Friday, September 12, 2008

Sorry It Has Been So Long

Well, as you may know, I am now back in Oklahoma attending school for my junior year. Sorry I wasn't better at keeping up with my blog while I was in Juneau. I will high light some of the important things:
-I worked at a zipline company and it was fun.
-I had bears on my street quite often, but I survived.:)
-I saw a lot of whales and I even saw them bubble net feeding!!! If you don't know what that is, google it, its amazing!
-I spent the whole summer with my sister Tabitha and her husband. I miss them!
-I wasn't able to attend church while I was there (very much) since I worked on Sundays and the church was far anyway and I didn't have a car. But in this I was forced to grow and I relearned what it means to LIVE out your faith. Without the crutch of a church to lean upon to make one feel like the life they are living is fine, one must choose to either ignore their meaningless life or to take action and boldy live out their faith! Everyone that I was surrounded by (well, most of them) were not christians, but knew that I was. Many asked me questions and I answered honestly, I became a living, real, example of what and who a TRUE christian is and should look like. I redefined my own skewed vision of what that looks like as well. I also learned to love the person despite the sin, to truly truly love.
-I flew on a helicopter and landed on a glacier, walked around a little.
-I hiked a LOT!
-A friend I went to Europe with came on a cruise and I got to spend the day with him.
-I got hit on by a LOT of homeless men! A LOT!
-I cooked for myself a lot.
-I made friendships that will undoubtably last a lifetime!
-I became interested in politics and bought a canvass bag to take to the grociery store instead of always using plastic bags.
-I started drinking rice milk.
-I was the victim of a break in and entering and had a lot of things stolen. Through this I realized all the more what little value the items in my possession have to my overall goals in life. How little I actually need THINGS for survival and entertainment.
-I read a LOT of books. I still am.
-I walked a LOT!
-I flew on a float plane.
-I ate fresh fish.
-I watched the Olympics like a fanatic.
-I saw "Mama Mia" for the first time.
-I got rained on.
-I had the time of my life and I believe I will be forever changed from it. I learned a lot about life, about the human nature, about the Lord and about Love. I learned about myself and how to value others. I learned to separate work from home life. I learned to take time to myself every now and then. I learned about some new music. I learned how to stand up for my own beliefs without pushing them down the throats of the unwilling and how to talk sensibly with those who were questioning. I learned to challenge myself to seek the answers from where they are most likely to be found. I learned to appreciate the here and now and to not always wish for something else. I learned to live and live is what I did.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Part of Me

I have been living quite a frenzy of activities lately. My roommate Angie and I got to ride in a Helicopter up to the glacier and walk around up there. A couple days later a couple of us girls went out to the shrine of St. Therese, which may possibly be the most beautiful place on earth, ate pints of Ben and Jerry's for dinner and watched the whales blow their snouts. A couple days after that we woke up to someone in our house, called the cops, and never found the guy. However, when we came upstairs we did notice that Travis' wallet, Angie's camera, my wallet, camera, lap top, journal from Italy and a favorite necklace of mine we all gone. We have yet to find any trace of them anywhere.

And through it all I am still convinced that I am in the right place at the right time. I haven't been able to attend church very much since my job conflicts with it usually. Also, I work with many people, even live with some, who are not Christian. I meet hundreds of people every day. Since I don't have the doors of the church to hide behind to make me feel like I am being a "good" Christian, I am forced to LIVE my faith. Every day I have to figure out what I believe and I talk about it with people who may not know yet where they stand. I am not on some sort of "mission trip" as some are whom I have met here, they stop people on the side of the road and conduct surveys, they work with churches. I am just living the life of a Christian, as I should EVERY DAY of my life. I am not saying that I am "better" than them in any way, but I have done those mission trip things and then I have gone home and lived my life the same as I did before thinking, "well, I have done my sharing for the year, next summer I will share some more." I am instead learning how to incorporate sharing into my every day life; I am sure to live a good example for I know that many many eyes are watching me to see what a "Christian" life is like. I am making relationships with people and I hope that they can see a difference in me.

And yes, I am enjoying my life here- all my fun adventures have been perfect. I love my "family" of house mates and I am glad we stick together when the unpleasant things of life intrude upon our happy dwelling. We remain a family through it all and we continue to see and enjoy the good things of life and place that we have found ourselves in at this moment: Alaska and all it entails.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My life consists of...

My stay in Juneau, Alaska has definitely had its unique and defining characteristics. For one, right before I got here an avalanche destroyed most of one of the cities power plants or where ever they get their power from, and we are now running on diesel, so there has been some serious power saving action happening. Our dryer puts holes in our clothes anyway, so whenever we do laundry we lay stuff all over our rooms and bathrooms to dry.Juneau is actually quite a rainy and foggy town so I get cold a lot when I work, but I still love my job. I just haven’t had a chance to go hiking or anything yet.I like to walk around town a lot, it’s really pretty. It’s funny because during the day the town is such a touristy place, but then at night when they all leave it becomes just your regular small town again-only tucked between a bunch of snowy mountains and a channel from the ocean.The boys in my house aren't your typical boys; they like to play 4 hour games of chess. We prefer it stay that way.Most shops and restaurants close at 6pm, so Kayla and I don’t really have any where to go in the evenings since all that is open are the bars. But we try and make our own fun. We like to go on walks around town, take lots of pictures, and when we get our first pay check, perhaps we will go to some restaurants.There is a "homeless" man that sits in a wheelchair on the main street every day and asks for money. However, many a time I have seen him on his cell phone, in a taxi, and walking. I know that the whole town must see it too because it’s a small town.

Whenever we go grocery shopping we either go to the one in town and carry our bags all across town, or we take the bus 45 minutes to the valley and shop at wall-mart (L) or Fred Meyers (J) and then carry $50 worth of groceries on the bus and then through town once again.

Today during work a homeless man started talking to me while I was trying to depart a tour and was asking if I really got paid to hold a sign and talk to people.

I get hit on by old men ALL the time!!!!

One of our favorite passed times is to either sit in our living room in the “carpeted area” or go bowling.

I went to church (finally) and, wouldn’t you know it, there is someone here that knows my family! A Hinds even- they are everywhere!!

I see bald eagles at least 2 or 3 times a week. Last night I watched one swoop down on the water to catch some food.

Watching the cruise ships leave at night has become a hobby, and on nice nights I like to go out and sit on the dock. The lights on the water are beautiful!

Kayla and I really enjoy to watch some Gilmore Girls if we need a time filler.

People continue to keep randomly coming over, but we are getting to know them better now. We had a lot of group dinners with some guitar accompaniment almost as a must.

I still miss my family and even my home church; it has something really going for it that a lot of churches are missing.

Friday, May 2, 2008

bears on stairs 2

also we have been told that soon, when the bears wake up, that since our house is on a big mountain, they may be on our stairs when we get home from work or wake up in the morning.

bears on stairs

i am working in Alaska this summer, in Juneau. it has been so fabulous so far! i have only been here for 5 days but it seems like a year already. i get along great with all my housemates so far and everyday is an adventure.
there is kayla, who came with me from school. we met in the seattle airport where we had the same connecting flight to alaska. so far it has been her first plane ride, bus ride, zip line, living outside of the texas/oklahoma area, and perhaps seeing mountains of such a sort. also boat ride i think.
there is angie, who went to OC too actually, but she graduated quite before my time. she is 28. she is super fun and we both love a fine frenzy and ingrid michaelson- kindrid spirits we call her. she is a dock rep like myself and so we go to work together in the mornings and are currently practicing mock trials of our speal that we will give for work.
morris (technically jeremy morris, but he just goes by morris) is also 28 and formerly from tenessee, but he recently lived 4 years in hawaii and then traveled for 4 months in central america. he was a biology major and recently got a big box of books from his library about animals in north america. he also just became the proud owner of a free station wagon that only holds 2 gallons of gas at a time. so when he got it we went on a "family excursion" to fred meyers (which they have in ALASKA!!!), and it was quite the adventure. he eats a lot of natural boxed indian food and has beautiful blue eyes.
travis is from texas through and through. he is 24 and was a philosophy major, enjoys playing the guitar and drinking bear. also world of warcraft occupies a lot of his free time, that is when he is not zipping, hiking, buying bear, or listening to music on our new speakers. he is really funny and is now the proud owner of an 18 pack of corn dogs and huge box of macaroni.

we all like to swap books, have dance parties in our kitchen, random deep conversations about religion, panting when we get up our 141 stairs to our house, doing the dishes in our dish washer and sharing our food. we often share youtube videos and sit around together in our living room, spending only enough time in our rooms to sleep and get ready for the day. our jobs are great and we all enjoy them. people are constantly popping into our home and i dont even know any of them, but i enjoy their random visits. we like it here in alaska.

Friday, April 18, 2008

things from a book

“I see no enemy to a fortunate issue but in the brow; and that brow professes to say- ‘I can live alone, if self-respect and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered at a price I cannot afford to give.’ The forehead declares, ‘Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, and they are; but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision. Strong wind, earthquake-shock, and fire may pass by; but I shall follow the guiding of that still small voice which interprets the dictates of conscience.’”
~Jane Eyre

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

here i am wishing

I am laying on my floor studying monotonously for a psychology test I have at 8 in the morning, and my roommate is just feet from me on speakerphone with her best friend buying tickets to return to Ireland this summer (she went last summer)...
i find myself wishing i could do the same....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Give and Take

Every week, for one of my classes, I get to spend an hour hanging out with an older lady that lives in a retirement center near by. I call her "my old lady", and I really like her. She smells like maple syrrup, has one eye that goes off to the side, is full of smiles, and always ready to talk with me openly and honestly.
I am supposed to ask her questions related to our class, so classes about aging and the things that come with it, and at the end of the semester I am supposed to write a paper about it. I am so thankful for this class or else I would have never met my old lady. We talk for an hour and I jot down the things that she says, trying my best to preserve the wisdom and experiences that may die once she does if no one is careful about collecting them. And every time we are done I slowly walk back to my room pondering over some bit of subject that she has shed her unique light on.
Today I didn't really have anything planned, so on my way over I jotted down a few ideas in my notebook. I thought about how old she is, 82, and how so many of her friends and family must have passed on before her- I asked her how she copes with that. When my words fell upon warm air that filled her house she paused for a second, gazed off for a bit and finally said, "I think I am getting hard."
Closing up to feeling and not allowing people to get close- do we all do that or is this something only my old lady and I understand? Why do we fear pain so much? Why do we feel that everyone will only end up letting us down- that is if we give them chance to even try? Why do we choose to silently suffer and put on a face for everyone else? And why is pain such a horrible thing? Don't we learn from it? But it's nice to be happy- to brush it off like we aren't affected. And what is wrong with that? Why can't we hold every one at arms length? We are happy then at least aren't we?...or are we?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Gone Missing

My life is a smorgasbord of activities lately. I have a lot more homework than I have done in the last 9 months of my life, and it has been interesting getting back in the swing of things. I have spring sing practice quite often, but every week practices are at different times, days, and locations. Every Friday I have my house cleaning job, and scattered throughout my week I will occasionally babysit or have my leisurely activities. But here is what really gets me, my work study job. It is the easiest job you could ask for. I am a receptionist and all I do is sit at a desk and do homework. Sometimes I have to hand out keys or vacuums to girls who are desperate for my services, but mostly I remain unbothered and quite productive. My times during the week are set, unless we have to switch in the invasive spring sing practice gets in the way of our already routinely schedules lives. This mess in my routine equals a mess in my head and I get confused about the hours I switch….just one more thing to keep track of. Every other weekend I work at this desk and I sign up for my hours. I am usually quite good about keeping track of work and being faithful to my duties, always on time, the person everyone can count on… This week however, with three tests, an average of 4 hours of sleep a night, a couple of spring sing practices including a lock-in, and a lot of switching hours, I have already been late and/or skipped work twice!!!!! I don’t know where my head has gone, but I feel as though this week I have gone missing.