Several years ago I decided to make a career change. I had been roofing in Phoenix AZ for many years and did not feel like I was fulfilling my destiny. I decided to go back to school and become a nurse. And so with my wife Kendra by my side I embarked on a remarkable journey , a journey of changes foreseen and unforeseen. When I began my schooling, nurses in Phoenix were in very high demand, hospital census was high, and sign on bonuses were the norm. Not so when I graduated. So after three months of fruitless searching in AZ, Kendra and I began to research compact states, and decided to apply at Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City South Dakota, where I was eventually hired. The result of this hire was the unforeseen change, we had talked of moving to another area after graduation but did not imagine SD would be where we would end up. However, we fell in love with the area on first arrival. The Black hills essentially began right in town, Deadwood, Lead, Spearfish, the Badlands, Hot Springs, Sturgis, and Mount Rushmore are all just a few miles away. Also, we are fortunate to have a congregation of 70 in Gillette Wyoming, which is only 150 miles west of us.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Friday night Jake and Erica arrived in Rapid City for the weekend. We had a lot of fun visiting, shopping, running around town, and just generally hanging out. This was the second time we have had visitors since we moved here Nov. 7th. Coming from Phoenix, we were used to having visitors or going out two or three times a week, so the long stretches of solitude have been a big change. When visitors come now they stay a night or two, which is a totally different experience for my children, (although it brings back fun memories of growing up on the Range when out of town guests stayed the weekend) and the kids love to have friends spend the night. They lay in the dark whispering, then apparently somebody says something funny for they all burst out laughing. Meanwhile the adults are eating snacks, retelling the old stories, and laughing at the memories and joys of times past. We realize how precious these friends are and how important they are to our lives of faith, especially now that we have only sporadic contact. This time here in SD will truly build fond lifetime memories for Kendra, myself, and the kids who are old enough to remember.