Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Is this what it would be like?

I had a strange and rather distressing time this morning.

I took off to run some errands and do a bit of shopping and while I was driving between stops it occurred to me that this week with Chuck gone until Monday I was experiencing what it would be like if he weren't here.

As I shopped for myself only I realized that my cupboards are more bare and the refrigerator is much less full. I packed him off with the stuff he would need to make his meals and snacks for the lunch box. It cleared out so much that I realized how different it would be with him gone.

As I paid the rent, picked up the mail and went to the store I was not as motivated or excited the way I am when I am doing those things to take care of him and make his work days easier. I came back and Cooper greeted me cheerfully but it only took a few moments to put everything away. I won't need to do laundry for a while which is very different since I do laundry every two or three days with him here. He always has work socks and t-shirts that need washing.

I started to consider what I would have to do if I lost him. It would be a very different life. Thank goodness he is healthy and will be back to Tioga every two weeks for two weeks.

I bought new sheets and towels for Melissa's stay. It will be so wonderful to have her with us and Chuck is excited to show her the new work site and his free housing. Before he left we talked about all of the places to show her and things to see.

It is 2pm and the temperature is 77. Just thought I would share. Adios!

-N

Monday, July 21, 2014

Another transition

Today Chuck starts a transfer to a new site, with the same company. He will be doing essentially the same thing, but the crew and his prospects are in his favor and I pray that he will be blessed with promotion and increase. It was a situation that was hovering in the background for a while and within a week he was contacted and it was scheduled.

He is now enroute to the Fairfield site which is near Dickinson, ND. It is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours driving, but I am not as emotional this time as I was when he departed Tucson.  He IS only that short drive versus an airline flight or 25 hours of driving time.

I will be on my own for two weeks at a time and then he will be here for two weeks. I am comforted that it is essentially a short distance and we can Skype and call as before. One surprising thing that has emerged is that Dickinson is on Mountain time while Tioga is on Central time! The Missouri River marks a time zone boundary west of Bismarck and running along the south side of the river.   He will gain an hour tonight.

Now I will have to remember what time it is in North Dakota along with California, Arizona and Oklahoma although the last is easier since it is the same as me!

July 30th Melissa is coming to see us and I am so excited. Her visit could have been a deal breaker for the transfer if they hadn't agreed to let Chuck be off for her visit. He told his boss that she was coming to see him (this is true) and that he had to be able to spend more than two or three days with her. That they agreed was a hopeful sign that his contributions are valued to them.  Melissa did tell people she was coming to see her dad since it had been Christmas 2012 since they had seen each other.

One year and seven months I expect is too long for a daughter to miss her dad, especially when they are in complete agreement in the way they think and so much alike.

Just got a call from Chuck and he is driving into a tornado watch!!! Ok, worry meter just spiked. Where he is heading there is a severe thunderstorm warning with the tornado watch. Now I will just wait to hear he has arrived safely.

-N

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Job hunt and night shift

I've decided I want to get a job up here to help fund our future plans and expedite the process. Even though we are doing okay there are some things that need a few more dollars to put it in motion. I have leads on two jobs, one with the post office in Tioga and one at the same place Chuck works.

I'm thinking that which ever one comes through first (if either) then that is the course I will follow. We have been talking about what our next steps are and if we will hold onto the house in Catalina. There have been lots of back and forth about how things need to be done and what is first, etc. Lots of prayers and talking have been going on. Looking to know what God's will is and to be in it.

Chuck starts his two week nightshift Monday so we have been trying to get him back into being awake at night and sleeping days-man am I so out of whack with my sleeping and eating.

One of the best things about this two weeks is at the end of it Melissa will be visiting us! We have been looking for cool things to show her. Lot's of history around here which might be interesting to a history teacher. In our driving around the north eastern part of the state there is such gorgeous country that is so different from Arizona. Besides how vivid the green hills and valleys are there is water everywhere. Lakes, ponds, huge rivers and meandering creeks. I am so enjoying the explorations.

I have to admit I miss having my things with me. My furniture and dishes, photographs and books, and my nice roomy kitchen. I am not stir crazy but there are times I think about them. My yard and the gardens and trees and the space of the acre I bring up in my mind. I would rather they were here than in Catalina though.

We will see.

-N


Traveling and losing my cat

For the last week Chuck and I have been doing some sightseeing in North Dakota. We've gone as far east as Minot, as far north as Power's Lake, as far west as Fort Union (you actually cross into Montana about a 100 yards and back into ND) and then south to Theodore Roosevelt National Park North. Lots of driving, listening to music and talking as we cruise over the northern plains. It has been very eye opening, there is true beauty here.

The Explorer is a very comfortable ride and we actually were about 30 feet from two huge bison lumbering down the middle of the road holding up traffic! However in that park I dropped my cell phone - the battery went one way, the back went another and the phone landed face down shattering it. Now no contacts, no call logs, and no bison photos!

I received a message a few days ago from my neighbor in Catalina saying that her husband saw that Sasha was dead in the yard. This saddened me so because I had felt guilty about leaving her behind even though our reasons we felt were good.  She was getting older and a little lazier. She had never known anywhere else but our neighborhood in Catalina. She was actually born a block away from our house and came to live with us when she was 8 weeks old. She knew how to protect herself, when to hide and was a great rodent population controller. When we were last there in May she seemed slower and a bit haggard. I took this to think that we should leave her there in my nephews care and not shock her with a relocation. Kris had tried to take her to his house but she found her way back home and didn't want to leave. He made sure she was fed and had water. Poor sweet Sasha. He buried her in the back yard.

Much discussion is going on about our future and plans are in the works but I don't have anything to reveal yet so be patient.  Loving the weather and I don't mind the humidity.

Cooper, well he is still simple Cooper.

-N

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Ghosts of Ford's Theatre

It must have been an evening full of relief and pleasure when President Lincoln and his wife entered Ford's Theater for an night of comedy. When I entered it I felt an overwhelming sense of adventure into another time.



 When you see the pistol that was used to kill him and the suit he was wearing at the time it is brought home that history is preserved in this place.

When we arrived there was already a crowd gathering to enter. It was rather interesting as we came into the foyer people became more hushed and observant, as if even the younger people knew instinctively this was a reverent atmosphere.








Across the street in the small building next to the white Lincoln Museum is the place that Lincoln died. He was carried across the street and placed in the bed that he was to die in. Very strange but the historical imprint on this location was profound.

You can see the line waiting to enter this place.


 




Yes it is me and John Wilkes Booth. He never flinched when I elbowed him.  He was a famous local actor so when he came into the theatre that night there was no one who would question his actions. He walked right up to the door of the box and was welcomed into the room.

 I have always thought that Abe was the best president our country ever had and to immerse myself in his life and thoughts. We know so much about him and yet he always kept something to himself. Below are some pics from the Theatre.

I could have spent much more time there.








He was shot here

He died here

Then it was time to leave and my the view out the window of the airplane as I left Minneapolis for Minot was this
Washington DC more than fulfilled my expectations and I know that I want to go back.

-N


 
 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I am able to blog again!

After not having internet service for what seems forever we are finally connected. There has been so much going on and I will try to get caught up.

The cold weather has cleared out and it is such a pleasure to enjoy the cool summer temperatures of the northern plains. Everything has turned green and I truly believe this is God's favorite color. The fields are plowed and growing, the trees are fully leafed out and grass and wildflowers are in abundance. The only downside is this has also brought mosquitos. You learn quickly not to walk in the fields without long pants, sock and shoes. Also evenings, which last much longer with daylight savings time, are the times to avoid much outdoor activity.

I was saddened at the loss of a very dear friend. Her passing was magnified by the distance, her being in Tucson, and that it was so unexpected for me. Eileen was such a fun and great companion at work. Chuck and I enjoyed many enjoyable gatherings with Eileen and her husband Robert, good food and better wine. It will be a loss when I next visit Tucson.

Chuck and I have been discussing the future and what the next steps will be for us. There is the chance that I may be able to obtain a position at the same place he works although our schedules would be very different, yet the paycheck will be a bonus.

My nephew Kris has been taking care of our place in Catalina and it is a great comfort to know it is being well cared for. He gives us regular up dates and is very reliable.

I do miss my children-but I hope to have a visit from Melissa in July/August which will be a great pleasure and a chance to show off Tioga. I have explained to people that Tioga is as far from Canada as Tucson is from Mexico. We are adapting.

We did have a close call with a tornado that hit about an hour south of here.

Because of two large lakes, one just south of us in North Dakota and one about two hours east of us in Montana affecting the dynamics of the storms, they tend to go around us. But we have set up between us our tornado strategy for getting what we need quickly and escaping should we have to clear out of this tornado magnet we live in - a trailer! We will get what we would need to establish our identity and survive. Not something I have ever thought about.

We carry on.

-N

DC lessons in photographs

The one thing I learned during our time in Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Mount Vernon was that being adept at farming and hunting kept the family going. The people of those times were clever and adaptable at their hard work. The simple elegance of the time was offset by the idea that slavery and indenture were an accepted part of life.

Day four:
Welcome to Williamsburg

 

 
We visited the armory, a tin smith and the blacksmith. The tin smith and blacksmith are working and producing authentic items used in Colonial Williamsburg.
 


 
We held court in the capital building and were immersed in the sounds, smells and authenticity of the jail and our guide made sure we understood the harshness of all aspects of life in the 18th century.
 



The kids learned how to play without technology and they dug it!




 I found that green was a very popular room color in colonial times. That works for me!
 
Jamestown-the first English settlement in America:
 
This obelisk marks the actual location of the settlement near the river and at the top is an osprey nest. It was a profound thought that people, having no idea what to expect and how they would survive had the tenacity to persist and persevere.

I am grateful to them for their efforts in the beginning of our country. From here the world would know of the USA and democracy.
 We had a very enlightening tour about this fine vessel, which is absolutely sea worthy having just returned from a coastal voyage a few days before. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to travel for weeks in this or one similar from England to establish a colony in this strange and unknown country.


 
We also had the chance to see how a musket was loaded and fired. It was so loud I cannot imagine how anyone could hear after engaging in a battle with these weapons. It really served to bring home how very different this time was and how amazingly anyone could have survived.
 
 
 Mount Vernon:
I loved this the best. I was so delighted to be where George and Martha Washington lived their lives and to experience the beauty of this magnificent home. Although the examples of the use of slaves was distressing, the fact that Mr. Washington took care of them and provided for many of them when they no longer were able to perform their duties due to age or infirmity was reassuring.
 
This is the beautiful home of our first president. It is as grand and beautiful as it appears and to view it for myself first hand after seeing many photos was a thrill. George Washington lived here, loved this home and it reflects his design and desires as a country gentleman.

 Melissa and I are pictured at the entrance of Mount Vernon, and were two of many who had a photo of this type taken. What a joy to be there with my daughter and enjoy a brilliant day in the Virginia countryside.

Yes it is Martha Washington greeting visitors and sitting on the veranda which faces the Potomac River. As we sat in the row of chairs lining the rear of the house the view is unparalleled as you can see from the photo below. The lawn slopes down to the river and in the distance is Maryland. It is no wonder that the Washington's loved this locale and desired to be no where else.
 
 We wandered beside the groves and vineyards as we walked to the tomb of our first president. He and Martha are buried in a beautiful red brick mausoleum that daily has ceremonies of wreath laying. I was honored.
 



 
 
Following this stop we ventured to the Slave burial grounds where there is a stone marker erected in honor of those who died there and are buried on the grounds. It was moving.

We took a boat trip up the Potomac to Alexandria, where we had dinner in a most delightful and remarkably decorated restaurant called King Street Blues. Then back to the hotel.





More to come. Mr. Lincoln is waiting.
-N