The Mrs., Ms. 8, and I are back at Sherwood Cottage from a longish trip through the Texas Hill Country and points northeast. It was good to see family, and it was better to see how Ms. 8 reacted to events with the benefit of an additional year on her. Her smiles and squeals of delight, as well as her bubbling laughter that, to my delight, occasionally suddenly swerves towards supervillain cackling, did much to make all gathered around happy; her laughter excited our own. And I admit that matters soon distracted me from what I normally do, more than what this webspace makes obvious.
Now that I am back, there is much to do; work continues. A freelance piece awaits my attention, as does a wholly different bit of freelancing that seems to be short-term work but appears as if it will be amply remunerative during its term. I need to construct the syllabi for the two versions of a single course I am teaching in the upcoming term (about which more can be found here and here), and there are any number of other projects waiting for my attention. The time away from Sherwood Cottage, where I can do the work, was not helpful in that regard, even if it was helpful in several others.
On the trip, I almost got caught up on sleep. I woke later than I normally like most every day, contributing to not getting work done. I have said before that I work better earlier than later, so losing the earlier is not at all helpful for me. (And, yes, I rose later than I would have liked today, although not so much as was the case on the trip, and I attended to a few other things before sitting down to start writing this blog entry.) But I have almost made it back to my regular self, in large part because I rested as I did. So some good came of that particular aspect of travel to where I grew up and where my wife's families live. I'll not complain overmuch.
For now, I will be back at work, reading the assigned text and writing items for another job, maybe penning some more words into my personal journal (which I hope to complete with the year), and, most importantly, tending to Ms. 8 while her mother is at work. The Mrs. also struggles to ensure that Sherwood Cottage and its residents have what they need, and so I do what I can to support her while I engage in a similar struggle--and benefit from time with my daughter, which I know not many fathers get as much as they might otherwise like. I am mindful of this, and I work to ensure that Ms. 8 gets from me what she needs from me and that her mother gets the same. Fortunately, some of what we brought back to Sherwood Cottage from our time away will help with that, for which I am grateful.