Saturday, October 31, 2009

one week down, twelve to go

Well, I've been in colorado for a week now. It feels like longer. My wonderful 19-yr-old cousin Noah drove up with me from Texas, and he definitely made the drive easier. On Wednesday we just drove from Magnolia to Dallas, so I could see my grandmother before heading to CO. Thursday we drove to Salina, Kansas, which was a long boring drive. Both Wednesday and Thursday it rained and was cloudy most of the way. We ate a lot of junk food, and played with the GPS. Finally, on Friday things got more interesting. The sun came out, and the drive was beautiful. Right before crossing over the border into Colorado, Noah looked out the window and saw white stuff on the ground. Trying to be cool and nonchalant, he casually mentioned it.
"Um, Ruth, what's that?" (pointing out the window)
Me: "Oh, it looks like snow!"
Then he lost it, started giggling hysterically and bouncing up and down in his seat.
The snow got thicker and thicker as we drove west, and we stopped at the "welcome to Colorado" rest stop to have a snowball fight and make snowmen and a snow angel. Noah was excitedly rolling the balls for the snowman, when a man came walking out of the nearby building and started talking to us.
"Is this your first snowman of the season?" he asked
Noah: "No, it's my first snowman EVER!"
"Oh, well then, I gotta get a picture of this." and he pulled out his camera phone, snapped a picture, and walked off smiling. I think we made his day. Here's our snowman. We named him Duncan.
And of course Noah had to make some Calvin snowmen (if you don't know what that means, then you must read Calvin and Hobbes). This amused several other passers-by.

Friday afternoon we arrived at my apartment. It's the nicest apartment I've ever had, in one of those "luxury" complexes I've always been a little afraid of. You know, the kind of complex that's big enough to be a small village, and every building looks the same. I think some of Austin rubbed off on me, as far as gentrification goes. But it's a very nice apartment, and I do like living there. And it's paid for by my travel company, and they provided the furniture, which is actually pretty nice. I can't see the mountains from my window, but I do get the sunrises.
After moving my stuff in we did a little exploring in the area, bought a bunch of stuff at Walmart that I couldn't bring with me (you can only fit so much stuff into your car), and rested. I'd been sick for about a week and a half, and that on top of driving 1100 miles, and getting used to the altitude made me pretty exhausted. Saturday Noah flew home, and I spent the rest of the weekend resting and exploring some more, and trying out a couple different churches in the area.

Monday through Wednesday I had long, overwhelming computer classes at the hospital. The computer system is probably going to be the most challenging part of this job. At my job in Austin, we were still doing mostly paper charting, so the computer system is going to take a lot of getting used to, though I don't have much time to get used to it. I only get 2 shadow shifts on the floor, then I'll be on my own. But everyone seems pretty nice so far, so hopefully they'll help me. Last night was my first shadow shift, and my first night shift ever. It was kind of quiet and laid back, and after doing some charting I don't feel quite as intimidated by the computers. I didn't realize it, but I'd missed working. The 3-week break in-between jobs was nice, but once I was back on the floor working with patients, it occurred to me that I had missed it. Missed the patients. That's a good sign, right? Well, I made it through my first night shift without falling asleep, though I came close a couple of times. I hadn't had much of an appetite and hardly ate anything the whole shift, so I was starving when I got off work. So I ate my roast beef sandwich on the way home at 7:40 am, went to bed at 8:30, and woke up 4 hours later feeling awake but slightly jet-lagged. I think my body is going to be very confused for awhile.

Well, that's about it so far. Oh - except we had a massive snow storm Tuesday through Thursday, and I thought I was going to die trying to drive in it. But I didn't. I just drove really really slow, and probably ticked off all the experienced Colorado drivers in their 4-wheel drive trucks and SUV's. Hopefully they saw my Texas license plate and had mercy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

under way and off to see the world

I'm about to drive to Colorado to work as a travel nurse for the next 3 months. Most people know I've been thinking about it for awhile, so I won't write a bunch of details about it right now. I got a phone interview for the job last Tuesday, and they offered it to me a couple hours later. Then I had to drive from Austin to Magnolia to get some labwork done, do a crazy amount of paperwork, and see my little brothers while they were home for fall break. Then I drove back to Austin Monday to quit my job, pack the rest of my things, and spend 2 days saying goodbye to my brother, sister, friends, and coworkers. After they all gave me hugs, said nice things, and tore my heart out, I drove back to Magnolia last night. Now I'm at my parents' house, and have a few hours to cram all my belongings into the back of my car. If I thought about it enough, I could probably come up with something poetic to say about what lies before me. But all that comes to mind right now is this:

When the course is laid and the anchor's weighed
A sailor's blood begins racing
With our hearts unbound and our flag unfurled
We're under way and off to see the world
Under way and off to see the world
Hey ho, we'll go
Anywhere the wind is blowing
Hoist the sails and sing
Sailing for adventure on the big blue wet thing!