15 December 2010

Measuring a year in 5 minutes

Prompt: 5 minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

Wow. Five minutes to type and re-cap a year. Hmmm. Driving through all the ice, slush, rain and snow to and from winter orientation. Seeing cars careening into the ditch after speeding on icy bridges in Alabama (and somehow knowing that the orientation van always gets us there in one piece). Being incredibly sick at the re-entry retreat but sticking to the group and weekend because it's all good people and good stories are to be heard and re-told. Sitting in little shaded huts on the Yucutan peninsula  with 3 friends and a good book (and also a good drink from our waiter). Meeting the love of my life in my little neighborhood Thai restaurant and her not giving up on me when i casually said, "Yeah, maybe we can go out again." And then having her confront me on the meaning of those words 2 hours into a walk in the woods. Realizing that our relationship is really wholesome, positive and never typical. Seeing a bunch of aboki and hearing/understanding Hausa in the middle of nitty-gritty (but really kinda shiny and neat) Pittsburgh. Kayaking down the Shenandoah river with a rag-tag bunch of volunteers who would never be grouped together in this way, except at orientation. Camping in Wisconsin with friends who had mosquito bite welts bigger than a quarter. Swimming in a dirty brown lake to retreat from the aforementioned skeeters. Living through a sweat lodge even though I was dizzy and out of it. Being hugged by really sweaty volunteers after the sweat lodge and feeling like a part of them, not just a staff person who shouts announcements and waits patiently for them in grocery stores. Eating a fancy lunch with my mom way up in the John Hancock building and having good conversations the entire time she stayed with me. Seeing my nephews grow and change and add about 10,000 words to their vocabularies since I saw them last year.  Being in my dad's workshop and admiring all the tools, nuts & bolts, car parts, motorcycle bits, the wood-stove, the nice barstool with orange flames painted on the seat, and all the knick knacks that make his garage cocoon-like and welcoming in any season. 

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