Change is afoot!
As friends and longtime readers know, Mr. Sandy is an oceanographer. Every few years he's eligible for a sabbatical, i.e., to do oceanography somewhere else, provided they'll give him a desk and a phone and he'll agree to be collaborative, generally friendly and useful, a fine reflection on his home institution, etc. etc. At any rate, he'll be on sabbatical for the upcoming academic year, and so will the whole Sandyshoes family, by extension. We will spend the fall semester at a university I will call for blogging's sake MWCU, for Major West Coast University. (I'd have foregone the "M," but since there really is a WCU, I thought I'd spare people stumbling on this blog when searching for that school.)
Yes, I said West Coast! Yippeeeee! We will be crossing our great nation this summer and settling for a few months in a college town 3200 or so miles away. (My favorite segment of the Google Maps directions, if not of the actual drive: "merge onto I-80 W. 1007 miles.") I love crossing our great nation, I love the west coast, and I love college towns, and I'm really, really glad for the opportunity to have all those things in my life again. MWCUville is within easy reach of many things Cape Cod has not: Big university! Pacific Ocean (and lots of public access to it)! Mountains! Enormous trees! Friends who have already abandoned Cape Cod for the west coast! Reasonably placed, reasonably sized street signs! Decent Mexican and Chinese food!
The reality of all this has not quite kicked in. There's so much to be arranged before we go. Housing is a big concern; the sooner we get an address on that end, the more excited I'll be about it (vs. stressed, which I'll begin to feel the longer we don't find a place). Preparations have begun - I'm shedding and shifting volunteer obligations here, and won't be looking for paid work locally until our return*. I've stopped replacing pantry items as I use them (my pantry is usually stocked for the apocalypse, so it isn't too soon to think about this). There will be medical and dental checkups and absentee ballots and school registration and mail forwarding and subscription holds and countless other administrative things to see to.
And then there's the trip out, itself, to plan! So much to see -- Yellowstone? Yosemite? Great Salt Lake? Rocky Mountains? World's Largest Ball of Twine?
Stay tuned, won't you?
*Notwithstanding all the predictions that we'll love it out there so much that we won't so much as look back, the plan is to come back home.