Thoughts on Being The Cute New Librarian

I have been flirted with more in the past few weeks than my entire twenty-three years combined.

When I took a job as the librarian in a small town, my mom teasingly hinted that this would happen.  “Word will get out, Amelia,” she laughed.  “A young, cute, single librarian… they’ll be lining up to meet you.”

To my great surprise, she was right. Continue reading

Poetry Friday: When You are Old by W.B. Yeats

When You are Old by W.B. Yeats
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
——————–

What is Poetry Friday?  Years ago, when I was in high school, we did poetry lessons every Friday.  I’ve always loved this idea and will continue the tradition by sharing poems on my blog.

Over the Sea to Skye

Scotland, you have stolen my heart once again.  My past three days have been spent exploring the Highlands and Island of Skye.

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Being a single explorer with a desire to explore the vast wilderness of Scotland, I decided that the best way to taste my fill of nature was by taking a bus tour.  The thing about but tours is that they’re expensive, but they provide all kinds of facts I never would have known on my own.  Instead of fretting over catching busses and figuring out train times, I sat back, relaxed, and absorbed thrilling tales of faeries and Jacobite rebellions.

Two of the days were spent traveling across the Highlands, with one full day on Skye.  We spent the night in the adorable coastal town of Portree.  Although known for its rain, the first two days of the trip were sunny and gorgeous.  The visibility on the island was incredible!  At points, we could see all the way to the outer Hebrides–a rare feat.

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I saw a lot during my trip… attempting to go into everything would suck up time that I don’t have.  So, here are some photos from the Isle of Skye.  I’ll post more from the Highlands later.

In the meantime, I’m in Edinburgh for a few days and look forward to exploring the capital of Scotland.

Gondolas & North Shore Connections

The North Shore of Minnesota is a feast for the spirit.  When I look out on the thick pine forests, rugged cliffs, and never ending water, all is well within me.  In a way, the beauty reminds me of who I am.

When I published my post “Thoughts From a Cold Boulder” last month, I thought that was my last time I’d get to see the place that is so dear to me.  Thankfully, I have a mom with connections.  She’s a lobbyist by trade and she represents several communities around the state.  Her job is to use the legislative process to get money to help benefit the well being of her clients.  Often times, this involves boosting tourism.

One of Mom’s biggest clients is Lutsen Mountains, the largest ski hill in the state.  Because of her connections, we were able to take a free two-day ski trip during my Spring Break last March.  Which was AWESOME.

Over the past year, Lutsen has put a lot of money into installing a new gondola.  This investment will (hopefully) bring in more people.  As the largest business in the county, this benefits the entire community.

Yesterday morning, there was a big opening ceremony for the event.  Mom decided to attend and, like the little mooch that I am, I tagged along.

We arrived Thursday night.  Mom was invited to dinner with the owners and the local senator (who is also the Senate Minority Leader and the third most powerful politician in the state).  I ate separately and enjoyed a relaxing evening watching Sleepless in Seattle in our room while she rubbed shoulders with the powerful, influential people of Cook County.

My original goal for tagging along was to go skiing.  I mean, what’s the point of going to the largest ski hill in Minnesota without hitting the slopes?  Sadly, due to an unnaturally warm December, most of Lutsen’s runs were closed.  They were making snow like crazy to be fully open by the weekend… but not in time for us.  No skiing for me.  😦

When the time for the ceremony came yesterday morning, Mom and I made our way to the shiny new gondola platform.  We were stopped and informed that it didn’t open for the general public for half an hour.  Mom quirked her head and goes, “Did Charles and Tom go up already?  We’re with them?”  That’s my mom–name dropping like a pro.

The ride from the platform to top of Moose Mountain was stunning.  They’ve been hard at work making snow and the trees were all coated in a thick layer of white.  The gondola cars have wide windows and we could see for miles and miles.  We were riding through the sky above the winter wonderland all the Christmas songs talk about.

The ceremony itself went very well.  Speeches were made, the ribbon was cut, and everyone moved inside to the chalet for coffee and cookies.  I met Lutsen’s owner and his wife invited us to come up and ski with them.  (Too bad I’m leaving the country in a few weeks…)  I met the important senator.  His wife, Laura, was VERY sweet and spent a long time talking with me.  I also met many of my mom’s Grand Marais work contacts–various business owners and such.

I’ve been attending these kind of events–press releases, grand openings, legislative hearings, etc.–since I was a kid.  I’ve learned to be a fly on the wall, following two steps behind Mom while she talks and makes connections.  I speak if spoken to, but usually stay pretty quiet.

After everything was done, we rode the gondola back down the mountain and headed to Grand Marais for lunch.  We had soup at the town’s coffee shop, then stopped by the home of one of Mom’s friends.  He’s the director of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce and his wife is from England!  We stayed for a long time.  The adults talked while I made friends with one of their huskies–a retired sled dog from Scotland.

It was a long four-hours home, but the drive along Lake Superior was beautiful as always.  We went to Gooseberry Falls State Park to see if the waterfalls were still running (they were!) and made a stop in Duluth for coffee.

I love the North Shore.  When I visit, I’m reminded of who I am.  It’s almost like coming home.  From a young age, the beauty has put roots in my heart and become part of me.  I’m thankful to have had so many opportunities to visit throughout my life.  I don’t know when I’ll be back, which makes me really sad.  But no matter where I go, no matter how much life changes, it’s always there waiting to remind me of where I’m from.

Local adventuring

Many a time on this blog, I’ve expressed my desire to live a life of adventure, to do something worth meaning.  That being said…

Sometimes, friends, adventure is only five minutes from home.  All you have to do it look for it.

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Me looking out at the St. Croix River at Interstate Park in Taylors Falls, Minnesota. Taken October 20, 2014.

Friday Favorites III

My computer monitor informs me that I have twenty one minutes till midnight… so time for a last-minute Friday Favorites!

This food:

That’s right… almonds.  This one is a bit weird for me.  I’ve never liked eating nuts.  Never.  But one of my coworkers at camp shared a bunch and, after giving them a shot, I discovered that they are, in fact, delicious.  My dad will be so proud.

This book:

 

 

I ordered this book on Amazon AGES ago and have been longing for its release ever since.  When I returned home from camp today, I was overjoyed to find my newly released copy sitting on my bed.  I don’t even have words for how excited this book makes me.  I mean, it’s two of my favorite things combined!  Tolkien and Arthurian legend!  How much more epic can you get?  Yes, the poem itself is unfinished (can you blame the man for wanting to finish writing The Hobbit?).  Yes, most of the book is made up of essays.  But it’s Tolkien.  And it’s Arthurian legend.  And it’s going to be beautiful.

Graduation

This evening, I got to see my little brother graduate  high school.  He’s a great kid, and I’m excited to see where life brings him next!  It was strange being in that building again–I haven’t stepped foot inside in around three years.  After the ceremony, I got to see several friends that I haven’t seen or spoken to in several years (some since my own graduation, actually).  I also saw a few former classmates that made me want to run and hide.  Nevertheless, I’ve always been one for nostalgia, so when the opening bars of “Pomp and Circumstance” began, I momentarily forgot about how uncomfortable it was to be packed in the high school gym like sardines.  Part of my heart stirred, longing for times gone by–of lockers, band class, and hanging out with friends between bells.  And then some students behind me talked the entire ceremony, reminding me exactly why I was so happy to leave high school behind.  After everything was over

This place:

This is the St. Croix River at the Osceola boat landing, about five minutes from my house.  This photo was taken a few years ago, but my best friend and I have a tradition of coming here in the summer.  After graduation, we went to Dairy Queen and brought our ice cream to the park on the island in the middle of the beautiful river.  The sun had already set, and as we sat at the point watching the water flow away from us, we talked about life, school, God, and all sorts of best friend topics.  It’s been a few months since we’ve seen each other, and due to the fact that I’m at camp and Erin is headed for Africa next week, our paths won’t cross much this summer.  Talking to her was wonderful, and even though it was dark, the St. Croix was as beautiful as ever.

This song:

Just before the semester ended, Cloud Cult came to my university.  Even though it was cold and a bit wet, I curled up under a blanket with one of my roommates eating day old movie theater popcorn as they played a two hour acoustic set on the mall in the center of campus.  Ever since, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with their new acoustic album.  I listened to this song at least three consequtive times on my drive from camp to home this afternoon.