Many changes over a long Absence

Well it has been a while since putting pen to paper (so to speak or…write) and many things have happened.  Let me recapitulate the events of the past few weeks.

1 and 2) I left my previous employer and started working for the State.

After two more years in the hospital I left in order to pursue an opportunity in Public Health for the Great state of New Mexico.  I am now the Nurse Manager for the one of the largest Public Health Clinics in New Mexico.

I am very excited to finally be pursuing public health.  I was drawn to it after watching a video about the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service.  It seemed like a perfect fit after having served in the military.  Officer pay and benefits for doing my job as a nurse?  Yes please. However my experience (and others I have spoken to) is that the process to find an eligible position and enlist is tedious (very) and difficult.  So much so that it dissuaded me from continuing to pursue that path.  Hey I had a degree and a license, I needed to get to work and feed my family.

I was likely always a candidate for a Public Health position.  I had an upstream mindset even in middle school and high school.  My time with CPYF working in IMPROV (not the funny kind) was an early indication of being willing to work at problems from a systems-based point of view instead of being entirely reactionary.  My visits to Guatemala and Peru and Haiti helped to solidify the belief in my heart and mind that while hospitals are essential and will never go away, real change will come from the community.

3) Traveled back to MN and WI to visit family.

Our first return in two years.  It was great to see everyone.  We spent some time on the farm in WI.  Lots of cows there.  They still freak me out a bit but I think I’m getting more comfortable around them, though no less wary!  I’m looking at you Bessy!

They all look like they are out to get me.

After that we visited my family cabin on Green Lake.  This did not go as well as we expected.  We were sharing the space with my grandparents for the first time (generally we have the run of the place).  I noticed a lot of hostility or resentment from my grandmother.  Well I noticed it but someone not versed in the passive-aggressive “Minnesota Nice” would likely have overlooked it. “But she seemed so nice!”

Small comments here and there that didn’t really add up to much.  Finally she told me I was being rude for making brats and hotdogs for my wife and kids.  Rude because she had gone out of her way to prepare food for a gathering being held that day.  Neither of which we asked for nor expected.

Perhaps my self-exploration and work in AA and through counseling has made me over sensitive or perhaps it has taken away the veils I was hiding behind and now I can recognize behavior as inappropriate and hurtful when otherwise I might have accepted it.

It was an unpleasant surprise and made for a strange and uncomfortable end to our trip.  I did manage to get about 43 miles in over that week and a half plus yoga everyday and my wife got in her daily yoga.  So that’s a plus.

4) Workhorse Coffee Bar!

Our trip to the Twin Cities afforded my wife the opportunity to shop  at some retailers not yet in ABQ (looking at you Athleta!) and to visit the Workhorse Coffee Bar in St. Paul.  My cousin Ty owns and operates it with her partner Shannon.  We are so proud of them and the amazing shop they are running.  It’s a beautiful place and you really should get the Vanilla Espresso Milkshake.  It is more than a coffee shop though as it houses a teeny tiny museum for local artists.

I don’t take pictures much (no smartphone) but go see it.  It’s awesome.  The Pioneer Press recently did a piece on them. And did I mention they are on FaceBook?  They are.  Right here:

Hey Chad.

5) Humming House concert.

Zoo concert series in ABQ is seriously awesome and we get some amazing acts in.  Humming House was fun and lively and I had the joy of watching my oldest child smiling and swinging her hands like she was drumming along.  And we all got up to dance.  How can you not to a bluegrass/folk version of Billie Jean?  Everyone was dancing.  I’m pretty sure it was everyone.  Maybe not that one guy.  You know who I’m talking about.

I picked up a signed vinyl of Revelries with a digital download.  Good times.

6) SolarCity installed the solar panels on our roof!

Just waiting for PNM to come out and inspect/approve before we can turn them on.  Yay for the sun.

7) um…my jalapeños are really coming in?

Seriously the garden looks great but I’m reaching now.  See you on the other side?

How is your summer shaping up?


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