Tuesday, December 30, 2008

100 random thoughts...

...as fast as I can type.
  1. This is a great idea for a blog post.
  2. It wasn't actually my idea, though. I stole it from Tiffany.
  3. I don't know Tiffany at all, but I read her blog. I think Google recommended it initially.
  4. It's one of the funniest blogs I read.
  5. The free money giveaway, for example, made me laugh out loud.
  6. And I still laugh about it, just thinking about it.
  7. Tiffany doesn't know me, either, but she knows I linked to her money giveaway post.
  8. I stopped typing for a second there to rub a tickle on my neck.
  9. I know you don't care about neck tickles, but these are my random thoughts, so you don't have to care.
  10. I clench my teeth at night.
  11. You don't care about that, either, but it worries me when I wake up with a tired jaw.
  12. I also have mild acne on my chin.
  13. The acne is really frustrating because I thought only teenagers got acne, and that I would have outgrown it by now.
  14. I didn't actually have any acne as a teenager.
  15. My acne arose during pregnancy and never left when it was over.
  16. I think that may be symbolic, but I'll let you figure out why.
  17. I never fought with my mother as a teenager, either.
  18. I remember once feeling quite smug as a teenager that I got along well with my mother.
  19. At about age 20 I stopped getting along with my mother.
  20. Now we fight a lot.
  21. My mom still hasn't figured out that I'm not a teenager.
  22. Maybe it's the acne.
  23. I have stopped thinking random thoughts, just 23 in.
  24. It's true. I've been listening to my thoughts and my most recent ones have been, "OK, what am I thinking now?"
  25. "How about now?"
  26. "Any random thoughts now?"
  27. "Oh, there's a thought! But I'm not going to write that one."
  28. "Nor that one. Too embarrassing."
  29. "Oh, and there's another thought, but it's too incriminating."
  30. I suppose you can call this meta-thinking.
  31. Wow. 100 really is quite a chore.
  32. I put a comment on Tiffany's blog that I would copy her idea, but I'd just start and then stop when I ran out of thoughts.
  33. And then modify the title of my blog post.
  34. I still leave myself that option, but I can't give up now only 33 in.
  35. My hands are very dry.
  36. I use a lot of lotion.
  37. My feet are also dry.
  38. I have had to start putting lotion on my feet.
  39. Is that kind of weird?
  40. Hand lotion on feet somehow seems weird.
  41. Speaking of weird, I just got an email from someone who must be very weird.
  42. I can't tell you why I think that, because it was a work email, and I still worry about Bob the Enemy.
  43. But I think this guy who sent the work email must be totally insane.
  44. Well, maybe not totally insane.
  45. Maybe just clueless.
  46. Clueless is not the same as insane.
  47. I, for example, am clueless in many ways.
  48. Not yet insane.
  49. At least I don't think I'm insane.
  50. How would I know if I were insane?
  51. Is there some sort of test you can take?
  52. Who defines insane, anyway?
  53. Are you either insane or not, or are there shades of gray along the way?
  54. Maybe there are various kingdoms of insane.
  55. Perhaps my behavior merits placement into the Telestial kingdom of insanity.
  56. If I perfected my insanity I would end up in the Celestial kingdom of insanity.
  57. That's where those who are truly committed to their insanity end up.
  58. Like my mother.
  59. Ha ha, mom. Just kidding.
  60. Although I can't think of anyone more committed. (Ha ha still kidding.)
  61. Except possibly Bob the Enemy.
  62. A few people I know in real life asked me about Bob, and if I would reveal his secret identity.
  63. Truth is, Bob is an imaginary enemy.
  64. Some people have imaginary friends, but I have an imaginary enemy.
  65. He helps to keep my blog in line, though.
  66. And I do think he's really out there, he just hasn't found my blog yet.
  67. But it's only a matter of time, and then he can peruse all the archives.
  68. So things need to stay clean and prepared for the moment that Bob arrives on this blog.
  69. Bob is truly committed to insanity.
  70. Does having an imaginary enemy bump you up an insanity kingdom, do you think?
  71. What if your imaginary enemy has a name and a pot belly and you talk to him regularly in your blog?
  72. That's surely got to count for something.
  73. Maybe I'm Terrestrial kingdom of insanity material after all.
  74. Nearly three fourths of the way there now.
  75. Writing 100 random thoughts is actually quite a chore.
  76. Is reading it a chore for you, too?
  77. Is anyone still reading?
  78. I was still reading by 78 on Tiffany's post, but that's because she is totally crazy funny.
  79. Whereas my random thoughts come out a bit psychotic.
  80. New thought topic: I think I am going to miss color during the winter.
  81. The snow has turned the outdoor world into black and white and grays.
  82. There is very bright white (snow) and very dark black (asphalt), and all sorts of kingdoms of grays in the middle (telestial, terrestrial, ...)
  83. While I am missing color, I will also miss having soft toes during the winter.
  84. I don't like having to use lotion on my toes.
  85. I believe that cracked toes must be a winter thing, along with cold toes.
  86. I got new slippers for Christmas.
  87. Now my dry cracked toes are snuggly warm.
  88. We actually have a humidifier.
  89. I don't know how it works.
  90. Tim said he set it.
  91. I don't know what he set it to.
  92. I should go see.
  93. Except I've only got seven more random thoughts to go.
  94. I can easily do seven more.
  95. Five more now.
  96. Yes! Counting what's left makes the numbers tick off quickly.
  97. It would be really good to end with a really nice final 100th thought, as a reward for making it this far.
  98. Here it comes.
  99. Get ready.
  100. This is what I'm thinking: "Isn't there a nice 100th thought in that brain somewhere?" Probably not.
OK. Back to work.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Traffic, weather, and the news report

Fact 1: My mother lives about 50 miles north of my new home town.

Fact 2: It has been snowing, hard, at least every other day for a week and a half.

About half way to my mother's house, a large mountain pokes its toe out under the highway. The weather on top of the toe is typically very windy. When you add in snow, it makes for treacherous conditions -- even if it's just a toe and not a whole mountain.

This mountain toe seems to separate two different weather systems. The few days in the past week where it has not been snowing here, it has been snowing on the other side of the toe, and vice versa. I think it snows constantly on the toe. (I feel sorry for the people living in those new homes up there. They have a nice view sure, but can't go out. Ever. Assuming people still live in those new houses in this economy.)

Christmas morning we called my mother to wish her a merry white Christmas, and inform her that we wouldn't be driving up there in this weather. She was surprised. There was no weather fifty miles north. My brother, visiting from Tennessee, was jealous. "How come you get all the snow?"

Today the forecast was clear. The roads were still snow packed and icy, but we braved the trip over the mountain to visit family and friends.

Stop 1: a visit with a high school/grad school friend, now a postdoc at Princeton, in town to see her parents. We compared notes on life after grad school, laughed about lab work and writing papers and teaching. Oh, and you look really great, Alison.

Stop 2: a baby shower for Tim's cousin. Tim actually has two cousins expecting babies soon, which is exactly two thirds of all his cousins in the whole world. I watched the pregnant cousins waddle around the room, noticing little things like how they sucked in their breath before sitting or standing, hauling themselves and the fetus and the placenta and all that fluid and baggage with every step. Mother-in-law asked if it made me wish I were pregnant again? No, but I can empathize, Lisa and Jess. I can empathize.

Stop 3: a family gathering for my mother's siblings. All but one of the six were in attendance, in spite of the snow packed roads. We talked about cousins and children and health.

We ducked out, smiling, an hour before dark. We wanted to be back on our side of the mountain toe before the roads started freezing again. The drive home was uneventful enough that a few towns past the toe I fell asleep (no, I wasn't driving). I woke up, grumpy, as we rounded the corner to our house.

The final report: Things are well 50 miles north. We won't be returning for a while. (Sorry Mom). Maybe we'll make our way back in the spring. Maybe for kite flying, up there by the toe, among all the newly foreclosed houses. 50 miles is a long way in the ice.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


In early December, our fake tree came out of storage after a couple of years. We set it up in the basement near the fireplace, so Santa would have easy access.

Somehow, the tree had grown a lot in two years in storage. Or maybe it's just that the Texas home had 13 foot ceilings and the new basement has only 7 foot ceilings. And the tree is 7.5 feet tall. We had to bend the very top over to get it to fit.

Every year for Christmas since the year of his birth, Tim has received a new ornament for the tree from his parents. These were carefully collected and saved, and by the time we were married they could happily cover our first married tree. Now that we have a giant Texas tree, we have plenty of space for many more years, and we've picked up the tradition ourselves and for Jonathan.

So what sorts of ornaments does one collect in so many years?

Ornaments to celebrate occasions. Wedding ornaments. Storks. Baby's first ornaments.

Cute ornaments. Santa Claus. Candy canes. Mice playing drums.

Odd ornaments. A Christmas carrot. Christmas pig.

Location ornaments. Montana. Oregon. Oxford. Texas.

Merchandising ornaments. Chuck E Cheese himself. Santa eating McDonald's fries. Buzz Lightyear. Princess Leah.

Let's say we have an eclectic tree.

Awesome tradition, though.

Merry Christmas to you.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Orange rug skirt

Tonight, I am snow bound. We were going to be attending a family gathering 45 miles away, but the gathering was canceled under more snow. So instead, I will write a true story about my mother, my university, and my favorite wool skirt.

In 1963, my grandfather worked for UNESCO. When my mom was 16 years old (and obviously not yet my mom), her family moved to Turkey. She left her friends and her junior year of high school to pick up her schooling half way around the world. In Turkey, she enrolled in an American high school along with her older brother, and finished high school that year with him, before turning 17. With nothing better to do, she decided to go to university a year early. The university she decided upon? The American University in Paris. After enrolling, she found an elderly French woman to live with, packed up, and was out on her own. Age 17. That was back when my mom was cool.

The very next year, her family had moved from Turkey to Nigeria back to the conservative state in the American mountain west where my mother grew up. She decided to move back to be near family again, probably more for financial reasons than any others, and transferred to Good Old Dude's University. The year was 1965.

Now. Let me put some things into cultural perspective. My mother was now turning 18. She had lived a year in a far away country, followed by several months on her own in the City of Lights. She had been making her own rules, living life intelligently, and she was bright, thoughtful and opinionated.

G.O.D. University was not much different then than it is now, only a little stricter. Their dress code, for example, in 1965, required that the girls who attended must wear only dresses and skirts. It was a sin for girls to put their legs into two tubes (trousers). Women's legs belonged in a single tube.

Here in the mountain west, it can snow a lot. My mother (who was still not yet my mother) found the winter of 1965-66 to be particularly snowy. Those of you who don't have much experience with legs in a single tube may not be aware that skirts can be quite drafty. They don't warm your legs quite as well as individual leg wrappings.

To compensate, my mother sewed herself a skirt. This skirt was made of heavy wool, burnt orange striped, and draped from the waist down to the ankles. She also knitted herself a fuzzy sweater, although I'm not so certain of the timing on the sweater.

I like to picture my mother walking around the campus of G.O.D. University, clutching her books to her chest, fuming over G.O.D.'s regents and their ridiculous, pointless rules, the orange rug skirt shielding some of the wind, but unable to block it all.

The next fall, my mother transferred to the modern, public university 50 miles north, where she was able to get some use out of her Parisian trousers and make her own rules again. There she completed her first degree, and then a master's degree a few years later. She married a local man, and settled into the local community, and raised eight local children. The strains of bearing children were too much for her waistline, and the orange rug skirt no longer fit. Several years along, however, when her oldest daughter was about 16, she gave the rug skirt and the fuzzy hand knit sweater to said daughter, and told her of Turkey, of Paris, and the reasons why she left G.O.D. University. The daughter took the stories to heart. She dreamed of visiting Paris, of getting a master's degree, and wondered about G.O.D. University. Her mother was more than cool -- she was intelligent. More than opinionated -- she was informed. And who was G.O.D. to think that a skirt could suppress an opinion?

Sixteen years have passed. I have been to Paris, lived in New York, and spent the last ten years in climates that are inappropriate for a heavy orange wool skirt and fuzzy sweater. Last Saturday we had our first real snow here in my mountain state. Sunday I pulled the orange rug skirt out of a box, and the sweater out of the closet. It has come full circle, this rug skirt. Even back to the shadow of G.O.D. University, where I have been working -- me, the feminist -- for a whole semester.

If there is any consolation in the cold, it is that I can wear the rug skirt again. It is my favorite by far. Here at G.O.D. University, it shields some of the wind, if not all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot

Snow Saturday. Snow Sunday. Snow Monday.

Views from our windows:

Cold and dark and cold and slippery since then.

Are you sure we humans aren't meant to hibernate through the winter? What kind of lame species wakes up every day in this cold all the way through March?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Near death experience

My final exam ended this morning. Now that it is over, I get to spend a couple of days grading. Before the fun begins, I thought I would share the following story.

I've been teaching one section of a course with about 1000 students. There are several instructors for this one course, and we all assign (nearly) the same homework assignments and give common exams. To make the course work with all that common grading, you need a leader -- the course coordinator -- and a lot of team players.

Last Tuesday, the course coordinator found me in a public place.

"Are you going to be in your office later today?" he asked.

"Yes," I said, "pretty much all day."

"Good, because I'd like to come by. I want to talk to you about [the course]."

I looked at him curiously. "Do you want to discuss the evaluation you did for me?" A little over a week before he sat in on my class to observe and critique my teaching.

"No, that's not it."

"Well then, do you want to discuss next semester? Because there are a few things I think we should change in the homework and exam rotation."

"No, that's not it either. We'll talk about it in your office."

So. The director of the course wants to talk to me about something that can't be discussed at all in public, about the course I am currently teaching.

Sounds like another reprimand to me. With sweating palms, I racked my brain. What had I done wrong this time? Was I too harsh on my grading of my assigned common exam problem? Were my review sessions too lenient? Did a disgruntled student end up in an administrator's office? What had gone into my emails recently?

I waited in my office with a paper to read open on my desk, but I could only focus on the impending visit.

We interrupt this post for a philosophical discussion. Here is a question that has been on my mind recently: What is the evolutionary explanation for mortification? The fight-or-flight response to stress I understand. If you are facing a tiger in the jungle, you need to fight it or run away to preserve the species. But what about embarrassment? You wish that tiger were right here right now and it would eat you and you wouldn't have to suffer the humiliation any further. What does that do to the gene pool? Is it a sort of self selection of those members who should not be allowed to reproduce? I'd like some theories here.

Anyway, the course administrator arrived within about five minutes, and closed the door gently behind him.

"This is top secret," he began. "I have in my hands a copy of the final, and I'd like you to proof read it for me."

Have you ever dropped a spoonful of ice cream onto a hot stove? That's what happened inside my head. My fears instantly melted into a giant ball of goo inside my brain. The private meeting wasn't to reprimand me, but to discuss the top secret final exam! That's why he couldn't say anything about it in public.

I readily agreed, and spent the first 15 minutes of my proofreading time trying to clean melted ice cream out of my brain. You wouldn't know it, but relief really can get in the way of normal human functioning. Especially if the relief is the thick and gooey kind.

Thank goodness that tiger wasn't around after all.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

That didn't work

We've been trying to encourage Jonathan to stop sucking his thumb. One thing that seems to work is putting socks over his hands to prevent thumb sucking at night.

Thursday night Jonathan called out from his room an hour or so after bedtime. His little hands were too hot. Could he please take off the socks?

Daddy went in and took pity upon him. Instead of the socks, he brought in some soap and rubbed it all over the thumbs. That way when Jonathan tried to put his thumb in his mouth, he'd taste the nasty soap and pull it out. And the little thumbs wouldn't overheat.

About a half hour later there was another call from Jonathan's room.

"Daddy! I need more soap!"


"Because I can't taste it anymore!"

We put the socks back on and removed a blanket instead.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The voices in my head

This is a Thinking post. I have been Thinking. I have been Thinking about Something. Thinking is a disease. When there is Something on your mind, the people around you will almost definitely hear about it. They may catch it and begin Thinking as well. I am currently very contagious.

The topic of the day is Culture, Mythology, and the Voices in my Head.

Today, while looking for something entirely different, I stumbled upon an article entitled "The sexual politics of genius," by Moon Duchin, a mathematician now at the University of Michigan. You can do a google search for it (put the phrase in parentheses) and you'll get it in its entirety. It's a bit long, but I found it to be a very interesting read. The article argues quite compellingly that the isolated genius in the ivory tower is a myth. Not only that, but a very masculine myth. I can't do the article justice in these few sentences, so I encourage you to look it up. Go look it up.

I am not a genius. I have never been a genius. I will never be a genius. It would be convenient to be a genius, except for the bit about having to be male, but I don't aspire to that (unless, of course, I'm having a lot of bad migraines). Instead, I want to make my subject accessible to all people, so that everyone can play the games with those who want others to call them "genius". When everyone is allowed to play, the rules change a bit.

And speaking of changing the rules, I read another article recently that indicates that the rules for success in mathematics are different outside of the US. In the US, we scorn boys and girls with mathematical talent, and it shows in the demographics of those who are most successful in math -- in the US, many are immigrants from countries that value and nurture math.

My department chair gave me a copy of the article, and asked me what we were going to do about it. "You're an American female and good at math," he said. I suppose he was indirectly implying that I am a total social loser. But we already knew that here on this blog. More directly, he thought it would be most helpful if I could please change the social atmosphere in the US. I am doing my best, but I need your help.

Please do try to nurture the mathematical talent in your American children. Thank you.

Finally, I have also been reading articles about being successful in my new academic career. Apparently, one common thing with early career people like me, is that we tend to belittle ourselves in our heads. This is even more common of new women and minority academics. I am a woman academic, and I do often ask myself if I'm really good enough to be in this job, especially given the fact that I'll never be a genius and all.

The advice: Stop listening to that voice in your head. Tell yourself you'll be fine and get back to work.

I am not actually going to go back to work now, but to bed instead. I do plan on being fine, regardless. At least, I will be fine provided I can get some sleep, and then stop reading tangential articles when I do get back to work. But it is interesting, isn't it? Makes you Think.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Photo updates

Photos from October and November have finally been posted, and so I can show you, in reverse chronological order, what I've been talking about.

First, our living room. In November, we finally unpacked and hung our artwork. This happened a few weeks after we got a new sofa. That means in three short months, the living room has changed from a mountain of boxes into a room where people sit and read and blog and live. I love love love having a nice living room. It looks like people actually live here. Pictures to prove it:

The best part of that second picture is that the gaping hole by the stairs has now been tastefully repaired.

That's the new sofa. Thanks, Ikea.

Second, pictures of Halloween. Below, the trick-or-treaters.

Jonathan was a dinosaur above, and a tiger during the rest of the day.

These next pictures were taken from my front lawn in mid October, while I found the beauty of each day nearly overwhelming. This new home I live in is spectacularly beautiful, inside and out.

See how close we are to the imposing mountains above? And this tree, below, belongs to the house across the street.
And this one to the house just up the street.
October was stunning.

Finally, a couple of photos from a homecoming parade. My mom and dad and "little" brother slept in our basement and walked over to see the parade with us. I love living within walking distance of my work. I love it that my work will hold fabulous parades every October for the foreseeable future. Even if I still can't bring myself to cheer for their football team.

Ha ha. Just a joke, Bob. I'm actually a huge fan of 'our' football team. Yup. Go team.

Finally, an update. Luckily, the daughter is doing well enough that she is back home, and school is back on tomorrow. This is a huge relief to the selfish me, who wanted Jonathan to be well cared for tomorrow, and a huge relief to the me who was shocked at my selfishness when recalling that there was a sick human being involved. I have made a resolve first, to think more of others and hope that by being a little more aware, I can be a little less selfish. Second, to be more appreciative of the wonderful things that are my life. Like my health, my family, my beautiful living room, and pictures of October in my new home. And the fact that professors don't really have to cheer for the football team. I can pretend I'm just studious and oblivious when I "accidentally" wear the wrong colors.

Ha ha. Still kidding, Bob.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


So. I don't think I'm a nice person. I'm sure that doesn't come as a shock. Who me? Not nice? Who'd have thought?

But I often wish I were nice. A woman, in particular, is supposed to be nice. And gentle. And thoughtful. And well dressed. And five foot six and 120 pounds with thick hair that doesn't have split ends. I know all this. I'm not any of those things.

The reason I have concluded again tonight that I am not a nice person is that I am full of anxiety for all the wrong reasons.

As you know, we found Jonathan a nice private daycare/kindergarten where he has been very happy for a couple of weeks. Within a handful of days of deciding to keep him in this school full time, and giving notice to the afternoon preschool, something terrible has happened. The daughter of the director of the new school fell extremely ill, and had to be rushed to the hospital. The school was closed on Friday, and we'll find out tomorrow whether they can open again on Monday.

A nice, gentle, well-dressed person would be anxious for the daughter for unselfish reasons. I am very anxious for the daughter, but I have found myself feeling more worried that I won't have childcare again next week. I am tired of working late evenings and early mornings. I have a full time job here, and Tim has a full time job here, and Friday was 15 days of 60 without childcare. That's 1/4 of all my days in my brand new job. While both Tim and I are flexible, even the most flexible gymnasts can't contort their bodies too much or something will break.

Please don't let anything break. Please don't let anything break.

Meanwhile, a girl is in the hospital, and I've given far fewer thoughts to her.

I think my life is a game of Twister. Just when I thought I might be able to hold out through the semester, someone called out "left foot yellow". And all around me the other players are falling apart, but all I can focus upon is keeping myself in this crazy contorted position until the next spin.

Maybe I would be nicer if I cut off the split ends.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Silent night

My alarm goes off at 5:30 every morning. I get up and spend an hour working -- usually writing research papers -- before anyone else is awake in the house.

To make my writing hour more effective, I try to get up quietly without waking others. If Jonathan decided to wake up, for example, that would be the end of my work time.

So, in order not to disturb the family, I take certain precautions. I turn the volume on the alarm clock down low. I keep the lights off until I'm out of the bedroom and down the hall. I tread softly in my stockinged feet. Sometimes my efforts not to wake the family backfire.

Like this morning.

Growing up, one of the neatest things about my grandparents' house was their doorbell. It was made of four long poles, the longest probably five feet long, and pushing the button outside the door caused little hammers inside the poles to sound out a very loud chime. As a kid, it was fun to ring the bell and listen, or walk down the hall and bang the poles together to make a riot of noise.

One feature of our older new-to-us home is a doorbell just like my grandparents. It is made up of four very long poles, the longest about five feet, and when you push the button outside, the little hammers bang out a loud chime. We wondered about replacing the doorbell, since we have a small child who likes to make noise, and the temptation to bang the poles constantly would be great. We decided, however, we would see how said child would do with the temptation to knock the poles together before we looked for a not-as-cool replacement.

Turns out the child is very well behaved, and he doesn't bang the doorbell poles together enough to warrant a new doorbell purchase and install. So we're keeping the loud antique.

Anyway, this morning my alarm went off very quietly at 5:30. I turned it off and rolled out of bed ... one or two snooze cycles later. As I stumbled to the door, I grabbed my blanket, and groggily tiptoed my way out of the bedroom in the darkness.

We used to have a night light shining in the hall, but Jonathan moved it into his bedroom -- the next door over. Consequently, it was pretty dark in the hall. But I was only headed straight to the end into the living room, where I would turn the light on and settle in to work.

It was cold in the hall. While tiptoeing most gently, I unfolded my blanket and shook it out to wrap around me. With one light, delicate, silent motion, I swept the blanket up over my shoulders -- and flung it straight into the four long doorbell poles hanging in the hallway.

I will now let you imagine what a five foot long chime sounds like when it swings and crashes suddenly against its four foot six neighbor at 5:45 in the morning in a silent house. Now imagine four of those poles swinging and crashing together in the dark silence. Needless to say, it is not quite the same decibel level as the tiptoe of stockinged feet.

I stuck out my hands in haste to silence the crashing bells, and instead sent them swinging powerfully into the wall, thumping and clanging. Quickly, I grabbed the longest and held it, then grabbed the next one with my other hand. Within a few seconds I had steadied them all. I held them until they stopped vibrating.

The house was silent again.

To the silent house I offered a single word. "Sorry" I whispered.

More silence. Then from my darkened bedroom I heard a low chuckle.

I tiptoed silently, in the dark, in my stockinged feet, into the living room, where I wrote quietly for an hour.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Old age

There are five houses between our house and the church building. We have counted.

We walk to church.

The fact that we walk wouldn't be a surprise to those of you who knew us in California or Oxford. We biked to church 3 miles in California, and walked 2.25 miles in Oxford.

But five houses. It would take longer to walk from the parking lot than from our front door.

So anyway, as we were walking to church last Sunday, Jonathan asked why other people drove.

Tim mentioned that not everyone lives as close as we do (some live nearly two blocks away). Also, when people get older, sometimes it is difficult for them to walk.

Jonathan then looked at his dad, perplexed, and said, "but you are old, and you don't have any trouble walking."

Yup. Lucky geriatric Tim still has both his knees.