Fall in Iowa City

And now it’s fall. The fall of 2022 finds me in the fine state of Iowa. Johnson Country. Iowa City, in fact. Who would have guessed it?

We live near Hickory Hill park. A great big hiking reservoir in the middle of this fine city. The deer breed like, well, deer. They are abundant. Very fruitful. Very multiplied.

The trees are changing colors. I suspect it will be a gorgeous view from our little deck. Out our little kitchen window. You can’t really beat Central Pennsylvania. Especially the view from our backyard. Rolling hills and gentle mountains turning gold. I’ll miss the that easy living in Pennsylvania Furnace.

But schools has started. Fall is here and so am I.


The same old things are happening. Getting up early to bring the boys to school. Setting my alarm.

Do you know that I have the same alarm clock that I used in high school? This thing is over twenty years old.

“Why don’t you use your phone?” my wife asks.

“Why don’t you use your phone?” I shoot back.

Just kidding. I’m not that much of a jerk. I don’t shoot back at people when I talk.

I do like to leave my phone out of my bedroom if I can help it. Darn things have infiltrated every other moment of my life.

I’m sentimental for this alarm clock. It’s been waking me up since before my hair started turning gray. In my dorm room. In the basement of my dad’s house. In my first apartment. I purchased this thing at Radio Shack, and it has seen me through over 20 Septembers. This is its first fall in Iowa City. It, like everything else about my life, seems to be doing fine.

I bought the new Madden game. I’ve been playing Madden since the original version came out for Super Nintendo. We’re talking 30 years. This one is tricky, but I’m figuring out. Did Kirk Cousins throw 33 interceptions for the 2022 Minnesota Vikings? Maybe. But Dalvin Cook also ran for a million yards and I’ve brought two Lombardi trophies home to Minneapolis. Which is more than I can say for any other Vikings coach. Crown me, baby. I’m the G.O.A.T.

Adjusting to my classes. Adjusting to my job. The boys adjusting to their new school. Adjusting to Iowa City.

Iowa City. I never would have guessed we’d end up here.


But here we are. And here fall is. And here’s another blog about the passage of time. My blogs are heavy on the seasons. Look, I write what’s happening. And the seasons are what’s happening. They keep happening.

I’m 42. That is a lot of September. That’s lot of falls. Lots of versions of Madden football. But I’m still after it, baby. Not finished yet.

You would have been wrecked if you played me in Madden ’07. Me and Mike Vick. That’s a devastating combination. Add Tim “the shortest receiver in the history of football” Dwight, and you know it’s over.

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