Saturday, April 17, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I know I have not been posting as regularly as many of you would like. The move became all encompassing, and it was hard to make time for anything, let alone reflection. I have gotten several requests for new posts to keep everyone updated on what is going on in with me right now. Being the good friend that I am, with some extra time on my hands, I thought I would oblige.
I arrived in the valley on March 22 and spent the night at my parent's house out in Henderson. The feeling was surreal. For as much time as I have spend there, I was now there not for leisure. With my dog scamping around, finally free of the confines of the moving truck, and my own car parked out front, the ephemeral feeling of childhood that the house usually held was not there. Twelve hours later I was off to my new apartment all the way across town. I now live about 35 minutes away from them, closer to where I went to high school. For those who don't know Vegas is a huge city in comparison to Austin and everything is much farther away than I am used to. Due to it's size, even though I grew up fairly close to here, I am not familiar with this part of town at all.
My dad came earlier in the day, and some guys from the ward came later that night and got everything moved in. From there, it has been all me. It is mostly all together now, even though some errant boxes are still littering the floors and all of my knick-knacks with no place to go are cluttering up every flat surface in the place. In the move I lost a floor lamp (dad's fault), a table lamp (my fault), a drinking glass, my Sonicare toothbrush, the bamboo vase, and a bedspread. All in all, I am no worse for the wear.
My hospital paperwork is all filled out and ready for me to start work on April 12th. The day I went over there to sign my offer I was blown out of the water. Summerlin Hospital is roughly the size of Brackenridge and St. David's combined, for any Austin nurses that should really impress you. As you crest the hill and the hospital comes into view, I could think of several casinos that are not this big. Keep in mind this is one of 12 major hospitals in the area. After I signed the offer I had to drive all the way across town and submit to the standard hospital hire of a drug test, a physical, and TB test. The weird thing is that they do a two part TB test here. So it was four trips back to the miserable occupational health clinic total. As if this was not painful enough I have a full week of hospital orientation next week. If I have to sit through one more ADEIT class, or restraints check offs, I might just have to jump off the top of the overly impressive hospital itself. Then again, at my new hourly rate, I think I can manage to restrain my areal ambitions.
Making new friends has been more successful than I thought it would be at this point. Some of you may remember me telling you about meeting up with Flip and we did as planned. He is a really quality guy, and has been invaluable in the process. My social awkwardness is still trying to sabotage me every now and then and I end up with my foot in my mouth. Like when I said, "Let's ask those drunk people to take our picture" and someone said, "They are not drunk those are our friends". This is not the way to win friends and influence people. I am trying to keep the advice that Red gave me before I left when she told me that moving gives me a blank slate, where no one remembers the social scars of the past here and I can reinvent myself. Frankie told me that I may have had problems making friends in the past, but that he thinks I have grown since then and he thinks I will be just fine. Who knew he would be right?
One of the best parts of the move is I now live in a city with a temple. I have not lived in a city with a temple since I was endowed. Although the temple could fit easily into one of the wings of the hospital, compared to the San Antonio temple, it is still large and impressive. Tonight we had a ward baptism trip, and I was saddened by how few people where there, both in our own baptism group and in the temple as a whole. I think San Antonio's small size and the fact that you have to book weeks in advance to do work for the dead had my expectations skewed on what to expect here. The member of the temple presidency who came to speak to us said that they do the same number of ordinance completed today as they did when it opened in 1989 despite there being three times more temple recommend holders in the valley.
I am going to try to keep you more up to date through the post and just wanted to remind everyone how much I really do miss them. Until next time....
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Leaving Las Vegas
Despite Austin being my adopted city, I will always consider Las Vegas, Nevada home. The wonderment and joy associated with going home still awes me. Every time I step unto the plane, and feel the cold radiate from the steel covered hull and the smell of the artificial air, I become overwhelmed with homesickness. Looking out my tiny portal, over the strip of light bouncing off the wing, I can look down unto a miniature world covered with a patched blanket of puffed white clouds. Emerging from my cocoon, I juxapositionally regress to an earlier stage as the dry heat envelopes me. Here I have no responsibilities, no car, no job, and no demands on my time. I am chauffeured around, I don’t have to pay for movies, someone else makes dinner, and I spend my day cuddled under a blanket I can remember from childhood. This is where the trite saying, “it is like coming home” stems from, but it is not possible that two dimensional words can fully describe the three dimensional emotion.
Even though the entire city is so familiar and reminiscent of the younger me, ever year it changes by miniscule amounts. It is a cumulative change that you don’t notice all at once, like the growth of a baby. Every year I am gone, everything ages a year, everything gets a year older. Like flowers saved in a memory box, thing slowly become a shadow of their former selves. Things are different; I am different. I pass along the ever present pastel stucco of the house and over-run rock garden now as an adult. Childhood has been whisked away. Walls that were one covered with gapped smiles and pig tails now holds son-in-laws, grandchildren, and Hawaiian vacations. We are down to one family pet. The fish tank sits fallow and empty in the garage, and two cats buried next to it. Every year my father’s hair fades another shade closer to grey, and his belt has to be let out another notch. Even the sun bleached city itself seems to age along with me. The wood, cement, glass, and paint that make up the metropolis are ever changing like cells, but despite the flux it still matures like any other body. Old and tired, it is still my town, my home, my lover and it glitters as a diamond in the desert when night falls upon it.
Last month my parents finally purchased their retirement home in the thicketed Ozarks. In a couple of years, they will be leaving Las Vegas, and consequently I will have to as well. Although Vegas will still be home, there will no epicenter to return to. I will have no base to recharge at. I will have to stay in hotels, rent a car, and be no different than any other tourist. Someday I would love to move back to my home, but I am unsure if that will ever be feasible. I feel like Vegas is about to pass out of my life forever. No matter how tight I try to hold on, it will soon slip from my grasp. For now, I will just have to enjoy what little time we have together.