Desierto norte de Chile

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A new song

Inspired by my friends over at Piebald Life, I have composed a short verse to the tune of John Denver's "Country Roads."

It goes like this:

take me on,
to my foreign
country home!
mountain vistas,
my new home,
take me on.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving, Greenville style

Dad and I drove east from Norman on Sunday (18 Nov), departing at 8:45 p.m. and arriving in Little Rock, AR at 2:30 a.m. We left the Motel 6 at 7:45 a.m. Monday and arrived in Greenville at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday (20 Nov).
Twenty-two hours in a Penske moving truck is not my best idea of fun! But we had a good trip, good conversation, and no mishaps (accidents or speeding tickets). I also got to visit with Chris & Elaine, friends from OU who currently reside in Asheville. We stopped at the McDonalds on I-40 exit 44 and they met us there.

Tuesday I took care of some errands, bought a few Christmas presents, and rested. Wednesday I took the dogs on a walk, went jogging, and Charles & I unloaded the moving truck into a storage unit near the house. Once he moves into his new house/apartment, he'll take possession of my furniture, pots/pans, bedroom suite, etc., but for now there is no more room in my parents' house (hence the storage unit). Thursday all of Mom's side of the family (minus Dottie and Aunt Edna and girls, who went south to Florida) ate lunch at our house. We had turkey, dressing, gravy, ham, collard greens, green beans, corn, orange jello, pineapple casserole, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, rice & mushrooms, sweet potato fluff, pumpkin (butternut squash) soup, and for dessert, pecan pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and carrot cake. It was delicious!! Before eating, we took Penny, Springer, Lambeau, and Maverick on a walk (two separate walks to curb the chaos), and Charles & I went jogging over in Cherry Oaks subdivision.

Today some of the family went shopping to try out the early morning specials, and CG and I went back at 10 a.m. to get a few things. Circuit City has had major difficulties, both in the stores and on the internet. I bought a few things online and went to the store an hour later to pick them up, only to find out the store didn't even have a record of my online purchases. Furthermore, when I came back home to check on my order status, the website automatically redirected to "", with a fun message saying they were updating their site and asking me to check back later. What a rousing success for their "black Friday" operations?!

Later today we will join the Barrett family for Chinese buffet in Cary. We'll make a weekend out of it, visiting, playing cards, and attending the NCSU-Maryland football game on Saturday.

Below are some photos of my visit with Chris & Elaine in Asheville (where we had to unhook/rehook my Honda from the Penske truck b/c McDonalds didn't give us enough turnaround room) and of the Thanksgiving celebration here yesterday.

Friends at Wildwood Church

Here are some photos from last Sunday's services. It was good to be able to visit with friends & reminisce about the past five and a half years!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Eastward, then southward, bound

So all my things are boxed up and sitting in my living room. The yellow Penske moving truck is parked outside in the lot. Six friends are scheduled to arrive in an hour and help me load. And I'm a bundle of emotions. I had the privilege of sharing today at both services at Wildwood, thanking the church for its investments in college students and for loving and welcoming me. I've learned about who we are as believers (our identity), about hospitality (as an overflow of God's love from our hearts), and about owning my faith. It's taken just about these five and a half years to get to a point where I call Norman & Wildwood home, and now I'm off again, to North Carolina (for 2 weeks) then to Santiago.

Forgive my lack of blog entries in the last eleven days; they've been filled up, brimming over, with people, work, packing, and lots of great quality time. What shall I miss the most about Norman? Hands down, unequivocally, the people, mis amigos. I'll miss Frisbee Friday and our gladiatorial contests. I'll miss the SoM office staff & the laughs they brought to work. I'll miss being the sole boss of my time, able to allocate it as needed. I'll miss Kraettli & our community. I'll miss my colleagues in meteorology and our chats about weather and our random journeys south, west, and/or north in pursuit of the elusive tornado. I'll miss my bible studies with the college guys, investing in their lives and having them return the favor ten-fold.

What do I look forward to in Chile? Living in the latin culture & community, where relationships matter more than tasks. Studying meteorology with a diverse group of scientists with a perspective unique from mine. Celebrating God with the Chilenos. Exploring Chile and other parts of South America. Becoming bilingual. Challenging myself to think and act differently. Experiencing & giving hospitality all over again. Teaching meteorology to the Chilenos.

The next post will come to you from North Carolina, where I'm celebrating thanksgiving (& my portion of Christmas) with my family. Until then, enjoy some photos from my last ten days in Oklahoma!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Eleven days

Greetings from the UCAR MJO workshop in Irvine, CA. Not much to report directly from here (but a crazy amount of thoughts/emotions running thru my head; see below), other than some good ideas about my research and how to write-up my upcoming MJO paper.

In eleven (11) days, I'll have packed up all my things and will be driving eastward to NC. My brother Charles will receive my furniture & car, which is great for the two of us b/c he will move into a new house/apartment in a few weeks and doesn't yet have furnishings.

As I've told a few people recently, my mental/emotional state is a mess. I long to spend quality time with friends I might not see again, but I am somehow reluctant to ask them to hang out (if you read this & live in Norman, please ask me to spend time w/you!!) It's almost as if I'm in denial of my departure, unable to reconcile the thoughts of leaving and therefore just not thinking about them. It also could be that I'm super busy: this week in CA, Thu-Fri in Norman, Sat-Sun in North Carolina for my 10-year high school reunion (D.H. Conley high school in Greenville), then sometime next week in Houston for my visa appointment, then packing & driving east on the 18th. On top of that I'm supposed to meet with my advisor each morning next week for a few hrs and hammer out the final draft of my MJO paper to submit to J. Climate. Wow, Santiago will be a refreshing break!

Those of you who have experience with moving / leaving, what advice do you have for me? I so want to enjoy my final days in Norman. I want to maximize each experience, time with each person, making sure that I get to hang out with the people I care about most. How do I accomplish that? My prayers now are for peace -- and for divine appointments, that I get quality time in spite of my reluctant emotional state.

Thanks for YOUR prayers. And if you're in Norman, ask me to hang out with you. I want to!

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