I suppose sooner or later I shall have to stop merely dropping hints and waiting until I run into each and every one of you. The world — and our respective placement across its crust — is going to require me to make some sort of comprehensive communication that spells out just what is going on, and specifies just exactly what I am up to. And I also suppose that there is no time that is really quite like the present. This, then, is that aforementioned communication.
I am, to employ the cliché, “going back to school.” Nine years after I started my final year of college, I am beginning a new course of studies that will, if all goes well, grant me some letters to put after my name that I can actually use more or less regularly without looking like a pathetic and pompous jackass. I am returning (as a layman, I should probably spell out) to church work, and I am going to need an advanced degree to do so. That degree will be a Licentiate in Canon Law, or JCL, which I intend to gain through four years of full time studies at the University of Saint Paul, located in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa.
“Whoa!” you will be saying at this point. “That’s a long ways away!” This is certainly true; the geographical proximity of this destination to my current habitational zone is so slight is to be almost completely negligible. It is hardly close to here at all. But we are preparing to pack a selection of our belongings into cardboard cartons and travel across much of both our country and the country that gives our northern border its purpose.
[But this is trademark Beaner blather, which we are trying to wean ourselves off. A more restrained, natural tone will now be attempted for the remainder of this post. We apologize for any stylistic inconvenience this may have casued. (The Editor)]
I will be accompanied on this odyssey by my wife and two young sons. This is, without contest, the greatest adventure that our young family has attempted, but we are largely able to balance the terror of the unknown with the excitement of a bright new future bursting with possibility. The packing is progressing nicely, following an impressive amount of letting go; we have been able to purge large volumes of things from our life, fairly painlessly, which is an achievement of note taken all by itself.
So, at the end of this month the four of us will board a train at the Saint Paul Amtrak depot and head east, through Chicago to Detroit, where we will cross the river and the border and continue our rail journey from Windsor, ON through Toronto to the downtown Ottawa station, mere blocks from my new educational institution. There are many things to do yet before our departure, and each day seems to slip by quicker than we would like. We hope to be able to spend time with as many of you as possible before we leave, and we will do our best to keep in touch while we are away. More details and updates to follow, of course…