Daily, Michelle and I remark how much we enjoy being here in the life we have created for ourselves. Despite the idiot governor (would SD be better?) and some rednecky neighbors, we love what we have created here.
So much has changed in these last four years. While surrounded by remembrances of our past lives, neither of us are performing music. I am still involved with my Isaac research, largely thanks to Markus Utz (Münsterorganist Markus Utz) and his ensemble cantissimo ; but other than that, we have found other interests.
I inherited much of my grandfather’s family genealogy work but have advanced due to modern technology and sites such as ancestry.com, myheritage.com, and familysearch.org. After my father’s death in 2014, I received many of the family records and have been slowly working my way through them. Doesn’t help that I changed my system of file organization in the process, causing me to now having to go back through and relabel files and delete duplicates. I am in the process of creating a shared cloud drive wherein my family can all have access to photos, documents, records, and other memorabilia in which they might have interest. Maybe I’m wasting my time and no one will care, but I hope that perhaps my late brother’s children might have some interest in being able to access their father’s senior recital from college, etc. I guess we’ll see.
At right is the only known photograph of my great-great grandfather/grandmother. Johannes Feissli came to the USA with his father Abraham and family as a pre-teen in the years just before the Civil War. Johannes (who became John Feiszli) married Louisa Mary Fankhouser and they had a family of eight, the oldest of whom was my great-grandfather John Frederick Feiszli. Some of Johannes’ siblings changed their surnames to Feisley and that name is still prominent in southern Ohio and West Virginia.
Meanwhile, Michelle continues her upward trajectory in her new career as a mental health counselor specializing in the treatment of sexual offenders (I know, right? But, she’s really good at it and is making this world a safer place). She is still trying to come to grips with being the leader of a team of counselors while simultaneously going through some tumult in the leadership of the entire facility – something with which I am familiar. She is, I believe, poised to go to higher positions of responsibility in the company should she choose to do so, but she is currently weighing (as I did way back in about 1994) the choices between doing what you love vs. doing what advances you in your career. I chose poorly – should have gone full-bore administration – but Michelle is in a good place and can choose to do what fulfills her most. Her most beloved administrator is leaving because she chose career over personal life and Michelle sees the value in life balance. I will support her whatever she does. So will Loki.
Loki continues his growth into being a young dog. By that, I mean he is VERY reminiscent of a teenager. He expects you to pay attention to him when he wants it. He believes his opinion matters. He is jealous when either one of us pays attention to another creature (or each other). We hate kids. Loki is a very sweet dog, but he is far more than we expected. As Michelle often says, “It’s a good thing he’s cute. It’s the only thing keeping him alive.” LOL
We won’t trade him in for another. But we really wish he’d learn that the cats are higher on the totem pole than he is.
I’m back at work, although still visiting the physical therapist once a week. I think she’s ready to discharge me. The orthopedic surgeon saw me two weeks ago and proclaimed me cured. I am doing everything I used to do with little discomfort and only a little caution.
Summer is ending, so I am preparing our gardens for planting. Still hard to get used to the reverse gardening seasons here. And, regardless of weather, we still get less light during the winter months, so I have created two garden beds – one for with partial shade (herbs during the winter) and one with full sun (tomatoes and other veggies during the winter). They’ll both operate during the summer as much as the heat and wet weather allows them to.
We’re going full-blown solar. It will be expensive to do so at first, but over the course of the next 20 years it will prove to be the best option. Our electric company rates are already set to rise and interest rates for solar installation are at an all-time low. I’m getting a .99% loan for the installation. I will basically lock in my electric bill for the next 15 years after which I get free electricity. The solar system is warranteed for 25 years. And we’re installing a system that will provide 104% of our current usage, allowing for rise in usage due to climate change, etc.
Other than that, not much to report. Time marches on. Some of you reading this may know and already be aware of the passing of Alan Stanga, former choral director at Sioux Falls Lincoln high school and co-founder of the South Dakota Honors Choir. Another reminder, along with the passing of Olaf Malmin (former choral director at Augustana College in Sioux Falls), that life is fleeting. I sometimes wonder whether I did enough or worked hard enough to create a legacy, but these days spend more time creating joy in each day.
Be well, Stay safe.