I’ve been picking up new hobbies lately. My latest is actually a recurrence from childhood: Lego. On this blog I’ve mostly stuck to my ‘Portlandish’ activities, ranting about cycling and hiking and books. With the recent shift in my life, putting aside my job and becoming a hausmann and full-time dad, so too have I been taking this blog in slightly different directions.
Among the changes that my summer brought was a marked decrease in cycling. I still pick up my son from school by bike, but that amounts to about two miles a day. My commute to the book mines had increased to 16 miles a day before I left. A big change for a dude in his filthy forties. I was worried that I might start packing on some pounds if I didn’t do something, so I did what any geek does to solve a problem: I bought a gadget.
Not so long ago I planned a solo backpacking trip, three days in the woods. It seemed like a simple thing. My wife would drive me out to the trail head one morning, then return a couple of days later to take me home. I looked at the trail maps and planned out the days. I googled the directions and we headed out.
My son is just finishing up his second week of kindergarten. This is a big time for him, starting actual school and being away from Mom and Dad for over thirty hours a week. Homework. New friends. Big times. Of course, there is also a shift for me too. I have started to shift into the next stage of my own migration.
I’m setting out today on a three day hike. I’ll cover over 30 miles of wilderness that I’ve never seen before, and I’m excited. This trip is a first for me in a number of ways. This will be the second trip of the summer, the first time that I’ve had a second trip. It will be my first time on these trails. It will also be the first time that I go by myself.
It has been a few months since I gave up my glamorous job in the book mines and became a hausmann. The honeymoon period is ending now and I find myself settling into the domestic routine of cleaning and cooking and parenting. A strange place to find myself, but I like it here more every day. There are new skills to develop and opportunities to distill my passions into more powerful spirits.
I’ve always been a bit of a pack rat. When I lived alone, my apartment was full of things. Every flat surface had some stuff on it. I culled hard when I relocated up to Little Bay Root, but I still had a deep legacy of possessions. This really came to a head when Mrs. Portmandia moved in and started cracking the whip.