A Happy Ending...

I know how the book ends. Trust me. So turn back to that page where your bookmark sits, waiting for you to live the way you were meant to live, savoring every moment.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Oh, the Places I'll Go...

My dear blog, I have not forgotten you. I'm here. Busy as usual.

I can't believe it, but my long-awaited travel season will begin in just a few short days. I leave tonight for a short overnight trip to work a college fair and then I'll get to come back home tomorrow. I'll consider this my dry run, although if I completely stink at college recruiting, there is really no turning back anyway. I am my own territory manager, and sink or swim, I've got to dive into 6 weeks of intense travel.

I feel over-anxious and underprepared. I feel like I'm doing work that is so foreign to me, and yet the work of building relationships is really at the core of what I am doing, and that has always been a strength of mine. I feel my heart start to pound before each tour I've given in the last few weeks, and yet a few steps into it I realize that it isn't about what I say on that hour-long trot through campus, it's who I am. Each of these students is looking for a place to belong, not a laundry list of things the campus has to offer. And so, I calm down and I just talk to them. I'm genuine and interested in who they are and what they have to say. And so far, each of them has found their way to the Admissions lounge with a pen in their hand, filling out part I of the Application. And that's the goal, according to my boss. My goal is a connection, and so far I've felt that each time. I guess that's all I can do.

But now it is time to take it all on the road. I'll travel to Dallas, throughout the entire state of Alabama, to Houston, and finally to the Florida panhandle. Not the most exciting destinations, but all within the comforts of southern hospitality. I've been nervous about the logistics of it, but I'm plugging away at getting those in place. And I'm growing more and more comfortable with the work to be done. But one thing really hit me this morning while Lauren and I were getting ready in front of my cute little wardrobe mirror. I'm not going to be home for SIX weeks. Sure, I'll come home for 24 hours or so each weekend, but that's just long enough to go into work, get squared away for the upcoming trip, give Richie a kiss on the cheek, do my laundry and get back on the road. I had to leave my home in Houston to come here, and now that I am all settled and this place truly feels like home, I have to leave again. I'm not sure I realized how that would feel.

I'm going to miss Richie terribly. We were so used to not seeing each other last year, but now we're in a great rhythmn with each other and I must disrupt it. There are days when he is the only thing familiar on this mountain and I think, if it is possible, I love him even more than I did when we left. Sure, we're still used to spending our nights apart - I watch him walk to his rented room next door each evening, but we share meals together, and laughter, and moments of beautiful silence. I just don't know what I'm going to do without him for six whole weeks. And at the end of those six weeks, it will be time for our wedding. I'm in enough of a frenzy trying to get all the last minute details planned without having to also be on the road. How will I ever do this?

Here I go again. Doubting. Will I ever stop my doubting. Just a few short months ago, I thought that God couldn't possibly have a place for me here on this mountain. I thought I'd move here and be destitute without a job. And look, I have a job with amazing opportunities that has given me more than a place on the mountain. It has given me a means to pay our bills and even somewhat of a purpose here, aside from supporting Rich. Still, I can't help but doubt. It is all feeling like too much. Moving, new job, TRAVELING, and getting married. Oddly enough, it isn't the getting married part that I'm nervous about. It's the wedding. So silly, I know.

What a disjointed blog I have just created. I guess that is the state of my mind.

Lauren was here this weekend and I had SUCH fun. I really don't know what I'd do without a friend nearby (and by nearby I mean SIX hours a way). And she is the perfect friend to have nearby. I miss her already and she just left a few hours ago. She simply filled my weekend with joy. I love you, my dear Lauren!

Ok, time to head back to work. Way too much to do to be working on this thing!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

New things I love

So, I began working on a post about the big goodbye with my family. Maybe I'll finish it, maybe I'll post it, maybe not.

We're here in Sewanee, TN. The trip was fine, although expensive. Luckily, my job is reimbursing us for most of it. Our house here is awesome. It's actually a duplex and our address says "apt." but for all practical purposes, it's a house. I'll post pics once we are really moved in (although we are well on our way). For now I just want to paint a picture of our new life by telling you of some of my favorite things we've done so far:

1. Trips to the Farmer's Market!! We've gone twice now, and it's becoming a ritual of sorts. One thing you should know is that tomatoes are "maters." So country, I know, but man, we've eaten the heck out of those maters. We've bought maters, onions, squash, peaches, blackberries, bananas, garlic, and fresh jalapenos. Oh yeah, and today we bought fresh green beans, which I've now snapped and will cook in a bit. We haven't eaten out once since we've been here, which is a HUGE change for us. And we both agree, we're not sick of eating at home. In fact, we love it! We've been eating such fresh and healthy food, we both feel great.

2. Going to the flea market today. We found a great rug for our living room for $60. It totally makes the room. And the price was great. The flea market was fun in general. Lots of old crap we didn't need, but so fun to look at! And then we found the Monteagle Mountain Market that was going on today and walked around there before enjoying some roasted corn. Yum!

3. Eating all of our meals outside. The weather is incredibe. It's July and we ate hot soup outside and never broke a sweat. It does get hot, but it's not the same kind of hot as Texas. At night, it dips down to 60 or so - I had to wear a sweatshirt at the BBQ last night. In July. Now that is incredible.

4. Sitting in our new rocking chairs on our back porch. Rich bought them for me as a surprise and I love them. Our porch is screened in, so no bugs or anything. Just a cool breeze and lots to look at and two rocking chairs to grow old in.

I miss my family. Alot. But life is good. It's somehow simpler, slower, and healthier and I've adjusted to it so quickly.

I'll tell you about my job later. I think I'm going to really like it, but it will be a HUGE challenge.

Be well my friends and peace to you from Rockytop.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Moving On

I'm not sure which I dislike more: moving or moving on. Moving sucks. We all know that. You don't realize that you have as much shit as you do until you start having to wrap every little trinket and every dish and put it in a box. Box after box after box you put your whole life into cardboard and step back and look at it and wonder how the hell you acquired so much stuff.

I can't help but think: it's all in boxes and yet I'm able to function these last few days. Do I really need all that stuff? And I'm also a bit of a pack-rat by nature, though not entirely so. And it's hard for me to know what is important to save and what is not. I think about the few things my mother saved from her childhood and her teenage years and I've LOVED those things. What do I have that my daughter (futuristically speaking) would want? What momentos do I want from high school, college, and my first few jobs. I'm terrified of throwing something away that I'll later regret, and yet in all the packing I've found myself throwing a lot of stuff away. There should be a "how-to" guide for moving. Heck, maybe I need one for life right now.

Back to my original point, all sap aside, I hate moving. It's a big sweaty pain in Houston, TX.

There's nothing I'll particularly miss about my apartment. It's tiny. It's on the third floor. I have yet to meet and neighbor and remember what they look like or their name. It's got high ceilings so it costs way too much to keep cool. Really, there is nothing special about this place. And yet, it's mine! When I moved into it, it was the first place I ever paid rent on my own. Moving into it was a triumphant move on my part. I had left the nest once before, but this time it was different. After a difficult few years, it was a move of independence, an emotional move from the nest. And I have loved every minute of living there on my own. I know every nook and cranny. I can reach for the refrigerator door that's missing a handle in the dark and know just where to grab it. My body wakes up just before the train drives by when I have my windows open in the winter. I know to never turn my fan off because the dust will fly all over my bed. Sounds like shit-hole, I know, but it's my place. And now I am leaving it.

And then there's my job. I'm not particularly attached to the work that I do, although I have enjoyed it for the most part. And I don't have an emotional attachment to the majority of the people at my office. And the ones I do, I already know that we're only a phone call away. And I hate the building I work in. It's a meatlocker most days, until the AC goes out, which it does frequently, and then it's flaming hot. And yet, as I walk through the halls in these last days, I get sad. I'm such a sentimental thing, I can't imagine not coming here everyday. I can't imagine not seeing these familiar faces. I'm also training a couple of new people on different aspects of my job, and it's hard for some reason. You want to think that you aren't so replaceable, but I know we all are. One particular woman I am training doesn't seem to want me to teach her anything - like "I can figure this out on my own" and that is frustrating. When I came in, I HAD to teach myself and trust me, it wasn't fun. They've purposely brought her in early so that I can work with her, and I already feel like "out with the old, in with the new."

These two small details aside, the one part of this move that is next to impossible is leaving my family. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it.

I think I shall have to save that for my next post: Moving On, Part II (READ: Not Moving On)

Be well, friends and readers.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Roller-blogging

Wow, it's been so long, I'm not sure where to start.

I feel like my blog has become like that pair of rollerblades I just had to have when I was 13. They were my favorite thing for a few months and I used them all the time. And then suddenly, like all favorite toys they ended up collecting dust in the garage. I'm not so sure that I got bored of my blog, so maybe it's not the same thing, but honestly, I hung this thing up somewhere in the back of my mind behind a wardrobe of "what-ifs" and "might nots" and that glaring truth of "I need a job." It's not that I had nothing to blog about. It's just that I've been on emotional overload and real life was seriously kicking me in the ass and I don't know...I was tired of putting all those thoughts out into the atmosphere. So I just burned up the phone lines with my friends (who are probably the very people reading this blog) and talked about all my fears and doubts and what-ifs.

But friends, I am happy and proud to tell you that things are looking up for me. I am such a girl of little faith - I'm embarassed to tell you of the many thoughts that ran through my mind as I looked for a job in Sewanee, TN. As of about 22 hours ago, I have one. Just as simple as that. No, not simple at all, and yet it just happened and the longer I become of aware of this new reality, the more those months of doubt and misery seem to fade away. Ok, ok, Trish - cut to the chase!

Yesterday, I was offered a position as an Admissions Counselor for the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. Basically, I will spend the fall semester traveling all over and doing college fairs and recruiting. Then in the spring, I will read college apps. (hundreds of them) and decide who makes the first cut. There are about 6-8 counselors in the office and they are my age for the most part. This seriously feels like a dream job. I'll get to walk to work, which is wonderful! And I just think that this job will be so fun. The way I look at it, it's not just "a job." It's something that I can for the next three years and feel like I have just as much of a purpose there as Rich. So...all the worrying and prayers of desperation...and now, it's over. Or rather, it's just beginning.

I'm quite sure I have ZERO readers left since I haven't blogged in so long. I hope you'll come back to me, friends. I finally have things to say that you MIGHT want to read. Not just gloom and doom and woe is me.

The downside of all of this is that I have to move in just 2 weeks. Not long, but I've kind of been prepared to go when I get the call. So that is that.

Be well, my friends, and I'll put on the old rollerblades again soon!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

You can stop searching in the ditches for my decomposing body.

I'm alive. Just busy...

Oh yeah, this is too good. Former Ginger Spice named her child Blue Bell Madonna. I guess when you are rich, you can afford to screw your children up from the start because you can afford counseling down the road.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The New and Improved Trishy, fo' shizzle!

I've got mad street cred now...

Yes that's right, folks. I am now the proud owner of the Urban Dictionary: Fularious Street Slang Defined.

After verbal slip-ups too numerous to count, my boss made the inevitable purchase, hoping to nip the next few in the bud. He had simply had enough of my lip. You see, he eats baked chicken every day, so one day I called him a "chicken head" and apparently that has some dirty meaning that chicks like me don't know. So, he sent me to urbandictionary.com to check it our for myself. I urge you to go there my friends before you make such a slip of the tongue. Wow, did I just say "slip of the tongue" in reference to "chicken head?" I'm dirty and I didn't even know it.

Anyway, this book is great for a girl like me. Allow me to educate you on a few of the things I've been learning. PS - this is a great bathroom read. The entries are short and to the point and you learn some "mad street cred, fo' shizzle." Damn, I'm white.

do the math To give someone your telephone number, or to ask someone for their telephone number.
Ho, you be fine. Do the math for me.

(In my day, do the math meant "figure it out for yourself." Apparently, I'm light-years behind.)

chirp 1. To emit a short squeal from the tires when launching a car of changing gears. Yo, bro, I just chirped third gear in my Civiv. 2. To call someone on the phone, usually when you want a booty call or just to chill with them. Yo, I'm 'bout to chirp my slideoff, son. I'll holla at you. 3. to puke, vomit, throw up. After a long night of drinking I gotta chirp so I don't feel all hung over the next day.

bend a corner To provide transportation for; to drive by and pick up. Yo, Dave, can ya bend that corner for me, dawg?

blacklight Barbie A woman who appears much prettier in the blacklight at a party or club than she really is. Seeing Whitney in the daylight, I realized she was a total blacklight Barbie.

purse out For males only: to not do something because of a girly reason, to wuss out. Tim was going to go to the bar with us tonight, but he pursed out because he had to get up early tomorrow.

farting terms A milestone in a new relationship when both parties feel at ease when breaking wind in front of each other. You've been with that bird for a long time and you're not even on farting terms yet? Do you have to go to the bathroom every time you need to rasp?

wigger A pejorative term for a Caucasian kid who mimics the language, dress, and mannerisms of ghetto kids.
Wigger: Yo, bizzle, you best step off mah bread!
Suburban white girl: Didn't you get that do-rag at Hot Topic? And why are you wearing a FUBU shirt?
Wigger: Yeah, well...you know that's how we do...


I'm starting to feel like a bit of a wigger myself, so I think I'll end my first mad street cred lesson there. That, and I'm feeling Randy Jackson-isms creeping into my vocabulary more and more and that's just not right. Check it out dawg. Yo dawg, check it out. That man bugs the crap out of me. Seriously, I'd like to put him on mute.

So, I'm educated now. At least I know never to use the term chicken head again. Well, not to my boss anyway, although he pretty much just laughed till he hit the floor with no hard feelings. All in a day's work, my friends.

Trishy, OUT...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tail-Pinching, Head-sucking, and more on Traditions


It seems that my entire life is centered around traditions. I don't know if we're normal or the experiential equivalent of "pack-rats" and simply can't let anything go. But we have traditions that happen every year and I look forward to them all. Tomorrow, is perhaps my favorite of all: The Crawfish Boil. It's the best damn party this side of Louisiana.

And this year is special, because it marks our 20th Annual Crawfish Boil. We've done this thing for 20 years, in good times and bad, so this year is truly a cause for celebration. And what have we done to mark this momentous occasion? Why, we made t-shirts of course! READ: I made t-shirts. It seems that writing bubble letters and making t-shirts are my lot in life, but you don't hear me complaining. Yes, tomorrow the entire clan (13 and counting), both young and old, will be decked out in these babies. Even the new baby has a teeny-tiny one AND I made Dad an apron (he's the cook) because he's got the messiest job of all.
Our day starts early. Actually, preparations begin weeks in advance. But the big stuff happens that day. Chopping, chopping, and more chopping of vegetables for the best gumbo you'll ever taste, setting up chairs and tables, making cocktail sauce. And then, the crawfish arrive. Straight from the Crawfish Farm in Lake Charles, LA that very day, they cruise in the back of Mr. Al's truck, "big red. OK, big red as retired and it's not "big blue" the suburban, but whatever.

NOTE: environmentalists, beware. You might not want to read the next paragraph. In fact, you might not want to read my blog.

At that point, the journey toward the light begins for the crawfish. They're carried in big mesh bags and put in the grass where they get hosed down periodically. Then they take a final swim in the big aluminum tub before they're tossed into the boil. Oh, come on folks, it's what the day is all about. The kids always play with them while they are in the big tub. You've got to know just how to pick them up though - those suckers hurt! There's typically always an unfortunate pinch. Boil by boil, we cook up about 350lbs of the critters, as well as pot of gumbo big enough for me to sit in, and a vat of corn and potatoes.

The crowd begins to arrive about 4pm. Over the years, the crowd hasn't changed much. Generally speaking, once you're invited to the Crawfish Boil, you're kind of always invited. I take that back. We've made some cuts over the years - you know how friendships go. But for the most part, the guest list hasn't changed. And it's cool to see children's children now coming. Three Generations. Like I said, once invited, always invited.

Ah, the party begins. It'll go on for hours and end sometime before the next morning. Every sits down with a beer flat full of crawfish, a steaming bowl of gumbo and a tasty cold one. (I'm tipping my hat to the mayor there) Pinch the tails, suck the heads, toss them into the heep. NOTE: my dad always told me that the yellow stuff was mustard. I'll just go with that, thank you very much.


Usually by 10pm or so, my Mom is talking really loud and repeating herself. My dad looks pooped and happier than he is all year. Our eyes are all glazed over and our fingers are stained red. There's usually some dancing in the garage, (Mom says she likes to "get down.") a poker game, a floated keg and multiple beer runs following that, and few crawfish who braved the escape into the backyard, only to find out that it is enemy zone. We've had a few romances develop over the years, a broken bone, a visit from the police, spilled urine during a game of truth-or-dare (don't ask) the best damn game of hide and seek ever amidst all the cars, and much much more.


So that, my friends, is the Crawfish Boil. But the tradition doesn't end there. Nope. We wake up Saturday morning and chase a Tylenol with a coke to ward off the hangover, then gather to get the house and yard cleaned up. A little siesta, then it's time for more festivities. We all head over to Don'Keys in Pasa-get-down-dena for some awesome Mexican food and margaritas and some good laughs. I'm sure we break some commandment with all the festivities, but hey...we're a devout people and we're honest about our indulgences.

It's probably weird to have so many family traditions (and to add to the list EVERY year). I know it's weird this day and age to like your family enough to want to see them at all the events. But we genuinely like each other and love to be together for all the traditions. There are many more, but I'll tell you about those another day. They all have their own story. Our traditions make us who we are. Our traditions are sacred to us, and frankly, they are sacred to those around us.

I don't know what you're doing this weekend, but I plan to pinch a tail, suck a head, and drink a toast to YOU!