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An incredible writing opportunity

As the rock cliff is undercut by erosion, overhanging rocks break off. No one can predict when the next break will occur, so view the cliffs from a safe distance.

When I left the Star-Herald in June 2019, I knew there was a chance I would never be able to write professionally again. I had to do it in order to save my physical and mental health. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. Writing is the one thing in life I have always had confidence in. Despite the fact that my life may have been falling apart in other ways throughout the years, I could always take solace in my writing regardless of genre.

A pleasant evening

Stretched out on the couch
I’m kept warm
under a comfy snowflake blanket
on a chilly evening
when the rains came

They aren’t originally from here, but neither am I

A big horn sheep at Hubbard’s Gap.

Before Steve and I even got out of his truck we could see them. They were several hundred yards to the north of us. Steve and I grabbed our gear. We made small talk about our choice of clothing that day. I chose my black t-shirt. I was cold now, but in an hour, I’d be warm enough. Steve had on his red sweatshirt and and a goofy knit cap to keep his head warm. He was warm now. We also knew he’d be plenty hot in an hour.

I sometimes forget that my 300mm lens really isn’t that big, especially when you put it next to his 500mm lens. Ovis Canadensis was on our radar today. It would be the first time I would ever see the Rocky Mountain Big Horn sheep in person and the pictures were worth the wait.

The year that was

For most people, December 31 is a time to reflect on the events in their lives and look forward to what lies ahead. Some participate in making New Year’s resolutions and make goals to do better and be better in the new year. I’ve never participated in these events. I believe if you discover a change in life is needed, do it in that moment rather than wait until some apportioned time set by society.

Since 2017, my new year has been set to November 9. On that day, everything changed. It was the day something broke inside of me, but I do not view it as a bad thing. Over the past year, I have made significant changes in my life, which have helped me to grow as a person and allowed me to start down a path I have chosen rather than settling for the circumstances life threw at me.

A new green sweater

Even though I was there for an article for the Star-Herald newspaper, Barb Schlothauer and her fellow Soroptimists convinced me to help them make May baskets in 2018. It was still chilly enough at the end of April for me to be wearing my green sweater.

Anyone who has seen me during winter for the last three decades has likely seen me wearing my green sweater. Shortly after moving out of the dorms at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and into my first apartment, I had a conversation with my grandmother about being cold. I was on a budget and heat wasn’t high on my list of priorities. Gram wondered if I couldn’t afford to turn the heat up, why didn’t I wear a sweater. I didn’t have one. I didn’t have the money to buy one.

By the time I left her house in Middletown, New York, I had a pocket full of cash to buy a sweater of my choosing. It took months to find a sweater I liked.

I sighed deeply

There was still a little bit of light outside. I suspect in a week or two, it will be dark outside at 6 p.m. Fall is in full swing and winter is nipping at the edges of the day, anxious to arrive and take over. The temperature was in the mid-forties. I parked my car in the empty K-Mart parking lot, got out and dialed her number.

I sat on the cold, concrete parking bumper. The chill instantly went through my blue jeans. I was shaking, but I wasn’t sure if it was because of the cold or everything else.

She answered on the fourth ring.

New desk among many changes at the North household

Here is the top of my desk, nice and neat. Maybe I can get some work done now.

Over the past year, Paul and I have made many changes, which we put off for far too long. We have begun purging our home of stuff that we no longer need or never needed in the first place. We’ve eliminated clutter – physical and mental – that have bogged us down for so long.

A walk in the fog

Two hours after starting our hike, the fog has mostly cleared and Chimney Rock can now be seen.

I have written about how the day after Labor Day is the worst day of the year for me, so my friend, Sandra, offered to take me on a hike the day before to try to create some happy memories around this time of year.

A soul who sought solitude in the places I roam

When you hear the name Crazy Horse, many people conjure up images of the Oglala Lakota war leader fighting at such places as the Battle of the Rosebud, Battle of the Hundred-in-the-Hands (Fetterman Fight), and the Battle of the Greasy Grass (Battle of the Little Bighorn) to retain the Lakota way of life.

Walking in a new direction

I’m sitting at work watching a marathon of Star Wars movies. It’s quiet at the youth shelter on the overnight shift and I can get a lot of things done. My only real distraction is the ticking clock on the living room wall. Clocks should be made to be silent, but it’s not my home and it’s not my clock, so I try to shut the noise out as best I can as I continue to think about the direction my life is now headed toward and how I’d like to get there.

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