У природы нет плохой погоды

There is a saying I’ve heard along the lines of “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” This is reflected in the text of a Russian song I had to memorize in Russian class. I now scarcely remember it save the title which translates to ‘nature has no bad weather’ and that it asks us just to be grateful.

Let me tell you. I will not say it is bad, because that is not my place, but it is tough when it is 0°F, fairly windy, and snowing pretty hard. Because that’s where we’ve been for the past week. To be fair, the temperature was only that low yesterday but we’ve been pretty consistently around 8-12° which still isn’t great. And just so much snow.

So much.

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It doesn’t look like much here but that’s just because the beach is super windy

I mean, I say that knowing that there are plenty of places with plenty more snow. Fun fact, the world record for most snow accumulation in a season is Mt Baker in Washington with something in excess of 90′. So our two-ish feet isn’t wild but still, not ideal. And, obviously, Yakutsk exists so we’re never winning any cold contests. But sometimes comparing hardships doesn’t actually make you feel better. You can still get frostbite even when you’re not in the coldest place in the world.

Anyway. That’s about all I want to say about that. Pictures really can’t do the scene or the weather justice. I included the above mostly so I could tell you that there’s a lot of frozen Lake Michigan on my doorstep. Such ice, so freeze, wow.

In other news, there is not a great deal of other news. School was delayed on Friday and canceled twice this week (I know it’s a boarding school but faculty still need to be able to drive in). Which meant a lot of stir-crazy high schoolers on top of the weather, not super awesome but survivable.

I have a couple thoughts for this week. Not philosophical kind of thoughts, just Keegan’s-life kind. But I’ll share them with you.

As today is the last day of January, 2019, I realize how quickly I’m approaching one year from Korea. In fact, when I first thought of it, I was like, it’s been a year since I went to Korea…no wait, two years…whoa. I arrived in Korea on 19 February, 2017. That is almost two years ago. Where did the time go?!?! I still feel like I’ve just gotten back, when in fact I left Korea almost precisely one year and one week from that day.

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Kitty intermission

I’ve talked a little about it before. It’s hard to be moving all the time. It’s hard to set yourself up, learn where to go and how to do and who to see, then leave. And while part of it has been circumstances, of course, it’s always been my choice to leave. To not try to stay, even. I’ve done this to myself. And I will probably do it again and again.

I have found it difficult to get a grip on my life (no wait, that’s not what I meant) when, for example, I can’t even remember which country I lived in for most of 2018. I’m not the most traveled person in the world but I’ve done a fair bit. The people I’ve met and who have been generous of themselves enough to befriend me have been some truly excellent people. But it’s hard when you’re together for a year and then very, very apart. Even with the internet, even when both of you really want to stay in touch, even when you do actually stay in touch. It’s not the same.

Friends are hard. Moving is hard. Not that I’m feeling particularly bad about it at this moment. It was just startling to reflect that it’s been almost a year since my last Paris Baguette, since the last time I heard the Farmer in the Dell-esque metro song, since my last hike to the Kelseys’ apartment to watch a movie. And I still have no idea where I may be a year from now, and no idea what things will strike me as suddenly missing when, a year after deprivation, I finally realize that it’s been a year.

Another odd time-warp: this week marked five years since I took the banner photo of this blog, on a rainy, cold walk along the Jurassic Coast at Exmouth, in the UK. I first went to England five years ago. Huh.

Well. I don’t know that that quite accurately discusses my feelings on the subject but it’s what I’ve got at this juncture. Nature has no bad weather, I’ve heard. Дождь ли снег — любое время года/ Надо благодарно принимать. My time in Korea was some weather. Here in Michigan, we’ve gotten something different. In between and before and beyond, we must receive it gratefully.

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Draig Dw I

I had written some real muse-y stuff earlier this week, but now it comes to it and I’m just like nah, not feeling that for today. So let’s start off strong and keep it light with some good cat pictures because it’s hard to go wrong with cat pictures.

This week, we had some incredible weather. Like, actually really hot. Now, the temperatures themselves were not insane–I think the highest high for here was 25. But understand that in Ireland, the hot feels hotter and the cold feels colder. Not sure how of why, but others I’ve spoken to about it agree. But fear not, we’ve had some rain and plenty of clouds too because Ireland.

In other news, ‘madrona’ is not apparently the common name for that tree in areas generally outside of Washington and Oregon. Additionally, the species that we have is only found along the coast of Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and around Vancouver Island. Most other species are Mediterranean or other hot places, like Mexico. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. It’s also in the same family as cranberries, huckleberries, rhododendron, and heather. Science is weird.

Confession time. So I acknowledge it to be a little strange and perhaps a bit outside of my expected behavior, but this year I have started watching vlogs on YouTube and it’s been great. The one I follow most consistently is a British guy who, oddly enough, is like a fashion somebody. Not that fashion is odd (though it kind of is) mostly just that I don’t care for it at all. Anyway, it’s so strange seeing all these people who are fairly famous because of YouTube and it’s like a whole world. A little crazy. But I’ve somehow gotten into it and I don’t care who knows it. You basically just follow them around in daily life and they’re not generally too exciting (though they occasionally do like meet important people or do fancy things). It’s maybe a trifle voyeuristic, but there you have it.

I think I stumbled into it in the search of videos of Welsh people because Welsh accents are my favorite. They’re the first time I’ve heard people speaking English and understood the way people are sometimes described in books as having a singsong like quality to their speech. It’s delightful.

I’m also currently on my longest streak on Duolingo (39 days) for both German and Russian. So here’s some German and Russian examples from Duolingo itself, because this whole post has been in English and variety is the spice of life 😉

Die Freundin zeigt ihre Haare.

Твой брат когда-нибудь был на этой горе?

Those sentences are just random ones from my training today, they have no particular significance. They’re pretty mundane, though sometimes Duolingo gets a little creepy. Other times, it’s just delightful–one of the first sentences I learned in Welsh on Duolingo is ‘I am a dragon.’

Draig dw i.