Too Hot to Handle

As temperatures soared well above 100 degrees, we did something this weekend we had never done before: We traveled back home to escape the afternoon heat. Cloud 9’s air-conditioner couldn’t compete with the afternoon sun directly overhead, so we turned everything off, packed up the pack, and went to Hampshire for an afternoon nap, cocktails,…

An Inflation Staycation

We had planned to travel to Shenandoah National Park and take in the monuments, memorials and museums in and around Washington, DC, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. With inflation soaring and gas prices at historic highs, it just didn’t seem right to spend so much money on a long road trip. Instead, we…

A Farewell to Baxter

Today we said farewell to one of our five canine companions. Although he was small, Baxter occupied a big space in Cloud 9. And in our hearts. Unlike our other dogs, Baxter had a bed of his own that took up floor space under the table. We thought it was a better alternative to him…

Painful Reality

We had planned a big Memorial Day vacation trip to Shenandoah National Park and Washington, D.C., but we simply cannot justify spending so much money on gas and other expenses at this time of high inflation. So we’ll enjoy a “staycation” at Loyd Park, close to home, instead. After all, the capital’s monuments, memorials, and…

The Realm of Possibility

We’ve been talking about death lately. Perhaps it’s because we recently had our annual physical examinations, and, as a result, had to schedule and undergo follow-up tests. In addition to having to continue treating our cholesterol and gout, we’re long overdue for a colonoscopy. Cliff has hypertension; Jon has circulatory problems—so a stroke or a…

West Side Weekend

This weekend, we camped at Loyd Park, along the western side of Joe Pool Lake. With record-breaking heat, we were concerned that it would be difficult to keep Cloud 9 at a comfortable 73 degrees, but Loyd Park’s dense tree canopy made climate control more manageable. We arrived on Friday in time to set up,…

Life at the Lake

We spend most weekends “at the lake,” but the fact of the matter is that we spend very little time in or even near the water. Oh, we catch an occasional glimpse of the shore as we drive in or out of the park. We see a couple of ducks swimming in a tiny inlet…

Oh Shenandoah, We Long to See You

This weekend, while camping at Cedar Hill State Park, we finalized our reservations for our next big trip — to Shenandoah National Park and Washington, D.C. (For the record, the folksong refers to the Missouri River and in most versions of the song the name “Shenandoah” refers to an Indian chief, not the Shenandoah Valley.)…

Cultural Confluence

It’s Easter, Passover, the middle of Ramadan, and Vaisakhi—an unusual confluence of holy days, yet a timely reminder of the common bond of humanity. We witness this each day, in the people we work with and in the students and faculty we serve. We are inseparably connected. In some ways we are all becoming Generation…

That Time of Year

It’s that time of year again: The Texas bluebonnets are in full bloom throughout the state—a sign that spring has sprung and soon we’ll be enduring a hot, humid summer. Before then, we get to enjoy this alluring little wildflower as it adds a pop of deep-blue color to our fields and roadways. In 1901,…