These poems, vignette, and recommendations were in PJ 145.



Poems: Ride 1 Utah, A Special Tour Package, Hellos & Goodbyes, and An Ode to Carol's Peach Cobbler

.Four Poems

Ride 1 Utah

Nerves rattle the synapses.
My first  bike ride awaits
    since major surgery.
How do the bike lanes work?
    I’ve seen all configurations
    of traffic.
Oh well, we will soon discover.

A wobbly start–
    into the clips I go.
No other cyclists on the trail–

An easy mile later
    I arrive
    at my new breakfast destination–
    Café Galleria–a quiet place
    to sit outdoors, write,
    and enjoy the views.
It already seems familiar.

Sometimes, I believe life
    is about seeking such a feeling.
Soon, the wheels under my seat
    will feel that way.
Until then, I will dine and ride.
Comment: I have been on a number of rides since this poem was written. My riding legs and balance have returned. Also, even more importantly, a sense of familiarity has begun to develop regarding our new home.

A Special Tour Package

It has been a few days
    since I mounted my steed.
I’ve missed
    the mountain majesty
    that can only be appreciated
    at a slower pace.
But mostly,
    I missed the air
    and the exhilaration
    that comes
    as part of this mountain package.
Comment: I am amazed how quickly I have adjusted to the altitude and how much I look forward to my morning rides. I missed a few days and upon returning to them realized how much I missed them.

Hellos & Goodbyes

Life is filled
    with an abundance
    of greetings and farewells
    from the first breath
    welcomed by smiling parents
    to the life no longer,
    from love entering
    to its painful departure.

New jobs, new locations,
    friends past and present.
On and on the list goes.

All is impermanence.
The journey long but so brief.

Comment: The longer I live the more I realize the truth of the above.

An Ode to Carol's Peach Cobbler

To travel a 1,000, no 2,000 miles
    to taste a peach cobbler
    second to none
    makes the journey
    worth every tired mile.

Undisclosed secrets
    and fresh Utah peaches
    blend into savory sensations
    beyond words to describe.

Though the night was filled
    with other culinary delights,
    it was Carol’s peach cobbler,
    the pièce de résistance
    on this perfect summer evening.

Comment: Shortly after our arrival in Utah, Carol and Tony, members of the church we attend in Park City, invited us to their home for an evening of dining and meeting new friends. There were five couples in attendance. They were perfect hosts, and we had a wonderful time getting to know the guests. All the meal was superb including meat grilled to perfection by Tony. At the conclusion Carol brought out the dessert. My oh my, what a taste treat! Hence the poem above.

A major bike race, which included competitors from the Tour de France passed right in front of the townhouse.


A view from the bike trail I ride


Some of the 90,000+ people that attend the annual Swiss Days Festival in Midway, UT. The event runs on Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Midway itself only has a population of 4,400.


One of the floats in the 90+ minute parade


On Guardsman Pass.


A gallery and studio in downtown Miday

This picture and two that follow were taken from the lookout on Memorial Hill in Midway. We are surrounded by farms and ranches.
Looking down on the small community of Midway
Another view

Vignette this Month: Our Decision–The Move

I have lived in Ohio all of my life except for a year spent in New Zealand on a teaching Fullbright and several months during winters spent in Hawaii. On the first occasion, I was much younger with a lot less history, and on the winter sojourns, I knew I was returning to Ohio. In fact, much of my adult life all I talked about was the desire to leave my home state. My son joked with me recently on a couple of occasions that I was finally getting my wish. You can imagine my surprise when I find myself looking back thinking that Ohio really wasn't that bad. This fact has caused me analyze why these feelings are so strong. Of course, part of the reason is that I have left friends and more importantly, my three sisters, their families, and my beloved mother who is well up in years. But, I am addressing the family issue with flights back every 4-8 weeks. Though my mother, sister Pat, and I miss our weekly trips to our favorite Indian restaurant, still we are staying connected through daily phone conversations.

Recently, lying in bed pondering this dilemma, it hit me with two words–history and familiarity. (Some might argue that familiarity is part of history. For purpose of this vignette, I have chosen to separate them.) Regarding history, over the decades I have generated a decent reputation as an educator, writer, and leader. I could walk into a place and be recognized. I might be miles from my home and run into someone that I knew from the various roles I had played. In Utah, I am "an unknown." I am working on changing that by immersing myself in the many options available here.

The second issue, familiarity, is a bit harder. The rote driving to nearby cities, drives I have made hundreds if not thousands of times; faces I know in stores; the welcome into restaurants where I have dined for years; and large cities, which I know how to navigate are a few of the familiar that have disappeared from my life. Again, the sense of familiarity is returning as we drive the area and as we make new friends.

Most importantly, we are getting know our son Craig better as an adult. His wife, Nicole, has done everything to make us feel welcome. We watched our granddaughter Peyton get her first teeth and take her first steps. When she buries her head in my chest, giving me a hug, that feeling does not get any better.

Like all life, it is ever changing. I will never recapture everything that I lost in Ohio. However, I may be gaining something far deeper and greater in these twilight years, or as we say in tai chi, "the springtime of life." I will keep you informed.

(Courtesy of Marianne from Ohio)

Q: In which Utah county can you dig for really cool fossils (Trilobites would give it away) while standing almost in the shadow of a concentration camp?

A: Millard, with its Trilobites and The Topaz Relocation Site.

(My good friend Jerry and I dug for Trilobites - and found a starfish fossil too! - on the way from Glacier National Park to the Astronomical Society of the Pacific - Carl Sagan! Gene Shoemaker! SETI! - and their month long teacher workshop in Flagstaff.)


Fill'er Up: I have two favorite spots to stop on my bike rides. The first is a converted gas station located in Midway, UT. This small establishment serves wonderful breakfasts and light lunches. The emphasis is on organic and if desired, gluten free. They make homemade ice creams, which are putting them on the gourmet map. (The restaurant does not serve dinner.)

Café Galleria: This restaurant is also located in downtown Midway. The drafts to three of the poems above were written during breakfast there. This establishment is famous for its homemade bagels. It also focuses on the organic and is well-known for its pizzas. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is often evening entertainment during the summer months.

kyrgyzkonnection: If you are looking for handcrafted, warm hats, slippers, scarfs, and accessories, then this small company is the place to contact. I talked to the two owners at the Kimball Art Festival in Park City. The web version of this newsletter has a video of an interview with Jon Ortgiesen, designer. The company can be reached at (253) 307-2873 or Sadly, there is not a web site available for the hats at this time. Enjoy the short 81 second clip taken of Jon at the Kimball Arts Festival.

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Looking out from Memorial Hill

Aspens headed toward Guardsman Pass

Above and below: Top of Guardsman looking toward Park City


To the right the road I took from Midway to the top of Guardsman
Another view from Guardsman


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