Sorting things is a fascinating process. Lately, I have been sorting through my Dad’s stamp collection, which includes my grandfather’s stamp collection. 

The two small file boxes in the image above show only a fraction of what I have inherited—there are two large file boxes filled with binders, envelopes, and loose stamps from all over the globe. 

What strikes me as I sort through this collection is not the monetary value of the stamps but the sentimental value. Collecting and cataloging stamps is a labor of love, but it is also a connection to something bigger. 

I wish I could properly convey how it feels to handle this stamp collection. Maybe the tangibility fosters connection. Maybe it’s the attention to detail and beautiful print work that is evident on the stamps. It’s wonderful. 


El Dorado National Forest, past the Swansboro Airport and up Mosquito Road, 1972

This must have been shortly after Dad returned from Viet Nam and bought 55 acres here. That parcel has grown to 90 acres now, with half of it bordering National Forest land. 

The rad Pontiac station wagon is long gone. But, the sign is still there. And, I’m still here. 


"It is only with experience that you begin to understand everything you do not know."

As I enter the Comprehensive Exams portion of my doctoral program, I realize that I am beginning to understand. Education is an interesting construct. It is personal, and it means different things to people. Education flows along a continuum, and begins to take different meanings as a person grows older. Perhaps the experience truly is the education.

*video: my moment of zen today 

next year(ish)

“When do you finish your doctorate?”

I’ll finish this time next year. Spring 2023. So, one more year of doctoral studies before I earn my degree. And, that’s only if I hustle. 

It’s a long road…