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…turn and face the strain.

Bowie’s refrain just hung in the air on the drive home from South Royalton. Looking out across the Vermont valleys and hillsides the deep green of summer was fading into the colors of autumn. The change was inevitable. Six weeks from now most of the leaves will have given way to sticks, and soon, the sticks to snow. Our lives are not static but always in a state of inevitable change. We get older, smarter, weaker and stronger. We change careers, hobbies, interests and a single decision drastically alters our lives.

The leaves are changing and it's only August. Makes sense with morning temps in the high 40s and shorter days.

The leaves are changing and it’s only August. Makes sense with morning temps in the high 40s and shorter days.

Last winter was the first I had spent with little money making opportunities. My thumb was so firmly planted in my ass had I been killed and lost my arms, the identification could have been made by the fingerprints firmly embossed into my colon. Grooming the ski trails was actually a salvation and gave a bit of purpose to being home. The sitting around needed to change and the idea of going back to school came up at dinner one night.

After much deliberation and research I decided to apply to Vermont Law School (VLS) and earn a master’s degree in environmental law. For better or worse they let me in and the last obstacle was financial aid which was also granted and as of today, Monday August 26, 2013 I began my career as a full time student.
Let’s get it straight right now; I am NOT becoming a lawyer.

You read it correctly, Citizen Groomer, age 47, is headed back to school. Last week, the first day of law school orientation was a bit overwhelming. The “How to survive…” seminar focused on time management (a skill I can’t claim any expertise with) and budgeting our day. Plan on three hours out of class for every hour in class. Simple math. Twelve credit hours per week means an additional twenty-six trying to stay current and figure out what is being taught. School will be a full time job.

When the kids had their first day of school in kindergarten we took a similar photo. It seems only fair I should have a similar photo on my first day.

When the kids had their first day of school in kindergarten we took a similar photo. It seems only fair I should have a similar photo on my first day.

The original idea of this blog was to describe what the joys and pains of grooming a home trail network might be. The school bit is a full time job (although I’m paying to do it instead of getting paid) with more consistency than any job I’ve had during the past twenty years. For the past few seasons I’d take some time off work to get the trails in good order. Not sure how this is going to work this autumn.

Admittedly, this change is a bit scary. I’m not too worried about the new adventure and hopefully school will give me something new to write about and continue the exploration of what it entails to keep a home trail network going even during a time of change.

2 Responses to “Ch, ch, ch, ch, chan-ges…”

  1. Jonathan Bigelow Says:

    Dear Citizen Groomer, Magnus (the boy) and I (the dad) wish you all the best. We have long since decided that you are the finest citizen groomer blogger out there. This is going to be a big push; be sure to get out on the groomer for some mental health breaks. All the best, Jonathan and Magnus

  2. Kevin Brooker Says:

    Jonathan and Magnus,
    Thanks for the kind words. I managed to survive the first week of classes. Admittedly, I’m quite confused right now but have faith things will clarify. The grooming is definitely going to be an artful escape from the law.

    All the best, CG