Saturday, December 12, 2009

wow. it's been a while.

wow. It has been a while since I posted anything. I feel like summarizing the last two months would be pointless, but here's a familiar scripture passage that has found deeper significance with me recently.

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Let us hope that gets me through finals.

Monday, October 12, 2009

sip tea.

Monday, August 24, 2009

the end.

Well. The summer has come to its official end. It has been lit on fire and the ashes sent out to sea. I have done many things since my last blog, mainly because my last blog was a while ago *shame face*. But now I am back at school, getting ready to begin growth group leader training and wondering exactly how I managed to get two thousand miles away from the place I have grown to love the last few months? And please do not get me started on the dear faces that I I will not get to see...
This summer has taught me many things, some of the lessons were easier than others and perhaps I still have more things to learn from my experiences this summer. While I work on sulking though all the homesickness for this tiny little town where I left a piece of my heart, I am looking forward to all the joy, people, and new experiences this year will bring. I will be grateful for the day where there are no more goodbyes (if such a day exists) and to have a patch of dirt that is my home, but until then, I will wander and enjoy my three addresses, learning to live and love in the present, and testing just how quickly and how tightly I can pack a suitcase for the next adventure.

Friday, July 31, 2009

more for the list.

27. Soy milk and the crap I get from a certain Californian when I drink it.
28. Knitting.
29. "oh geez" with a North Dah-coe-den accent
30. Running around the lobby chasing moths with a fly swatter cause it was late and we were bored.
31. the bucket check and the loss of all hope in the soul of whoever does the Bunkhouse side.
32. the number of text messages sent between the hours of midnight and four am.
33. the legitimacy of cowboy hats, western shirts, and golf gear.
34. Jeremiah calling me Nat King Cole.
35. talking with all the international workers and gleaning as much knowledge from them as I can.
36. my hobo like ability to sleep wherever there happens to be a flat place and a blanket.
37. taking "baby steps."
38. shamelessly making the fellas cook for me.
39. getting caught drooling over an Egyptian or a stable hand.
40. sitting in the catholic church at insane hours pondering life and light.
41. the Cowboy Cafe.

Monday, July 20, 2009

the curious incident of promises and weakness.

I am learning something about human nature that every ounce of my soul refuses to accept- promises are broken and people are weak. God, he gets the whole concept of a promise and the strength it takes to keep one, this is an encouraging thought, but that is one trait of his that I do not think his children have learned. Whether it be a promise I make to myself, or one I enter into with someone else, I will inevitably fail to have the strength needed to keep it in and of myself.
I have entered into promises to help those I care about, but I keep running out of strength. I cannot carry other’s burdens the way I want to. I want to be strong. Strong enough to take care of those I love, but I now know I cannot do that. But, I also realized that it was wrong of me to agree to carry someone else’s burden. There is only One who can carry the burdens of life and me asking to help Him is me saying that He is not strong enough. In the same way that I have to lay my burdens at his feet, so I also lay down my claim to the burdens of those I love, may His healing be strong enough to bring peace.

Friday, July 17, 2009

how the world goes round.

So, it has been altogether tooo long since I have updated my blog, so here is catch up.

park and the fourth.

Events of the last month.

25, June

The movie itself was enjoyable, but not the most fantastic film I have ever seen, but the company was fantastic. We made it a call center trip, seeing how we could legally get every one to Dickinson. I rode with the Mongolians + Sarah, so much awesome in one car that i could not handle it. Sarah taught me a game that involves yelling at cows and Chimde told me that he learned english listening to the Beatles, he might be battling Jojet for the spot of my favorite at work haha. During the movie, I had Vincente and Jojet to snicker softly with every time something awesome happened and to play the "don't touch me" game because the movie theater was three million degrees (my best guess anyways).

4, July

So, basically one of the best nights here in Medora. Sitting under the self induced stars aka fire works with some of the gang from work. Shelia Schafer had ice cream for all of us and we just laid out on her lawn and watched the show. The best part was how close the fire works were, I felt like they were going to fall on my FACE :D

13, July

MONTANA!!!! I took a quick road trip with "Montana" aka Lindsey to actual Montana to drop off her sister, but we also went to get chinese food and went grocery shopping in a proper small town grocery store. I may have cried a little at the sight of cherries and soymilk. Very sappy female of me to get sentimental over grocery shopping.

15, July

Again, the movie was not the most fantastic I have ever seen, but the company made it worth while. I did rather enjoy the movie, good job o ye movie industry, but we got even more Medorians together for this one and armed with dark chocolate pomegranate candy and root beer, I was like "bring it." Sally charmed us with Van Halen and the Beach Boys on the ride over and Ginny saved my hind end and my sanity by waiting with me while I waited for the last of the gang to get there since I was the ticket girl, it has been a rough day on my nerves and I don't think I would have made it standing alone very well. But, spending some time surrounded by people I have come to care for, GInny's kindness, and some encouraging texting from Vincente after we got back at some insane hour redeemed the day and got me thinking about the rest of what I am going to write about.

“No one can say he is himself until first he knows that he is and what himself is. In fact, nobody is himself and himself is nobody”- the Raven of Lilith

There are a few things, honestly not that complex of a list, of tangible things that make me lose all desire to live. Certain smells, words, and behaviors that make my knees buckle and my spirit whither, which is translated into dead looks on my face and an evasive nature. I had been confronted by and dwelling on a particular one of these things that is making me whither a little even as I think about it. Even though this list is not long, I feel like it buries fists in my gut on a regular basis, but my friend Vincente got me focused on a much cooler list, the things that make me want to live. Those random little bits that put a smile on my face, a song in my heart, and makes my feet suddenly light as if I were going to take to the skies right away.
I do not think he even realized he had hit one of those things, but one of the things that makes me sing is knowing that someone wants me to be safe. Very rarely do we humans bother to voice that we desire someone's safety, it is considered understood, but I think we need to get better at it, such is my opinion at any rate). When someone I do not expect to bother says my name (especially if they mispronounce it into some sort of nickname, I have a list of them), or sends me a text message without there being an emergency, I grin the Naruto "smiley eyes" face and think of happy things. So, I decided to come up with a list of other things that make me smile out here in Medora and maybe as you read them, even if you have no idea who I am talking about, you will be able to insert the moments when life does the same thing for you.

1. When Ginny starts dancing to imaginary music and invites me to join her.
2. When Lance punches me in the arm, or makes faces at me while I am on the phone until I start laughing and put the guest on hold.
3. When a bunny lopes across the road during my lunch break because it is too lazy to run from me (cause then I might catch it)
4. rain puddles and the squishy sound shoes make when they are soaked through.
5. love songs on acoustic guitar.
6. ants crawling anywhere but on my skin.
7. When Nina says "no no," or Lisa says "lame," and especially when Lindsey says "b**** please" at ridiculousness.
8. prairie dogs.
9. chocolate milk.
10. wailing along with Regina Spektor or Nora Jones as I clean.
11. HUGS.
12. long and pointless walks with various amazing people, especially if there is birthday cake ice cream involved.
13. letters, handwritten.
14. yelling at the phone before putting on my "phone voice" and answering.
15. Sally's laugh carrying into the next room.
16. the fact I have memorized a crap load of different telephone extensions and ticket prices with and without tax.
17, Sarah C.'s shoes.
18. Jojet burying his bad shoulder into me so that I cannot punch it while he gets smart aleky, even though I have a hugh grin on my face.
19. Trying to control faces when bikers, hippies, cowboys, or really cute golfers check in, especially when Lindsey or Ginny is working.
20. Certain smells.
21. Watching the Nik and Jayden play magic cards.
22. Employee events ie talent show etc.
23. Vincente's surprised face
24. Late night shifts and how differently we process once sleepy hits.
25, Getting called "sweetie" by cute old ladies.
26. "That's Not My Name" by the Ting Tings

The list will get longer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

life inside the music box.

" I close my eyes and think that i have found me but then I feel mortality surround I want to sing another melody so different from the one i always sing." - Regina Spektor, the Music box

The last couple of days have left me humming this song. I had a fantastic evening with my lovely call center friends on Thursday at the Pitchfork Steak Fondue and the Medora Musical. I figure with the number of tickets we have sold to both of those, it might be a good idea for us to actually go experience what we talk about for eight hours a day, five days a week. So many people came out on one of the most lovely nights we have had so far in Medora. The food was great, the show was fantastic, but the company was the best part.
Last night Erica and I were in a car accident. We must have had an incurable desire to side swipe an exit sign going around 70 mph because that is what we did. After talking with the sheriff today, it seems that sign possibly saved our lives because it kept the car from rolling. We got the royal treatment, rescue unit tried to cut me out, but the poor little Hyundai had no intentions of letting me out, so I got pulled out the back on a stretcher by some fantastic police officers and EMTs, they took such good care of me. Poor Erica was ready to lose it, but I am thinking God held her together, he was certainly the glue that kept me together. The side air bag saved my head and the seat belt saved the rest of me. The car is totaled, but after some x-rays, it seems that Erica and I escaped with nothing more than a couple tiny scratches and some achy spots. Our story would be a bit more believable if we had some serious contusions or something, but I would rather be doubted than be permanently damaged any day. We took the day off to recuperate, but we should be back in the full swing of things tomorrow. I have to say I did get pretty freaked out by the whole thing, but having a couple of the guys I work with coming out to the hospital to be with me and Erica made me feel very loved and all the hugs and visits (did I mention the hugs?) from all the lovely people I work with after we got back into town made my heart sing and my eyes leak (since I don't cry O.o).
Oddly the part of this whole thing that reminded me of my mortality (song reference) was not the accident, it was the sunset tonight. Seeing a gazillion delicate shades of orange and pink and blue dance across the sky and peak through the hills of the badlands reminded me that while every breath aches a little right now and if you poked me, I would bawl, it is all absolutely worth it! I want to feel all of life, the sore parts, the scary parts, the lonely parts right along with the parts that remind me that I am loved and cared for. Thanks sunset for that little reminder of just how beautiful everything is, even if it fades into darkness at the end of the day.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I simply remember my favorite things.

The last few days bring to mind the song from the Sound of Music where Maria sings of her favorite things. We have ponies that stroll the streets (proper horses, but hey), freaking snow that stays on my nose and eyelashes and I could do for a nice bright copper kettle full of tea and a pair of warm woolen mittens but while I wait for those things, I have had plenty of other favorite things and people running around in my mind to keep me company as I fight how badly I miss everyone.
What I mentioned about the snow is no play for making things fit with the song, we did get actual snow accumulation yesterday. The buttes, the cars, the buildings, my face- they were all encrusted with big wet snowflakes. I did some overtime work with housekeeping yesterday (yea, I can make up a proper hotel room now, I feel special, be jealous) and every time we had to walk outside (which was between every room) I made a little yelp and questioned why the wind hates me so much that it insists on beating little bits of water and ice into my skin. The weather was so nasty that we actually cancelled the musical for last night and it looks like we might have to cancel again (hopefully they will make that decision before I get the mile and a half up the hill for work because even in just cold weather, standing at that hill trying to be friendly makes me want to weep, I cannot imagine it in the snow).
In spite of the miserable weather, I did get quite a bit done yesterday. I went to the National Parks office and got the key we need for our in park ministry. The government now owns me. I signed a stack of different papers and permits and every two weeks I have to go back and sign more. So while they own my soul, I do have a pretty wicked sweet key that says it is property of the US government, I feel pretty intense :D
Oh, we had our first church service today!!!!! I have spent a lot of stomach turning hours in prayer for our ministry out here this summer and this initial service in particular. Erica delivered the message, a clear message of learning to accept that God loves us in a gentle and personal way, my heart was singing for her. Some of the Campus Crusade members joined us and exponentially increased the quality of our music. I pity poor Keith for being stuck out in North Dakota with two girls with as little musical inclination as me and Erica, so it is pretty awesome that we have so much support out here. AND the campus crusaders are pretty wicked awesome people and I definitely hope to add a few new friends as I get to know some of them better too. I may even take my guitar to worship practice and embarrass myself a little bit this next week. I figure my mad lack of guitar skills is a good door opener to force this little introvert to talk to people, or at least that is what I am telling myself.
Work is amazing as per usual. I think I am taking a camera into work some time soon, I need to get pictures of these awesome faces I work with. Well, enjoy my scatterbrainedness, I am going to go spend some time being unproductive. I would go out and lay in the sunshine on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but seeing as there is no sunshine with all the rain and snow, I am just going to go be lazy. hehehe.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Well, I should have updated this days ago, but I am lazy and when I do have ambition, I have lazy internet. Friday, the lovely Miss Erica surprised me with a girls night out featuring Christian freakin Bale aka John Connor and Applebees (we went to go see Terminator Salvation, then ate at Applebees). If it were not for all the cowboys in place of growth groups, I would have thought I was in Indiana. I suppose that is where I am mixed. I really do love it out here and I know that this summer is going to be AMAZING but I also have a really deep seated sadness about being so far away from the people I care about. I did not expect that people who have been in my life for such a comparatively short part of it would leave such a large empty spot in me. Maybe Grace pulled a Grinch on me and my heart grew three sizes or something to make room for them all, but it is certainly hurting now. I think the relative peace of my environment has put me face to face with some of my conflicted traits. What if this little wave who seems so good at letting things float by needs an anchor sometimes? Or if this Aphenphosmphobiac (look it up, or check out the facebook note that is the only reason I know it has a fancy word) needs to be held once in a while? Or maybe I should go to sleep and save the deep thinking for more reasonable hours? I will work on answers to those questions and many others. But inner weirdness does not change the fact that I really do love it out here and am enjoying getting to know some of my co-workers and living buddies better. Who could have even guess that the world is covered with such an awesome group of people all mixed together?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

a day.

What a day! First day up at the front desk of the Badlands Motel *feels stress building up* Thankfully I happen to be a personality that lets most stress turn into amusement and laughter and especially with the people I get the privilege of working with, it is very easy for stress to be transformed into smiles. I'm pretty proud of myself *brushes off shoulder* I am starting to feel the confidence I have been feigning over the phone for the past week, props for good training and patient team leaders/members (So essentially I am proud that I can listen well, so what? Let me have my moment :) ). I got to meet my ACMNP team member number three today, Keith Smith from Pittsburgh, PA, he's pretty schweet. After getting off work a touch late (yay for craziness), I had the best dinner I have had since being here. The food, while better than Alpha was not terribly noteworthy, but the company made the meal perfect. The angel who picked up poor lost Erica and I from the Greyhound stop who is also the genius who takes care of all our HR needs, Steph, ate with us. As did the always lovely (guys, be jealous that she is in North Dakota and nowhere near you) Kristen, who is also the soul who needs your prayers because she is in charge of managing Erica, myself, and ten bazillion other people who work for the motels, and my new friend Keith, and even a visit from Randy, the always personable president of the Medora Foundation (I had to transfer a call from him on my first day and I messed it up *implants head into desk* but he was really nice about it). Suffice to say, good food, great company (not that we all work for a great company or anything). I really do enjoy my time out here, it is a healthy place to be, maybe there is something in these rocks that keeps people coming back, but I am pretty sure it is the people here that keep people coming back.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

thank you for calling the TR Medora Foundation.

Hmm, the internet connection is back (we will see for how long) but honestly, I have nothing interesting to say. My job makes me smile lots. For a people watcher like myself, well, I have amazing co-workers to watch and who basically constantly amuse me. Still waiting for the town to come to life, I have been promised it will some time soon. Still waiting on a paycheck so I can go have fun when the town comes to life, I have been promised that will come some time soon. Well, I guess that phrase fits quite a lot of who I am, but that is another story, for another venue. Oh! I did very literally implant my head into a desk today, now that I think about it, I am quite proud of that accomplishment, but at the moment it was just a reaction to one too many telephone calls swimming around in my brain. For now, it is work as usual and an unhealthy relationship with the BBC comedy podcast and anime blended with a healthy dose of wandering about aimlessly *sigh*

Saturday, May 16, 2009

*huff puff huff huff*

Day one on the phones entailed a call from the president of the Medora Foundation, a trick call from my boss (he thought he was funny *stomps off pretend angry* It was funny though), a couple credit card fails, even email fails, people who messed things up and needed me to fix things, lots of number, lots of typing, lots of trying to not hyperventilate, etc. After my first day on the phones, Erica and I worked off a bit of calorie and stress by hiking three miles. Along the way, I took proof, I mean pictures, that we made it. Enjoy.
walking around town.

Friday, May 15, 2009

chillin with the buffalo.

Well, I am a trained phone answerer reservation person -_- Never in a million years did I imagine that little miss will chuck a telephone at someone else's head to avoid answering it would be working up to 55 hours a week answering phones, but such is life. My co-workers and boss are fantastic though, and I am sorta out in God country, not much to complain about there.
Oh, guess what I saw yesterday? (look at the title for a hint) Yea, freakin buffalo...and elk, and wild horses, and mule deer, and even a little bunny. I behaved and did not hug any of them, but when I get a chance to stake out the prairie dog fields, well...I cannot promise anything. If Erica is with me, I might refrain/be physically held back from catching one and sticking it in my purse, but I can be pretty sneaky if I want to *plots*
If there is one thing I have learned about North Dakota, it is that every day truly is a new day. The most obvious manifestation of this is the weather that has varied 20 degrees warmer or cooler each day so far and how "chance of rain" means a plethora of things, some of which require a waterproof jacket. Perhaps it is God's physical reminder of how time works with God.

"As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children."

Psalm 103:15-17

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

lungs lined with ice.

Well, I tried the breathing thing and with the windchill factor putting us at a temperature of 20 degrees, I think my lungs are lined with ice. Erica and I braved the frigidity and the left over river mud and went on a bit of a photo taking excursion, so I HAVE PICTURES TO POST!!!!!!! I mean, here are some pictures from our little walk around Medora.
exploration in north dakota, part 1


Hokay, so we had the grand tour of the place, it truly is lovely. If it were not for the fact it is 38 degrees outside, I would be sitting lotus style on the top of some giant land formation thingy. I cannot say the landscape out here is mountainous, at least not in the Rocky Mountains sense, but it is certainly not flat either, "so land formation thingy" is my technical term for the intensity that surounds me. My first impression of this place is that the bug eyed introvert in me is singing. There is so much natural beauty that I feel like opening my mouth to describe it is futile and I should just shut up and sit still for a bit, and by a bit I mean a year or two, then I might be able to adequately describe the grass in our front lawn, give me five or six years and I might be able to describe the entrance to the park. So for now, I am going to just breathe.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My First Entry :)

Wooo! So, I decided that, to tame my blog envy, and to make a convenient way to share thoughts and pictures from North Dakota, that I was gonna get a brand spanking new blog of my own, and here it is! I will think of some witty things to say, or some pictures once my brain is convinced it is no longer in a Greyhound bus.