Sunday, September 4, 2016

Summer

Once again, I have a lot of catching up to do. I will try to sum up my summer as briefly as possible:

I worked for a wilderness therapy program in southern Idaho. I worked with teenage girls struggling with suicidal ideation, eating disorders and self harm. Many of them had also been through physical abuse at the hands of family members and close friends. Most came from privileged yet broken families.
It was one of the most rewarding summers of my life. The environment was brutal. Southern Idaho is basically rocky hills, sage brush, rattlesnakes, and sunny skies with 100 degree heat. Occasionally we found pockets of beauty, like this natural spring pictured above. The girls taught me a lot, and changed my perspective on a lot of things. Hopefully I taught them a little, too.
During my off shift I spent a lot of time with Holly and the kiddos. They are balls of sunshine that made my summer really special.
I visited my first national park this summer. I scared Mom to pieces and decided to go to Glacier alone. But I was just fine.
I saw a deer and one black bear. And no Moose.
Montana is beautiful. I could see myself living here but only for the summers.
The best part of this trip was all the alone time. After 2 weeks of maintaining constant supervision of high risk teenage girls, I needed some time to be by myself. I was never really by myself in Glacier, I was surrounded by other hikers and tourists, but I didn't need to talk or interact with anyone else. It was just me and my thoughts. 
Mom graduated from BYU-I (wahoo!) and we all went to Idaho to watch her walk.
We stayed in a lovely cabin in Driggs, backyard facing the Grand Tetons.
I took lots and lots of pictures of the kiddos.
When my internship ended I picked up Matt in Pasco, WA and we drove to Mt. Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park. 
We saw the famous town of Forks and La Push beach (but no Edward or Jacob).
We had lots of good talks and learned a lot about each other. I am happy we are friends. Yep. Just friends.
We ended our trip together in Seattle. He flew back to Indiana and I stayed with an old hair school friend and explored the city a little more. Lovely place. Good seafood, very crowded.
I went to Portland for a couple nights and then made the long drive back to Fort Worth, stopping in Boise, Salt Lake and Albuquerque along the way. 
Now I am back in College Station, this time with a dog. There's only been one casualty so far. 
Taking care of a dog is a bit like taking care of a reasonably capable hairy baby. He drools as much as a baby, pees just as often, and whines about everything too. He wakes up promptly at 6:30 every morning, which is perfect because now I am forced to wake up early. I like having him around :) 

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