It's been over a year since my last post, and to say 'a lot has happened' is one of the biggest understatements I could utter. I'm going to try to sum up the last 14 months in a series of posts, along with some photos that have been taken during my travels.
In September 2017, I changed careers to become an insurance adjuster. This is a move that I had been anticipating for a while, but when it actually happened everything fell together extremely fast. I did two days of training as a flood adjuster in Mobile, AL, then took 4 days to go home and shove everything I owned into storage so I could go to work down in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.
(My experiences in Houston could fill a short novel...and perhaps I'll write that one day. Today is not that day.)
I ended up spending about 6 weeks in Houston, then went to Mobile again to work as a desk adjuster because the 'outside' work was pretty much done. I spent the next four months in Mobile working 10-12 hour days 7 days a week - took off a weekend for Christmas and two days in January to attend a friend's wedding in that time frame.
Being an adjuster is the very definition of crazy seasonal work (aka work your butt off for several months at insane hours and then have no work for an indeterminate amount of time). So when work was done at the end of January I be-bopped around for a couple of months, visiting family and friends and reveling in having some free time.
The end of March/beginning of April I spent in Illinois staying with my parents, starting to get a little nervous because I didn't have any work and had no idea when I would go back...but thankfully this meant that I was home during a combination of a freak snow and hoarfrost on April 1st.
Hoarfrost is one of my favorite things: it forms when fog freezes and creates ethereal ice crystals on everything it touches. I have seen it a total of maybe 4 times in my life because it requires still, calm, moist, cold weather. (As anyone who lives in Illinois can tell you, 98% of the time the wind is blowing. IT NEVER STOPS)
This day, however, the conditions were absolutely perfect.
I left the house during golden hour, and it was absolutely frigid (around 15 degrees), and it was just me tromping around the yard with the dog, and the entire experience was magical.
(See? Tromping boots. Very important for snowy days.)
This is one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken, by the way. It's like the entire embodiment of winter mornings summed up in one image.
Javert accompanied me during the first part of the snowfall.
He was unamused after the first five minutes or so.
I, on the other hand, was very amused by this robin's tenacity at declaring spring in the middle of a snowstorm.
The snow only lasted for a day or two, but I absolutely loved it while it lasted. After spending my entire winter in the deep south, where people whine if the temperature drops below 60, it was a delight to have a taste of true winter weather.
The middle of April I drove to Texas for a class through work. The class was free, for the purpose of becoming rope and harness certified so I could work on steep roofs for inspections. On day 3 out of 4 of training I was asked to go back to Mobile as a desk adjuster AND asked if I wanted to join an emergency response unit - the latter is as a salaried employee, where they send me wherever there happens to be work (especially for catastrophes) anywhere in the country.
I accepted the desk position first, so as soon as the class was over I drove back to Mobile to work for about 6 weeks. I'll be back with my next post on some of the things I enjoy(ed) about Mobile...and hopefully will be blogging again on a semi-regular basis. I make no promises, especially since I'm still working 10 hour days 7 days a week right now, but I've missed blogging and have lots of photos to post from the last year.
This weekend I'm home-away-from-home in Illinois, visiting family and steeping myself in the nostalgia of being in the place that shaped me. For 23 years I lived in the same small, sleepy town, surrounded by cornfields and taking the slow route in life. I left because I felt like I was stuck in a rut, doing the same old thing, seeing the same old people, blah de blah de blah. I do see Arkansas as 'home' now. But going back to Illinois tends to ground me a bit.
There's a lot to be said for going back to a place and remembering when 9-year-old me did this, or 12-year-old me did that, or the one time my brothers caught the field next door on fire, or when the horses got out and we had to chase them across two streets and a highway before catching them, or teaching the dogs to pull a sled...there are many, many memories wrapped up in this place.
In keeping with that nostaligic, feel-good theme, today's post is dedicated to the things that currently fall under my 'favorites' category. There are lots of things that I like in this world, but each week usually brings at least a few things to the forefront that I can't get enough of. My tastes are a little eclectic, so I hope you bear with the apparent randomness of my thought process.
So with no further ado, here we go!
#1: This song:
I love John Mayer. (Or his music, at least--on a personal level he kind of annoys me) But his music has seen me through more of my life than I care to mention, and out of all the music I listen to, I actually own most of his albums on CD rather than just digital files.
This song has literally been playing on repeat for the past couple of weeks whenever I get the chance because I love it so much. Gah.
#2: This poem:
Erin Hanson is a gifted, wonderful, amazing poet. I have her book of poems and the ones not listed in the book are on my Pinterest boards.
This one has been reminding me to slow down and s a v o r life. (This is much easier said than done much of the time.)
#3: These adorable waxed canvas bags:
I love to make things, and sew bags/quilts/pillows/etc as the mood strikes (and time allows). I saw these little gems on Pinterest and fell in LOVE. I'm not exactly a hippie-dippie 'save the trees' kinda person....but I do believe in being responsible for what we have, recycling/reusing when possible, and wasting as little as possible.
(Plus who WOULDN'T want to have 'brown paper bags' that will last for years? I'm definitely a fan of the idea.)
#4: Myers-Briggs testing results:
According to the test found on this website, I'm an INFP (Introversion Intuitive Feeling Perceptive). Doing some reading on it has given me some insight to my strengths and weaknesses....especially recently, when certain events have had me questioning some of my basic traits and perception of reality.
#5: Being home.
I don't have a picture to encompass this sentiment, but I've only been in Illinois for 7 hours and I'm already reminded why this is one of my favorite places to be. It rained today and even the rain smelled better....walking barefoot in the wet grass afterwards was heavenly....my dog has been thrilled to see me....my mom and I went for a bike ride that was glorious....it's just been good so far. This weekend will be just what I've needed as of late.
On that note I'm going to sign off....thanks for reading my inane babblings and I will be back on Monday!
Sessions, life updates, and musings.