Friday, December 19, 2014

2 months of rest

I have now been in this apartment for two months, and it has been almost three months since my entrance into Britain was rejected.  I should have something profound to say, but I don't.

I do know that God is giving me rest, but I also know that I am still planning on being back on the road by March 1 unless God brings something completely drastic into my life that would compel me to change plans. Right now I have no indication of that.

Britain is a lost place of my past - a prenatal existence. I was
born a few months after my parents returned to the USA in 1959.
I try not to think of Britain.  Perhaps it because I feel the burn and scarring of the experience still, and my hunger to be there is not nearly as great as it was.  I'm still a little shell-shocked from customs at Heathrow.  Yet I know that someday I'd still like to see Britain from the seat of a bicycle.

I know there are people who think I was absolutely foolish to give up my apartment and my job and car to set out on a bike adventure.  Basically homeless.  But I was living a life of not living.  I was existing.  Existing from one bill to the next.  Nothing ever changing.  Nothing ever getting better.  Now I have broken free of that dead-end cycle.  I am in a place of God's complete grace and rest, and it's not the first time God has put me in a place of rest.  The first time was in 1985.  I was twenty-five years old, just out of university with no job prospects having had an extreme roller coaster ride of stress in the spring of 1985 (upcoming graduation with no job prospects, senior recital (voice), and the other lovely little thing of thinking I might be pregnant (I wasn't)).  I had had a job in the town where I lived and went to university, but that was not a job to have (fast food) after graduation.  No, no.  I had student loans to pay.

I don't remember what day I graduated university with a triple major in music performance (voice), History and English, but it was in May 1985.  I moved out of my little apartment in Pueblo, Colorado, and back in with my parents in Colorado Springs.  Of course, it was meant to be temporary until I found a job and could save up enough to move out.  But I couldn't find a job... a job that would pay enough for an apartment and all associated bills plus my student loans.  It was quite a low point for me.

Then in late June I got a call from a life-long friend, Karen Magistrelli.  I had known Karen since 1971 when she was a girls' camp counselor at a Christian youth camp and I was a little camper.  I got an invite to her 1972 wedding, and despite our age difference, we have been best friends since then, and she saw me through many difficult, angst-filled teenage years. I have seen her raise her children and now have a quiver of grandchildren, and we are still best friends after 43 years.  But she called me because that same camp where I had been a camper was needing a cook.  I didn't have anything else happening, and all the R&B was covered, so I went up... and I didn't leave for 50 months.  Yes, I became full-time, year-round staff at Eagle Lake Camp, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains above Colorado Springs.  Elevation; 9,500 feet.  In the summers the camp swelled with staff, counselors and kids, but in the rest of the year there was only a skeleton crew.  No room and board costs.  No utilities.  No phone bill.  And I still got paid.  It wasn't much, but i could pay for the student loans.  During the quiet months I felt my heart and life begin to heal... and I found the strength to forgive myself.  I knew God had forgiven me, that I was cleansed by the blood of the cross, but I couldn't forgive myself.  God had to speak very gently to my heart that His judgment was the only judgment, and for me to not be forgiving myself was to place my judgment above His, making my authority higher than His.  I had to let go of my own unforgiveness of myself.  God gave me just over four years of rest there.  He healed my broken spirit and gave me new vision... a vision for screenwriting, and my efforts paid off with my acceptance into master's program at The American Film Institute in Los Angeles in 1989.  I graduated in 1991 with a MFA in screenwriting.

So right now I am in another place of rest, and I will be here until Feb 28, 2015 unless something else happens.  I should also mention that I had brief places of rest in the summers of 1981 and 1982.  In 1981 I got a job at a different kind of Christian youth camp in Manitou Springs, CO.  I would say it was more of 2 weeks of intensive schooling for the kids.  This was Summit Ministries.  Room and board + pay.  Then in 1982 I went up to Cripple Creek, CO, a former silver mining town (elevation 10,500 feet), and worked as a cocktail waitress in the old melodrama theater at The Imperial Hotel.  R&B+ salary again provided.

Right now I feel a little disconnected with the bike.  Mostly I feel it is unsafe to ride around here.  Unsafe, that is, to ride in the main city streets.  I'm not really used to riding in traffic like is required around here.  I know people do it all the time, but I don't like it.  The good thing is, my foot is pretty much healed up.  I'm not limping anymore and that's good.  It's nice to get out of bed in the morning without hobbling to the bathroom. When my landlady took me to the shoe store and bought me new shoes a few weeks ago, I was still in a lot of foot pain.  It didn't matter what shoe I wore, I was hurting.  Now I can once again be on my feet for a normal amount of time without limping off at the end. I think the old scar tissue from lots of ankle injuries just gets strained and pulled now and then, and scar tissue is not as forgiving as normal tissue.  A few times I even soaked my foot in basically scalding water just to force as much heat into the area as possible.  I think I will also temporarily lower the seat on my bike a little.

I have been making lots of English Toffee in the past couple of weeks.  None of it has been for me.  Now I need to make some for me (2 batches) and I still have 3 batches more to make for the landlady.


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