested in walking around, given how sedentary we’ve been on the weekends lately (look, TV!) and how little activity we actually get. Now instead we can go on our forced deathmarches (as theVet puts it) around the neighborhoods.

I’ve often thought I don’t understand geography until I’ve had the chance to walk around and connect points; it first sank in while I was in Berkeley, where I mapped the routes through South side with my feet and later North, not fully comprehending distances until I walked back from Ashby Avenue once (that was a miscommunication and once we had met up again, my friend and I had a good laugh over it, though that would be nearly impossible in this era of cell phone ubiquity). Later in Davis I trotted around town and campus when I had a chance to walk; in the two neighborhoods of San Diego; in Kobe, in Nashville, in Chicago, every time I’ve had a chance I try to understand the geography through my feet.



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