Monday, June 22, 2009

We Are Here

Don't worry, faithful reader. Rebekah and I made it to Louisville safely and for the first time we have internet.

Blogging will commence shortly. I will finish my "Goodbye, Fargo" series as well as update you on how things are in the Bluegrass State.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Goodbye, US Bank

US Bank Service Center, Fargo, ND

I have had multiple jobs throughout my time on Earth, but, as I have been a student for the majority of my life, none of those jobs lasted for very long, or were just part-time gigs. My time at US Bank was different.

Prior to my employment at US Bank, I never even attempted to get a full time job, let alone one that I hoped would sustain me and a wife. I was fortunate enough to land the job with minimal experience and maximum ignorance, although it did take me two tries.

I was incredibly blessed to be given the opportunity since Rebekah and I had signed a lease for an apartment across the street and the beloved Malibu was warning of its impending doom.

The job itself was tedious at times, but overall quite rewarding. I made some good friends and felt like I did have the opportunity to help people in need from time to time (even though some days it seemed like I was only aiding freeloaders).

Last Friday, on my final day (which happened to be my birthday as well), I was mightily encouraged by all of my co-workers who showered me with food and "good luck" wishes. I will miss them. We all got along quite well.

It was an honor to work at the US Bank Service Center. For the first time I seriously filled the role of "provider" for a family. I also had the opportunity to build some relationships and help some people along the way. It was a good job and a good year.

Let Them Eat Cake

Red Means Stop

I do not know how large a "Red Means Stop Enforcement Area" is, but I do know that within six blocks of this sign I saw a pedestrain get hit by a car running a red light, within twenty blocks I saw a biker get hit by a van running a red light, and within five miles I saw a car hit a biker after not stopping for a stop sign. You can sit at any stop light in a three mile radius and watch at least one vehicle run a red light on each cycle. I have never seen anyone get pulled over for running a red light in Fargo and, come to think of it, I have seen several police officers commit like offenses. 

In addition to these things, every time I ride my bike on Fargo streets my life hangs in the balance. People do not look for bikers or pedestrians because nine months out of the year it is too cold to walk or bike. The danger is inexplicable. 

This is one thing I will not miss about Fargo.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Goodbye, Malibu

1998 Chevrolet Malibu, (a.k.a. the Bu)

My '92 Chrysler LeBaron was a great car, but on the first day of my food-delivery job five years ago, it met its maker. I coasted into the Blaine Library parking lot, the car in jeopardy of combusting. From a pay-phone (these were pre-cell-phone days), I called my dad; he would come pick me up as soon as he could. I called work and explained the situation; they understood and told me to get back to them as soon as I could. So, there I sat. I had an overheated LeBaron and a food-delivery career in limbo.

"Having car problems?" said a voice from behind me.

What's it look like? I wanted to say as I stared down at the steaming engine. "Yes," I actually replied, looking up and seeing an elderly woman.

"Well I am selling my car, let me get you a flyer."

She meandered back to her '98 Chevy Malibu, a car that I immediately judged was out of my price range. "Here you are," she said, handing me a sheet of paper with some information on it.


"You're welcome. Call me at the number listed if you are interested." She was a master at stating the obvious.

"I will," I replied, as she turned to return her books to the library.

My dad arrived. We added some coolant to the LeBaron and made our way home. I pulled the flyer the woman had given me out of my pocket. It read something like this:

1998 Chevrolet Malibu
New Tires
Power Locks and Windows
High Mileage

That was most definitely within my price range. I showed my dad and he prompted me to call the woman. Soon we were on our way to look at the car.

We arrived and asked all the necessary questions to which the woman answered to our liking. We drove the car and it was in better shape than I could have hoped for. It turned out that she had bought a new car and wanted to sell the Malibu because of the high mileage, but we also learned the her father lived in South Dakota and had just recently died of cancer. So, she would make many trips there and back accounting for the excessive miles. That, I could deal with.

There was no hesitation in my dad's voice when he told me that I should buy the car. So, I did.

The car made multiple trips to the cities and back to Fargo and was a wonderful car for five years with minimal problems.

Recently, the high mileage of the vehicle reared its ugly head and it was soon beyond repair. Last week I sold the car to a mechanic for $300.

Cars are hunks of metal and gears that depreciate rapidly and yield no return. But if there was ever a vehicle that rose above that truth, it was the Bu.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Goodbye, Sunwest One

Rebekah and I are spending our final hours in Fargo. So, this week I will dedicate some time to writing about some things that we will miss.

Sunwest One, Apartment 132

Prior to our mid-July marriage, Rebekah and I signed a lease for Sunwest One, Apartment 132 with the plan that I would move in and she would live with her parents until we returned from our honeymoon. I lived there for six or seven weeks before we were married. Jeremy spent a few of those weeks with me, sleeping on the couch.

For Rebekah and I, 132 was our first home. I carried Rebekah across the threshold as my new bride.

Sunwest One, Apartment 132 is proof that memories, not just material, can be housed within four walls.

This is where we had our first married disagreements and where we settled them. This is where we opened our wedding gifts and where we wrote our thank-you-notes. This is where Hastings would eat all our food and where Jordan would surf the internet. This is where we watched House, Band of Brothers, and The Cosby Show. This is where we made cake and where we invited people over so we would not eat the whole thing by ourselves. This is where we spent our first Christmas and where we shed tears remembering the holiday that would never be the same. This is where our married lives began.

Of course it is just an apartment, indistinguishable in many ways. But it is in a city that Rebekah and I have grown to love, and driving past it on the way to our new home, reminiscing about our time there, is not a reality; it will be hundreds of miles away.

We are grateful for our time in Sunwest One, Apartment 132; we will always remember it as the birthplace of our family.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Fat Dwarves Go Last

Taken from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien.

"Who'll cross first?" asked Bilbo.

"I shall," said Thorin, "and you will come with me, and Fili and Balin. That's as many as the boat will hold at a time. After that Kili and Oin and Gloin and Dori; next Ori and Nori, Bifur and Bofur; and last Dwalin and Bombur."

"I'm always last and I don't like it," said Bombur. "It's somebody else's turn today."

"You should not be so fat. As you are, you must be with the last and lightest boatload. Don't start grumbling against orders, or something bad will happen to you."

Tree of the Week (6.2.09)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Resolution 18

Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and
when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

The Christian must live in a way that reflects a deep understanding of the Gospel and it's implications.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Edwards and Paul alike knew that the manner in which they lived was paramount; the Gospel--and the seeking to know it better--was central. In addition they sought, and possessed, a high spiritual sensitivity; the things of this world were shadows and dust compared to magnanimity of the grace and goodness of God in the Gospel which are spiritual, not physical.