Merrifield Neighborhood

We got home from Arizona a couple days ago. Arizona is nice this time of year and we much enjoy the relatives there, but it is good to be home.

I once thought that we would retire in Arizona for sure, and we may yet, but I am very fond of Virginia. I have sent down deep roots here, almost literally in the case of my forest land and also with networks of friends and colleagues related to forestry and environment.

We first came to Virginia in 1984 and bought a house here twenty years ago, but we spent most of our lives overseas. (The kids spent more total years in Poland before their eighteenth birthdays than anywhere else.) In the last years, however, I have become very attached to the Commonwealth.

Our neighborhood has also much improved. Within walking distance, we have all of what we need and most of what we want in daily life.

When I joined the FS, my plan was to stay in only for around seven years. I figured that after seven years I would have learned all that was transferable to other careers and I would move on. Each year, however, I was doing things that were fun and rewarding, so I just stayed around and it got to be more than thirty years.Virginia was also was supposed to be a temporary abode, a sojourn, a way station to someplace else, but it looks like there may be no place better.

I have a thirty year plan for my tree farms. I guess that implies a long-term commitment.

Of course, my plans tend to work out in ways that surprise me, so who knows?

My pictures are not especially representative. The first is the Japanese maple we planted when we bought the house. Next is the BBQ place near the Metro. Took the Metro back from the airport on our return from Arizona and had supper there. Next is Gallows Rd. My morning habit to ride with Chrissy when she goes to work. She drops me a couple miles from home and I walk back. It marks the start of the day. Look at the picture and notice the big oak and its odd shape. There used to be a house and some trees on the ragged side. On the trimmed side are wire and they cut it back all the time. Last is 495 not to far from my house. Since I can choose my travel times, I rarely face traffic. I was not facing it that day either, BTW. I was walking across the bridge.

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