No backyard barbecues anytime soon

This is what our backyard looked like this time last year, after a solstice storm delivered a foot of snow. This past weekend’s solstice snowfall was much more modest–only a few inches, much of it melting yesterday–so it’s funny to compare the images of then and now.

Snowblower path

I haven’t been blogging much because of the usual grading grind that leaves me mired in paper-piles this time of year. On Monday, I submitted my end-term grades for Keene State, which means I’ve spent yesterday and today scrambling to catch up with various other tasks. This is the last week of classes for SNHU Online, so I have plenty of electronic papers and Discussion Board posts to read, as well as next semester’s online classes to prep. And then there are the usual last-minute preparations for Christmas: gifts to wrap and packages to ship. There’s never any end to the to-dos, it seems.

One long-delayed to-do that J finally buckled down and did for me was to buy me a new laptop, given how slow and temperamental my old one has become. When you teach online, it’s a huge time-suck to work on a machine that frequently loses its Internet connection, slows to a crawl when you try to open several programs, and is otherwise slow-pokey and old. As fast as my new laptop is–lightning-fast compared to my old one–I’m still facing the learning curve of getting used to a new machine and new software: where exactly is the “Delete” key on this keyboard compared to my old one, and how exactly do you do a print-preview in Word 2010?

If only...

I still haven’t transferred all of my files from old to new laptops, so I occasionally find myself working with both machines side-by-side, working on word-processing files on my familiar old laptop while surfing the Internet on my lightning-fast new one. One “old” program I haven’t yet installed on my new machine is the basic, bare-bones photo-editing software I’m used to using, so that explains another reason for recycling last year’s snow pictures: I haven’t taken many pictures while I’ve been grading, and I haven’t sorted through, cropped, or otherwise edited the few photos I have taken.

All in good time. The online semester will be over soon enough, and I’ll eventually get to the bottom of even that electronic paper-pile. Soon enough, my new laptop will feel as familiar as the old one, and before I know it, my old ways of doing things will be the ones that seem alien and awkward. Even as I type this, new snow is falling: just a few more inches predicted, still nothing like the foot we received this time last year. But even snowstorms of that magnitude will repeat again, eventually: although I’m not convinced that everything old becomes new again, I do know that everything new eventually becomes old.