I know I've said this before, but I feel like everyone around me is getting married. Thankfully, my roommates are all blessedly single, so I'm not surrounded by happy in love people. However, it seems like a lot of people I know have gotten engaged or married this year. My ex-boyfriend was married this summer (to what sounds like a great woman, so I'm happy for him), and so was my cousin, a school friend, and a camp friend. I know two separate couples that just got engaged.
I've been thinking about marriage a lot recently. I'm honestly at a point in my life where I am starting to think about getting married myself. Don't worry; there are no marriage candidates at this point in time. I'm not even dating anyone. But I'm still considering the marriage issue, mainly because I know that I ultimately want to have children, and I'd like a good man to parent with me.
When I was visiting my great aunt in Milwaukee, we talked a bit about marriage. She had been married for 50 odd years to my recently-deceased great uncle. We talked about my relationships and what I was looking for in a guy; I've got a laundry list of qualities, attributes, and hobbies that I'd love to find in my ultimate mate. What she told me, though, is perhaps more important than my list. She said that, to her, the most important things in a mate are faithfulness and love. Communication is also key. After that, everything can be worked out.
I've been mulling it over. Is that what it's all about? I'm not sure. I'm a cerebral person, and I love to mull things over with someone else. I talk out my thoughts (both problems and even just considerations). I'm chatty in general. I also love intellectual discussions, word games, and generally nerdy stuff. I use "big words" when I talk (it's that darn SAT vocab). But I also try to avoid intellectual pretension, and it's challenging to find someone who shares my interests without also being a prat.
I intend to find someone loving and caring no matter what. It's not like I'd go for an intellectual guy who was unfaithful over a sweethearted, caring individual who was less brainy. But I think that while I'm young, I can afford to be picky still.
I'm leaving Milwaukee for Ann Arbor today, and I am way too excited for my own good. Hopefully, this won't backfire on me, but I've got a good feeling about all of this.
My last few days in Milwaukee were good and calm. I went to the Milwaukee County Zoo on Saturday and dweebed it up; I'm the only person I know that likes going to the zoo alone, and this trip was just as fun as I thought it would be. A la carte (the taste of Milwaukee event) was going on at the same time, so I got lots of good food while also enjoying animals that I love. There were plenty of babies, from bonobos to spider monkeys to a green tree boa (they have yellow babies. Did you know that? I didn't). When I get all set up, I'll have to put up more zoo pictures.
Today, I'm just waiting for my Twin cities roommate to come into town so I can throw my inherited lazy-boy into her truck. Then, we'll snag lunch and strike out for Ann Arbor. Here's to hoping Chicago traffic isn't monsterous.
I am back in the hometown of my parents. Currently, I'm staying with my great aunt and hanging out with some (second once removed?) cousins.
Today, I went to the Milwaukee Public Museum, which is a museum I visited regularly in my childhood. Very little has changed (exhibits have been added, but the old ones are mostly the same), and it was wonderful to wander these halls and know what dioramas would be around the corner. The best part was going through the biology areas and remembering my childhood wonder at the foreign items I saw. The biological diversity hall is centered on the tropical rain forest. Now that I've been to Costa Rica and the rain forest, these items are much more familiar, but the hall still invokes a sense of wonder in me.
Then, in the evening, I went to a Brewers game with my cousins (and they skipped something with their mom to come with me! That's extended family love). The brew crew won, which means I'm 2 for 2 with game attendence this year (the Twins beat the Tribe in the game I went to on Tuesday). It's been really fun to visit other stadiums and notice the differences, especially with the vendors.
On the docket for tomorrow is the Milwaukee Zoo. Still not sure what I'm doing on Sunday, but I'll figure it out. Monday, I'll be driving over to Ann Arbor and my new house. I'm excited to meet my other new roommates, since meeting Sonja in the Twin Cities went really well.
One last thought: I'm glad I've taken this road trip to move across the country. The down time, visiting friends, and seeing family has been good for me. This transitional time is making the move a bit easier, even though I still get the occasional pangs of homesickness.
Suzy cups is one of my favorite games. It's played with two teams, two goals, four suzy cups, and a frisbee. I've included a video below the cut, along with an explanation of the game.
I first played suzy cups back in 2004 when I was a Voyage-leader-in-training at Pacific University. I was taught this game by Chad Toomey. I've always meant to pass it on and play with other people, but I somehow forget. Hopefully, now that I've found this video and remembered how to score, I can play this next time I'm at camp (or with frisbee friendly folks in Ann Arbor).
During the day, I had all sorts of thoughts rolling around in my head. Long drives with spotty cell phone access (apologies to April and my family) will do that.
Somehow, right now, I can't think of anything profound or even that interesting.
I'm in Glendive, Montana. Tomorrow, I'll be visiting Teddy Roosevelt Nat'l Park, and I'll also be driving across the great state of North Dakota. It's a new state for me.
I'm safe and sound. Towing the trailer is doing just fine (and I've been keeping track of gas mileage, so one of these days, I'll post up numbers about that). Chris Mahen of Uhaul in Missoula is an amazing guy that got me going on the road in short order this morning after I stopped by with a burned out right turn signal. Turns out I had a bad wire, but he got everything squared away in about 30 minutes.
I'm super excited to hit the Twin Cities. I have a couple of fun activities planned, including a Twins' game, the zoo, and a natural history museum.
I'm safely in Missoula at my uncle's house. He lives right near a Coke bottling plant, so we get 25 cent cans of soda. Where else do you see that these days?
On my drive yesterday, I saw three women having a "lady's night out" at a McDonald's in Kellogg. They looked so happy and relaxed.
Today, I visited Glacier with my uncle, aunt, and little cousin Graham (these are the same relatives that visited in Seattle in March). It was really beautiful, and I'll post up some pictures when I get something faster than dialup.
All is going well. I've got a trailer on my car, but I'm still driving fine. It slows me down a bit, and my gas mileage is way down (from ~ 40mpg hw to perhaps 30? I have to go calculate, but I've got all the numbers to figure it out). However, I've got almost all my wordly possessions with me, so that's nice.
The big move feeling only hits me from time to time. Most of the time, I'm enjoying this grand road trip. Every once in awhile, I get a sinking in my stomach when I realize that it will be several months until I see the people I love. I will meet new people to love, but that doesn't mean I won't miss everyone back home.
Or, really, end of an almost-decade. Today was my last day vending (at least for the foreseeable future, tho I could potentially work the game on Christmas Eve if, say, I really wanted to). From now on, vending will not be my major source of income, and it will no longer be part of my regular routine.
Like all changes in life, I'm excited yet sad. One of my brothers' oldest friends worked with us, and we carpooled to work every day. He and I hung out a couple of times outside of work, but we never felt the need to hang out regularly, as we spent lots of time together during our daily hour-long commute to work. Strangely, I'm going to miss hanging out with Phil and bouncing ideas off of him. Like all good friends, he ticked me off from time to time, but he has been a solid part of my life for a good number of years (6? 7? who knows?).
I am glad to be done with the BS that was work politics.
Now, all I have left to do is packing and saying goodbye. I'm having a party for my camp friends tomorrow night (tho Phil may crash the party, but it's mostly a camp thing). The packing is winding down; my 4x8 trailer is a touch over half full, and I have perhaps 5 or 6 more boxes worth of stuff that I could potentially pack.
I'll finish the packing in the morning, I hope. I'd like to have my room straightened up by the time my friends get here.
Then, on Friday morning, I leave. I can't believe that it's less than 36 hours from now.