I write to you, kind reader, from a peaceful Monday morning on Fall Break. I’ve made it to a sweet, sweet week off.

There was some talk in the Tanner family about driving home to Minneapolis for Thanksgiving. Such talk has turned to nothing. I think we re looking forward to a lazy week of doing nothing and eating too much. Sure, I would love for my boys to spend time with their cousins. But I think the Tanner Clan, myself included, need a little rest and relaxation. And this year that means hanging out in Iowa City. Watching the deer frolic in our back yard.

Frolicking deer?

Have I written about the deer in these blogs yet? It’s hard for me to keep track. We have deer. So many deer. They wander over from Hickory Hill Park and take up shop in our back yard. It’s cute. Until you step in a pile of deer poop. That’s not cute.

The other day there were 8 deer grazing in our front yard. I took a picture. These deer are lucky I’ve left my Central Pennsylvania self behind. Central Pennsylvania Sam would charge out the front door and mow them down. Put them in the freezer and get fat on Venison.

Lucky for the deer, those days are gone. I’m but an Eastern Iowan Sam now. A midwesterner again. Through and through.


This fall has been hard. So much change.

And how many times have I written a version of that sentence in these blogs lately? Probably lots of times. So sue me. I’ll write it again for good measure: It has been a hard fall.

We had conferences with Solomon and Samson’s teachers last week. Good reports as always. The boys are well behaved. The boys are hard workers. The boys are smart.

Solomon’s conference was a little jolting. His teacher doesn’t seem to have the same connection with Solomon that previous teachers have had. There’s all sorts of reasons for this. Solomon’s anxiety about a new school. The size of the class (Solomon went from having 14 friends to 32 friends). I don’t know why, but I can tell Solomon and his teacher don’t really vibe. And because of that, I worry Solomon’s teacher doesn’t recognize that Solomon is bored as all get out. The math doesn’t challenge him at all. Solomon’s at home doing 6th grade math workbooks (he’s in 3rd grade), and yet his teacher doesn’t seem to recognize the need to differentiate.

Katie told me Solomon was bound to get a teacher he didn’t connect with eventually. But it’s a shame it happened right after moving to Iowa City. Solomon has had nothing but beautiful relationships with his teachers. And now we’ve moved and things are less cheerful. Not the end of the world. Just disappointing.

I just want my family to be happy. I led them all the way to Iowa for a job. So I feel mostly responsible. I think it will be okay. But it all feels disjointed right now. Still acclimating, I guess. Everyone tells me moving to a new place is a process. And I know it is. Took us years to be feel at home in Central Pennsylvania. And now here we are again – acclimating.


So I’m skipping a road trip this break. Instead, I plan on playing video games. Watching the Vikings get pummeled. Napping. Going fallow. That’s the goal.

I’m sure things will feel easier next year at this time. But for now, I just keep at it. Although I may have to follow the lead of those cheerful deer in the back yard. Some frolicking sounds good right now. Get my mind out of my mind. Enjoy this moment. Frolicking is such a funny word.

I’m 42 and in Iowa City now. I’ll leave you with the image of a 42 year-old man frolicking in his back yard in Iowa City.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close