that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


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small town girl

‘i stand, with arms high
and heart abandoned
in awe of the one who gave it all
…all i am is yours’

The wind is howling at a pitch that I am not quite used to today, threatening to blow my window into a thousand little pieces. Accompanying it is the rain, with drops scattered in complete disarray. All afternoon it’s been like this and my bed and pajamas are far too inviting for a girl who needs to write an essay. When we have days like this, I am reminded of home. Not the emotional feeling of home, but literally, of Smithers. The fall and winter on Vancouver Island is completely different from the ones back home that I remember… the onset of the upcoming season is hinted at by a cold nose, frosty mornings, and the greenery tucking itself away for awhile. Not by ever present cold chills and rain. It’s not that I like one above the other, they are just different. And lately I’ve been missing home; missing Smithers.

When I moved to Calgary, I was bursting at the idea of living in a city. I was not disappointed. It felt like over night, hoodies were not an acceptable piece of clothing and that every place I wanted to go meant a 20-45 minute drive. I also learned a sense of fear that resonated through my veins when I was taking a walk at night or downtown 17th (or downtown in general) when the streets came alive… something that was very new for this small town girl. I adapted, and as I became comfortable living in Calgary and learning the best routes, I wondered if I was beginning to like living in such a grandiose centre or I was just becoming used to it.

Now living in Victoria, I think “wow! 15 mins is NOTHING” when driving from point A to B when comparing it to my prior home. And as far as cities go, it is brilliantly gorgeous. Driving around Oak Bay yesterday, I was mesmerized by the thick green shrubs and flowers and seemingly archaic old buildings that made me feel like I was in a time warp. It is the perfect city size, boasting all of the things you need… just. The. Way. I. Like. It.

And even though summers in Penticton, in 40 degree weather in the middle of vineyards and ice cream stands and beautiful trails and endless possibility, have come near and oh-so-dear to my heart, there is a gentle stirring in my heart when I say it’s “home”. Because it isn’t really.

It’s Smithers and I miss it. There is something so welcoming about knowing if I was walking down the street, there is a 98.7% chance I would see someone I know. Where the town sits at such a beautiful base of a mountain that catches my breath when I drive into town. I miss the moments of summer, at Lake Kathlyn, pulling Jes on the airmattress out into the water because she’s too afraid to touch the weeds with her feet. Or winters on the farm, where quadding through Uncle Orv’s snow maze is quite literally, the greatest risk I probably ever took in my short life. Mild hikes to Twin Falls or scattered, chaotic water fights at the fossil beds. Trail and fort building, Snow-sliding, Hunt-trekking through the forest at the house on Balsam Road; French vanilla cappuccinos, sticky cinnamon buns, and scary movies at the house on Sunny Point; and the endless traffic of my life from one end of town to the other, whether the skating rink, Dad’s carpentry, Driftwood, schools, or places like the ‘Roi’ and the Elks field ball diamonds.

I’ve let myself slip into a cozy blanket of home for the last 20 minutes and I thank you for that. I look at all of the places I’ve gotten to live so far and recognize how vastly different they are, all a mix match of colours, amenities, and perfect beauty, but sometimes I just want to go home for the feeling. I was very much still a kid when we left and I feel like so much life has happened in the interim of being away, but it’s true and still oh-so-deeply nestled in my heart: I am a small town girl, who wants to let my hair down in a tangled mess and be okay with wearing a hoodie, leaving my door unlocked, listening to Mark Perry, and walking to wherever I need to be in the dark when the rest of the town is sleeping.

And in my tiny corner of the world, it rains and the wind howls on. And that’s okay too.

A prairie sunset.
An island storm.
An okanagan sunrise.
And forever the northern skies.

I, saying it for the 8th time on this blog, am unbelievably blessed.


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alberta bound

…And so I cranked up the radio
‘Cause there’s just a little more to go
Before I cross the border at that Sweet Grass sign

I’m Alberta bound
This peace of Heaven that I’ve found
Rocky mountains and black fertal ground
Everything I need, beneath that big blue sky


…And I’ll be Alberta bound until I die

…Maybe it’s my down home redneck roots
Or these dusty old Alberta boots
But like the chinook wind keeps coming back again

Paul Brandt seems to put everything in the best way… ANYWAYS… the flights are booked and I am coming Aug 23-30. Outta Pen and into Edmonton. How fun will THIS be? I sure think so. Wahoo, thanks DAD.


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and

Just like that, she’s home. While I plan to write and extensive, detailed account of my thoughts and experiences of Year #1 in Victoria, particularly things to miss the four months I am away… it poured rain while I was driving to the ferry, then it was gray skies while I was on the 2 hour, $56 ferry ride, then the ferry parked us in the middle of the water for an extended tug-boat debacle for an extra 45 minutes, then it poured rain alllllllll the way until I hit the “Welcome to the Similkameen Valley” sign on the Hope-Princeton highway, sun and blue skies the rest of the way — and I felt a tug at the corner of my mouth, thinking ‘Thank God I am home’.

Full disclosure to come.


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perks of home

I always kind of know what to expect when it comes to four months at home. However, I forget sometimes that children grow up more in eight months than your average teenager or young adult. The child in question is my 9 year old sister. Jayme’s days start so early that I guess she gets lonely in those morning hours…so lonely that she took an empty shampoo bottle this morning and “blew” it in my face so I could “smell” it. Needless to say, I was very unimpressed…and confused why she felt she had to do that. She’s normally a bright kid but she seemed to miss the boat on this one. Maybe she just missed me.

We arrived uneventfully yesterday. Dad had a couple minor scares, he was pulling the UHaul trailer and I guess the weight of “my life” (my stuff, rather) was trying to get ahead of him in the Tahoe so it seemed to gain on him once in awhile…making for a very slow drive. But it was very, very nice to surrender my keys and say “peace out” to 12 Edgepark Villas, retirement community un-extraordinare, where the youngest person next to me and my roommate was probably 64. I am so so so SO glad it’s over. I can’t emphasize that enough.

Now I am home, back to my makeshift room in my parents downstairs den.. and I can’t wait for the summer to start. It was gorgeous today but Jayme and I are anticipating a thunderstorm (my favourite in the Okanagan). I have come down with a nasty cold and sore throat (thanks, Mark) and am very tired, so I am grateful I don’t start at the RDOS until Monday. It’s just been good to be home…when we got to Armstrong I was just thinking “HURRY UP!!” and see my mom. Dad left early this morn for Duncan.

The only trouble is fitting in again… the adjustment period can be tough but I think the older I get, the better at it I am. Funny how that goes!

The added stress of applications is getting to me… I just looked at my GPA…I can’t believe how low it is … I am genuinely fearful for what happens next. Genuinely. I just want to know why when you put SO much effort into something, didn’t hang out with friends hardly, and basically devoted 8 solid months to school, for there to be zip for reward.

In the words of my boyfriend, Michael Scofield, I guess I “just have to have faith.”

Cheers.


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3rd times a charm…or something to that effect

Today I finished “lucky” number 3… as in, my 3rd year at university. “yay” for me. Truthfully… I thought I would be elated.. but all I think is … sooooo many more to GO! Coupled with some random occurences in the past 48 hours, I am wiped, worn, witt-less, and wondering…wholly! Just kidding… I think my exams went okay but who cares. I did the best that I could given what I have, so if God’s got me in Lethbridge…or St. Catharine’s…or Victoria…or Calgary… for year 4, I will be okay with that…right? I’d say so.

I hate these “what I did today” posts, hence why I do them so rarely, because I sure don’t do enough exciting things. But today upon finishing my 3rd year at 8:56 am (or something like that), I got to go pick up my best friend, Jocelyn, who is in town for a few days and we spent together mass bonding, laughing (as any of you who know us together, know), running errands, and making a dessert. Man I miss her more and more the older I get…kinda like with my parents. ANYWAYS, Joce and her boyfriend are flying to Puerto Vallarta tomorrow morning so it was nice to spend the day together. The dessert we made is for my “girls night” tomorrow… a bunch of people are coming over for appetizers and a dessert… I actually made Tiramisu… yep, I did. Lovely.

The other day I heard that the Regional District of Okanagan/Similkameen offered me the summer position again for the summer!!! So four more months of corporate/rural board meetings, forest fire prevention, dog licenses and citations, filing, and DRIVING THE GOVERNMENT TRUCK WITH THE YELLOW EMERG LIGHT ON…fantastic! Best news ever! I start May 7 so I have one week to hang out with mom.

And this Friday, my pops comes with the UHaul where we will pack up my rubbermaid tubs (so efficient) and then go to Camrose to Jes and Mark’s place for a visit before heading home. I think Marli is coming along for the ride as well.

But now that I am done, I have a bunch of last minute things to tend to while saying goodbye to some honkies, rather, people, here that I think are pretty cool. And wait on my applications while praying extensively that God’s will and my dreams may possibly align.

So yay for sun and fun and no school and dad and summer employment and sleeping in…like I am going to do tomorrow!!!

(And after that, I will spend another 4 months thinking…do I really want to do ANOTHER year? Sure, why not.)