I’m in Oregon right now, and so far this has been kind-of a weird trip. First we were over the mountains attending Alison’s wedding, and then we came home but didn’t quite do the traditional Thanksgiving because we’re prepping for Kenya. Heading out tomorrow. Woo-hoo! So this will be the last post in my gratefulness series.
Monday: Oregon…and Blacksburg
Turns out that leaving to go overseas the day after Thanksgiving is a bit of a mess. On Monday we were preoccupied with getting our Covid tests, since we needed our results back before Thanksgiving break. At 2:30 Dad found a drive-in place in Albany that offered free tests, but they closed at 3:30, so we jumped into his car and took off.
On the way he called his doctor. “I know I had a 3:00 appointment, but I’m gonna be 15 minutes late because I need to go get a Covid test first.”
This, of course, meant that I had to tag along to his doctor’s appointment afterwards. It wasn’t a big deal because it went quickly and I just sat out in the car and read The Blue Castle for about the 25’th time. Meanwhile, I saw multiple people I knew, because apparently every Mennonite in the area goes to the same doctor.
I felt a certain gratefulness for this. I’ve felt for a while that I don’t “belong” in Oregon long term, and I don’t really have a friend group here anymore. But I do know lots of people, and there is something nice about bumping into people you know. I am grateful to be from someplace that I can go home to.
However. I must admit that this brief trip back to Oregon has made me tremendously grateful for a few things in Blacksburg.
First, the weather. I love the Oregon summers, and I love that you can have nice days at the beach all winter, but I absolutely do not miss the dismal dingy skies that stretch from autumn through spring. In Blacksburg we’ve mostly gotten either cold crisp sunny days or satisfying rainy ones. None of these endless gray skies.
Second, while I enjoy living in the country during the summer, I really don’t miss it at all. I love the way you can walk to all sorts of places in Blacksburg, and spy on your neighbors out the window. I get way more exercise by default because it’s just so easy to walk to, say, the library. And if you need to drive somewhere it takes, like, ten minutes, whereas here it takes half an hour (unless you’re headed to Dollar General.) (I do actually miss Dollar General, though. The Dollar General is kind-of like the Doctor’s office because I often see people I know, while the Dollar Generals back east are just kinda gross.)
Tuesday: The Job Interview
I got up super early on Tuesday to have a zoom interview for a remote writing job. They were all on Eastern time, and they asked me if Oregon was in Central or Mountain time, which I thought was really funny. East Coasters don’t tend to have a great sense of how large the USA actually is. (Once a friend told me that it takes “like 20 hours” to get to Oregon from PA. I replied, “yes, but only if you fly,” and then giggled over my own cleverness.)
Overall though, the interview went really well and I was grateful for the opportunity. And of course if the job works out the time zone thing won’t be a big deal, as I’ll be back on the east coast.
Tuesday was actually a really blessed day. Besides the interview in the morning I was able to meet up with multiple friends, although that was much more complicated than I’d anticipated because I don’t have my car here. I’m used to just zipping off whenever I feel like it.
Wednesday: The Ocean
The Oregon Coast is still my favorite place in the universe. Jenny, Mom and I spent Wednesday there.
Thursday: The Kenya Trip
So far, today has been a fairly chill day. No big Thanksgiving meal for us, as we prep to go to Kenya and such. However, we’re all gonna hang out and eat fish tacos tonight, so fun times.
Today, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to go to Kenya. With the pandemic, I haven’t traveled in what seems like forever. I had to cancel a trip to India and a trip to Italy, so I’m just really grateful to get a chance to take this trip.
I don’t know how much I’ll have a chance to post when I’m in Kenya, but we’ll see.
Goodness though…I really had a spectacular November, all things considered. I’ve never liked November much. But blessings rained on me this month. I hope you all have a day full of gratefulness and a spectacular Christmas season. But goodbye for now, I’m off to Kenya!
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