That pretty much says it all…the vacation is over! Two weeks flies by quick, though I shouldn’t complain since many other people don’t get time off over Christmas. It is tough to go back though; the first couple days are always exhausting. I never sleep well on the last night which leaves me half-asleep and since I don’t drink coffee (I can’t stand the taste or smell of it), it makes for an interesting experience. You really need every ounce of energy since teaching can be mentally challenging, so I did flub a lot of things in my sleep-induced stupor.
The only drawback of my holiday was the pile of marking that I procrastinated about and only managed to get through a small amount of. Sort of makes me wonder how beneficial the two weeks off really is, though the stress relief is very necessary. The visit to Duluth was great, and I was able to do a few other things as well. This year my wife and I signed the boys up for cross-country skiing. I have not cross-country skied since I was 11 or 12, so it’s an interesting experience. We bought some used equipment at the fall ski-swap and filled in the missing pieces after Christmas. Saturday was the first lesson at Kamview and I didn’t even get into my skis as I spent my time keeping the boys on their feet. I think they are enjoying it, which is great since it’s a terrific family activity. I also need to exercise so I can lose a few pounds!
Speaking of winter activities, I was also able to make my first hike up the mountain last week. I live close to the Nor’Wester Mountains and there are many trails on the mountains that can be accessed from the end of my street. Three years ago I began taking my oldest son Ethan up the mountain on the toboggan as a way to exercise and have some father-son time. I’ve been doing it every winter since, however now I also have my youngest Noah as well, which makes pulling a nearly 100 pound sled very interesting (Ethan walks the hills). We did 5k, not bad for the first time out; maybe this week we’ll push it up to 6 or 7k.
On the railway front, things have been progressing, albeit slowly. I did make it to the library last week to get a few articles that I needed and boy have things changed since the last time I did that. Well, I guess it’s been about 14 years since I’ve looked at a roll of microfilm so I guess it can be expected. Now things have moved into the digital age with computer-run scanners that can save images to .pdf. Too bad I didn’t bring a flash drive! I’ll have to remember that for the next time. At some point in the future I’m going to have to spend some time going through newspapers again, since I need to find articles from roughly 1900 to 1938. To compound things, since this town used to be two cities, there are two newspapers worth to look through!
I spent some time at home printing out articles I had saved and neglected to make hard copies for my files, and subsequently attempting the file them with varying degrees of success (there’s still a bunch in the “to be filed” stack). I also decided to take my plan to Facebook/Tweet important events about the railway to the next level. I set up a Google Calendar where I can input dates (there is a page on this site as well); all I need to is figure out how to post those dates automatically, which is proving to be a bit of a chore. Stymied by technology!
So I’m hoping by the end of the week to resume writing the article, though that is contingent on me clearing up that backlog of marking. Maybe by next week’s ramble I’ll have some news to report.