Unplugging, Part 2

After my full year of living in the northwoods at Nicolet Bible Institute, I set off to finish my bachelor’s degree at William Woods University.  Going from the northwoods of Wisconsin to what felt to me like the deep south, but was really only Missouri, was a shock to my system.  I love my Alma mater, but I do not love Missouri.  It is beautiful, with rolling green hills and abundance of picturesque farmland.  But it is hot, and the humidity thick. William Woods has very high standards of care for its horses, and one of the rules was that we could not put our horses away if they were the least bit sweaty…  Until of course, it was so hot that they were just sweating while standing in the shade of the barn.  Snowfall is minimal in the winter there, and every time we had a storm of freezing rain, I found myself longing for deep snow, my cross-country skis, and the solitude of the forest.

My goal, upon graduation, was to find a horsemanship instructor position at a camp, dude ranch, or school in a cold climate.  I interviewed at a ranch in Minnesota, a breeding and lesson barn in Maine, a camp in Ohio (southern Ohio, definitely not far enough north for my tastes), and a camp in Southern California.  I was offered all of those jobs, except that the one in Ohio wanted me to come weeks before school was done.  I didn’t want to miss my college graduation, and the camp just didn’t quite feel right to me anyway.  I didn’t feel the job in Maine was a good fit with the personalities of the owners.  The employee quarters at the Minnesota dude ranch smelled so strongly of cigarette smoke that I could never live there for health reasons, and they only had horses for half the year..  The California job came along last, and I knew it was the right one for me, despite being in not the “right” location. I would be the director of the horsemanship program–camps all summer, trail rides all fall.  It was a Christian camp, which is where my heart truly was.  And while it was in California, it was on a mountain, so the heat would not be so intense, and I was told it did snow some in the winter.  Most importantly, I could not ignore the feeling that God was calling me there, regardless of my plans to move somewhere cold.

As graduation came closer, I was packing up my room and my roommate said to me, “I have this feeling you are going to get married next year.”  I laughed at her.  I had been determinedly single for about three years at that point, with no prospects on the horizon.

“No way.  I’m not going to date any boys from California.  I don’t want to get stuck there.”  My plan was to work at that camp for approximately two years, then start watching the Christian camp job postings online for my dream job in my dream location.  THEN I would get married and live happily ever in the middle of nowhere in a place with mild summers and long, cold, winters.

She shrugged. “I still think you are going to get married next year.”

She made this prediction a few weeks after I had briefly met my husband-to-be for the first time on a tour of the camp where we barely acknowledged each other, a few months before I would overhear him tell a friend “I am so tired of California.  I want to get out of there and try living in some REAL woods,” and almost exactly one year before our wedding day.

Until next time,

Erin, AKA Wrangler Mama

PS Thanks for taking this journey down memory lane with me.  I promise to go back and add some photos as I find our old albums and get all my technology set up again.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. alisapage484
    May 09, 2015 @ 18:15:29

    Good stuff, Erin! What a great story. Keep it coming. And if you ever want to visit your Alma Mater here in MO (not my favorite state either), it’s a bit over an hour from my house!

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  2. Wrangler Mama
    May 09, 2015 @ 18:37:51

    Oh I would definitely love to visit you–and WWU. 🙂

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  3. Trackback: Unplugging, Part 3 | Wrangler Mama's World

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