5 things…. I was tagged with the 5 things meme awhile ago by Christian Long… and was busy…. ok, I wasn’t that busy, but for whatever reason I did not sit down and write, right then.  It’s strange because I generally don’t have trouble with words, but I have been struggling with what to write.  So here goes…

  1. Farm girl… born into a longstanding farm family, work was no stranger to my daily routine.  Being raised on a farm truly impacts the course of life through a crash course in work ethic, problem solving and perseverance.  Although I cursed it while I was living it, the life my parents provided me with has shaped the person I am today.  I feel as though I know what work is, and the job I choose to go to everyday is not work, but a choice.  I love that I get to choose and day after day for ten years I have chosen to go to school ready to work with the next crew of high energy, entertaining and challenging teens.
  2. Seven years ago I moved to Flagstaff, Arizona and realized that there are truly breathtaking places on earth and I get to live in one of them.  Life at 7000 feet is amazing.  Being an hour from the Grand Canyon, 30 minutes to the red rocks of Sedona and a stone’s throw from more national forest than I can quite wrap my brain around is so very good. 
  3. I went camping for the first time when I was just 13 years old.  My Science teacher thought that it was a travesty that all these farm kids he taught never went into the great outdoors.  So, the week after school dismissed in 1987, Steve Severson packed some vans full of food, gear and a crew of awkward middle schoolers.  That trip repeated itself for 6 years, each year with a slightly different crew and location.  I didn’t make it every year, but when I spent the week after graduation in the PorcupineMountains of the Upper Peninsula, I knew that my life would embrace the ‘crunchier’ side of life.  What I don’t think that Severson (the teacher) realizes is that he impacted the outcome of all three kids in my family.  In different ways, that make sense only when you know kids like my teachers got to know kids, Severson guided us towards those paths that would lead us to the lives we lead today (we had the same set of teachers every other year from 7-12 grade… small school to say the least). He is an amazing teacher that realized content was only part of the job that he was hired to do.
  4. Everyone should be a camp counselor at some point in their life.  On a whim I applied to a summer camp after my ‘first’ senior year of college.  For the next two summers I lived amongst chaos, community and creativity.  The dynamic of camp is one that can only be understood by other adults that chose to spend a portion of their adulthood playing like a kid again.
  5. I am a storyteller, from a family of storytellers.  When I travel back to Wisconsin I am reminded of the place that shapes me, comforts me and binds me to a story that is still writing itself.  My dad, Ray, is one of the best storytellers that I know, telling a series of tales called, “Sad, but true”, from a life on road construction.  Each time I am home, the stories get funnier and more engaging.  He is a talented man.  I still have much to learn from him. 

So that rounds out the five things… my life has been a series of lucky, touching, inspiring, profound, hilarious and sobering experiences that leave me looking forward to what comes next.  Dream big.