Trees. EVERYWHERE!

It has been far too long since I last wrote. Life at the lodge picked up rather quick. Up by 5 in the am and back in bed by 11. Tis the life during orientation. It was not until orientation however that I started to appreciate everything I was in the midst of. Unfortunately, I sat with my back to the window in the dining room. Even when we were running around in the afternoon session I did not take a minute to look outside. I also do not have curtains on my window so I would wake up to some kind of landscaped view, but it was not until I walked out of the Bunk House that I really took in and enjoyed what I am surrounded by. Trees! They are every where. They are the paintbrush of the landscape. Outside every window is a tree, all around the property, even in the water. It truly is amazing.

At the conclusion of orientation week we went straight in to the regular season. Now our hours stretch from 4:30am to some time around 10:00pm. Not too bad! Exploring the landscape that surrounds the lodge is part of the schedule, even if only for an hour or two. I pack up my nice camera and take off. So far we have discovered a water fall on the other side of the mountain that empties into another cove and a little piece of land Alicia and I are going to hike from end to end. Should be fun!

For now I am at the mercy of the guests, it is fun, do not get me wrong. But it narrows the vision.

View from the Eagles Nest

View from the Eagles Nest

Speaking of narrow vision. I woke up yesterday morning 6/25 and found myself in a haze. I had some pretty crazy dreams the night before. My subconscious was trying to tell me something. And when I wrote the date out for the first time yesterday, I knew what it was doing, and instead of the usual overwhelming feeling of despair, I laughed. I have not felt that free in a while. It is no more than just a date and no more than a small tickle in the back of my mind. Try as I did that small tickle was discovered, leading to great conversations today that taught me once again you cannot judge a book by its cover and that every journey a person is on or a part of, plays an active role in who they are. It is nice to know I am not the only one who loves having life talks.

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15 minutes by Kayak and foot with Chef B and Alicia brought us to the freshwater lake.

It was a good life talk, I learned and discovered so much. I wake up and bask in the delight of the nature around. And I celebrate the friendships that spur out of that moment who like me, are working on really appreciating it. Day by day. Fish by fish. Moment by moment. It truly is a blessing.

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One of only a few beaches on the island.

 

Early Mornings

Last week, Tuesday through Thursday was filled with a fun and amazing trip through various aspects of lodge life. All complete with the expectations that each of us were to uphold all season long laid out in black and white. I probably drank close to three weeks worth of tea all in those few days but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. How often do you get to sit in the dining room with your entire crew and be paid to drink tea as you follow along in a class room setting? Not very often, and to do it before the guests arrived was pretty nice. It forced my brain to stop thinking of all that was left on my to do list. Only once did I get anxious that we were not going to be ready for opening day, but I have a great team of gals to work with and a nice strong cup of tea in one hand. Could it really be any worse?

The One Hour Hike

So it had only been four days since I arrived at the lodge and already I was going on impromptu adventures. So much for easing myself back into the 4am routine. Alicia, a new person arrived at the lodge. I was showing her around after dinner and Joe came up to drag us on a hike. I was totally game except for the ceramic cup in my hand. I went for it anyway. We had two hours until sundown so we went full throttle. We fell off the trail a few times but still managed to get to the top of a really nice hill. It was so quiet. The sound of the generator had faded and the moss quieted the sound of our feet. I was terrified someone would would break something on the way back, but we all made it with only a few bug bites and super big smiles. Even though we only rested at the top for 10 min, the peace and quiet was enough to rejuvenate any tired body.

Here is the Mamie sized tea cup on a Mamie sized ladder carved thing we found in the woods. No bears on this hike, but it is still early.

Adult sized Lincoln Log

Adult sized Lincoln Log

The Chronicles

So I have this coffee mug/tea cup. It is officially my favorite. I got it for my birthday and I have used it everyday since. It is my favorite for many reasons. It is Mamie sized, it is ceramic, it is not an obnoxious color, I got it from a pretty awesome person, it has a cute little elephant on it, and it has some words to live by.

I like it so much in fact that while I was packing for Alaska, I sacrificed weight in clothes to ensure I could bring it with me. It was an adventure just trying to pack. But it was all worth it. I have been at the lodge 3 days and already it has been on an adventure. Thus begins, The Chronicles of The Tea Cup.

Mount Rainier

Flight to Seattle passing Mount Rainier

Mary Poppins, Elliot, Nanny Mcphee

I took a trip to Flagstaff, AZ  this last weekend. I had to collect some things, sign some things, and see some people. I had been nervous all week leading up to the trip and I had been nervous all through the trip until I got in the car to leave, Sunday afternoon. I had people in my life that I have known for more than three years mention that the Mamie they first met, had gone on vacation for a very long time, they hated it, and were happy now that, that Mamie was back.

People enter your life when you need them or when they need you. You or they leave when you no longer need each other and you move on. Each one, however, was placed there for a reason at the moment you needed them, not before or after. I thought, sadly, the person in Flagstaff I had grown to love and trust as a mentor would be one of those people. I was pleased to discover that in fact she was not.

I had been tossing and turning Saturday night with nerves from a dream. The dream was about the friends I had made at Living Christ. A handful of them are very sad that their pastor is moving. This is not the first time I have had to say good-bye to a pastor that I have fallen in love with. Cool thing? I know, almost for certain that I will see PK again. For those who might not, I mentioned the ending to the movies, like Mary Poppins, Pete’s Dragon, and Nanny McPhee. Talking to my brother about how to find a pastor at his church helped me solidify the link between those movies and a pastor you love. Pastors, sometimes, come in to a church and do some pretty radical things. So many things. I cannot begin to list them all out. I would not even know where to start. Then, when they have given all there is to give, they move to the next congregation that will benefit deeply from all they have to offer.

The journey I am on will in fact mean I cross paths with PK at least once more. I hope I am reading the signs correctly, which I have been told is serendipitous, and my niche is truly in Texas. I want the last 2 years, 11 months, and 9 days of my life back, and I want to be happy. I am excited that there is even hope I will be able to regain it all, saying thanks to a handful of people, with a special shout out to PK.

To me, even though I know more goes into accepting a new call than opening an umbrella, sprouting wings, or simply walking down the lane and clicking a staff, I think it is the same idea. On the drive home, when talking to my sister about how much this person meant to me I used the labels Mary Poppins, Elliot, and Nanny McPhee. She said, “that’s nice, but you don’t ever see them again.” I agree with her, but I feel things might be just a little different. I am not entirely sure that I will see PK again but I remain hopeful that everything that has happened in the last month is a sign that I will be able to once again be near one of the most influential people in my life. Mary Poppins taught Jane and Michael, to live life for the good times, follow your dreams, and have fun. Elliot taught Pete, to stand up, be strong, and know you are never alone. Nanny McPhee taught Simon, Tora, Lily, Eric, Sebastian, Christianna, and Agatha, to be independent, to take care of one another, and to believe, for good things will happen. Along with all of those other lessons, PK helped me realize I should be myself in a world where I can be anything.

24th Birthday

Messy Church Best Birthday Present

My birthday this year was an interesting one, not at all what I thought it would be. Even being extremely disgruntled all day I managed to find peace. Funny enough it came when I took my shoes off. I participated in a painting activity at church that ended with the Pastor washing the participants feet. Only 5 or so people have ever actually seen my feet, it was truly a humbling experience. I was honored, even though I felt awkward.

A Tribute

I know it has been a week, I thought about this long and hard and decided it was worth it.

I week ago today I sat in the sanctuary at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church with my mom, wearing black. The same black outfit I had donned many times before but for some type of performance, not for a funeral. I was nervous about being there. I knew I was going to see a lot of people that I had not seen since graduation on May 11, 2008. I had even told my mom, I was extra sad because I had hoped that the next time I would see them would be my ten year reunion, not at a funeral or memorial. As I thought that comment to myself and watched as my class mates all shared in this grief, I caught myself with a half smile on my face. I was remembering one of my favorite jokes shared with Phil (may he rest in peace). It triggered a ton of memories, not only about him, but about each person I recognized in attendance.

One of many fond memories I have of Phillip Sisneros, is when he was on drum line in high school. More specifically during his sophomore year, my senior year. I always joked with him about his timing. Phil played 1st Bass and I played 2nd. There was a cadence, Cougar Nation, that Phil started. It went back and forth between the two of us to set the tempo. The first three eighth notes would be okay and then Phil would be early or late on his next and the time would flop. Nine and a half times out of ten the rest of the line would come in without any hiccups, almost like we had planned a small flop on purpose. We did not always flop but when we did, and it became a running joke between us, I would simply look over and say or a variation of, “dude! You have impeccable timing.” He would give me a shrug. I looked forward to the shrug, it was his thing. Anytime he ever missed a beat or a step and it was mentioned by anyone, he would shrug. He would tilt his head, put his hands up, and lift his shoulders.

It is timing that brought me to St. Jude. Without the untimely passing of this dear boy, I would not be sitting in the pew sharing a silent moment with some friends I went to school with. I had thought once, while sitting in a stuffy basketball arena waiting to walk across the stage 6 years ago, I would be okay if I never saw some of these people again. I know I was not the only one to think it. There were plenty of people who had a rough four years in high school. Worse than I had. When I think about it, I was pretty freaking blessed. I was just too stupid to realize it. What I did not expect, while I sat in the pew at St. Jude, was that I was in fact very happy to see some of these people again. To know that there were people who were some how touched by Phil, enough to bring them together, made me very happy. I know it moved mountains with the family and they were grateful for the support.

With each face I recognized came a hidden file of fond memories I was unlocking. It made me realize that I actually cannot wait to see some of my fellow HS peeps again. And it is all because of Phil. I am currently sitting at a time in my life where I struggle to find my niche. I moved back to Albuquerque, feeling extremely lost. I felt and still feel that I do not really belong here. Reconnecting with some old HS friends, even for a moment, has been very helpful, even while the circumstances are less than desirable.

I can once again say, unfortunately for the last time, “dude! You have impeccable timing.” And I know he just shrugged at me.

I will miss you very much, friend. Rest in Peace and God bless.

Here is a picture of Phil surrounded by friends on a band trip to Colorado in March of 2008. He’s the goofy one in the background throwing the thumbs up. He loved photo bombing.

Spring Band Trip to Denver, March 2008.

Spring Band Trip to Denver, March 2008.