Just sat down at my local watering hole to catch the last of the NFL games on this weekend. And I gotta tell ya, I still think that PBR is the unsung hero of beers. Cold draft goes down tasting just a little better than water. Ah! Good stuff after a great weekend of camping with my wife in honor of our glorious mother, Earth.
It’s hard to believe that we have been in
I guess I’ll catch you up form the beginning, but I do want to try and keep these to a briefer length. (Yes, I can hear some of you cheering already...). We spent this past month looking for things – sleep, friends, jobs, fun.
Finding a new bed was so much fun. I can’t think of any other shopping experience where you are expected to lay down for long periods of time frequently. Whether it was the running jump onto the bed, the vigorous ‘test’ bouncing or attempting to get out of bed w/o disturbing the other, bed shopping was like going to the toy store. And shopping for beds is just like shopping for shoes, how can you possibly find the right one wittout trying it on first? So internet deals were out. Our ideal bed was a totally green engineered 100% latex/cotton/wool mattress but if those beds are less than 1500$, I don’t know where. So with our very limited budget, we settled on getting a nice Sealy now (It sleeps great no matter what’s it’s made of!), knowing that as soon as we can, we’ll move it to the guest room and enjoy our nice future green sleep.
Being new to a town, we were also looking for friends. For me, those aren’t too hard to come by. As you all know I’m friendly and trusting…to a fault (anyone remember my
I am a huge fan of Craigslist by the way. Anything and everyone you are looking for is out there. Whether you are selling (or looking for) a pair of used snowboarding boots, looking for (or offering) a job, looking for activity partners, got a cool new website to share with folks, want to call a protest rally against tasering University of Florida students (I gotta get “Don’t tase me, bro” on a t-shirt fast!)…it’s all there on Craigslist.
Continuing the tangent for a second, have you seen those eBay commercials recently? There’s two that I really like – one is a group of random people running around a race track after a vintage radio with this cowboy like dude finally winning (after the black guy pulls up gimpy at the last minute) and then the next shot is of the cowboy dude with the vintage radio in his fully vintage kitchen. The other one I like is a bunch of random folks on a fox hunt and they are all on horses chasing what looks like a fox but is really a metal lunchbox. The box goes hiding in logs and crosses creeks, etc to elude the horses and hounds but finally this one lady reaches in and hoist it aloft in victory. Very funny, very smart. Being a child of the television generation, you have to look for intrigue where you can find it.
Our main vein for friends is our friends who already live here. They have all been wonderful in introducing us to new folks and including us in activities. Our thanks go out to them for all their support and love! And as I was just saying to
Next order of business is finding some business, i.e. a job! Apparently, this was no problem for
What am I doing? Well, that took a little more time to figure out than I thought it would. Of course, I had a much, much shorter time frame to find a job than most of friends who have lived here and sought jobs had. Everyone I talked to said, “Give it a month”. So, what did I do? I waited until week 2, not 1, without a job to start getting pretty anxious. Not to worry my faithful few, for I have prevailed! I talked myself into a job at Mercy Corps, another large international relief and development organization like
The job is 30 hours a week and pays fairly well. This flexibility gives me the time to focus on my school, which I start tomorrow. Crazy! I begin my pre-requisites for nursing school tomorrow. Yikes! My schedule is M, T, TH at night. I’ve got my days and W, F nights to do my thing. That will mostly consist of homework and studying but I hope there’s still room for camping weekends and the occasional concert. All work and no play makes
Finding the fun is, as usual, fun.
There’s also the creative spirit of
And another difference b/t here and
Let me explain…
Chief is a dog, a dog that we found on our drive up to this place in the woods,
We get to the campground and he gets out. We warn the other campers that here’s this dog we picked up. He’s not mean but he may growl so best not to approach. Many of them said, “Oh yeah. We saw that dog but we didn’t stop”. We look around, no signs. We set up camp (the lake is gorgeous by the way). He sticks around. We eat some lunch and give him some, again he gobbles it up. We then decide to go for a hike and agree that if he comes cool, if he doesn’t cool too. Well, he tags along and slows us down but that’s ok because it’s really nice to hike with a canine companion. Chief seemed content to be with us but he wasn’t too attached either. We were forming a weary friendship, a hesitant but blooming trust. It was quite the wondrous challenge earning the respect and trust of a furry creature that can’t speak, is mostly deaf and is a total stranger to you. We had our hands happily full with this task!
The hike was mellow and took us from
Our hearts were filled with immediate joy and relief. YES! We have found his mom. YES! We did the right thing. YES! We almost ran back the rest of the way to our camp and Leigh took Chief into the car and drove out until she got a signal on her cell phone (which as shockingly 35 miles down the road…good thing we didn’t need an emergency team, etc). Disappointingly, she only got her answering machine but left a message anyway telling her where we were, etc. While she was gone, I was watching the sun and clouds battle it out for supremacy of the sky and just feeling in my soul that not only did we do the right thing picking up this homeless dog but feeling that our decision to move here to Portland was the right one too. Strangely, after telling
The sun was going down by the time they got back and it was time for dinner: a veritable feast in the woods – Masaman Thai Curry with brown rice. Shared 3 ways of course. When was the last time this dog had any food much less free range organic chicken with cashews and avocados? Reminds me of the time when I lost my dog in Montana for over a day and eventually found him with a couple old ladies who had been feeding him steak! Anyway, after dinner we had a short session of watching the moon and clouds dance across the lake’s surface but it was getting cold and the temperature was continuing to drop. So with some coaxing and a lot of cussing we got Chief into the tent (a stubborn, crotchety boy as most old men get to be) and we all then settled down for a nice warm, if cramped, sleep. We didn’t get very far down that sleep road as only 40 minutes or so after we closed our eyes, and we were well into that state of non-awareness that happens as you drift deeper into sleep but you are still aware of sounds and things happening around you; we hear two girls whispering right outside our tent. Finally one of them, in a very loud whisper, “
It was Summer (Chief’s mom)! She had come for her dog! (insert triumphant trumpet music here). There was great joy and relief at the reunion (inside our tent). Summer had had Chief since she was 13 and he had wandered off while camping with some of her friends two weekends ago. She had come up to look for him but had to give up the search and eventually give him up for gone too because it had been so long and no spottings. How just heart wrenching awful! The really funny thing is Summer said that she was thinking about Chief really hard today and just knew he wasn’t dead yet but couldn’t figure out how to find him…and then just a couple hours later she got Leigh’s message. So she wasted no time getting herself to our campsite to retrieve her long though lost friend. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. What a story huh?
YAY FOR HAPPY ENDINGS!!!!
So that’s it for now. I have to get to bed. Tonight’s a school night for me. Whoa, when was the last time I could say that? Eek!
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