Monday, April 30, 2012

28 is such a lame number

I mean seriously. It's super even. When you divide it by 2 it is still even. Both numbers are even. And I swear no one is ever 28. When do you ever ask someone how old they are and they say 28? Never. I can't wait to be 29. It's a prime number. My prime number years were always the best. And it will be my golden birthday. I have to wait 364 days for that. Anyway. Enough.

To celebrate I spend the day with my Rochester family at my house as a part of our house church gathering. And I made stew and chocolate cake because I love to cook and I wanted it and I had the excuse and I love making good food for family and friends to enjoy. The discussion was excellent, I was encouraged all around, and the dinner was wonderful. It was the perfect way to spend a birthday. And I've been reflecting...

I have been thinking about a recap and a rewind. What has a year in my life looked like. And the answer is absolutely ridiculous. So many things have changed and so much has happened. For instance my drivers license was NH while my mailing address was NY and I was attending school in CO although more than half of my time was spent in ID or PA and I worked in MA. (pause for breath) At one point I had vegetable gardens in 3 states at the same time. I am not making this up.

I started a new degree and will hopefully be half way through with it in 2 weeks. (It was supposed to take 3 years not 2!) I moved to a new state. I got baptized. I shot my first deer. Then I shot a deer at 1000 yards. I learned how to babysit children (yes this is a milestone). I ate a 9 year old twinkie. The twinkie story is going to be published. That's a smattering of big/weird events at least.

Another way to account for a year. Today I interacted with many people. I was talking to AS when the clock rolled over to B-Day. Then LE texting me at 00:08 to wish me a happy. And KN sending me a Happy 23rd card that she drew herself. I woke up to a text from the LT. KH brought me flowers when she got home from her race. MB, SW, D A M & AG came over later for church. And then B and B came over later. And later I texted SO. I also got calls/emails/texts from mother, father grandfather, best friend, past roommate and a few others. And I don't want to diminish these in the least because they are incredibly important humans in my life. But can we talk about how 14/20 people who interacted with me were complete strangers. (2 I met today for the first time so...) But there are 12 people that I love dearly and get to regularly spend time with and enjoy with and adventure through life with that are as close as family and incredibly new on my life calendar. And that is just a handful of people. There's about 50 others who are in the same category- as trusted and loved and loving as those that I had the good fortune to spend time with today. That's mind blowing.

So at the end of a day of reflection this is what is standing out to me most...

Dear Rochester family, a year ago only 2 of you had met me and only a handful even knew my name. You are an incredible gift. Thank you for welcoming me with open arms and showing me truth and love on a regular basis. Thank you for being honest, encouraging me, teaching me, helping me break bad habits and build new ones, laughing with me, crying with me, eating my food experiments, giving me a place to serve others, and standing beside me when I face hard things. I have been grateful for you at least once every day since I was introduced to you...and while it hasn't been a full 365 yet we are getting close. I love you dearly.

I can't wait to see what the next year brings...


PS. I turned off my Facebook birthday and wall as a gift to myself. I ABHOR Facebook birthday wall spamming because it is impersonal, generic, and mindless. Shame on you if you are only sending me a message because the Facebook told you to. If you miss me hit me up on a random day when we both probably have less going on. And if you can't come up with a better, more creative way to wish me happy I would rather you didn't bother. This is also consequently why you did not find me spamming your wall on your birthday. But you didn't notice the lack of my presence because 40 people you haven't spoken to in a year spent 2.5 minutes coming up with a catchy way to say the same thing that everyone else said. ...Ahem....Stepping off soap box. Sorry.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why I do what I do

It's not finals yet but it's close enough. The first big thing due hits on Saturday and a torrent of other due dates follows. The week before finals will actually promise to be more all-nighter inducing than finals proper this semester. So it goes.

I have been fighting a database all day and I have settled down in to robot mode. Do things repeatedly and hopefully efficiently and by all means in a huge hurry. Everything is details. And all details need to be done yesterday. Don't think. Don't feel. Just finish.

So this morning I unwrapped a still slightly frozen roast and stuck it in the slow cooker and forgot about it. I shoveled breakfast in my mouth and started working on SELECT statements. I had to DELETE everything and start over. By lunch I had everything back in where it belonged. Leftovers went down rapidly and without fan fair. And back to SELECT statements. I'm sure by the end of this I will have lost articles from my speech and my capitalizing imperatives will be instinct not example. Dinner alarm goes off. Yes I have alarms to tell me when to eat. And to tell me when to go to class. When I get in to mass production mode I won't stop until I fall asleep. I hit snooze for a good half hour and I was starting to feel off. So I wandered downstairs nuked some frozen veggies and prepared to vacuum everything in and get as much done before class as possible.

I was on my 3rd mouthful of meat when the strangest thing happened. I stopped mid chew. My brain registered that it was not eating cow and gave pause to the whole system. The report came back: "This is not cow. This is deer. You killed this deer." And then all stress slipped out of my body. I was completely relaxed. I took smaller bites and chewed more slowly willing the taste to last.

I was on a rock. My father was behind me. I'd lost a deer once already in the trees. I couldn't see antlers. As I was questioning my shot my mind drifted to thoughts of steak and the sights were perfect and the rifle shot straight and then there was nothing left to question but where was the rope. He made one valiant bound and died mid air out of my line of sight. My father, my nephew and I (mostly Alex) drug him to the 4-wheeler. We skinned him in the garage over which his antlers are now displayed. And over the next few days I worked earnestly to wrap up parcels for such a time as this. A harried Tuesday not unlike any other day. I spent hours inside with my eyes focused on task and not on the mountains surrounding me so that on a begrudging future day in flat suburb in an eastern state I could take a bite and the world would stop. And I would pace out the events of the day, hear the forest, smell the trees, see the landscape, feel the presence of family and taste the victory of every part of that adventure.

Field to table. Amen.


Monday, April 09, 2012

Apparently I am Gordon Famous

Friends and I have been bantering on a Google + post about about Strawberry Icecream Oreos. It goes like this:
SL-  i just gagged out loud- way to ruin strawberry icecream and oreos!
Jn-  Oh nasty. That is SO gross. Did you eat one on purpose?
JW-  Actually, I ate 1 from the goading of my little sister.
JW-  WAIT. How is this grosser than your twinkie-eating-habits of 9 years???
SL-  Tu shay J!
Jn-  True story...look of shame :(

About an hour after JWilly posted the Twinkie habits comment I got the following email:

Hello! I am looking for a J K who went to Gordon College, was a biology major, graduated in (2006?) and wrote a wonderful post about Twinkies in your blog. If that is you, we would love to run a brief mention of it in the upcoming STILLPOINT. Please let me know if that is (or is not) okay. I would be happy to send you the text we'd like to use. Many thanks!
Gordon College Communications Office

I of course immediately emailed the other Jn. And then I emailed Gordon Communications out of sheer curiosity. Seriously? This is more than likely the most bizarre thing I will EVER do. You want to put it in the Alumni Magazine?

My life gets stranger every day.


Man cannot live on bread alone. Man cannot live on Twinkies at all.