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Archive for November, 2009

>She’s tough. She’s from Virginia.

>The above is a conversation I overheard between two clients while I was changing the water jug. It made me smile.

Some days, however, I do not feel tough. For example, yesterday I broke down and cried after work. I had an older gentleman sob to me about how he can’t talk to his brother, who is in a nursing home in Tennessee, anymore because he just had a feeding tube put in. The brother is autistic and the last time he tried to call, he wouldn’t come to the phone.

I had another gentleman insist we call 911 because he was allegedly throwing up blood. He then decided not to go along with the paramedics and to do the chicken dance across the street.

I spent hours convincing a client to call the suicide hotline for veterans. He had been an army medic and had a 2 year old girl die in his arms after being shot. He said he couldn’t fall asleep without seeing her and so he just got drunk every night and high every day and was sick of it. Then the Doctor on the crisis hotline called me back to chew me out about how he was just trying to pull a ruse and find a free place to stay and was being ludicrous.

My coworker called animal control on a dog which constantly was forgotten and tied up outside.

I had another man spend the entire day trying to get in touch with his brother, who never called him back.

I had another gentleman threaten another man for allegedly slashing his bike tires.

There are some moments that are rewarding, and others that are downright discouraging. And that’s why today, on my day off, I am still in my pajamas at 1 and am ready for Thanksgiving!

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>Keepin the Peace

>”A big part of job is keeping the peace” – Pov staff member in an article on the Poverello that appeared in today’s paper.

Which is true. Its hard finding, keeping, or creating ‘peace.’ Whether its what movie to show at work, or whose turn it is to do the dishes.

And so I like this blessing:



May the blessing of Light be on you

light without and light within.

May the blessed sunlight shine on you

And warm your heart till it glows

Like a great peat fire, so that the stranger

may come and warm himself at it

and also a friend

And may the light shine out of the two eyes of you

Like a candle set in the windows of a house

Bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.

And may the blessing of the Rain be upon you, the soft sweet rain.

May it fall upon your spirit so that all the little flowers may spring up

And shed their sweetness on the air

And may the blessing of the Great Rains be on you

May they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean

And leave there many a shining pool where the blue of heaven shines

And sometimes a star.

And may the blessing of the Earth be upon you, the great round earth

May you ever have a kindly greeting for them you pass

As you’re going along the roads

May the earth be soft under you when you rest upon it

Tire at the end of the day

And may it rest easy over you

When at the last you lay out under it

May it rest so lightly over you

That your soul may be out from under it quickly

And up, and off, and on its way to God.

And now may the Lord bless you all, and bless you kindly.

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>Lastly, Pictures Part 3.

>

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


 
So the other weekend, one of my housemates and I took a trip to the local graveyard for an event entitled “Stories and Stones.” Local people dressed up as some of the more famous, or rather infamous, Missoulians, and stood by their graves to regale the public with their stories.
Infamous Missoulian, Mrs. Gleim, the first woman in Missoula to run her own business. Take a guess at what it was…
It was actually a ton of fun. It was a beautiful fall day and we spent the afternoon listening to local actors tell fun stories, drinking cider, and just enjoying the sunshine. One of my favorites was a story from a local Missoulian who was the first white woman to live and die in Montana. As a widow, she opened a bakery and sold slices of pie for $5 gold pieces! Apparently flour was $30 for a 100lb bag and the miners would pay anything.
Also good was the first school teacher in Missoula. She gave us a list of the rules they had to follow which included:
1. You will not marry during the term of your contact.
2. You will not keep company with men.
3. You must be home between the hours of 8 pm and 6 am unless attending a school function.
4. You may not loiter downtown in an of the ice cream shoppes.
5. You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have permission of the chairman of the board.
6. You may not ride in a carriage or an automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.
7. You may not smoke cigarettes. 
8. You may not dress in bright colors.
9. You may not under any circumstances die your hair.
10. You must wear at least 2 petticoats.
11. Your dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle. 
These rules are posted under our fridge, entitled “Rules for Jesuit Volunteers.” I think we’ve broken all of them except 1, 7, and 10.

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>Pictures Part 2

>

Life in Missoula

Hiking up in the Seeley Swan Valley. John and I went and we saw some gorgeous trees, a stunning lake, and a hidden waterfall. Unfortunately, we also saw lots of clouds and not so much the spectacular mountain views I wanted. 

The Farmer’s Market is a wonderful Saturday tradition in Missoula.  
Every Saturday there are two, count ‘em, two farmers’ market’s PLUS a crafts fair to frequent. So the entire downtown is abustle with people doing their saturday shopping. It’s one of my favorite parts of Missoula. I love seeing the community out and about, people on the street playing guitar, tons of local flavor to be sampled, etc. 
We bought 2 “Fireside” apples to taste test, mainly because the name was so intriguing. And yes, I am holding a (gasp) disposable coffee cup. I finally bought a to-go one for 20 cents from our church’s garage sale. But getting coffee before I walk around the market is one of my favorite things to do, so I always indulge.  
Jen liked hers, I think.

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>PICTURES! Part 1

>

My computer is back and instead of doing one gigantic picture post, I will do a few separate ones:
We went on our retreat at Flathead Lake back in October. Flathead is beautiful country. The retreat was on community, which was something that was much needed to hear. We focused on forgiveness and right relationship, which is something everyone needs to hear day to day, and something that when you live with 4 other people, you need to be hit over the head with once in a while.

Flathead Lake
Doesn’t this rock look like a face?
The dock
Mission Mountains

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>A sleepy Montana morning

>The sun struggles to rise over the mountains which loom above a sleepy Montanan town. Weak rays of gray light illuminate the ominous clouds to the north. The air is surprisingly warm for November, but the wind whistles through my tires as I bike along quiet streets. Off to work before the sun has cleared the horizon.

A wind blows through the streets of downtown. A ghost wind which has cut through many small towns that morning, towns who tell tales of the mining days, of the glory days. Leaves blow in the streets, and I think to myself if they were only tumble weeds, this would be a western sight. The leaves dance around a forgotten flask left empty and open on the corner.
The coffee shops are the only stores with their lights on this early. The espresso love affair must have spread eastward from Seattle. But each cup reminds me of cowboys sitting around campfires, cup of black, strong coffee in hand. Sitting in the light of the night, cup of joe and a flask to stay warm.

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>On food

>This weekend I went to Helena with John. And I ate, for the very first time….

antelope.
It’s nothing to write home about, that’s for sure. Its enough to blog about though, huh?
In other news, I’ve also tried elk for the first time. Now that’s not all that bad, actually.

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