the definitive update (with pictures…)

Yesterday, I sent a long informative email to everyone on my list about the state of life here in New York, if you didn’t get it and you’d like to recieve such things, shoot me an email, I’ll add you. The letter is below…

Dear Friends and Family,

A letter from a new horizon! Who could have known we’d end up here? New York…the last place I thought I’d ever live.

I wanted to write a brief letter to explain our new situation, pass along our new contact information, and let everyone in on the most recent happenings on the Meyer front. I hope that this finds you all doing well.

A little over three weeks ago Carolyn left California, boarded a plane in Reno and took off into the unknown. Touching down in Albany, she and her dad wandered the streets for a few days putting things together. Willy had the privilege of being the sole (familial) witness to Carolyn’s oathing (the hippocratic version) and white coat ceremony. She began classes a few days later and has been assiduously cramming her mind full of cell biology and genetics ever since. Tomorrow is her first test. I’m watching her scramble through her notes as I type. She will do well, I’m sure.

Meanwhile, I was finishing up the summer’s responsibilities leading a group of college students through the Hoover (not quite yet) Wilderness. I finished up the trip and cleaned the gear with the rest of the Treks crew. Brad and I spent a day climbing Cathedral Peak and Eichorn’s Pinnacle in Yosemite. These are by far the two most dramatic summits I’ve ever placed myself upon–each is no bigger than a dinner table at the top. A few pictures for you:

Cathedral from Below
Cathedral Peak from Below
Eichorn Pinnacle
Eichorn Pinnacle
Brad on Eichorn with Cathedral in the Background (peak on left)
Brad on top of Eichorn with Cathedral behind (its the left-most nub)
After this fitting end to the summer, Brad and I drove all of Treks gear back to Oregon. Then for the last time, I loaded all our worldly belongings into the back of the black truck–this move marks the end of the “one truck” rule, as well as that limit has served us.

I can now proudly boast to have driven nearly the entire length of I-90 (omitting the section from Albany to Boston). Brad and I took two days to make it to his home in Billings, Montana. Along the way we spent a night with Casey and company in Missoula, a friend and a city both dear to me. All in all the journey entailed sixty hours in the front seat over the course of five days. The last day was the most difficult–$16 dollars in tolls (who knew you had to pay for the privilege of using the main highway out here), $12 in coffee, and $130 in gas moved me the fifteen hours from Milwaukee to Albany… and in the front door of our new apartment.

Front Door
The Front Door
Living Room and Desk
The Living Room and Desk
Scholar’s Eye View
The Scholar’s Eye View…
Bedroom (sparse at the moment…)
Bedroom (a bit sparse yet)
Our very own deck!
Our Very Own Deck!
Washington Park (across the street)
Washington Park across the Street

As for the present, Carolyn’s daily tasks are fairly well-defined by her vocation assimilating the skills and knowledge necessary within the medical field. She’s also trying to dispatch with a few lingering audio courses from Regent (in her spare time – Ha!). On the whole, she really seems to be enjoying it.

For myself, I’m working on the Master’s thesis that I owe Regent–concerning Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the knowledge of good and evil. In addition, I’m applying to “local” PhD programs in theology – Boston, New York (city and state), Connecticut. That entails taking the GRE’s in another month, and I’m studying my analogies and quantitative comparisons. The application process is quite daunting, not least because of the caliber of the programs I’m trying to get into. There’s not much for it other than to take the whole mess one step at a time and launch myself out there as best I can. I’ll keep you posted as things develop. The thesis should be finished (fingers crossed when they’re not typing) by the end of December, and my slate with Regent clean. That will allow me to work in the winter, spring, and summer, and try to put a dent in the pile of student loan money financing our respective aspirations to brilliance.

Our biggest challenge at the moment is the distance between us and all of our networks. As transient as our lives have been in the last few years, we’ve wandered fairly tight circles around the Western half of the continent. We know and love people in California, Colorado, British Colombia, Oregon, Montana and Washington. So far as phones and planes are concerned, New York is no further from Denver than Vancouver is, but the distance still feels much greater. It is especially poignant as we both face so many new challenges and uncertainties in the next year or two. We will need to reach west and draw on our support networks in the midst of all this transition. Your thoughts and prayers in this regard are much appreciated. Carolyn is making friends with her fellow docs-in-training, and we are looking for a local church to be involved with. Both of those things will help, especially as my work is essentially solitary this fall.

I hope that all of you are enjoying your fall. Perhaps this letter will do something to shed light on our activities and our direction–we’ve largely disappeared for the last while. The mass email is not my favorite genre of communication, but for this sort of thing it seems helpful. I promise a bit more personal attention if you drop me a few lines.

God’s peace,
Eric (and Carolyn)

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