09.07.2016 - 01.08.2017 26 °F
Happy New Year everyone! If you’re in Atlanta right now, you know we ALMOST experienced our 3rd Atlanta Snowpocalypse (if you want a laugh, watch this episode of the Daily Show from the last Snowpocalypse in 2014: http://www.cc.com/video-clips/ht297f/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-south-parked). Despite the career highlight of these weathermen/women, the lack of snow disappointed small children all over the greater Atlanta area. But if you’re in a colder part of the country, you might be living it up sledding, having a grand ole’ time.
Speaking of grand ole’ times, I had a great semester back at St. Andrews. I worked hard, travelled frequently, and reunited with old friends. Thanks to my roommates (flat mates, whatever you want to call them), I’m now not a complete embarrassment as a cook. I have a handful of meals on reserve, covering most of the food pyramid, but then again, I think the First Lady updated the nutritional standard to a “food plate."
From the start, my goal this semester was to see, and do, and go. And I was lucky to be able to do so. I tasted foods I’d never heard of, nor could pronounce. I had a friend from high school visit me, and look forward to a few more in the spring. And I got a few poems in the process. I want to describe one particular trip at the end of the semester. Because I finished my exams early, I had a couple days before my flight back to America. So, a friend and I decided we’d trek through the highlands in December. Bertie, one of my close friends and housemates, marked the map below. We started in a small town in the Cairngorms National Park (the largest National Park in the UK), on December 9th and hiked forty miles in 2.5 days to another small town, before returning to St. Andrews. We saw three other people the entire time. We’d wake up at 9 a.m., and hike until 3:00 p.m., set up camp, and eat quickly because the sun set at 3:30 p.m. Then, there were two restless nights of sleep because in spite of our great efforts to nook our tent in some dip in the hills, the wind would slap against the tent all night, waking us up each time. But, I’ve seen the real Scotland now, and couldn’t be happier. I know it would be easy to never actually go, but I don’t know if I will ever witness a landscape more serene, or countryside as beautiful as those rolling hills.
In October, I turned 21 years old, never again to be a child in any sense of the word. But to be honest, I don’t feel any wiser, necessarily smarter, or more important. I only have a weird feeling when I say “twenty-one” out loud. I am twenty-one years old. What’s even stranger is the fact that Jack is 24, supposedly in the prime of his young adulthood, and Benjamin is rounding the bases at 19. If you haven’t seen Patrick lately, now 13 and a teenager, he is starting to develop a personality challenging the authority of his older brothers … just how we trained him. On the bright side of health, every single member of the immediate Myer family is home, mobile, and relatively healthy, which is a grand improvement from last year. However, we are deeply saddened with the passing of Patricia Ownby, my grandmother, a few days ago. She lived a long, wonderful life, giving so much joy to us all, and she will be missed dearly by her children, and grandchildren so. Please keep us in your prayers.
In the New Year, I am still enjoying the break, I’ve shadowed a bit, played piano, read books, seen friends, and written poetry. In fact, I truly believe that I’ll look back on these Christmas breaks as some of the happiest times of my life. It’s a beautiful lull in the year for us lucky enough to be in college. Long enough to do something, but not long enough for others to expect you to do anything for the betterment of your future. And I treasure these times. Jack and I are going to Dr. John on January 19th, one of the giants of Blues piano and I couldn’t be more excited. My favorite book I’ve read this break is a poetry collection called The Trouble with Poetry (2005) by Billy Collins. Collins was the US Poet Laureate from 2001-2003, and the NY state poet from 2004-2006. It’s incredibly accessible, hilarious, and magnificent.
I don’t have any particular “New Year’s resolution” per se, I’m just trying to keep improving to be my own better self, and I intend to thoroughly enjoy my final semester in Scotland.