Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Here goes nothing!

Here is my crazy idea. I have always heard that it is very hard to get a book published and yet there are some really horrible ones that get through. I thought you've always wanted to write a book but never tried. Mostly because I don't want to write a piece of rubbish and a little bit because I wondered if I would get bored with my characters. The other day it came to me while bouncing my youngest for the billionth time: why not write a book in installments here on the blog? It could be done like they used to do in weekly or monthly increments. I make no promises here. It will just be me with no fancy editor, parts of it might be brilliant while other parts could drag along. I am the mother of 3 children so there might be long stretches in between depending on what is going on in my household. I will though always be thinking about where to go next with the story. For you see my brain is always going even if my arms are full of children. Hell, maybe it won't be a novel but a series of short stories all about the same character or group of characters. I hope you enjoy it, whatever it might shape up to be.

Once again I find myself gazing out the window on a quintessential northwest day. This is the type of day that most people from other states imagine us having 365 days a year. The various shades of grey descending down out of the sky as the drizzle slowly seeps into your clothes before you can put on your raincoat. Should be a quiet day here in the visitor center then, only the diehard hikers will be shuffling in for a permit. I'll be able to organize some more of the park photos and get them posted online, I'm sure the superintendent will be happy about that.

I never thought I would find myself gazing out of a national park visitor center wearing that all too familiar uniform. I had grown up with both of my parents donning these uniforms every summer sometimes longer bouncing us around the country from one park to another. We might live in park housing or some small rented house in the closest town to the park we were at. From one perspective getting to spend so much time in our national parks was awesome. I know that I have seen and experienced things that most people can only dream about. The draw back is how frequently we moved and not being able to put down any permanent roots. When I left for college I knew that for four years I wouldn't have to move. Sure I was in different dorm rooms and had an apartment in the end but I was always going back to the same locale.

During college and that summer after, I spent my time in the private sector working with environmental education programs. The wandering part of my childhood began to creep into my adult life and I found myself applying for seasonal positions within the environmental education circle. I built up a great repertoire of curriculums and crazy projects that kids absolutely loved. The last position I applied for was to work in a school for the entire school year, I liked the idea of once again staying in the same place. That first experimental year turned into 6 years of great teaching and falling in love with a fellow teacher. I saw my path in life finally taking shape; teaching children to explore their natural environment and learning to love it, while having this fellow amazing biology teacher at my side. We hadn't decided on whether to have our own kids or just borrow our friends but we had the house, the dog and an old jeep. It was really idyllic, I had asked for her hand in marriage and she said "we could just be permanently engaged, who needs a silly little piece of paper?"

She grew distant at the end of my sixth year of teaching. I tried to talk to her about what was going on and abruptly one day she said we were done. I asked what had happened to our long term engagement and she said things had changed and that she was moving on with her life. It was two days before my contract for teaching was due to be signed, I packed up my belongings (strangely I hadn't collected all that much stuff) and drove off into the sunset after sadly explaining to the principal that I would not be continuing on with the school. Last I heard my ex had gotten married and was expecting her first child. I guess she hadn't wanted to do that with me, I happily would have been a father and a husband.

The drizzle seems to be changing now into a hard persistent rain. Looks like I'll be able to get a lot more paperwork done then first anticipated.

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