2017 winter solstice letter

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Blaise sent this letter to friends and family to celebrate the winter holiday season, 2017. In addition to this html version, you can also download the letter as sent: PDF.

Winter Solstice Greetings - 2017

Hello to all my friends and family. I hope that you are feeling peaceful, cozy, and happy in these winter months. As I write this letter, the ice fishing season has begun in Madison. Brave individuals have taken to the lake near my apartment to test their luck.

I'm now in the middle of my 7th year of graduate school. Time flies, and I'm begrudgingly trying to wrap up this phase of my life. Not sure what comes next.

My good friend Tyler graduated this spring. I am happy to see him move on to better things, but sad that we are no longer living in the same place. Perhaps life will bring us together again at a later date. In celebration, Tyler and I took a short vacation together. We camped at beautiful Wyalusing State Park---Tyler's first camping experience! The midwestern summer rains caught us, but we had fun despite the weather. We also visited House on the Rock and New Glarus Brewery.

On August 21st of this year a total solar eclipse crossed much of the Continental US. My parents and I took this as an opportunity for family vacation. We visited the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, at the intersection of Kentucky and Tennessee. After a bit of stress, we ended up finding a nice waterside campsite (below). The very large lakes were too large for our small Alumacraft, so we did not get much fishing done. I did get lots of reading done, and the time spent away was nice. The eclipse itself was pretty magical. The family (including Karaby) put on our swimsuits and waded into the lake to watch.

In early October I traveled to beautiful Arcata to visit my good friend Claire and her husband, Ralph. Claire and Ralph have a wonderful home on a gravel road nestled among impossibly tall redwood trees. I enjoyed exploring Arcata and the nearby town of Eureka. Humboldt State, where Claire works, has interesting California architecture---one of Claire's colleagues has an office with only outdoor entrance! The local Ma-Le'l dunes (below) were interesting---very windy with alien landscape and flora. Making pasties and horchata, and enjoying Claire's famous pie, were the highlights of the trip for me.

Stay in touch---note new address.

Blaise Jonathan Thompson
725 W Washington Ave. Apt 306
Madison, Wisconsin 53715