An Hour with Finn > Basically, Anything

You know that line in the Kinks’ big hit: “It’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world, except for Lola.” That’s been our camping experience here north of Lansing, mixed up, muddled up, except for Finn. And poor guy, although not as complex as Lola, he’s got a lot going on, himself.


As I described in my last post, his schedule allows for about an hour here and an hour there of free time (among work in quantum physics, statistical mechanics, particle interactions in matter, and the physics lab he teaches).

Tracy and I knew this to be the case when we booked 11 days at this campsite at Sleepy Hollow State Park. We figured we’d enjoy the park (it’s rated highly for hiking and kayaking) and get a lot done in Lansing. Plus, since Tracy had limited cell data all summer in Canada, he’s way behind on all of his computer stuff: software updates, spreadsheets on our routes, budget, all the stuff he keeps track of to keep us going.

But no, the cold and rain followed us from summer into fall here, and we were stuck inside the trailer for three days. No kayaking (even with the new-fangled racks), very little hiking, no hanging out in the tent other than that one cold night when Paul was here.

Being stuck in the trailer works for me because I’m knitting and tiny-housing and reading and writing and playing ukulele, but Tracy has no cell signal in the park, so getting caught up with computer stuff has been nixed.

We did get accomplished: dentist, Apple store Genius Bar, roasted coffee beans. And I’m hoping we’ll be able to spend a little time with Finn this weekend at his house, where we can use his WiFi and laundry room while we hang out. TBD.

The Hour

With nothing to do, it was a no-brainer to drive to campus to grab an hour with Finn between classes yesterday. Tracy knew parking the truck near campus would be a trial, so after I grabbed take-out for Finn and myself, Tracy dropped me off near Finn’s building (BPS: Biomedical and Physical Sciences, basically where he lives on campus) and Tracy found a park to walk Banjo.

Finn and I ate at a picnic table right outside his building, and then he gave me a tour of the botanical gardens where he and his physics cohort go to de-stress.

Even at the end of summer, in this chilly, grey weather, it’s a lovely space. The best part of the tour, though, was commentary from Finn that: this friend jokes about this area of the gardens, and that friend loves that area especially, etc. I saw the bench where Finn sits to clear his busy brain. Now, when we’re on the phone and he says he’s walking through the gardens, I can picture details.

Lastly, we ran into BPS so he could drop his lunch leftovers in his office fridge and so I could pee. I’d explored the building last year, but that was before he had his new shared office. I took a photo of him at his desk, but it was staged, and he did not inherit my ability to fake a smile for the camera, so this is one of many photos of him doing a good job at not being annoyed (because he’s a nice person), but I know I was pushing it. I also know what’s on his desk now, and out in the hallway Einstein smiled for the camera.

Amid the rainy days at the state park, we have gotten a few important tasks done, and I’ve stolen time from Finn’s schedule enough to feed my fix. And the weekend is coming when I might have two hours per day with him each day, hallelujah.

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