Eulogy Postponed

And the miracle of today

Adjusting to Summertime!

Well hello, summer! Why are you so cold? Summer came in with a 100 degree heat wave and then here it is 57 degrees as I write this. I’ve been enjoying helping mom “catch up” in her garden after she was away for 2 weeks in Texas and trying to catch my body up to the cool mornings. I love, love, love the weather! Why does my body think this is so cold!?

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It’s a jungle out there! Mom’s personal Garden of Eden.

Then went and helped out on the farm to get things “caught up” in the overgrown hedgerow around those lovely organic filbert trees! Daisies are not on our approved plant list. Definitely not. They were staging an aggressive takeover and too many of the truckload of flowers mom and dad had planted had been choked out. A literal truckload- gone! And there were countless wildflower seeds spread over the last couple years. Little brother has done so much work mowing the field and with the rain we got last week, everything has greened up really well since this photo was taken. And you can see the little baby trees on the hill in the background. Iloveitsomuch!

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Move over daisies- There are other guys in there that need to breathe!

Last week, the Organic Hazelnut Growers Association allowed me to join them on their California Tour. We visited one beautiful organic walnut orchard, one equipment manufacturer, one nut processor, and an organic almond cooperative. Oh, and two breweries! It was a ton of information and I could feel my social work skills kicking into action. I could feel that itch to do some research for them starting to want to be scratched! I made a vague offer, yet they have no funding so…

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Camping on the way to California! Obviously this is in Oregon prior to hitting the 105deg heat!

Speaking of no funding, my job search has not provided any leads above manual labor. The little pool of funding for this Fellowship continues to grow- one drip at a time and I am confident it will all be taken care of- perhaps not abundantly, but anyone who knows me knows I wouldn’t know what to do with abundance! My dilemma now is how far should I drive to find a place to volunteer?

Volunteering my time to re-invest in old friendships, watch my nephews grow faster than the weeds in the garden, start a bible study group, help awesome people “catch up” as needed, and go hiking with anyone with a destination! I am looking forward to assisting the Organic Hazelnut Growers in their collaboration to find solutions for their needs. What kind of a job title might a Social Worker for Organic Farming have? Oh, and studying. Of course! I’ve read the entire Exam Guide for the LMSW yet the June date passed my by because of some missing paperwork. Oops! Counting down until July 21st for the next one.

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Birthday spent at the lake with little brother’s family and the folks at Lake Eleanor. Loveit!

Well, the sun is coming out. I am working on acclimating to the Oregon climate and it looks almost warm enough for me to be outside without a jacket now. Come on, wool socks, let’s get out there!

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Happy 4th of July, y’all!

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Where is Sarah off to next?

First, the big news: Accepted for the 2018 Fellowship with IJM!!!!

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2 years of education and I can’t even get my green stoll on straight!

Graduation was great. Done with school! It was a fast two years and it has been amazing to reflect on the transformations those 5 grueling semesters brought. Lots of growth and development and even some weed pulling. Thank the Lord those semesters are over and I can get into that therapeutic Oregon dirt!

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Thanks for all the support Pa n’ Ma! Couldn’t have done it without yous guys.

Travel with family for the next week was all sorts of fun [including chiggers, ticks, mosquitoes, and threats of tenting in the rain]. My parents flew in for graduation then we met an uncle and aunt in Louisiana for a week of camping, then they ran off to Arizona to escape the thunderstorms. Dad flew back to Oregon to make hay.

Mom and I spent the next two days on an Austin adventure. The highlight for me was when mom and I went to visit Rancho Bayo Ranch where they breed Kiger mustangs- complete with 123 real live beauties!

Long haul home from Texas- we made it to Oregon after 47 hours on the road! We invested a significant amount of time in planning and chose to drive across New Mexico and Arizona, then up through California on 101. We stayed in Tucson the first night and finally understood what people were talking about when they said there was nothing in New Mexico. There was not much that was noteworthy the second day, either.

We stayed in San Rafael, just north of San Francisco the second night. To save on money, I offered to sleep on the floor both nights. Which sounds great until realizing the small rooms both nights had a giant king sized bed with more closet space than floor space. Someone should let Airbnb folks they are missing a huge potential market of renting out closet spaces, too!

Third day was AWESOME! Hwy 101 is absolutely gorgeous from one end to the other! Having seen the Oregon coast, I knew it was going to be fantastic. I did not realize how beautiful the California portion would be, too. Redwoods and hills that were small mountains and no traffic! Apparently everyone else had heard about the slides we did not know about and avoided 101 for fear of construction or something because we made great time and had little to slow us down aside from the views.

I love these gals!

We stopped by Newport and then jetted home where mom had homemade hamburgers and freshly baked marionberry cobbler waiting for us. It’s so easy to forget the magic of the simple little things, like rolling in the lawn without thinking about chiggers, ticks, lice, fire ants, toxic waste, or whatever. And the taste of marionberries that only grow in the PNW. And the feeling of not sitting in a moving vehicle. And cool, grey Oregon mist.

And the sound of a house filled with family!!! Saturday with family and friends coming to welcome us home was tremendous. I forget how blessed I am and how much I love the sound of my people coming together in one place. After so long away, it was so great, even if only half of you all could make it! Perhaps more-so because I had the opportunity to talk to everyone who was able to come before they left. You who were not there were missed and I will track you down as soon as I can. Especially since I am happily back in the land of no reception where you can’t find me and I can easily get lost in the world of the garden as I remember what it is like to not be thinking of class assignments constantly.

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2,550 miles later: the Vancouver Farmers [Market]

Sunday, the three of us “completed” our road trip with a stop at the Vancouver Farmer’s Market so we can say we went from Texas to Washington and crossed 6 states in 5 days. That was over 2,550 miles in approximately 50 hours. And with a record of 47mpg in little Trust Rusty the road warrior Civic!

We also stopped by some icons like Powell’s Books, the City Fair on the Waterfront, Salt and Straw [I’ve so missed olive oil ice cream!], McMenamins, and the one and only Thicket Nursery.

On that note, I am studying for the licensure exam before I lose more than connectivity out in the garden. That is the one thing I absolutely HAVE to do before leaving for training in D.C. this January. Oh, yes. By the way. I have accepted the fellowship with IJM in South Asia for 2018. Wahoo!!! I have been asked not to share location details online and can tell you more in person. Please- ask me! 

Ok, now for the details you are all waiting for of what EXACTLY I’m doing, how long, where, what, and when: I don’t really know! More information will be provided at the end of June. For now, they have told me where I’m going, that I need to begin fundraising now, and when I need to plan to arrive for training.

The office I’m headed to has been working since 2006 to fight Forced Labor Slavery. There are strict laws in place there yet few people acknowledge the existence of slave labor  When I spoke with them, they said they are entering into a phase of equipping the government to take a greater role in providing aftercare for victims rescued. The team is developing training and educational opportunities and I will be assisting them.

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This is the work of IJM. I will be assisting with the Strength training.

Researching, developing, and evaluating is what I heard which is so specific that I wonder if I have the skills in my official Master Social Work toolkit to assist them. Really though, I need to go study up and take this Exam so I can get a job for the next 6 months. Work for 6 months to serve for a year? God willing. That would be awesome!

I am missing those of you not in Oregon, looking forward to seeing those of you that are in Oregon, so excited for summer adventures, and looking for work. Do you know anyone that would pay me to assess their agency? Survey their membership? Evaluate their programs? Pull weeds in their garden..?

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Second Date!

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The wildflowers are there celebrating the death and burial of my sentence as a graduate student!

Made it to the second round of interviews! I can barely believe it!! Two field offices have the opportunity to check my references and contact me within the next two weeks. Aieeeee!!!

Thank you all so much for your prayers! This is so fantastic!!! I have been so excited for graduation, and mom and dad coming to Texas, and driving back to Oregon, now extra exciting possibilities for the next step. How do I focus this into completing this presentation I have to give on May 2?!?!?

Went camping in the Florida panhandle this last week. It was phenomenal! So gorgeous and with such great company and good food and camping that was not at all what I was expecting fro Florida. Well, there was sand, but that was about it…

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I submitted my homework from this campsite- it felt like cheating! The librarian from where I skipped into class told me she did her graduate work from Costa Rica. How fantastic is that! Wait, could I have been doing internship from a campsite all along?!?!

So, here is what I got to follow across the panhandle. Made me wishful for my lil Jeep and backpack and a trail to hike. Graduation present to myself will be a new backpacking setup, methinks. I guess I can handle not having the boat/kayak/mountain bike attachments….

It was so great! Got me so very excited for when we will be celebrating mom’s May 1st retirement and my graduation with a week of camping!

Thank you all for the support and love and prayers. Hope to see you at the welcome home party May 27th!

 

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