Wednesday, July 26, 2006

the middle of nowhere.

well okay. not quite the middle of nowhere--and it didn't matter that it was nowhere because someone was there--someone pretty special :) but it was quite a trip--quite a saga, actually--to get to the middle of nowhere. and by the time i finally got there, i had never been so happy to be in the middle of nowhere in my entire life.

it all started on tuesday. i drove to spokane to visit beth and adorable not-so-baby-anymore jessa. we went downtown...had lots of fun together. then went shopping with amy, which was also fun. AND amy and derek cooked me dinner--they are like star chefs or was really good :) and then after a bit of laughing and talking (moreso me than amy), we finally fell asleep.

and good thing, too, because my flight came early in the morning. and amy was kind enough to drop me off at the airport...and i checked in at the southwest counter.

my flight from spokane to oakland took off on time and was pretty smooth--as far as i can remember....although i can't remember much because i was asleep and i woke up with my mouth wide open more than once.

once i arrived in oakland, i just happen to walk far enough to find my gate, which wasn't posted yet because i had such a long layover. much to my dismay, a starbucks--which i felt i desparately needed--was no where in i took a seat in what i thought would be an isolated corner. not at all the case. i had a family come sit by me with what appeared to be 4 little girls, who all looked exactly like one another....they turned out to be 2 girls and 2 boys--slightly resembling Hanson (remember them??). and on top of the shock factor from this family of quadruplets who were of 2 different sexes, the mom laid the youngest one (less than 2 years old) on her lap--totally horizontal--and whipped out her boob in the middle of the airport and stretched it down to about where her knee/the baby's mouth was to nurse. weird.

i got up to get lunch (which was 1/2 of a disgusting burrito) and sat back down a few seats away from where i was sitting before. and luck would have it that i sat down next to a girl--on her cell phone--that was talking about condoms and how she had just found out, the night before, that she was pregnant and she didn't remember who the father was. quite a umm....colorful conversation.

so i finally boarded the 45-minute-delayed plane headed to st. louis. it was full flight. little did i know that we had to stop in phoenix to drop off & pick up other passengers. but because the plane was delayed, they didn't want to stop and take another hour to refuel. so we took off from phoenix with just enough fuel to make it to st. louis.

it wasn't until about 70 miles out of st. louis that the problems began. there were 'big thunderstorms' in the city, as they were explained to us and we weren't allowed to land until they cleared. so there we were.....low on fuel, flying around in circles "on hold" from the control tower waiting for clearance to land in st. louis. i was freaking out.

but lucky us, we DID get clearance from the control tower in st. louis just in time because the captain said that we had 'just enough' fuel to make it back to the airport. and i didn't quite believe that there was a big thunderstorm....until we got a little closer and i saw the most incredible lightening storm that i have ever seen in my life....and funny thing was that we were flying right through a metal airplane. again, i was freaking out.

well, we landed. and right when i turned on my cell phone, jon called. bad news....he couldn't come pick me up. which actually, i was thinking, was okay because my flight got in really late and we wouldn't have gotten back to where he was until really late....and with him getting up at 3 a.m. everyday, it wouldn't have been good for him either. i was fine...(remember i am sitting on the plane thinking this)...i'd just get a hotel room or rent a car and drive to where he was.

but that is where the problems began. i got off the airplane and noticed that wow! the st. louis airport was much smaller than i expected. WRONG. the entire main terminal of the airport had NO electricity. the pretty lightening storm we watched from the sky in our metal airplane had knocked it out...and left another 500,000 people without electricity.

and WRONG again. there was a big baseball game in st. louis that day and every hotel was overbooked. and WRONG again. i had to be 25 yeras old to rent a car from the company that wouldn't cost me an arm and leg. and WRONG again....the soonest flight that left to Fort Leonard Wood was thursday at noon (and it being wednesday, i was thinking it would be a loooonnngggg wait in the airport without electricity).

so i was stranded. no hotel. no car. no jon. no plane. no electricity. pretty much just me. and my suitcase (which almost didn't arrive either).

luckily, my mom came to the rescue. some nice people came and picked up me, let me stay at their house (they were trustworthy, don't worry) and took me to the bus station in the morning.

and on the way to the bus station the next morning, there were trees down, signs broken in half, roofs off buildings, and cars swerved into the medians along the freeway. CRAZY. crazy that of all the days to visit st. louis, i chose the one that marked one of the biggest storms in history. and crazy that my plane flew right into the storm. and crazy that we were almost out of fuel. and crazy that God totally provided and protected, despite the crazy circumstances (protected me, protected jon from driving...the list goes on).

onto my 6-hour adventure on the bus: was scared more for my stuff than myself in the bus station. sat next to a smelly smelly boy for all 6 hours of what was supposed to be a 2 hour bus ride. stopped to get gas 5 times but couldn't get it until 1 exit before my stop because the electricity hadn't only affected the st. louis area, but had also knocked out the gas pumps for miles and miles.

and finally got to Fort Leonard Wood. and like i said before, i had NEVER been so happy to be in the middle of nowhere in my life. :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

changing seasons

you know, i never really thought about life as seasons. until now. until now when changes happen...when there is summer and spring and autumn and winter--each season unique in every sense of the word. and although i can't quite discern which season of life i am in now, i know one thing for sure: it is changing.

and just like the change from winter to spring brings new life, new breath, new excitement, so too does this seasonal change. it is big. it is not yet as comfortable as the last seasons have been...but i am trusting that it will become more comfortable with time, with space, with experience.

because really when you think about it, that is what life is all about: experience. experiencing every good thing that God created...experiencing life to the fullest, filling your senses with awe and your eyes with wonder; filling your heart with hope and your life with Divine purpose--and inspiring others to do the same. as much as i hesitate to admit it, this life--my life--doesn't belong to me. it belongs to someone much greater, much more powerful, much more loving than i can even comprehend. and beyond pursuing the dreams, desires, and wishes He has planted in my heart at the very core of my being, He has also left me great responsibility. He has given me a share the awe and wonder and hope and purpose and inspiration that i have been blessed with.

and lately i have't been doing a good job of it. and with the forecast of my crazy busy schedule the next few years, it is hard for me to think that there will be time for that ultimately important assignment. so i am praying--with all that i have, all that i am--that i can find time, make time, cherish time doing His holy work. be it in the grocery store or through a few dollars with a thousand miles' distance...opportunities always exist. i just have to open my eyes wide enough and spill out my heart enough to see them in the midst of changing seasons.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

too much time.

Wow. After all this time has passed, I know one thing for sure: I definitely do NOT win the blogger-of-the-year award. It has been waaayyy too long since I last updated this—and although life seems to have come to somewhat of a standstill, SO much has happened in the past month.

Where to start…

Got back from Maui at the end of May. After a whirlwind finals week and graduation weekend, it was wonderful to have a bit of time to just sit…to lounge…to just be. And it was an immense blessing to spend quality time with my wacky family.

Headed to Spokane to see my favorite dude just two days after I got back. We spent the week with his parents. And in addition to me learning more about just how awesome he is, I learned invaluable lessons about his family—daily interactions, conversation pieces, stories from the past. It was awesome. I met his cute grandma…we had a picnic…we went to dinner…got in the hot tub…pretty fun week with a pretty cool guy

We headed back to Richland just in time for Tayte’s birthday party. It was a one heckuva crazy time, I’ll tell ya’. She wanted a hotel room…I set up a scavenger hunt…and then about 6 more teenagers than we expected ended up spending the night. highlights from the evening:
Korryn accidentally kicks her shoe of the hotel room deck. Her and two other girls have to go searching for it in the darkness right outside someone else’s hotel room window.
My mom makes a bet with one of the girls who didn’t have a swimsuit that she would get in the pool with her clothes on if the girl did as well. The girl got in with her clothes on. My mom decided she didn’t need hers (well…except for her tanktop and underear). Best part was that the pool was exposed, via a wall of windows, to the main hallway of the lobby…AND that Jon Pritchard was also swimming with us. (I think he might be scarred for life).
Tayte and her friends get in trouble by a mean lady next door who said they were being too loud. And instead of accepting the fact that they were, in fact, being loud….they decided to make this oh-so-mean lady the topic of conversation the remainder of the night.
Jon played guitar for a herd of teenage fans. Probably his first concert debut (?). I think that the pictures explain it all…yup…they loved him
During the scavenger hunt (which was in none other than Super WalMart), the girls all had to come back out to the car before they could open each new clue. We thought it’d be funny to keep moving the car so they’d have to run around the entire monstrous parking lot. They weren’t too happy with our decision….Jon and I thought it was hilarious!!

I was lucky enough to spend the following week with Jon-- that is like two weeks straight, in case you were wondering!! (and it was awesome!) but, inevitably, the sad day came where we had to say goodbye. And holy cow it was sad. Sad…but necessary.

Pretty crazy that we’ve come to this time in our life where God is sending each of us off—in our own unique ways in order to fulfill His ultimate purpose for our lives. And you know…I never expected it to be easy—and I know in my heart that it will totally be worth it—but it is turning out to be much more challenging than I had originally anticipated.

It seems like just yesterday that I was dreaming about medical school. And today, I don’t feel like I’ve woken up yet. And it just blows my mind that everything seems to happen at once: leaving friends, moving away from family, departing from everything familiar and comfortable. But despite all the uncertainty, the apprehension, and the extreme anxiety I am feeling at the moment, I am also feeling excessively blessed, totally loved, and amazingly comforted by the fact that I know this separation is necessary.

After an awesome two weeks with Jon, he took off for Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and I headed to San Antonio, Texas to spend a week at Canyon Lake and see the Alamo and the famous Riverwalk

And from Texas, it was on to West Virginia to (mmm…deep breath) move me in!!! I feel SO incredibly blessed that I had the opportunity to visit in advance. I got a private tour of the campus, got to know one of my professors, moved in (almost completely) to my cute little house (that I love, by the way), spent some time in the incredibly beautiful landscape of the Appalachians, and mentally geared up for school (although I do have a ways to go).

i got back from WV and went to Allison’s bridal shower. I can’t believe her wedding is in 8 days!!! CRAZY!!!

Two days later I was in Yakima visiting my Dad. It was a good visit—and God definitely had his hand in my time there.

Onto a family reunion in Yakima, then to Camp Ghormley tagging along with my family as the medical team for a few days. Mt. Rainier was the next destination—enjoying the immensity of God’s creation and getting friendly reminders of how small I am

And what is on the plate next?? Just being home. And I am fully planning on soaking up each and every second of it!!!!!

(UGGHH!!! picture uploads aren't currently working. bedtime for me. i'll try again tomorrow)

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