Saturday, February 22, 2014

Heading Out

Today is the start of a five-week road trip that will include work in three time zones and visits to my kids, grandkids, and granddogs in the fourth. Fortunately—given the tenacity of winter this year—all of my stops are in the southern half of the US. That means I'm packing shorts, even with snow lingering in the ditches. Think of it as an act of faith. Eventually it will get warm again. (I know it's time to leave because I just drained the final drops from my last quart of half-and-half in this morning's coffee.)

While five weeks is a long stretch (I'm leaving just as we started tapping maple trees and will return to forsythia in bloom), it's at the high end of normal. I'll typically have a couple of monster trips like that each year, and this sojourn will encompass many of the things that claim attention in my life:
o  Schmooze for an evening with an enclave of friends and ex-East Winders 
o  Give a workshop (on conflict, to a church congregation)
o  Enjoy two days of retreat and renewal with my wife
o  Visit with an old community friend (who lives in a new location)
o  Have dinner with a long-time acquaintance who has designed and developed a couple of communities
o  Facilitate a community retreat
o  Discuss with an entrepreneurial buddy an idea for a community business
o  Rendezvous with a developer to explore the challenges of building successful community (it's more than just green houses and good design)
o  Spend a few days with an ex-partner and dear friend
o  Conduct a facilitation training weekend
o  Facilitate another community retreat
o  Visit with yet another long-time community friend
o  Spend several days with my daughter and son-in-law
o  Meet with someone trying to put together sustainability demonstration projects internationally
o  Visit with my son and grandchildren (in his new location)
o  Get together with someone interested in helping me market my consulting and teaching
o  Discuss with several people how they can help FIC build its new Green Office
o  Travel overnight on the train seven times

About the only thing missing from this kitchen sink itinerary is a community event—of which I have five lined up for 2014 (so far), just not any on this trip.

The tricky part will be protecting enough time between work assignments to complete my reports from the prior weekend before my RAM gets overwritten by what happens in the succeeding weekend. It can be a tight choreography.

On this trip I get to start in the pulpit (giving a 10-minute promotional homily to the congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia MO during their Sunday service) and will end by walking the Santa Monica Beach with my grandchilden in southern California. At the front end I'll have special time with Ma'ikwe; in the middle I'll get to work with Ma'ikwe; at the end I get to come home to Ma'ikwe. 

To be sure, I have an unusual life, but it's my life, and I love it.

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