Thursday, October 29, 2009


My bedroom is pungent with the smell of the "pumpkin Carnival" candle flickering on Kristin's beautiful dresser. Hazelnut lingers in the kitchen , the scents colliding somewhere in the living room. My second load of laundry for the night (and month) tosses around in the dryer.
Emily and I seem to be one futon pad short of a bonafide furnished home. How strange. Looking around, everything still seems to be Kristin's... just hanging out at my house... but I imagine sometime when I'm wearing freshly laundered clothes and serving Dacia breakfast off the kitchen table it'll start to feel part mine too. She's headed to Alaska Friday, with her Dad, and fresh perspective on M.O.T.H. (matters of the heart, that is).
My first weekend on Idaho St Dacia bussed up from Butte and we camped out- with nothing- on the living room floor. The next weekend I ran away to British Columbia. This "weekend" aka being off Tuesday and Wednesday have proven very domestic - took my first bath in the new place, cleaned, acquired furniture, paid all the bills, even hooked up a washer and dryer - much of that with help from friends.
Dacia's headed up again for Halloween Festivities =D Perrrrffeeeccctttt. I'm almost done with my outfit- Princess Lolly from the game Candyland.
Emily and I made a deal - October is for moving in and getting settled - November is for getting established. She reminded me tonight I have to get serious about my freelancing in the month to come.
I've recently picked up an old college habit- checking music out from the library. My freshman year at Emory & Henry I consumed music, I seem to be easily falling back to that- which brightens my day - lately almost every CD I skip home with is bluegrass - what can I say ? Appalachian at heart - always. But Low sent me some new tunes, and Jeremiah Johnson intends to (as soon as he unpacks some of his moving boxes).
And so it is- this wandering girl is stretching some roots...
November should be a pivotal month. My Mom told me tonight a 25th birthday is my biggest age milestone until 50. I guess I hadn't thought of it like that, I'm a bit more freaked out for 30. BUT if it must be a big deal... here I am, an accomplished long distance hiker and far reaching dreamer. I still have many more dreams to work towards- but I feel good about all my years. I hope my Grandma would be proud of me. November is a month for her, and me, and Thanksgiving, and family. Hard to say what I'll do for my favorite holiday this year, but I'm working that super important 25th birthday =/ Hahaha. Guess that's what you get for growing up - selling Patagonia clothes at the mall on Black Friday.
But for now, there are soft places to lay, elevated spots to sit, and cozy smells all around. One day at a time- and these days are for Pumpkins =)

Monday, October 19, 2009

past, present, future

I know it may be strange, but ever since the AT I often think "what was I doing this day, a year ago". Maybe it helps me stay grounded, and feel roots I often forget in this life of motion and vast geography the past few years. It's amazing- what we can make of life. I wonder how many others' realize this? I wonder if I fully appreciate it.

Journal Entries

"10/17/08 Standing Indian Shelter NC 9pm 'Do not look back and ask 'why?' look forward and ask 'why not?' ~Dark Chocolate Dove Wrapper ..."

"10/19/08 Rock Gap Shelter 32degrees 9am Jim aka Paul with Bunyans has been talking my ear off since I rolled in @ 8:45 last night - near running thru the dark woods singing to keep bears away. Started in my down jacket and rain pants - in my long underwear by the fire at the end of it. When night hiking a headlamp and a fire are two of the most welcoming sights imaginable..."

"10/20/08 Wayah Shelter 38 degrees 8am Glimpses of mountains and valleys thru the fall foliage are beautiful- the sun rose lovely today- and as I'm on a mountainside I can see deep golden rays - hopeful- instead of tucked in the heart of mountain hollers. 2 SOBOs Gabe and Energizer Bunny have left. EB was one of the first SOBOs I saw in Sage's Ravine CT/MA border. He was with 3 guys, they all quit. D.P. showed up- I didn't think I'd see him after Albert Mountain dinner the other night- nice for familiar company but I'm still not comfortable with him. Yesterday morning was lovely. I hiked fast with water views, some uphills but a lot of down, feeling good @ road to Franklin. Pushed up faster further than I should before lunch. Felt tired drained and defeated the rest of the day. Called Birdbath and Hot Cheese from a sunny field by a dirt road and found I wanted to cry. After a long lunch got up and to Wayah Bald- One of my favorite spots on the trail so far. Because the sky was blue and brilliant from the stone tower I could see Standing Indian, Albert Mtn - other side I could see the Smokey's Clingman's Dome. Exciting and daunting. Reminded me of the first view of the Whites from Greylock, but no Ryan to lure me forward. No more damn boys. Just this trip, this girl, make it or break it"

I haven't been writing much in my journal since my days of walking have shifted to driving and the travel across a space has hastened exponentially. I wrote a couple weeks ago while in Fernie. Sharing these entries makes me realize I should pick it up regularly again.

So... what am I up to in 2009?

I was off Saturday and Sunday this weekend (a rare occurrence for me to have 2 weekend days off in a row). Friday night I holed up with Emily and the dogs, cozy in our blankets on the living room carpet and watch One Hour Photo. Decent movie- but the major impression it had on me - was how much I miss my Dad. Ever since I was in middle school he's been a movie junkie - frequently coming home from the Pharmacy with 4 movies at a time. They were rarely movies I WANTED to watch, despite that and my high school homework and fatigue from running practice I'd stay up and watch with him anyway. While I was hiking Geronimo filled in as movie watching couch buddy with my Dad.

Saturday I spent the morning with Hillary hanging downtown at the markets and shopping for pieces for our Halloween getups. Princess Lolli of Candyland for me, and Miss Piggy with the swine flu for Hillary. The highlight of my afternoon was a long catch up phone session with my older sister. And in the evening Hillary and her boyfriend invited me to an Octoberfest party with Monte and Elvis. The party was outside of town through farm fields, and a quick walk down a tiki torch lit path over a creek, through the woods, to a bon fire with bluegrass musicians and just enough people.

Sunday I popped some cinnamon rolls in the oven while Emily and I slipped on dresses and cowboy boots for church. She kept making cracks about "Our Sunday's Best" and after a tasty morning we found ourselves clapping and praying in the pews of First Presbyterian Church (my first time back since college). A few of folks I went to bible study with are kickin around - one has a child now, and there's a new River Runs Through It memorial our front. There was a lot of talk of fly fishing, rivers, and Philippians - "Life is Christ". We came home, had a family photo shoot with the porch rail as our tripod and those squirrely dogs. Eventually heading out to Blue Mountain to climb a small one and revel in the sun, ponderosa pines, and glowing grass. On our way home we splurged and whipped into Applebees.I digested while catching up with Ryan, who after much adventure and hurt has settled out into a great friend.

This weekend in my hometown was the Fincastle Run. My younger brother, his girlfriend, my high school friends, all ran through the Virginia hills and fall foliage. My mom hung out and took photos.

I am happy in Montana, I am glad to have come here, and feel like I'm finally settling in enough to create a community here. But I miss these things- these small things. Watching movies with my Dad, staying up late to jam guitars with Jam Spot, pumpkin patch field trips with my kindergarten teaching sister, how randomly my Mom bakes things. Sunday post-church lunch with all of them. Watching Cindy and Stewart play with their son Carson. Dragging Bethany downtown Roanoke with me to meet up with Stephanie and those Harwell boys. Matt Fischer's heatless cabin and dog play dates. Climbing mountains with Luke. The way Doug looks behind the register at ODT. Sydney Bean's Halloween outfits. Having my bankers at Suntrust harass me about my dating life and never need to ask for an ID.

And now it's Monday and I'll be selling Patagonia clothes at Southgate Mall within an hour. Which is less stressful than the idea of being downtown and selling Ski stuff I'm still a bit clueless over.

Do I dare wonder or ask... what next year? October 2010.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 (NIV)

This outta be good =D

Monday, October 12, 2009

Idaho Street

Yesterday seemed to be a long day at work, and I had to stay late to mop.
Eventually I came home to Emily on the living carpet with her Biochemistry book, her chocolate lap curled on a blanket beside her, and a 19 in TV with a movie going about 6 ft in front of her... also on the floor.
She joined me in the kitchen while I slid my spaghetti noodles and sauce into a pot on the stove top and popped some garlic toast in the oven (no microwaves around here). We talked about our days and our weekends... and by the time my dinner was ready she rose from our one chair - and offered it to me to eat at the kitchen counter. We chatted more while she perched on the counter, leaning against the kitchen cabinets.
After clean up she resumed her position on the carpet, and I brought my laptop in the living room. Somewhere in the middle of "Music and Lyrics" I glanced over at Tikka and Emily, and Geronimo curled up beside me on the floor, in our empty empty home and thought "This is beautiful, I couldn't ask for much more".

Monday, October 5, 2009

Quick Update

I have a roof and four walls in Missoula! You can still reach me via my PO Box. Geronimo and I will be living with the fabulous new Pharmacy school student Emily from Minnesota and her chocolate lab Tikka. We've got a lot of furniture aquiring and decorating to do =)
Work is great. On top of selling gear and clothes downtown and at the mall I'm also learning the very scientific complicated socially attuned art of being a barista. (how many shots of espresso would you like?)
Now that I've taken my yearly pilgrimage to Fernie BC and don't have to house hunt every spare minute things should mellow out into fall as Montana prepares for the winter.
But then again... you never can tell what God will put in your path.