It’s overcast and chilly in my Chinese campus. Yesterday, we had rain, but I didn’t mind. I like walking under my umbrella listening to the tapping of raindrops. I like wearing my rain boots, if I don’t have to wear them too often. I really like how the rain rinses the pollution out of the a…

On my Chinese campus, I’ve been getting up before the sun. I think I’m still a little jet-lagged, but I like the early morning quiet. It’s Saturday, and the canteen won’t open until 7, so I load my laundry and check in to my class page, answering questions on the discussion board that came i…

I’m in a strange kind of limbo: waiting for my visa, hoping it will come before my flight leaves without me. Waiting for my semester to begin in China; wondering if I will be in the classroom on the first day. My suitcase sits open on the spare bed. I pack halfway then unpack to find somethi…

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This morning, I woke to a fresh rain that washed our streets and our air. I walked to the canteen under my umbrella and listened to the soft tic tic tic of raindrops, the gentle fragrance of osmanthus wafting past. For several days, I’ve been wearing my mask against the smog that hung heavil…

I’m in the last stage of my three-week quarantine before I can enter my campus in Haining, China. The final week is “home quarantine,” where you mostly stay home, promise to avoid crowds and then get a COVID-19 test at the end.

I’m in my second quarantine hotel in Jiaxing, China. It’s quite nice, but I’m on to my third tomorrow. Each move brings me closer to my final destination, the campus where I teach in Haining.

I’m sitting out on the high deck in the cool of the morning. The house is quiet. The sun has been up for a while. I can’t see it, but it is hitting the only mountain I can glimpse through the clearing. The sky is blue with wispy clouds. Birds are chirping nearby and far away.

A quick solo trip home from the boat to do summer dentist appointments and to check on Birdland. It’s a long drive, but I broke it up with a layover in Indy to visit my oldest friend, Nancy, and her husband, Karl.

It’s a chilly day in Birdland, and the yard is a riot of daffodils, but we’re slowly transitioning from yellow season to pink, as the ornamental quince buds open.

After several days of constant snowfall on Lake Fanny Hooe in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, this morning dawned bright and sunny. In the night, someone had made tracks all over the frozen lake, a meandering trail, like a double dotted line, a little bit fuzzy and blue in the white field of snow.

The sky is blanketed with gray, and the heavy clouds have sprinkled snow over the bare fields. The stubs of last year’s cornstalks make stripes all the way back to the fence row. The sky has muted the color from the fields and woods, and the world looks like a black-and-white photo.

This week we flew the coop for San Francisco to visit our youngest, Ellis, who recently settled the city proper after bouncing around in various suburbs.