Spending my very first Christmas in the New England area has been very pleasant; yesterday was a freakishly cold day; a high of 21 degrees makes for a few uncomfortable walks. It is crazy how empty and vacated the campus has been since students migrated away for the break. In some ways, I must admit that the silence is very nice, yet in other ways, it does make for a strange and isolating feeling. With the help of friends and colleagues, it has not been too bad. My close friend, Mrs. Chili, had us over to her house for dinner to celebrate Solstice, which was so much fun. We chatted for hours about so many things over a great dish and a few bottles of wine. Mary Jo, who chairs the science department, had us over to enjoy the holidays with her family. So, being far away from our family was made easier by the most wonderful of friends.
That said, it has been strange being so far from home. It is hard at times for me to consider Houston home; it was more of an occupational stop. Sure, I honestly thought we would have been there far longer than we were, but due to a number of matters, we are embracing the greatness of a big time New England school that so happens to be close to a big time friend up the road (Mrs. Chili). With Christmas now over, it is time to further reflect on this crazy journey to the New England area. Teaching here has been great. The cold sucks. There are people far away that I miss whom might not think that I think about them at all, since it has been so long and I seem so distant — but I do.