August 25th was Christmas, a tradition here as the numbers of visitors and employees begin to decrease. There was a great lunch from the outside world at work where I had two plates of salad and four (five?) pieces of pizza. At a mid-afternoon bingo break, a friend won both games, one for herself and one on a card she was playing for the absent third member of our office group. There was a special dinner at the cafeteria, and an evening gathering in the dorm--I'd had all the food I needed at lunch.
And as the New Year approaches, the pieces of that future have begun falling into place. Unless something very unlikely happens in the next few weeks, I won't be working here this winter. It will be back to Duluth for me, which was always the original plan until the idea of being here instead started growing in me. By the time I got interested enough to start doing the winter networking thing, it was too late.
So instead I'll be trying to stay in Duluth long enough to get some legal matters resolved, moving my stuff there from storage in Boston, and regrowing my hair. I've been told a job here next May is mine if I want it which I think I will depending on what happens in Duluth. I suspect I'll return with a very different appearance--along with the long hair, I'm feeling the urge to return to wearing a couple silver rings and adding an earring as well. And it's time to lose this gut--a New Year's resolution. So it's a (well past) midlife crisis--at least it's not a red Corvette and a teenage blonde.
In a few days I'll turn the page of the calendar and start planning hotel rooms and bus trips. For now I enjoy a room of my own, which is likely to change in a week or two as other park locations begin closing, and contemplate recent events which have begun to take on the glow of auld lang syne.
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
Tomorrow will be a series of hikes focusing on aspects of the giant volcano which is most of Yellowstone--eruptions likely to follow.