Saturday, November 5, 2011

Who stole my October?

It's a chilly November morning here in Deer Lodge. That's right, I said November. Can you believe it? Because I can't. Somehow or other the month of October has flown by and I neglected to post anything about the awesomeness that's happening up here.

Let's start with an update on the job:
I have very exciting news that all started when the hospital association decided to build a brand new hospital. The old building that used to be the hospital  belongs to the county and has very strict limits on what can occupy it because of the loans used to renovate it. Due to the restrictions and limitations, no one place a bid on this giant building that is in relatively good condition. The new hospital is beautiful and state-of-the-art, but many Deer Lodgians (as I've dubbed them) are bitter about the move because of the giant carcass left behind that will become a serious drain to taxpayers without the hospital occupying it. As you might imagine, Montana winters do a number on buildings that are not being properly maintained so the options were to have the county pay for maintenance until whenever someone comes along super expensive, or leave the building there to crumble and depreciate super wasteful.

Are you wondering how this is exciting yet? Here comes the good part! A group of community members started meeting to discuss needs in Deer Lodge and Powell County that could possibly be fulfilled with the use of the old building. Long story short, a coalition formed with the Powell County Economic Development Corporation (a small local group that had been inactive for a few years) to be the umbrella corporation leasing the building to smaller non-profits INCLUDING a transition home for victims of domestic violence! If everything goes as planned, this will be an even better alternative than a house. There will also be an assisted living in a part of the hospital which will create an opportunity for on the job training and even mentor-type relationships between the residents. The county has been  supportive and now it's just a matter of getting all the paperwork in place and, of course, finding funding. The Commissioners agreed to pay for maintenance until we are ready to move in, hopefully in just a few months. This will keep costs to the county low but also keep the building from being yet another reminder of emptiness. I just applied for a Pepsi Refresh Everything Grant and had to make a little video to go with it. Musical Theater class of 2007 will remember this song! I couldn't help myself... It just fit too perfectly.  Read fast! They only give you a minute so the slides are pretty short.

Everything else is going well too, thanks for asking. My sister came up to visit early this month and we went down to Yellowstone. I took her up to the Courthouse introduced her to a bunch of people I work with. We carved a pumpkin and spent most of our time just laying around and doing nothing. In my mind, those are the best kinds of visits. Oh, and eating. There was lots and lots of eating.

I have a winter coat but I'm still working on warm/snow shoes. Fortunately, there are plenty of experts up here to ask for consultation! I'm holding firmly to my protest that it should not be 30 degrees in November, but so far my argument is falling on deaf ears. I'm not the only one having to adjust to the differences however. Ethel is taking Montana roads pretty hard. Driving back from an excursion, I heard a load thump suddenly and didn't know if it was the roads or Ethel. I switched lanes and it stopped so I kept going. When I got home, I saw that somehow, something, someway tore the tread off my rear passenger tire which them broke my tail light and dented/scratched up the back area a bit. Unfortunately, my usual repair method of adding a bumper sticker over it just wont cut it this time. I am grateful that I made it the rest of the way back to the apartment before I saw the damage. AND I am flabbergasted by the fact that the tire didn't pop! It never even deflated during the time it took me to get a replacement one. Just another little reminder that God is watching over me up here.

The apartment stays relatively clean. I think it helps because when I look around and think "How did this mess get here?" there is literally no other answer than "Oh. Right. Me." Maybe I'll get a turtle I have someone else to blame trouble on... John and Jill are coming up to see me in less than 3 weeks and I could not be more excited!! I'm thinking I might have to do some Thanksgiving decorations since someone will be around to see them. Hmmm....

Well, I'm off to do the laundry I haven't done in about a month. The sock situation has become dire.

Thanks for stopping by! If you think about it, say a little prayer for the efforts up here as well as the people suffering from abusive situations. A little extra love goes a long way.