Paris and Beyond

Our Personal Tour de France & Other Exciting Adventures!

Adventures on the Home Front

University of Oregon Education Building

Well, I guess it’s about time for an update. Last you heard, I was a Duck which is no longer the case. For eight months, I had the pleasure and privilege of assisting a professor and her team with some important research work related to bilingual education. I spent a lot of time organizing files and data-filled spreadsheets — definitely my forte but not so much fun. Later, I spent hours designing an elaborate presentation which I used to teach data collectors how to administer two different assessments — so much fun! I was very nervous about teaching a room full of graduate students. However, as I discovered years ago when I moved up from teaching elementary to middle school students, they’re just big kids eager to learn. They were amazingly receptive and the two days I spent with them were such a blast! I had forgotten how much I loved the classroom.

While I was able to do most of my work from home, I was unexpectedly assigned an office shared with one other very amicable project coordinator. A teacher’s office is her classroom which is rarely private, quiet, or completely organized except on staff days. I had always wanted a real office so I took full advantage of this opportunity by completely decorating it with all my favorite office supplies in green and gold UO-style including a custom-designed quilted pillow…

Alas, it was to be a short-lived experience. At the beginning of February, we sent the data collectors off to test students in their homes and schools. By the second week of March, they were about three-quarters of the way through their lists. Then COVID-19 arrived and, of course, we had to halt all activity. By the end of May, I had done all the work I could do to contribute to the culmination of our research project. Sadly, it was time to say good-bye to the UO. 

This blog is now eight years old, originally conceived as we embarked on our first exploratory trip to France. Those were the days when we dreamed of a retirement life in France. It was not just a dream. If you’ve followed this blog, you know we worked hard to make it a reality even though we had to eventually resort to Plan B. We have been in Eugene for three years now — completing our fourth summer and we find we are very happy here. Living just on the edge of the city bordered by small farms and in close proximity to the Willamette River, our environment is very similar to the southern French countryside we longed to inhabit. So when we are out biking around this area, we often come away for a moment with a sense that we could actually be in France. Considering the current circumstances, it’s difficult to say whether we would have been better off here or there. No matter. We are fortunate to have a comfortable home with plenty of space to enjoy all the things we love to do best. This is it for us… for now. 

Riding my electric bike along the Willamette

The intent of this blog has always been to share our travels so I have been reluctant to post on other topics. Given the situation we are all in, traveling afar isn’t happening anytime soon. We hope to be off adventuring again perhaps in another year or two. Many aspirations – who knows if they will ever come to fruition, but it’s always good to keep dreaming! Meanwhile, we strive to create interesting and challenging at-home “adventures” in cooking, gardening, sewing, knitting, photography, music, and art among others. Plus, good food and good drinks along with some festive, seasonal decorations and we can always have a party at home. You can see the fruits of some of our efforts in this slideshow…

Looking forward to a small adventure a short distance from home in November. Actually, it will be a BIG adventure leaving Eugene for the first time in nine months!

As always… stay tuned!

Stay safe & stay well! And… if you’re a US citizen, don’t forget to VOTE!!

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5 thoughts on “Adventures on the Home Front

  1. Robin Stanback on said:

    So good to read your blog again. Very glad you guys are safe and healthy. We are too. Life around here hasn’t changed much. Our wonderful group of friends have stayed very Covid aware and safe, so we have been able to share good food and wine often. Duncan is with us a good bit and we have enjoyed the produce from his extensive and gorgeous gardens. He has taken up the chef’s mantle and is bringing Osso Bucco for dinner tonight. I was just researching what wine to pair with it when I saw your blog. I have been riding a bit and we both have been walking Pauls Mill with the pups. Travelling has been curtailed for us too this year. Gary and Susan were going to come here and a group of us were going to go to Savannah for a week, but that didn’t happen. I can only imagine how frustrated Gary must be. He loves to travel. We had planned on a two or three week stint in Ireland and Scotland next spring, but have decided to wait a year. The Isle of Isla is calling. I hope we get a useful vaccine soon. Hugs to you both.

    • Cheryl & Norman on said:

      Great that you have been able to safely socialize to a certain degree. A vaccine and a new administration will do wonders to improve our quality of life. Fingers crossed. Take care!

  2. Martha Tureen on said:

    So great to be able to catch up with what you have been doing. Enjoyed getting your postcard but did not know how to contact you. Oregon is so beautiful and your project at the University sounded so interesting. We have been cancelling trips right and left due to COVID as well. We had been headed to Hawaii and a much awaited trip to Russia. I am looking forward to the “post”Covid times but keeping busy in the meanwhile. Loved your pictures of your beautiful quilts! Stay well. I’ll be looking forward to your next blog.

    • Cheryl & Norman on said:

      So great to hear from YOU! Yes, the UO job was right up my alley but a real eye opener to what it looks like on the other side of the education fence. Happy I chose the classroom. Russia sounds like a very interesting destination. When will they let us travel outside the US again? Let’s keep in touch!

  3. Cathy Thompson on said:

    It was so good to hear from you. I know how frustrated you must be to not be able to travel. We all have been restricted due to Covid. It looks like you both keep busy with fun activities, and continue to enjoy crafts ad cooking.
    We are having a wonderful time helping out with our grandchildren. They are doing very well under the circumstances. The Crespo girls are going to school with a hybrid program. The Trumbull school system has been doing a very good job with the program this year. The Biggs children are in St. Marks school five days a week. They are loving their new school and doing very well.
    We continue to have get togethers with our family and small groups of friends outside and with fire pit evenings.
    We hope you continue to stay safe and have some fun experiences this fall.
    Love – Cathy and Jeffrey

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