I'm going to apologize right now because it has been so long since I last posted anything, because I've been non-stop go for the last couple of weeks, which means I have a lot to talk about! I guess I'll just start with two weekends ago and work my way to the present.
Started out Friday night with me baking away for the company picnic while my roommate was stressing out over midterms for her online classes. So, three movies later, I had two pans of cookie bars, brownies and a sugar cream pie and Sarah had about half her paper done. We both decide to call it a night and get up in the morning to finish. I went to sleep that night crossing my fingers that my pie would set up and woke up in the morning to see that it hadn't, which meant the oven came back on and the sugar, flour, blender and cream came out again! This time I didn't chicken out too early and let the filling bake just a little bit longer and it came out perfect! Although, I didn't win the bake-off with all the wives from the office, a homemade pie from scratch was a surprise coming from the intern. Overall the picnic was a success- Sarah did a great job planning it and I was the work force baking and running errands.
By the time we got home that night, Sarah still had a little bit left on her paper and I crashed hardcore! I woke up to Sarah's excitement of finishing her paper and she wanted to go out and watch the fights. Me being fully re-energized by my nap and wanting to get out of the condo agreed to go with her, even though I think that stuff is kind of lame! We go to a local sports bar, Bully's and sit outside. It was a nice evening here in Reno and we almost witnessed a fight in real life because someone thought standing in front of the only TV outside would be an appropriate and sociably acceptable thing to do. I wonder if he still thought that when a cup of ranch dressing was thrown at him? At least the crowd was keeping me entertained, but then I got really excited when a former Boilermaker stepped out on the mat and did his thing! I was pumped feeling some connection to this guy from Fort Wayne, and wanted to start a Boiler Up cheer, but then my roomie thankfully reminded me that I might not be a very convincing Purdue student in my Oklahoma University t-shirt.
Sunday I get up and go to church and the associate pastor preached a sermon entitled, "Are You Smarter Than God?" And spoke of being trusting in God's plan for your life- something I definitely need to hear over and over again until it finally sinks in! Then Sarah and I caught a matinée showing of "The Proposal." It was a great movie- definitely dvd buyable quality!
Monday I hit the road to sunny California for a dealer visit on Tuesday. It was about a 6 hour drive. The visits went well, even though I was crazy nervous for these because they were a little bit different than the other ones that I've been doing and the TM that I was meeting is a great guy, just old school and I didn't think as receptive to what I was going to be doing. But I was nervous for no reason- I was able to do my thing and help out the dealers and a few little extra things on the side. Then I had a short little drive to Oakhurst California where I would be crashing and getting up early the next morning to drive back to Reno in time to catch a plane home that afternoon!
Oakhurst was a neat little town. About 20 miles south of Yosemite National Park, it had a lot of touristy type things to do and neat restaurants. I ate too much at the Yosemite Gateway Restaurant and needed a place to walk. Now, what you are about to read might sound creepy, weird and obscure, but o-well. I actually had noticed a cute white chapel when deciding where to eat that was in the middle of a cemetery in the middle of town on a hill. So I pulled in only to find that the chapel was locked so I started walking around this cemetery and checking out the headstones. It was kind of cool to see the different quotes and sayings and then the military ones usually had their rank and when they served and all.
I was doing fine until I came across the baby rows. Two rows of headstones closely together and most of them didn't even make it a year, some of the stones only had one date on them. I noticed a stone that had a boy and girl name on it, twins born June 1987. The same month and year that I was born. Why was I standing on their grave and them not standing on mine? Why I had been given the opportunities that I have, including just to be living, and them not? It made me take a deep breath and say a quick but meaningful thank you. I just recently finished reading "The Compass" and one of the characters in that book that was dieing talks about how people feel like they are born with a sense of entitlement, with a certificate of guarantee for 100 years. These twins days, maybe weeks old, my friends from youth group- Britney and Corey teenagers and my friend John at age 22- they sure didn't get their guarantee met. Life is far to precious folks to take it for granted. Please, please remember that!
I wake up early the next morning and plotted my route through one of America's beautiful treasures- Yosemite National Park. Unfortunately I only got the opportunity to merely drive through it, but it was still beautiful just the same! I stopped occasionally to take some pictures but kept pushing through because I had a flight to catch in Reno. But ya, it was pretty tough, let me tell you to be seeing something so beautiful and getting paid for it!
Homebound! Indiana was a site for sore eyes, that's for sure. Even though I'm having all these wonderful experiences there is truly no place like home. From my parents greeting me at the nice and early time of 1 am at the airport, to my dogs jumping into bed with me and my anti-social horse lingering at the gate for me- it was so nice to be home. I planned my trip around the Henry County Fair! Yes, I flew from Reno Nevada to Anderson Indiana for a county fair! I hadn't seen some of those 4-H for two years since I missed fair last summer and I know I keep using words like awesome, wonderful and nice- but those just begin to describe what it was like to be back! 4-H meant so much to me, not only did I grow in my horsemanship skills, but I made true, genuine and sincere friendships. The kind where you don't feel bad taking down a friend in a game of full contact football in the horse arena :)
It wasn't just the 4-H love going around either, but folks at church were so glad to see me too. My "Uncle Jim" as I like to call him, literally came running across the parking lot to hug me. It had been a few years since I've seen him and the man almost burst into tears. He has had a lot of tragedy in his life, especially recently, so I think he likes to see when one of us kids has stuff going for us.
Then sadly, I had to come back Reno. I'm still trying to shake off some of the homesick blues. Even though I have no idea what I would be doing at home right now, there is just this sense that home is home and I would find something to do most likely. But, I guess I have to sacrifice somethings in order to gain all these amazing experiences that I have gotten to partake in. And I keep telling myself and my mom and dad like to remind me of it too- If I end up settling down back at home it will be my own choice. I've gone out and seen the world (literally after Ireland), and I won't be wondering when I'm 35 all the what if's if I didn't do all of this. So that justifies this crazy year of mine and I just keep trying to be patient with God's great plan with my life- even though I wish some things would hurry up. Hopefully when I go to Ireland I can be a dork again and just get so super excited about school and just let God's plan unfold in front of me! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!