Saturday, May 29, 2010

Daily 5 - Day 279 - 288

Can I be honest?  I didn't keep daily 5 lists for the last 10 days or so.  At least not on paper or here on the blog.  I did sort of store them in my head and heart a bit, I guess.

I didn't actually do almost any of the things that were sort of part of the routine of my life.  Suddenly and unexpectedly losing your job, and then taking off on a very unplanned (on my part - my dad had planned for it, I guess) road trip across the continent sort of have that effect on routine.  And, I spent a lot of time in a car and/or sleeping.

But I have a list, a longish one, formulating in my head of the things that made me smile over the course of the time away, and I thought I'd give a shot to jotting it down here, and just consider that the "daily 5" for days 279 through 288.

We'll see how this rhythm pans out in the coming days... it's important to me to make these lists, but seems hard to focus on getting back into it.  It feels like the sort of thing that seems lost in uncertainty at the moment.  In the meantime, here's the longish list I was alluding to:
  1. A corn dog at the gas station in Claresholm on our first day of traveling.  Seems a weird thing, but I've always kind of enjoyed corn dogs, and they're a maybe once annually treat, so it was fun to have one on the very first day of driving.
  2. A smooth border crossing.  Crossing into the states can be hit and miss.  My dad says his all time worst border crossing ever (and he's travelled in Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe) was at the particular port of entry we were using.  However, this day, the guard was friendly and joking with us.
  3. The occasional chances I had to check email and finding encouraging notes and blog comments from friends near and far
  4. The burger at Wendy's that was almost vegetarian.  The lady working that night didn't usually work the evening shift and was really frazzled.  She managed to get my order mostly right, but forgot to put the hamburger patty on the bun!  It necessitated a quick trip back inside to get my meal rectified before we headed out.
  5. Unexpected adventures - we spent one night sleeping in the SUV at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere Montana.  Mostly because when we arrived very late at the town we'd been heading for, we discovered there was a high school athletic event in town and every hotel was full.
  6. Applebee's salads.  Also, Applebee's in general is way cheaper in the states.
  7. Visiting over lunch with an aunt and uncle I hadn't seen in probably 8 years, and seeing my cousin (hadn't seen him in at least 10 years) and meeting his 4 year old daughter for the first time.
  8. Lot's of quiet on the road.  Not much need to talk, not even to listen too much to audio books or music.  Just lots of space with our thoughts.
  9. Sleeping in the car.  I sleep quite well in a moving car.  Not deeply, but relatively restfully, and I spent a good part of the first few days simply sleeping.
  10. Emily.  Emily is my dad's new GPS.  She's delightfully British and has a horribly one track mind that gets very confused by food and bathroom and gas stops.   We talked to her kind of a lot - usually when we were stopping and it wasn't in her plans.
  11. The Chicago detour.  We managed to arrive on the outskirts of Chicago just at rush hour on a Friday.  Bad move.  But Emily takes traffic into account, and took us on this crazy detour.  We drove through a part of Chicago we'd definitely never seen before, and saw the most beautiful cemetery and mausoleum.  Seriously, the architechture on this mausoleum was stunning.
  12. Finally getting to see "The Blindside"
  13. Celebrating T & L's wedding all over again with her family and friends from a different part of the country.
  14. Spending about a day and a half with a very dear friend, talking, praying, being with some of her friends.
  15. A hug from this particular friend.  It was so good to be in her arms again.
  16. A very special gift of an antique Catholic prayer book, in Spanish.  But also the deep love and knowledge of my heart that was demonstrated in the giving.
  17. reading a couple different books, beginning to end. (reading list to be updated in the coming days.)
  18. being distant/separate from the routines of life while I began to process the sudden loss of my job, and the changes of life it will bring.
  19. Another smooth border crossing back into the US.  Seriously, they were really good this trip, and while I've never had a terribly bad experience, the guards are rarely as kind and joking and good natured as they were this trip.
  20. A slight detour to Grand Rapids and the Eerdmans publishing house bookstore.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Can you just say heaven for three people who love books as much as my dad and T and I?  I think poor L wasn't quite sure what to do with us, to be honest.  Basically it's a bookstore attached to the headquarters of Eerdmans publishing house (one of the large Christian publishers) that carries their titles, but also titles from a whole variety of other Christian publishers (i.e. Zondervan etc.) as well.  Books in general are cheaper in the states than in Canada, but the best part about this particular store is that they sell the "seconds" the copies of their books that have slight damage to the cover or whatever, and can't be shipped out to their retailers.  And they sell these "seconds" at vastly reduced prices (think around $5 a book for a book generally sold for $20.)  I spent about $100 and bought somewhere around 15 books.  According to my receipt, I saved about $107.  Sweet!  It's probably a good thing I don't live anywhere near there!
  21. Time with more family.  We spent a night with an aunt and uncle and two cousins of mine in Wisconsin.  Another aunt, and my grandpa and his wife all came to join us for supper.  It had probably been 8-10 years since I'd seen my grandpa, and he's aging (86 now, I think) so it was good to see him, as well as the rest of our relatives who we see/talk to quite rarely.
  22. Wisconsin cheese.  Yes, I'm lactose intolerant.  Yes, I had a stomach ache the next day.  But that cheese was just SO good.  Seriously, we just don't get cheese like that in Western Canada without spending quite a lot of money at a specialty shop, so it's always a treat to be in Wisconsin.
  23. listening to "Velvet Elvis" and "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" on audio book while we drove
  24. Almond Joy bars
  25. Laughing at my dad's excitement to share "Culver's Butter Burger" with us.  (Culver's is a mid-Western hamburger chain that we don't have in Western Canada, and that my dad really likes.)
  26. Safe travels the whole way, though we did leave temperatures of about 30C in Ontario and arrive back in Alberta to snow and temperatures hovering just above 0C.
  27. A very much needed and affordable break in action as I began to absorb the changes that have overtaken my life, and the added bonus of getting to see a very dear friend.
  28. Laughing at T's grin last night when Mom and Dad and I gave them the wedding gift we'd purchased.  It was a particular pot set that he'd been teasing L about getting for months, and we'd gone ahead and bought it.  It was fun to see his face as they opened it together.  It was fun, too, to take pictures and watch as they opened their wedding gifts last night and shared the process with her parents in Ontario via skype.
  29. Robert Benson.  I don't think I've ever been disappointed by one of his books.  I read another one (rather timely I might add) that I bought in Grand Rapids in the car on the way home.  I'm sure it'll be showing up here on the blog in due course.
  30. Reading my first novel in nearly 2 years.  It had been a while, for a variety of reasons, but this trip someone seemed the right moment to begin to gently and carefully ease some of those mostly self-imposed restrictions, and it was refreshing to do so.


Anonymous said...

Glad you're back! Missed you and also missed hearing your thoughts and lists, etc. here (and email!)

Hugs, friend!

Lisa said...

Thanks friend!

Thought of you actually, as we were driving through Chicagoland, and at the bookstore... don't know if you've ever been to that store, but I bet you'd love it :)

Anonymous said...

The similar Scripture Press bookstore used to be within walking distance of us at Wheaton...dangerous, I tell you! :-) I miss Chicago. For a few months a year. The non-snowy, non-humid months! ;-)

Lisa said...

oh dear, yes, walking distance would be dangerous! We mutually (Dad and T and I) decided that it's probably a good thing that we don't live very near this store, but it was definitely worth the hour or two of driving that it added to our trip to make the stop!

As for Chicago, while I've never lived there, it's a city I've always liked. (And I tend to like humidity, since I live in a very very dry place, so other than the snow, I could see how you'd miss it!) Perhaps we'll have to meet there sometime... I'd love a tour of Wheaton from an alumnus :)

Anonymous said...

Ok, we can meet in Chicago, after we do both CA and CA first :-) One of my favorite places to go and wander and sit and pray and seek God is one particular portion of the Billy Graham Museum. Convenient since 85% of my classes were in the same building and it was a stone's throw from the building with the ministry I served in and where I lived most of my time there! I miss it and love taking people back there!

P.S. Looks like we were both blogging about songs, church, and such at the same time tonight!

Lisa said...

It's a deal. Chicago after CA and CA :)

and yep, saw your post about songs and church too, and smiled :)