Thursday, November 10, 2011

Settling or Something

So I am now officially "settled" into my new home in Sellwood, OR in SE Portland. I live in a large house with my sister Tabitha, brother-in-law Jon, and friend Chris. Every day since the 1st of November (when my dear BEEGEE's went home) has been spent unpacking, buying furniture (from the goodwill bins, or heaven on earth as some may call it), arranging, cleaning, visualizing, and watching gilmore girls. Since I have been in this house Jon's grandma has died, my best friend Brooke got engaged, I went to a Joshua James concert, and I rode up a nasty hill on my bike without stopping.
So now I am here, in the Rose City, the River City, the City of Bridges, the place I have always called "home". And I tell you, it is strange to be here. Lovely and awkard and boring and exciting and lonely and comforting. Some days I feel like the whole world is at my fingertips and I will never have enough time to explore the whole city. Other days I feel like I am right where I was when I left home at the age of 17 and all the growing I have done has somehow gotten lost somewhere in hidden void because some things never change.
And I love that I have a huge back porch and book shelf full of books I have read and still have yet to read. I have prints to frame of places that I have loved with my whole heart, and new art to find to fill the empty spaces on my sponge painted wall (although lets be honest, how many empty spaces can there really be on a wall that has been painted with a sponge?). I have a job to find. I have friends to still reunite with, and other friends yet to make. I have the rest of fall, all of winter, spring.... and dreams to realize so I can work on them becoming reality.

This is home, so I guess I am exploring my roots.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Links in a chain

The wide open road.  And here we are, cruising, hair tossing in the wind that roars through the open window as the long awaited sun soaks our skin, music blaring and we are giddy at the thought of possibility.  Life and all it's prospects and all it's crazy cats just waiting for us to drive up and greet them in unexpected embrace, throw our heads back and laugh- that first memorable moment that locks us together like links in a chain, forever apart of each others history.

Now half way through.  The road still open though curved in order to take us back to where we left, to where semi-permanent homes offer their own adventures and journeys, and aren't all home always semi-permanent?  

And now the season is in full change, each leaf on each branch holding it's own unique color with which to excitedly welcome us to each new city, welcome banners on tiny branches ceaselessly waving as we pass, "come on in and see the change that has come over this city, come and see the rawness of humanity while in it's most exposed state, as it strips off summer identities and, naked, searches for a new outfit, one warm enough to carry through winter.  And watch as each new bitter wind whips passed and tests their choices and they learn what they are made of."

And we get tired, so we pull off on the side of the road to indulge in ice cream and watch a fire works show, huddle under the rough Mexican blanket.  And we get out our instruments and strum a new tune and find rejuvenation in the laugh of a baby and the gentle touch of a child.  And once again the long road greets us, a long set of links awaiting their turn to be connected, uniting where we began with where we are now with where we will end in a seamless circle cherished people and moments. 
A life well lived amidts the constant changing of the seasons. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Walmart I am thankful today

Well we decided paying for a place in albequerque for 7 hours wasn't worth it, and we didnt want to camp because o the rain, so we parked in Walmart and spent the night in the car with security parked close by. It was nice and we had our sleeping bags.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I was in a cozy living room with some most cherished friends who had gathered in Ferndale, WA last week and we were playing a game. The game was called questions or something simple like because all you did was answer questions and guess who answered what. Silly things like what would you love to disinvent, what one thing in the bathroom could you never throw away... But the one that was most interesting asked us to sum up our lives using only one word. My answer: seasons.
For everything we do and everything we are is done in seasons. The basic weather seasons, the seasons of growing up, the seasons of friendships cycling, sports seasons, the seasons of learning and growing, of having short hair and long hair, learning to drive cars, vans, scooters or buses, seasons of being alone and seasons of being surrounded, seasons of sickness and seasons of the best health you have ever had.
Recently I finished a fourth seasons of working in Alaska and I wonder if my summer Alaska seasons are going to be finished. At this for this season in my life. If maybe all these seasons are leading me, and maybe have led me, to a place where its time to be still and stationary though never stagnant. To a season of intentional living, of family, of porch swings and traveling only to return home once again. A season of staying put for a winter and maybe even a summer.
I wonder.
After i finish my month long road trip with my friend Ericka visiting many beautiful places and beautiful people (currently in Wrightwood, CA with April, Jackson, Joel, Brad, Lexi, Jeff, Marie, and a surprise visit from Abby and Dylan..) I will return to a home in Sellwood, OR (Portland) with a room that has my name on it and a family of roommates waiting for me to begin this new season together. At home.
As we learn to travel in our Season of togetherness.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Simple Desire

We have made so many things that separate us from what once was all that we knew. Cement to cover dirt paths, text messages and cell phones to cover answering machines and answering machines to cover face to face contact, cars to cover walking, grocery stores to cover growing it ourselves, tv to cover silence, video games to cover throwing rocks and playing in dirt, reading books, cowboys and Indians. It’s the simple life I love and I desire. The more I dream about it that happier I am, the more peace I feel. It’s the connection to earth, to what my spirit was made for, that I miss and I long for and that I find in the simple things. I find it in picking flowers, playing music and singing with friends, open fire, sun peaking through the clouds, running in the rain, giggling just because you are happy and you feel it, speaking in honesty, living in log cabins by the water’s edge, cemetery’s full of lives well lived, written words, and children running barefoot through forests, along beaches, in the grass, but mostly feeling the wind on their faces and rippling through their hair.

Monday, August 1, 2011


City at night, slowing down and asleep, washed in a sprinkle of rain and darkness.
Sitting six streets up in the windowsill, listening to bright eyes, wearing my p.j.’s, and overlooking the peaceful streets of Juneau in their most vulnerable state. Closed eyes, closed windows, closed doors, heads down. A heavy sigh it gives as the lights go out even as they flicker on. Guard is down.
Night is different than the peace of the morning when the city is silently pruning itself with the first lights of day as it prepares itself to greet the early risers with sunrise, coffee, and dew covered leaves. Night is a peace of rest when the city is not expecting to be seen or to see. Deeds can be hidden, lovers can love without hindrance, depression can lead one over a bridge, travel can lead you over many hidden miles, and a person can sit and be left alone. In honesty, quiet, and in peace.
As I sit six stories up looking at Juneau in the night, I think about individuality.
Individuality. The individual that continues through each new circumstance. Like the city street that stays the same though all the faces change. One year, two years, three and now four and each different than the one before. But Juneau and I, though we have grown older and still wiser, are the same. Learning to love and care for the faces that roam our streets and walk through our doors. Realizing that closed doors can be open and even locks can be broken and some people are kind enough to wipe off their feet or take off their shoes before stepping inside. That though many have crossed the threshold, both in and out, we have survived and continue still to stand. Continuous and the same as we change.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Alaska Post

It’s been 2 months and I am still amazed and just how good “helplessness blues” is. Sunday music fest is simply a dream every week when we get together with good friends and play good music and sometimes make good brownies. Salsa dancing on Saturday nights is eye-opening, a work out, and mostly some of the best fun I have ever had. Hearing how much the staff loves our silent dance parties and dreaming about them all joining our next one makes me giddy. What if the whole town joined? Putting photos on the wall makes me feel at home. Lying on our lawn chairs on the “roof” while we read and write and listen to bright eyes is the epitome of perfection. The simple improvements every day in my climbing and the few times I can actually take some time away from life and go on a run are invigorating. Sitting in a circle in the couches in the lobby or the chairs in the kitchen and sharing ideas about school, marriage, and tears (group therapy) brings us so much closer and makes relationships so much more important. And getting my guests to share the corniest jokes they can think of while getting off my bus at the glacier leads to not only the most fun I have ever had on tour but the creation of the well wishing phrase: “I hope that you have such a whale of a time that it really seals the deal and you can bearly believe it! Juneau what? You otter come back next year!” And while NPR shares its music and I enjoy scooter rides with almost all my friends I think about how different, yet again, this summer is. And more importantly I find that it’s the little unique things that permeate the seams of my daily life which are setting the stage for my Alaskan dream, for the dream which I am living, the dream which will always be living inside me whether in Alaska or not. It’s taking advantage of every day, learning to love, really love, every person, and not neglecting the beauty that is constantly around you, even when you see it every day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Familiar Corners

Familiar corners
Open windows
Red. Green. Yellow
Stop. Go. Continue and roam
But I sit still
that goes by and by
not once looking
at my open window
where i am invisibly transparent
but solid
as stone
eyes gleaming and streaming
the coming and going
of the city with the lettered streets coffee
and the short red walk way
that also sits on the corner
watching and waiting
for you
who miss the birds diving and soaring
the dogs laying and napping
the buses picking up and dropping
the sun rising and setting
over the bay
and the open sign that welcomes the community of those who do
those you may never know
in your speeding and swerving
typing and talking
running and lifting
sleeping and walking
and starting all over again
For they sit alone
drinking and smelling
writing and listening
smiling and observing
the coming and going
of you
while they learn what it means to learn
to taste
to smell
to breath
and to be


today after church some people played basketball. some new kid was there who i had never met before and when he found out i wasn't going to play he looked at me and asked, "are you handicapped?"

"well, no. but thanks for asking" was my response.

Friday, May 13, 2011

As We Silently Dance

It has been almost two weeks and already we are settled in nicely. Ericka and I are roommates in a hotel bedroom on a floor with many other drivers. We enjoy scooting to work when able and walking when not, watching episodes of modern family before bed, eating breakfast upstairs in the kitchen, playing music and sharing life with the boys “upstairs”, and of course telling the tales of Juneau from tourists from around the world.
Today was a wonder. What started as a regular rainy day off (though days off are more irregular than regular) turned into having one of the top ten experiences of life, probably. Had breakfast in the kitchen, went for a 7 ½ mile run in Juneau, ate lunch at the Hanger (yes please and thank you for grilled halibut burgers), napped, and then participated in the experience of a life time. Silent Dance Party.
What is a silent dance party you may ask? I am here to tell you. Someone makes a play list and everyone puts in on their I-pods. Then, at exactly the same time, the whole group plugs in their headphones and presses play. The dancing commences. Today the party was in celebration of the birth of our good friend Dan, so he was appointed the “pied piper” and led us through the halls and stairs of our hotel, out the lobby, down the streets, passed the doors of establishments slowly filling with curious onlookers, some with camera’s, all the way to marine park where the party peaked and finally commenced. Photos were snapped, video was taken, sweat was poured, and energy exerted. Everyone partied in their own little worlds yet out in the open for the whole world to see.
When compared to other things I have experienced, it definitely takes a front seat.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

And Another Return, Again

And another return,
And again,
To a place once a stranger and now a best friend. Even as best friends are forever the same, comfortable and ageless but are also contradictorily strangers with many hidden parts we may never know, and always changing though they stay the same.

Familiarity. As though I never left. And yet the changes that have overtaken this town prove to me that for at least a moment I did leave and in my absence we have both continued our lives and are hence different. And like friends separated for a distance I am anxious to dive into the space between us and unveil the new things that lay hidden in the void, to catch up on what has happened since we last spoke, since we last sat across from each other, or walked in step, allowing time to slowly pass between us and through us leaving not a second to scatter in the wind, even as the wind is noted and appreciated for its place here beside the rhythm of our feet.

And as all memories are only a collaboration of moments imbedded imperfectly by a hopeful and imaginative mind, so this town, so vivid in my recollections whenever I call upon it, is in fact also slightly obscured when compared with such previous musing. Even more so difficult to comprehend is the comparison of reality with the vividness of memory, to take the leap outside one’s mind and into the present, remembering that you are here now and every action taken and not taken you are responsible for, with no going back for do-overs, a choose your own adventure without alternate endings. And that those choices have never before taken place for you in reality, that as much as you have remembered and imagined the days to come will be unmistakably diverse from all things conjured.

And even as much as this town is a continuation of a previous collaboration of moments now made memories it is in itself a new beginning. As each moment is. As each journey and each day and each friendship is. A beginning deserving itself of a clean slate, its own personal tabula rosa even as it may be a black page in a bulging book with writing in the margins. And so I vow to take note of every new rhythmic step as it regularly hits the ground, taking none for granted as with the sunrise every morning, realizing each time it is a gift and not promised to us, and I will feel every breeze as it scuttles around me and dear friend as we continue to know each other here and now, in the present.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Headed North

Once again I find myself speeding away on a train, gliding gracefully along carefully laid tracks purposefully positioned, or so I lime to think, beside the most beautiful route between here and there.  It's just me, my pack, my scattered thoughts, and those other travelers who also chose to go rather than stay.  
I can't help but think how often I have been in such a situation with just me, my pack and strangers connected in silent suspended moments of our lives.  Each of us in our own point along individual journeys, but for a few hours those points are the same, contained in the 7th car of a twelve car train headed north.  The same sun beats on us through the window, the same puget sound lays idle in the window, the same snore of a sleeper floats in the air, an opportunity to be heard by all who have left the openings to their ear canals unrestricted.  And although I haven't any plans to speak to any ears, open or not, I know that I am connected with these people we form each others journey.  I am a part of their experience just as much as they are a part of mine.  And though we sit silent and pacific we have something in common, going north.  
And I wonder why it is that my main community constantly consists of such strangers.  Why it is I surround myself with them as I am carried to and from friends and family.  Why it is my friends and family are constantly asking "where are you now?" or "where are you headed?" my moves so frequent they cannot catch up.  "I don't know what comes next" I want to say.  "Ask the woman reading post secrets on her lap top next to me or the couple across the aisle who has been traveling all the way from Los Angeles.  This is where life has brought us and who are we to know where it will take us tomorrow.  Whether this time we stay home, get to be accompanied by a friend, a love, a  similar soul, or get called, once again out on our own to be involved in the lives of those yet unknown to us, potential family.  We know we are here now.  We may know where we would like to be tomorrow or in a year, but above that we know that our lives are a complicated web pelt events and points of view that do not belong to us.  How are we to know where the builders have laid the end of these tracks?  We just know that, for now, we have to ride.  And today, we are headed north."

Friday, April 1, 2011

A day in my life

Yesterday provides a great example of a typical day in my life and why I am jealous of myself...

I slept in till 10 and listened to an hour of "The Geurnsy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" on cd before going down to the kitchen and making myself a breakfast of cut up bananas and strawberries on te side of mixed veggies and ground turkey flavoured with cumin. I ate this in my kitchen overlooking the blue Bellingham bay with a scattered cloudy sky.
After resolving a trip to fairhaven was a good way to spend the day I got dressed, sat on the front steps of my house for about 15 minutes soaking up the rare sun and noticing the signs of springs: slowing growing leaves on trees, flies jumping from bush to bush and lady bugs crawling on the ground.
I proceeded to the purple moped I am borrowing, fired her up and scooted a couple miles down the road to fairhaved. My points of interest this trip were village books (I bought used copies of "out of america" and "her fearful symmetry" after purusing all the shelves for about an hour. I can't help myself. I went next door to the paper store and bought a couple presents for family members. Then I took myself to the colophon cafe for lunch where I sat and watched the passers by outside as they reacted to the statue of a man sitting on a bench- one fellow stuck his gum up his nose.. I then walked to the library to finish a CPR and first aid class online and went back to my scooter passing a group of 3 guys getting on their motorcycles that were parked next to me. O walked ny and said, "nice bikes" they grinned , pleased, said "thanks" and proceeded to look astonished as I walked to the parking space right next to them and proceeded to put on my helmet and put my new purchases in the basket. With a grin and a "have fun" overt shoulder Made my way back home.
There I spent half an hour watching the sun slowly set on my porch as I journaled for about half an hour before taking myself on a 3 mile run Which i once again finished by watching the sun set on my deck. After showering I sat in my overstuffed armchair and finished the book on cd while eating a small dinner and looking at my recently finished paintings. I concluded the evening with the first two hours of a documentary on the kennedy's and was asleep by 1 where I continued to adventure in my dreams.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

To grandpa busch

My dad told me that my grandpa prints off my blog entries and keeps them in a binder. If that is so, hello grandpa, thank you for your dedication, I love you and I look forward to seeing you next weekend!!!! Glad to hear you are feeling better!! You are in my prayers. And j love the photo of you and grandma you sent us each for christmas, it's on my desk. You two are so cuties!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New memories and old memories

The air changed today.  What yesterday was sharp and biting today is thick and dwelling.  Spring has sprung.  And the more I scoot around, hike up and run down the more I treasure the people and place of where I have been and the moments we have shared.  Scooting down my street reminds me of walks taken with sisters in portland.  Going out chuckanut dr and hiking pine and cedar lakes reminds me of peaceful Alaskan evenings spent with community so dear they are like family, sitting on my front steps brings back afternoons spent with the girls in Oklahoma laying on blankets in the grass reading and laughing.  While going out on the back porch is mirror to sitting on this same porch sharing food and drink with friends at the sunset before my last journey north, and driving past the country houses and farms on old samish Rd brings back the winding roads of north carolina and those suspended moments of time we spent there that will remain unscathed forever in our memories.  For even though I am spending these new moments alone I can never be fully alone when each new coffee shop brings me back to afternoons and evenings at crema, cuppies and Joe, starbucks on the corner of bryant and memorial, the only bakery on the only main road in town, a famous bagel place in town or waffle co out the road, a chocolate and waffle shop in brugge or a kaffeehaus in vienna.  The people I have lived my life with are never gone from me.  Trapped in my memories they shape the way I experience new things and how I capture the new things in life.  And while I am able to take new things for what they are they become more special to me because of the feelings they elicit from good times past. My life is a continuing compilation of the people and places who have shared themselves with me. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Books I've Read

My life is mostly peaceful.  As i have said i spend a lot of time reading.  I have read a variety of books recently and thought i would share them. 

"extremely loud and incredibly close" by jonathan safran foer.  This was a second read for me and is my favorite book of all time, I recommend it for everyone.

"the life of pi" by yann martel which was gifted to me by a friend just before my trip to Europe.  I read this book while traveling on planes and buses and laying awake in hostels.  An interesting adventure story with a twist on perception and dealing with our actions.

"Edgar sawtelle" by David wroblewski, at first a beautiful book that turns tragedy and takes up way too much time before finally getting there.  I am sure you can squeeze good things out of it, but I was just angry when I was finished. 

"the time travelers wife" by Audrey niffenegger, a beautiful and heartbreaking love story that also ends sadly.  The writing is delicate and I couldn't put the book down.

Harry potter 1-5, I am currently on #6.  I started last night and am on page 120 already, so that speaks for itself.

"the shipping news" by Annie proulx was my most recent read, one I spent a whole dedicated day in my over stuffed armchair to.  The writing in this book about learning to love again is, like a teller told my friend ben, like butter oozing from her pen.  Every sentence has its own intention apart from the story as a whole, but is also essential to fully comprehend the magnitude of what is happening.  I am excited to read more books by this author.

I have also been reading poems by wendell berry and short stories by David sedaris and Leo Tolstoy.  Any suggestions are more than welcome!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I envy fisherman for their strong stomaches and beautiful scenery.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Another Blogging Attempt

Ok ok so I know I have great ambitions of being a great blogger and keeping all you friends and family informed and happy, but it often fizzles out to nothing. But I have done it before and succeeded. And yea, while i WAS getting paid for it, it still worked, so I know the potential exists and I plan to go after it one more time.

First to tackle the constant question of "where are you now", a fair question every time brought on by my own constant moving; I am residing in Bellingham, Wa.
For what? To go through Holland America Princess' cdl training program. (I am learning to drive big buses)
For how long? My training ends sometime in April, towards the end.
What next? I will be heading to Juneau, Ak once more, this time to drive tourists around in buses and tell them bits of history and cheesy local jokes. It may be my last time to go for the summer, though I say that every year, the call to the north is strong and the air is pure and the water just as luring as to a fisherman. But the call for community and family is now equally as strong. And people are beginning to return home.

So, what else am I doing now? I just moved into a postcard house on a puzzle box worthy street. I have unpacked my bags (finally, after living out of them for 5 months) and put things neatly away in drawers, desks and closets. I spend my time reading books, practicing piano, watching Gilmore girls, running, going to coffee shops and trying the brews on the town while borrowing their graciously offered wifi. I moved an overstuffed arm chair into my room that I spend a lot of time reading, thinking, and listening in, and I have a cute little desk right under my window to the bay where I spend my time writing. My goal is to be still, be alone, replenish, and learn the things one can only learn in silence, stillness and by being alone.

Another blogging attempt