Hunting squirrels and other things

Sept. 1, 2006 — I stole time to be alone and trust nature and PLAY to do their work in involving my son, daughter and a couple of other kids in squirrel hunting.

Using chunky peanut butter, chocolate chips, little cookies, and string they are attempting to lure squirrels to be trapped and released. Should I worry about rabies? Should I worry that someone will discover me for being a slightly absent father? Nah. After a few hours of being with my almost four year-old, jumping on the trampoline, swimming, bouncing balls, and bathing – I am giving in to the luxury of writing.

I missed the intensity of July for a while but got seduced by August sunshine, heat, and family activities. I love August for the time I get to body surf in the Atlantic Ocean in Amagansett, NY. This summer, we swam daily and appreciated a terrific sand bar, out a ways from the shore. Not too far. I await each new set of waves with the goal of catching a ride into shore. Somehow I was extra buoyant this summer after all of the breakfast nourishment during the SI. In addition to swimming, I managed frisbee, fishing, and a lot of bike rides, some alone, some with friends, and some with Natalie. She sits on an Alley-cat contraption, a one-wheel bike connected to the back of my bike. Sometimes Natalie pedals; other times, she simply sits on the seat and I am the pedal power.

Now that August is over, so too is summer as I know it most years. But this year will be special. As I’m on sabbatical, I am fully intending to stretch August into September, to bike, beach, barbeque, and to blade (roller). I’ve been having fun taking my dogs on roller-blading adventures. Other sabbatical goals include learning more Spanish, writing a few papers about kids’ drawing as a mode of expression, and travel.

In the mean time, I look forward to reading your posts and seeing you in person at one of the HVWP upcoming events.


About Tom

I am an Associate Professor of Secondary Education at SUNY New Paltz. Along with a great team, I direct the Hudson Valley Writing Project, one of 195 sites of the National Writing Project. Our goals involve buidling a community of excellent Hudson Valley educators who care about and work to improve literacy in our region. This work is fulfilling and never done. It’s an ongoing puzzle.

How do I spend my time? The truth is that I spend a lot of time either with my family, biking, rollerblading, walking dogs, or at work. I love games too: cribbage, backgammon, spades, hearts, and parchesi. Most of all I love Scrabble. Although I’m good at it, I’m not so good that a true player wouldn’t whoop me. I need to learn more of those weird little words like qi, aa, ae, ai, ee, etc. Another passion of mine is the St. Louis Cardinals. I think about them daily and wonder at night how the team stacks up against all others. It’s hard to deal with mounting losses and mediocrity. Right now, the team is in a funny spot: good enough to win the Central Division of the National League and bad enough to lose to any good team that has a strong left-handed pitcher and hitters. Our pitching, with the exception of Chris Carpenter leaves a lot to be desired.