Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Five: Road Trips

Jan says: "My husband and I just returned (on Wednesday night) from a long road trip up the middle USA to Canada, going through various national parks, and on to the Puget Sound of Washington State. This brought back memories of family road trips with my children and when I was a child, so the idea of today's Friday Five arose."

Tell us about five road trips--in your childhood, in your family, in your recent past, with friends, and/or hoped-for-places-to-drive-to. Don't forget the one that stands out as the BEST or as the worst time.

The "biggest and best" of road trips was the one that R and I took for our honeymoon.  Off in the Mini-Cooper for 8 days of travel...we went from Minnesota to Texas and back.  We saw the country, went to  a Jimmy Buffett concert, had two great dinners and a breakfast with various members of the Texas RevGal contingent and created memories that will last a lifetime.

Really, any trip with my sweet husband in "Gladys" (the Cooper) is a great trip by my reckoning.  One of our first dates was a two hour drive to the next "Big City" for dinner. As well as our big adventure, we have road tripped to Wisconsin to (again) see Jimmy B, and have had numerous trips back and forth and all around the state for both pleasure and business.  We took a "pilgrimage" early on in our relationship to my hometown so R could see all the places that knew me when. R has been my go-to driver for many a meeting, patiently waiting in the car while I do whatever it is I came for. Each one of those drives has been a memorable and pleasurable experience as they too become part of road trip repertoire.

A fun trip from my past was a camping trip a friend and I took "up North" to see the sights in our own home state. I had arranged the whole thing as a surprise for her birthday and basically "kidnapped" her and didn't tell her a thing other than "Pack a bag, we are taking off for the weekend." We drove up the North Shore stopping anywhere and everywhere we had the urge....Betty's Pies, the smoked salmon and cheese place on the way up, the shore of lake Superior just to hang by the water. We "camped" in my van, pulling in to the campground amidst the big rigs, plugging ourselves in with an extension cord and calling it good. It was a great adventure and lots of fun.

While I don't remember one in particular, "going for a drive" was a big deal in my childhood.  We did not have our own car, so often on Sunday afternoons some friends of my parents would come over and get us and we would take off for a few hours, often ending up at one of the many roadhouses that dotted the countryside for dinner.  Sometimes it would be a longer drive down the Great River Road a couple hours to visit family.  On those trips I often fell asleep on the way home, and to this day can remember the sound and feel of the engine as I drifted off watching the sky buzz by outside the window.

In the "hoped-for" department, I'd love to take some day trips to places in our new "neck of the woods." Since this area is new to R I have all kinds of thoughts about places I want to share with him and introduce him to.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Overdue Update

Well I really never meant to be away so long. But with one thing and another, moving and settling, finding our way to all those new places that come with a shift in location, getting adjusted to a new routine and a new schedule, time has just seemed to slip by, and suddenly it's two months and no blogging, and actually not a lot of "communicating out" in many ways. I haven't been hanging out on Facebook, seeing what's up over at RevGals or even reading tweets.  Some days it's been all I can do to get to my e-mail.

There is the new job of course.  The learning curve has been a little steep.  Not in the work itself, but the "how" of it that is different in so many ways.  Many of the things that others took care of in my old setting are now mine to deal with as a part of a practice group...dealing with insurance and authorizations for care and all that goes with that.  Some days I feel like all I do is run around mopping up after myself or apologizing for yesterday's error. I think some days I have it.  Then I don't.  They tell me to patient, it will come.  That my expectations for myself are higher than anyone else's, that I need to let some of the struggle go and let myself be where I am right now.  But that's hard.  I don't like being new, being uncertain.  In the last place I was competent and capable, I had systems and routines that almost did themselves.  There is none of that comfort right now, and sometimes whole days go by without feeling that I have really done anything as it should be done.

So there stands the worklife.  In my clergy life things have been a bit of a roller coaster as well.  Right as we moved I had applied for and been accepted to an extended unit of CPE for this Fall.  We were due to start in October, I had cleared the necessary schedule adjustments with my new workplace and I thought we were good to go.  Until a couple weeks ago when I got an e-mail from the supervisor saying that they were cancelling this unit.  I knew other places here had CPE, I also knew that the extended unit at at least one hospital had been full already in April, and I was not hopeful about the others.  But I decided I had nothing to lose and contacted two other hospital systems.  The outcome of my efforts is that I now have TWO offers and need to decide between them. A kind of a nice problem perhaps, but a dilemma none-the-less. There are, of course, pros and cons to each in many areas.  Ultimately I will just have to weight things and decide which feels like the best fit I think.

A joy in this part of my life came this morning when I presided for the first time since leaving St. J's.  And not just anyplace, but at the "church of my heart" where so many important spiritually formational things had happened for me before I moved away eight years ago. I did all three services there this morning, the tiny quiet early service, the contemporary and evolving one, and the traditional service. It was wonderful and exhausting and I'm doing it again next week. We are making our church home there, back at St. M's and it is good to be back, to be home there, and to be both welcomed back and accepted in a new role.

We still have had no buyers for our house across the state and there are no bright spots on the sales horizon at this point. But thanks to a friend, we have found renters! That is good news as the house will self-support and we can have assurance that someone will be there to watch over things as well, so the all-too-frequent six-hour round trips to mow the lawn and check the place can hopefully end soon. That is even more important as R has found a great job that he wants to settle into and focus on, and  the time to rest, relax and explore our new home base is much needed by both of us right now.

So each day finds us feeling a little more at home in this new place.  I noticed the other day that I no longer have to consult my "mind map" (or the GPS) for the places I go on a regular basis.  And last week someone was talking about a coffee shop a few miles from here, and actually knew where they meant!

I have learned some things about myself in this process. Change is even harder for me than I thought! Really, I do NOT transition well. Security is a far far bigger thing than I ever would have wanted to admit.  And the lack of it makes me irriatble and more than a little hard to live with (just ask my poor long-suffering husband). I don't do well with uncertainly either, or with feeling incompetent. It's that old lack of control thing.

But I have found yoga and my breath again. I am praying and trying to let go of the small stuff (when I remember what it is!) and remind myself that this will pass and one day I really will get this!

I'm going to try to write again, in some format, perhaps here at least now and again.  No longer from the light on the prairie, but looking for another kind of light in a new place.