Saturday, August 4, 2012

On the Road Again...

That seems to sum up the better portion of my current status. Thursday night around 11:30 pm I rolled in with Ben and Molly from Omaha and this morning mom, dad and I are taking off for wonderful Fargo. Man, what a summer this has been! I consider it all a blessing that I've been able to see so many friends in so many different places, and the Taur (my car, the candy apple red 2000 Ford Taurus we have all come to know and love) is racking up the miles pretty quickly. Last time I checked she was just on the brink of 204,000. I'm praying for her to get to 250 or 300. Most of them are highway miles so it is actually not unthinkable.

Irma and I in Milwaukee in 2010
At the top of St. Peter's after a long climb up! In 2009.
Going to Nebraska this past week was absolutely necessary for my soul. I spent the first few days in Columbus, a town of about 18,000 an hour and a half west of Omaha, with a dear friend, Irma. It's still a mystery to both of us why and how we actually became friends, but I know that both of us thank God for having put the other in our lives and we have spent time together, doing something seemingly crazy at least once or twice a year for the past few years now. If you're wondering how I actually know Irma, she went to the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul with my good friends, Molly and Sara, and whenever I'd go visit them I ended up seeing Irma and we totally hit it off and became good friends. It's really quite funny, too, because since then our friendship has consisted of phone calls and trips to see each other. Unlike many relationships that form because of physical location and circumstance, our relationship started completely by traveling (often many hours) to see the other person. We've done some pretty fun things together, too! We road-tripped out to Cali for the Rose Bowl in 2011, making an extremely short stop in Vegas on the way...something I never thought I'd actually do but Irma and Gladys, her mom, can make just about anything happen. I've flown to Rome to visit her, Molly and Sara before leaving for Chile and when I got there Irma and I spent the first few days greeting the Italian countryside in Florence, Venice, and Rome. She's come to Wisconsin and we've gone to the Lacrosse Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Milwaukee and she's even toured beautiful Sauk City. I visited her hometown of Schuyler, Nebraska and I think I've officially met all of the more important people in her life who aided to her conversion, and she can usually just see right through me. We make a pretty dynamic duo, and I thank God for her friendship.

Molly and I in 2006. Cheering on SP Volleyball.
On the trip this past week we visited her brother and his three adorable girls, Alicia, Jessica and Diana and spent time entertaining them while her brother was at work. We then scooted off to Omaha to visit Molly and Ben Dellaria, which was great. We played lots of Settlers of Catan (love), Phase 10 (pretty fun) and watched the Olympics. It is always so good to see them, especially Molly who can also see right through me seeing as we've known each other since the days of face painting, Oshkosh B'Gosh and pre-school. It is such a blessing to see her come alive in her marriage to Ben, and to see how well they are doing in Omaha, far from all of their family and the friends they have known for the entirety of their lives. They are just so wonderful and I'm so blessed to call them friends!

Today mom, dad and I have packed up the vehicles and we're heading north. We'll be making a two-day stop in Fargo to move into my apartment, have dinner with the Breen's and make a stop at St's Anne and Joachim for Sunday mass. Then we'll be packing up the Murano and going to South Dakota for the week before I get back on a bus in Sioux Falls and head back to Fargo to kick off FOCUS year two!

Basically, my life is a blessing and it's so clear that God has a much better plan for me and my life than I could dream up myself. Thanks for being a part of it! And please say a prayer for our safe drive out West!

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