My friend AK picked me up at the airport, and we had a nice visit after she dropped me off at my hotel.
Thursday morning Gear Up Site Coordinators from around the state descended upon Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa for a morning of "Challenge Course" exercises. What a great way to begin our training. We were out in the beautiful, (sometimes way too hot) sun, and learned about one another, learned to work together as a team, and learned to think outside the box. It was really great.
I gave a couple of presentations about some of the sessions I attended at our national conference in DC last summer, and another program we do with our students called Dependable Strengths. Everyone did a wonderful job of presenting great information.
The next day we spend at Boise State University having more meetings, and getting a tour of the campus. It is a really great college, but I found it interesting that, as other coordinators shopped in the BSU Bookstore for shirts and sweatshirts for family members, I could not buy anything that was blue and orange with a bronco placed on it. Sorry, but I guess my U of I Vandal roots go stronger than I thought.
As a sidenote, The Princess was talking about what school she would eventually tranfer to after she was done at NIC, and she likes Boise, since that is where she lived until she was 10, and said she was considering BSU. I jokingly told her that would be just fine, as long as she knew she would pay for it herself!! (Okay, maybe I wasn't joking after all!!)
Then came the bonus part of the trip. I decided to stay in Boise through Sunday and spend some time with friends.
My sister-in-law Laurie picked me up after our day at BSU, and we went to eat, then were joined by my wonderful friend Nita Jo. (You can find out more about Laurie here, and you can find Nita Jo's beautiful writings on her blog here.)
Laurie shared with me some of her writings, and we talked about them, and then watched Season One of "Slings and Arrows". Well, we got through 3 episodes Friday night, and finished the rest on Saturday morning. What a wonderful program. More topics were discussed, and it came to an end all too soon.
That evening, I went out with my friend ML for dinner, then we were joined later by AK. We had dessert and got caught up on life, and the interesting places in our lives. ML had my favorite quote of the weekend:
"You know, I thought life would get easier once my kids graduated from high school and were on their own, but that is when it started getting hard."
AK is experiencing "empty nest syndrome" for the first time, with all three kids now out of the house. Her daughter still lives in Boise, while her two sons have headed off to college this fall, one in Oregon and one at University of Idaho. So, you can only imagine how hard of an adjustment that has been.
ML, AK and myself are all the same age. In 1993, the year we all turned 30 years old, we decided to start taking each other out for our birthdays, and do a little shopping along the way. I kind of messed things up by moving up to Kellogg 8 years ago, but we still can get together and share our lives, and pray for one another, and lean on one another when needed.
On Sunday morning I attended church at Meridian Gospel Tabernacle where we attended when we lived down there. I briefly saw more family, old friends, and our former pastors who are now pastors at this church. It was a really great service, and a special time.
The only downfall of the whole weekend was the cold that progressively got worse while I was there. PKR and The Princess picked me up at the airport and we stopped at the store to get some supplies for The Princess, a I bought some Zicam nasal spray gel after having it highly recommended to me my one of the other site coordinators. I must admit, it did wonders stopping my congestion.
But the cold bug has taken its toll on this household. PKR used some Zicam swabs to stop his cold, and I think it is working. Z2 is still suffering. The Princess has been hit the worse. Our phone rang at 5 a.m. this morning with a tearful daughter on the phone who hadn't slept all night, was stuffed up, and her ears were aching, and she was miserable. PKR and I prayed with her, told her we would see what we could do, and called her back to let her know Dad was on the way to get her. I think a day at home will get her rested up and over her cold faster than alone in her dorm room. In fact, I think she was out the moment she hit the pillow. Ah...the adjustments of the college freshman.
As I reflect upon my time in Boise, I marvel at the incredible women I have in my life. The majority of site coordinators (all but one actually) are women, and I was able to renew old friendships with many, and make new friendships with new coordinators, and gain valuable information from many to help me serve the students better at my job.
Then my friends I spent time with over the weekend was such a blessing. There were things I needed to voice my opinion on and get out, there were other times I needed to just sit and listen. But I came away renewed.
One more kind of fun note from the trip. As the plane landing, and we were getting ready to get off the plane in Spokane, the woman in front of me said something about living in Pine Creek (an area here in the Silver Valley). I kept looking at her, and realized I had been sitting behind one of my very good friends who I had worked with at the newspaper, and have know for years. We got a big laugh out of that one. Then, as I stood up and look behind me, PKR's cousins were sitting in the seats behind me. So I exclaimed, "Well, I guess I know the people sitting behind me as well."
PKR had two cousins on both sides of his family who married one another. One is a first cousin on his mom's side, and one is something like a fifth cousin on his dad's side. They live in Boise, and were traveling to watch their daughter play in a golf match in Missoula. She is on the University of Montana golf team. So it was nice seeing them for a moment, and PKR enjoyed saying hello to them in the airport.
Well, my Bonus Trip To Boise was very enjoyable. And being with people you love and care about is what life is all about.