I’m out of the weather business…but improving in others.


Spring in the air at Ragdale?

In my last post, I predicted Spring on its way.

The next morning, in Lake Forest where I am at a writer-in-residence at Ragdale, four inches of snow dumped down on us all as we slept. Beautiful in January. Overkill by March.

Not quite Spring…

I’m no longer publicly predicting weather, but I strongly urge any uncommitted majors in colleges  and universities with a meteorology program to sign up now. I understand predicting weather is not an exact science so why not use it to your advantage in your career? I’m not sure any science is exact. Math might be, and probably chemistry. But many aren’t, given the doctors and researchers struggling to diagnose and cure our many illnesses, despite their decades of schooling and, to my endless gratitude, decades of paying off those tuition costs.

By now you’ve no doubt deduced I’m a liberal arts grad, and while I did graduate with honors, the hardest I ever worked was presenting creative ways to meet my math and science class requirements to the then DePaul English Dept. head and my counselor, Dr. Fry. He passed away, if memory serves me, around the same time John Lennon was shot. Both far too young and brilliant, and I learned of each of their deaths while holding onto an El rail on my way to the Fullerton stop where DePaul now spreads around that area like the snow above.

Dr. Fry didn’t teach me how to write, he taught me about senses and the need to use them all to fully grasp the world around us. The pungent odor of mustard and onions at Demon Dogs, where he’d buy his starving student a hot dog while discussing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The steely, sweaty El rail helping anchor her as the train comes to a screeching stop; and the way sadness floods over and through her, enveloping her entirely, while her muscles subconsciously react to keep her knees from buckling, as she absorbs the impact of the news the friend seated a row away shares. The blaring quiet of the chapel where that student would wander into occasionally, wondering….

I came to Ragdale tentative, recognizing I’m surrounded by brilliance but unsure I could ever achieve such towering touchstones. As the final week approaches, I’m more optimistic about the outlook.