Monday, August 21, 2006

Growing It Alone

I've alluded to this coming year being one of big change on the home front, but here's the deal. The long-suffering spouse has a sabbatical this year. (We still tell time in school-years around here. The new year starts in a week or two.) He really needs to do this. He really needs me not to get in his way. So, he's going to the University of Minnesota for the fall semester and Swarthmore for the spring semester, and I am not. This is going to be very strange.

Slowly, slowly it dawned on me that I could do something interesting myself this year. I don't have to just hang out in the corn fields and live my quiet little life. Nope, I can at least live my quiet little life somewhere interesting. So, the plan started to develop.

And it's turned into this. I'm going to be hanging out in California for a few weeks in the fall semester, organizing the social justice projects at a friend's parish. They have a homeless shelter, a domestic violence shelter, a soup kitchen, a food pantry, and more. It's an amazing effort for a single parish. But, it's an economically depressed area and the services are needed; they couldn't just sit around and do nothing.

Unfortunately, all the good will in the world doesn't make for good programming. As math-boy would say, it's necessary but insufficient. So, I'm going to spend some time there training community leaders, re-thinking, and seeing if I can bring some order to chaos. I'll be home in time for Thanksgiving, to organize the holidays for the family. I'm not much for tradition-for-tradition's sake, but come the holidays, I'm helpless. I want it all. Just so. The enormous tree that doesn't actually fit in the space we have, the parties, the stockings, the wassail... all of it. And the knitting, dear God, the knitting. If I start now and knit in my sleep, I might finish it all. Maybe.

Then, in the spring semester, there's talk that I might be going to India. It's not definite yet, but there's a project to get children out of child labor and into school, and the school needs a consulting social worker. That could be me. We'll see. So, I might be blogging from afar this year. Dave's version of this starts in a few weeks; mine won't start until October. It'll either be great or a debacle; I don't see much chance of an in-between outcome. Cross your fingers.

1 comment:

Lisa :-] said...

Sounds like a very full calendar. And I envy the crap out of you if you really are going to India.

Enjoy "your" sabbatical...