I’ve been meaning to post for some time about my super-awesome medieval lit class last semester and its contrast with my not-so-bad but not-so-great classes this semester — and the reason for that difference (both pedagogical and systemic) — but I’ve been utterly overwhelmed this semester, with little time for blogging. The substantive posts take a bit out of me, and I need to maintain my energy for all the professional writing that I’m doing and that is all now seriously overdue (although at least I finally put to bed the Review. That. Wouldn’t. Die.).
Anywho, in the meantime, I thought I’d share a picture with you. The pin on the map below is where our new house is. (And no, we still haven’t moved. The kitchen remodel is underway, though — cabinets have been ordered; down payments have been made — but it probably won’t be until April that we move. We did finally list our current house, at least. Anyone want a 4-bedroom, 2 bath, 2000 sq. foot house in Rust Belt for under $140K?) Back to the new house. Notice how close we are to the western edge of Rust Belt. (Indeed, we are outside the belt highway, which you just see on the right.) Here be dragons. Or at least farms, anyway. The mix of green and brown fields reminds me of some of those glass brick patterns that are popular for kitchen back-splashes and bathroom tile right now. (Which may be a sign. We’re still trying to decide what to do with the back-splash in our kitchen.)
At any rate, this reminds me of the suburb where I grew up as a child. When my parents bought our house in the 1950s, it was a recently re-developed corn field (or so my parents and siblings have told me). By the time I grew up there in the 1970s, things had grown up around it, but you didn’t have to go far to hit open fields, and there was a fancy horse club down the road, as well as a small ranch of Texas long-horn steer, too (a kind of artisanal ranch — I think those steer were more heritage pets than anything). These days, though, it’s an endless sprawl of suburb and exurb, all the way out to where my “wilderness” camp used to be and beyond. But not Rust Belt. Our neighborhood was built in the optimistic ’80s, but things seem to have stopped more or less by the ’90s. If you go due west of where the pin is, you can see another small development (from the 1990s) and then a big park/preserve area (the trees) and a golf course (the light green abutting the trees on the north side) and then farms. Tells you something about Rust Belt, doesn’t it?
It’s been a long time since I lived this close to country. I may try to take advantage of it this summer: try to get back into running shape and take long runs out that way. The traffic isn’t bad on those roads and the shoulders are wide. Or maybe I should get my bike out and tour it that way. Or both!