Sunday, September 18, 2011

Exploring Part 1: Glacier National Park

I actually went to Glacier a long time ago but I'm just now uploading the pictures which means I'm just now writing about it. So far, half the time I travel out to meet up with people I somehow miss them. I get lost or we both loose cell reception or some other dilemma arises to keep me alone. I don't mind being alone. Of course it would be nice to spend time with new VISTA friends but being alone in the beautiful outdoors under the wide open skies of Montana has its perks.
The first of these social-turned-secluded outings was my adventure to Glacier. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip:
Welcome to the park!
A view of some of the mountains.

I started getting hungry and found this little place right outside the park. I was the only person there so I got a LOT of attention from the very sweet couple who owned it. After an hour of getting to know my new friends, I was on the trail again. 

Yes, I was driving. Yes, I was driving slowly. Yes, I was hanging my arm outside the window holding the camera.

Ethel soaking up some sun.

This might be my favorite picture of the day. I think it captures the mood I found myself in at the park.

Eventually, I caught up with the other VISTAs and had a very nice weekend in northern Montana. There were no swings or slides like the parks I'm most familiar with but I have the feeling my memories will be just as fond.

God created this!

Monday, September 12, 2011

What's in a Quiche?

It's official. I'm a grown up.

What makes me say that?

It's not the fact that I've been living away from home for years now. Or that I'm now 2,500 miles away. Or paying my own bills. Nope, none of that. Today. I made a quiche all by myself. Not even Google helped me (which we all know doesn't count anyway).

How does that make me an adult?

Well, it's because I made it simply to use up groceries so they didn't go bad while I am away at a conference. I remember Mom making things because they would go bad soon.  I just thought that was her way of not having to cook more. Little did I realized that it takes MORE ingenuity to come up with something out of what you have, rather than fulfilling the needs of a pre-made recipe. I never really had many groceries in college because I didn't have a lot of time to cook. But now, here I am full circle, having to make a quiche to use up my groceries like a big girl. (Yes, I am aware that making a quiche with leftovers is about the safest thing you can do with leftovers but don't take this away from me. It still could have gone terribly wrong. Trust me.)

In addition to the benefit of using up groceries, it turned out beyond perfect. I didn't have crust ingredients so I buttered the dish and lined it with spinach. Yep, spinach. Then mixed the eggs I had left with leftover ham, mushrooms, more tiny pieces of spinach, and cheese. Plus a little garlic. Popped it in the oven for what I guessed would be the right time and right temperature and FOOD appeared. As you may be able to tell, I'm highly satisfied with the outcome of my efforts.

Every once in a while it's nice to realize that you are ready and able for the tasks ahead of you, no matter how small.

Thank you Lord not not letting me burn the apartment down with my leftover efforts.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Armed with a Theater Degree

I'll be totally honest and admit I was a little bit worried about going in to a VISTA assignment after having spent four years studying theater. I also studied history and religious studies but primarily my time was spent on, behind, or directing a stage. It became apparent to me somewhere during my Junior year at UWF that I was not destined for a life in the arts.I thought I knew that in high school but couldn't let go of that small flame which led me to declare the major in college. Of course, scholarships are always a great incentive to choose a major too! I spent sometime praying over it, asking why so many years of my life would be spent training and practicing a craft that would not become my living. And not just college. When I say YEARS, I mean I've been involved with productions in some way since Kindergarten. That's the majority of my life and certainly almost as long as I can remember. So you might be able to imagine why it took some time for me to accept that the stage was not my destiny.

Singing to a bunch of "fruit" in Goblin Market at UWF. Theater definitely opens the door to some unique opportunities. 
Then I became worried that not only was I not going to use all the training I had received but that I was ill prepared to enter other subjects. I wont become a microbiologist, or an engineer, or any other such highly specialized and trained field. I can sing. I can act. And I try to dance. It would seem the field of dreams would be quite narrow. That was when I realized how fortunate I am to have lived the life I've been blessed with using the skills and abilities God has given me.

A theater major is unique. It automatically says "This person can think outside the box. This person can work under pressure. This person can work as a team. This person has a skill set that not many others can claim." I'm proud of my theater degree. I may never be able to become the next Albert Einstein. But I can use my public speaking skills and stage presence to make presentations and call attention to such things as domestic violence. I am able to make an artistic display to convey the emotions of a situation, rather than trying to rely on simple words. Theater teaches you how to communicate with the world in a level beyond that of any other. I would encourage anyone considering a major outside of the "norm" to go with your passion. You may not become the next Picasso, but who knows what other ways you will be able to use your skills. God wouldn't have given them to you if He didn't have something in mind for them.

I now see that God did not have me waste years of my life on a skill I would never use, but took me in a direction that would prepare me for all He had in store for me. It's a crazy feeling when you catch a glimpse of the bigger picture and think "Man am I glad I didn't miss out on this."