Autumn Musings

Fall has arrived here in Idaho. The trees display a glorious riot of color. The air is fresh and crisp. A steady but gentle drizzle of rain soaks into the parched ground and produces a final burst of fresh life among the grasses that languished in the heat all summer. They will soon go dormant with the winter frost. And I, snug and warm with a cup of tea and a cozy blanket, am enjoying this fine Idaho autumn to the fullest.

I always love the changing of the seasons. Spring and fall are my favorite times of year. This summer was one of the hottest, driest, smokiest summers I can remember. Yet, it could not last forever. Fall arrived, like a breath of fresh air, just as it does every year without fail. It reminds me of God’s promise to Noah in Genesis 8:22: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.”

My attempts to travel to Israel for school continue. After various twists and turns in this quest of mine, things seem to be falling into place. Earlier this week, I received my visa application back from the embassy. They wanted me to re-send it with proof that I had a place to stay upon my arrival in Israel. However, Ariel University had not yet reserved a dorm room for me. I emailed my contact there to ask if he had an update.

Meanwhile, I checked around to see if I could find a different place to stay. I discovered that hotels were out of my budget. I made contact with a friendly staff member at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem, and while I will definitely keep their rooms in mind if I ever need a place to stay for a few days, I can’t afford to stay there long-term. I also contacted a friend of mine who lives near the university. She responded very kindly and said that I was welcome to stay in her spare room, but she already had guests staying there until mid-November.

About that time, I heard back from Ariel University. They were able to reserve a dorm room for me starting November 17. Since I was planning to arrive on October 30, that would leave me without a place to stay for two and a half weeks. Plus, since the embassy sent back my visa application, I had to re-send it and start over. Even if the second attempt should be successful, though, I wasn’t sure if I would get the visa before October 30.

For these reasons, I decided to reschedule my flight, postponing it until the dorm room at the university was available. I would have scheduled the flight for November 17, but I realized that I was scheduled to give a presentation at the annual Near Eastern Archaeological Society meeting on that very day. I had assumed that I wouldn’t be able to attend the meeting, and that I would present via Zoom. I made a quick change in plans and re-routed my flight through Fort Worth, Texas so that I will be able to attend the conference and give my presentation in person.

I’m excited about this conference. In addition to having a chance to talk about archaeology and listen to a lot of other people talking about archaeology, I’ll be able to spend time with a lot of friends and colleagues, many of whom I haven’t seen in quite a while.

And now, after a short flurry of activity in my travel plans, I am settling down to wait … again. My visa application is in the mail to the embassy. All I can do is wait to see if they accept it this time. In the meanwhile, I continue to prepare and pack for my hopeful move to Israel.

A map of the sites at which ‘Einun pottery was found

I am also arranging details for the Near Eastern Archaeological Society meeting and preparing my presentation. My subject matter is ‘Einun pottery. The topic fascinated me when I first encountered it. My goal is to infuse my audience with that same fascination. It may be difficult, since a detailed analysis of a specific type of pottery can’t help but be a bit dry and boring. Nevertheless, I will do my best to capture the interest of my audience. Don’t be surprised to see an upcoming blog post on ‘Einun pottery.

Finally, it’s not too late to donate to the Go-Fund-Me that Dr. Stripling set up to help fund my move to Israel. You can access it here.

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