In the midst of a lovely dinner at Ripple yesterday evening -- I daresay it's becoming my favorite local restaurant, certainly giving Cashion's and Restaurant Nora and Founding Farmers a run for their money -- my dear friend Jeanne asked me point blank if I was planning to set out on another cross-country bike trip in the near future. No, I assured her, I should be around for awhile yet. I've gotten the big travel bug out of my system. (And it's not like lovers in other parts of the country are sending me amorous pledges of their undying affection.)
Actually, there's quite a bit to learn and see and do here in the DC area. Yes, in addition to all of the cooking and watching of tennis (at my favorite local sports bar -- I still refuse to pay for cable, but I can't miss the matches leading up to the US Open). There is the work I'm doing with FoodPrints and GrowingSOUL, as well as more intensive SNAP outreach in communities in the vicinity of a few farmers' markets around town. There are cooking demos and canning workshops to lead, and more writing to be done for a great local magazine. (Oooh, speaking of magazines: I got my copy of the September issue of Acres USA in today's mail, featuring my second article for the national eco-agriculture magazine! And it's looking like I'll be doing a bit more writing for them this winter.) Yeah, I have, like, six part-time jobs. C'est la vie.
So I'll be here. Mind you, it's not like I'm planning to sit still. It's simply not in my nature. I do have some short trips coming up soon to eastern Pennsylvania for the annual Pocono Garlic Festival, then to Charlottesville for the Heritage Harvest Festival. For those of you who may be wondering, I don't have plans to bike to either of these. Guess these 13 months of comparatively sedentary living in the same apartment and biking a mere 5-15 miles per day around town have made me soft: I'll be taking the bus.
For now, for the most part, I'll be here. Living La Vida Local, as it were. Mom and dad, aren't you relieved?
(This is not to say that should a Fulbright to study food traditions in India emerge I would turn it down. I'm just sayin'. It's probably best for friends and family to ply me with lots of fresh figs and good wine so I am sure to stick around.)