When we moved to Roanoke Rapids one year ago this week, I meant to begin blogging again. I wanted to capture in words our transition to small-town life. As with most of my blogging plans, this one also fell by the wayside as life picked up speed. But one year later, there is hope! I am enjoying my four days off after spending two full weeks with 800+ college students at Rockbridge and you can only read but so many books in one week. Dad, I’m looking at you on that one. And yes, I’m kidding.
With this my inaugural small-town post, I’d like to introduce you to our first love in Roanoke Rapids, our go-to after bad days, our beloved San Jose. Had you told me we would find this quality of deliciousness when we moved away from Durham, a true foodie city, my fear would have been significantly less. If you have visited us, this is where we took you. San Jose is where we run into friends from all walks of our lives. And San Jose is where they know as soon as I walk in the door that I’ll have the vegetarian quesadilla, hold the spinach, beans instead of rice.
Local competition exists. My beautiful but less-particular wife prefers El Tenapa. She is a taco salad fan (sub grilled mushrooms for meat) and so doesn’t quite appreciate the beauty of veggies they pack into my dish enough. She is also admittedly not the connoisseur of white sauce that I am which is the second place San Jose dominates. El Tenapa is thankfully within walking distance of our house and so Dawn wins on beautiful nights and during snow storms (see below) when walking is preferred.
We went to hike in the woods because we wished to live deliberately. Or simply because we were spending the morning in Concord and knew that Walden Pond was right down the road. Cool replica house of the one Thoreau built and lived in for two years; not large. We did find the pond which was indeed beautiful.
The ironic part was the beach they have built there and the hundred or so people lounging about and playing in the water. Not exactly the quiet spot in the woods Thoreau enjoyed a little while back. Too bad.
Today is the first official day of summer in my mind. I’m at chapter camp with almost 500 students and 70 staff with everything getting fired up tonight. Rockbridge is a great place to kick off the summer even if I’m still a touch behind on the talks I am to give later this week. The mountains are beautiful, the conversations are significant, and the volleyball makes up for the lack of veggies.
The past five days have been a great end to the school year. Dawn finished up her school work and we spent each night out with friends saying goodbye for the summer. Long dinners, baseball games, and a better-than-expected viewing of Avengers left me longing to be with all these new friends again when the summer internship season ends in August.
And in honor of summer, I’m going to take up blogging again. What better time to kick it all off than right now.
1. You know you’re going somewhere when the treadmill reads five miles and you keep going. Quit at six. After downing two bottles of water, I did what any self-respecting wanna-be runner would do. I treated myself to Bojangles.
2. Our pastor spoke this morning about how desperately people in our generation want to be the ultimate authority over their lives and how this actually doesn’t lead to true freedom. Yes and yes.
3. Finally figured out why I don’t work well at the Durham Panera. Not nearly as many booths as the store back home. I gotta spread out and get comfy for my health food.
4. Does anyone wear watches anymore? I got one for Christmas and have enjoyed knowing the time without pulling out my cell phone for the first time in ten years.
5. First week in over a month that I haven’t seen a Duke basketball game live at Cameron. Slight withdrawal. Thankfully the memory of Wednesday night’s game more than makes up for it. A good week to be a Duke fan on Tobacco Road.
For the past three days, it has finally felt like winter in Durham. Neither Dawn nor I are thrilled by this change in temperature but have agreed we will put up with it for at least a week before sinking into depression. It is February after all.
The colder weather has coincided with a busier season. My work travel has picked up significantly and our car is begging for a day off to rest. Dawn’s semester is in full swing as well with most classes feeling more like projects that require creative work and design. Thankfully we have found a new coffee shop to hide out in on Saturday mornings to catch up on work and relax a bit together. I can’t mention the name as we are keeping it as our little secret.
Both of us feel super engaged in our work and enjoy how it has ramped up. She actually wants to be in school and I really do love my work. We also miss the quietness of the holidays amidst friends and family. The word that keeps running through my head is pace. And I am dreaming about how to hold onto a good pace amidst quiet and busy times in life.
Doing a half-marathon. There, it’s out there on the interweb. Must be true.
To get us moving in 2012, Dawn and I signed up for the Flying Pirate Half Marathon in beautiful Nags Head. To make it even better, my buddy Mark decided to join in the fun. He’s a real runner and will be far ahead of us. Good to have someone to chase.
Long run today, getting there. Still a ways to go but feeling pretty solid two months out.
Kobe will not be running with us. He sleeps instead. 4-5 times per day. But at least he won’t be sore tomorrow…
It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or where the doer of great deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at best, know the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
– Theodore Roosevelt