Monday, December 29, 2008

Where It Is.

I lived in Garden Valley as a kid. When we moved away, I think I left my heart there. It's nothing like the place it was when we left. The people that live in the house that used to be our home have mistreated it and left it for dead. The tin roof was bright red. The deck that hung over the river was bright white. There used to be a long drive way, now it looks more like a landfill.

I went up a couple times in the last month or so. There are still the same trails through the woods around my old neighborhood. Everything in my life has changed in some form or another, I've been gone from there almost fifteen years, but those trails are still there. The same ones I'd run down with Grandma Donna. The same big rocks that I used to hang out on for hours are still there. When you are that close to something so familiar - it feels like you could be a split second away from life just like it was then. It smells the same. The thing I love the most is that the sounds are the same-the river, the tree branches, the way the dirt crunches under your shoes. Exactly the same.

Sometimes when you revisit things from when you were little, they look smaller. Something that used to tower over you now looks you straight in the eye. This place is bigger to me now than it ever was. I know I didn't understand the value of being young there when I actually lived there...I wasn't as analytical as I am now, I guess. I can understand, now, that the place gave me my wings. My creativity.

I've said to a few people that one of my goals in life is to buy back our old place. Take good care of it and whip it into shape. Make sure the carousel fireplace in the living room was ready for the winter and plant more mint out underneath the trees where it used to grow. Redo the tin roof and paint the door.

I know it's not right or healthy to live in the past, but there is something so sweet about honoring where you came from. Not the house, or even the town, but what it did for you- the texture it gave you as a person. The endless supply of stories and snapshots.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A little verklempt...

That's right...I'm a little verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves.

I would run my own humane society if I could. Ever since I was 6, I can remember my mom and my grandma Donna doing extraordinary things to help animals out. It's in my blood.

Grandma Donna bought day old bread and pastries to ensure that the raccoons in Garden Valley did not go hungry.

Mom's the lady that pulled over on the freeway in Montana (when there was no speed limit enforcement) to try to persuade a stray dog out of traffic...while she was standing in traffic.

We're talking extraordinary efforts. The list goes on.

At any rate, I come by this compassion towards animals honestly. I've saved/captured and forced into my vehicle many a dog in my day.

You reach a point, however, where you feel like there is hardly anything you can do for the animals that aren't being rescued aside from collecting them. I am not willing to become one of those unwashed cave women that do nothing but trap cats and kennel hundreds of dogs. But I feel so strongly about doing SOMETHING.

So I post MySpace bulletins. I highlight animals from the Humane Society website. The thing that has me teared up a little?

Two of them have been adopted.

This is Sassy.

This is Rigby.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How you doin'?

Yesterday in the drive thru window - I was Joey'ed.

By his much larger, African-American equivalent.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just Do It

Sometimes getting back into the swing of things just requires a one step at a time approach.

Today I don't want to write - but I miss the process of sitting down to articulate a thought. Most of this time, this is conversation practice.

I'll write about a scenario that is fresh in my mind.

I'm reading this book called unChristian. The cover of the book has the word unChristian in HUGE letters. I'm embarrassed to read this book in public because I think people assume I'm reading a book about people that aren't Christian. I'm assuming they are assuming that I'm reading a book about the things that are wrong with people who don't believe in Jesus. The book is about what the church is doing wrong.

I'm frustrated because a co-worker, who I have never had a meaningful conversation with, picked up the book while I was on the phone - saw the title and put it back down. I will probably never have the opportunity to explain what the book is about. I'm pretty sure said co-worker already thinks I'm a stiff, goody-two shoes bible thumper. He probably won't bring it up ever and probably doesn't care because it's probably been lumped into his already pre-conceived notion of who I am based on the fact that I am "religious."

Here I am assuming. Being defensive over an assumption.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One of THOSE Days.

You know, THOSE days.

Those days when friends my age post pictures of their engagement ring and sneaky pictures of their proposal. Generally - unphased. Today, totally phased. A little heart sick in fact.

It won't last. It's a fleeting emotion cradled by the fact that I'm "only twenty-three years old!" And the fact remains that if I would have wanted an engagement for engagement's sake, I could have had one, maybe two. But it wouldn't have been fair for me or for the other party involved. Obviously. I'm totally content with choices I have made and the way things have worked out.


If I hit twenty-nine and start fashioning cat snugglies for Gigi, many of THESE days are sure to follow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I want to write children's books. And illustrate them.

I want to write something of value every single day.

I might want to go to college part-time. Or 3/4 time.

I want to buy a desk.

I want to be a responsible pet owner and get Gigi vaccinated regularly.

I want to wake up at six every single morning to read.

I want to organize and re organize every drawer and every cupboard in my house.

If I went to college, I would want to run a study group.

I'm wondering how this college thought runs in with the other plans I have for
my future - plans that weren't concrete anyway and certainly aren't mutually
exclusive to furthing my education.

I want to have mastered the piano already, after one month of lessons.

I want to have at least one meaningful conversation every day - so I can blog about it - thus fulfilling the write some thing of value every day.

I wish organizing all these thoughts were as easy as organizing my drawers. They aren't and this is the order they came out in. A bulletin board of thoughts, I suppose.

I want a giant bulletin board for all these thoughts.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thoughts on being ADD...and Me and You and Kids and Playing Legos...

I've been meeting in a group on Thursdays to go through the book "unChristian." It is some of the best discussion I have had in a long time. At any rate, something completely unrelated but sort of related popped out at me during the course of tonight's discussion (in the true fashion of attention deficit disorder). In the book, the statician makes a point that Mosaics (teens to twenty somethings) and Busters (late twenty-somethings to thirties) have been exposed to and are totally consumed with all things media and entertainment more so than any generation in the past.

Is it any wonder that every other child is diagnosed with A.D.D. in an age that is totally saturated with so many options for stimulus? I'm not trying to be a dinosaur but I think I'm on to something. Think of the toys that were generated in the fifties and sixties - Etch-a-Sketch, Barbie, Legos. All toys that allotted for sitting in one spot for hours to play with the same toy. You're not on the constant hunt for the other parts, collecting the forty other pieces necessary to enjoy the entire stinking Barbie with one ridiculously hot boyfriend. Twelve Legos that could become literally anything because of a lack of options.

It's called creativity. Long-suffering if you will.

Now we've created an atmosphere to breed things like ADD. We're over stimulated. I'm over stimulated. I can hardly decide which website to visit first or whether I'd like to watch E! channel or Bravo. I suppose the positive side of growing up in a generation like this is maybe growing up with the ability to multi-task?

But really...what is multi-tasking? Isn't it really the art of being easily distracted and still being able to nod at whatever someone is saying to you?

I gotta go.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Olympics Schmo-lympics

The last two nights I have totally broken down and watched women's gymnastics. I am not necessarily a big fan of the Olympics - potentially because I'm not an athlete and I'm not competitive. The appealing part, to me, is the medal ceremony - potentially because I like to cry. Ok. Maybe I don't like to cry - but I like to see someone receive their reward.

It's the same feeling I get when someone wins American Idol...

Gets a new home on Extreme Makeover...

...or when an animal gets reunited with their owner after a flood or something....

Your throat goes tight and the bottom corners or your jaw start to tingle and little tears well up in the bottom of your eyes.

It's like a little inward celebration.

Monday, August 18, 2008

This is really about that and one thing leads to another.

Two sets of long lost friends made their way up to Boise this weekend.

My friend Eric, whom I love (period), and my new friends Matthew and Kelly stayed for a whopping 29 hours. We took an adventure down the Boise River on Saturday. There is something to having a friendship that picks up where it left off. The type of friendship that stays up until four in the morning catching up he had to leave at nine the next morning to travel back to Seattle. We see each other maybe twice a year, enjoy the crap out of each other's company and barely speak the rest of our days. We purposefully go on with lives that have nothing to do with each other and somehow, when the two worlds intersect - we have loads in common. The shared experiences we've had always get brought up and are the lens through which we see each other now - my how far we've come and still have to go.

My friend Mario and my new friend Robbie drove up from Salt Lake to share some of their insight with my church. My pastor planned a truth event and invited Mario up to dialogue (word of the weekend) with anyone and everyone who had a question about the truth as it applied to faith and life in general. Saturday night was an open forum and Sunday was a time for Mario to share some of his discovery process. I've referenced before that he is a masterful thinker - and through his honest pursuit of that which is true, he's encountered challenges to his faith and has had the tenacity to press forward. I believe those encounters provided for some legitimate answers to the questions that were constantly asked this weekend. He and Robbie were like a walking, talking Google. Everyone had something to ask these guys.

Currently, I'm at my own kind of intersection regarding faith and truth. I had plenty of questions. You see, I have a sincere curiosity regarding God's ability to make people well. All kinds of well but specifically scenarios when people are experiencing physical trauma or disability. Paired with that curiosity, I have a lot of questions. Like why, when you ask God to do something inside a certain circumstance (i.e. some one's cancer, Alzheimer's, headaches, etc.), more often than not, it doesn't happen? Questions like - if things don't happen the way I ask them to, what does that mean? Did I ask wrong or does God have something else in mind? And if He does have something else in mind, instead of making those kinds of problems disappear, is it ok if I keep asking Him to do those kinds of things? I would wager that anyone that has prayed a prayer of this nature has asked themselves and God the same types of questions.

My thoughts on the subject of God's choice to heal somebody are incomplete. I can tell you, though, that at the heart of my down-right ache to witness things like this happen is the conviction that if I asked the God for something miraculous and He did it, wouldn't that speak of His credibility to a world that thinks God is dead or sleeping or never existed in the first place? Recognizing that witnessing something supernatural is probably the least common way to establish the fact the God still lives, I still want to ask Him for it so that someone might believe.

Asking for things that are impossible can really feel impossible. Understanding the impossible - even more complicated. After this weekend and a statement made that suggested that we don't have to know everything about our decisions to make them, I'm encouraged to proceed in this discovery process. I'd like to take the path labeled "Possible" and continue to ask questions along the way.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yes Please, Maybe.

I asked God for perseverance today.

But only with the little things - like blogging everyday.

So here I am.

Avoiding perseverance training with the big things by blogging three sentences.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Today. I am bookkeeper, legal assistant and receptionist.

I'm probably the best at being a receptionist. It's 90% personality, 9% skill and 1% ridiculous good-looks. Percentages may vary at any given point.

I'd rather be a bookkeeper because it's about 50% skill, 40% detail, 9% memory, and 1% sexy-phone voice (useful for collections).

I'd probably REALLY like to just be famous.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hitting the Books

I have a stack of four books that I'm in the process of reading. They are:

Mudhouse Sabbath - Lauren Winner

Un-Christian - David Kinneman & Gabe Lyons

The Magician's Nephew - C.S. Lewis

The Bible - God

I love having a stack of books to read. I'm horrible at doing much more than looking at the stack, however. I love the concept and I certainly love the fact that when I'm finished with the books, I'll be that much more in touch with history, in touch with a different perception, that much more creative and that much more in touch with God.

My friend Mario is a masterful thinker. He finally told me two weeks ago that his skills didn't arrive overnight. He said he had to work for it.


He said that he read. And he studied. He also said that if I wanted to develop some of these skills that I should read and I should study.


So here's to self-improvement. I'm hitting the books.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday Sabbath

Sundays are too busy. Over the last 4 years - Sunday has never been a day of rest for me or the crowd that I run with. Therefore - I value Saturdays. I very rarely make plans on Saturdays because I feel like I've jeopardized my sabbath if I do. Things come up, but generally, I go with my own flow on these days.

Like today. Slept until 8:30 - ate breakfast, fed house-sitting dog, Rudy, and then went back to bed. Got up again at 11 - threw on the swim suit and laid out in the sun. Watered the hoards of flowers at house-sitting house...then washed my truck. Days like these can be as productive as I make them. The thing that makes it my sabbath is that I call the shots. I'm not assertive by any means, so I consider Saturday "assertive practice." Saying, "No...I don't really want to," is a big deal for me.

So amen for Saturday sabbaths. It's not the day that is important - it's the responsibility to take one.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Well Disguised Thief

I talked to a co worker yesterday about the value of time. It seems like when summer starts to wind down, you realize that the year is almost over - then you try to figure out what you did with the time you had.

My piano teacher was talking about life inside of a retirement home. She said, "You'd think time would slow down at our age, but it doesn't. It goes faster." That caught me off guard. I've assumed that the later on in life you get, the slower the pace. I guess no matter how fast you travel, there will always be twenty-four hours in a day.

I'm the world's most efficient procrastinator. My actions seem to always be contingent upon upcoming factors, "When this happens, I'll do this." I said that when it got warm enough this year, I'd like to camp almost every weekend. I've gone once and I'm pushing the next trip out until September.

For the last few years I've thought that my life's mission will work itself out once I have someone to share my life with. Obviously, a very backwards approach. An approach that could very seriously hinder an accurate or fulfilling fit while wasting countless days that could be spent breaking serious ground.

Self-inflicted waiting games are well disguised thieves. They'll swat you over the head with meaningless excuses and crank the gears on the clock harder and harder. They leave you standing in the hallway at work with your cup of coffee saying, "Can you believe it's almost September?"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

One of the worst feelings in the world is the inability to communicate. The words, "I don't have anything to say," are unsatisfactory to the person speaking them and the person listening. Things that take place on the inside and the emotions that come with them are ALWAYS up for diagnosis. I think the faster that I can come up with a diagnosis, the faster I'll develop the solution. In some cases, this is totally accurrate. In the medical realm, if you can just pinpoint the cause of the abnormality, sometimes you can treat it. Sometimes, though, the diagnosis is just a leg for the disease to stand on - still no cure.

So I'm alright. But I don't have much to say.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Trails

My grandpa, Max, passed away about a week ago. We were in Hamilton, Montana this last weekend for the services.

Grandpa was a cowboy. He grew up in the sandhills of Nebraska and for the last two years of his life, that is all he talked about. He so wanted to revisit his past and relive his fondest memories.

The memories he made with his family were highlighted all weekend long. It's a bizarre feeling to know someone your entire life and hear some of the details I heard this weekend for the very first time. He was a strong man. He worked hard at everything he did. He loved Jesus and he studied the Bible more than most. The bible he passed on to my dad was underlined, written in and highlighted the entire way through. It's one of those bibles with a binding so loose that it just falls open when you turn the pages.

Grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimers a few years back and I'm not positive how much of his life he remembered toward the end. I believe when he passed away everything came back. Clear as a bell. I have a lot of thoughts and opinions regarding what it looked like when he got to Heaven. I obviously don't know what the check-in process looks like, but thinking about these types of things takes the sting out of death. My dad preached the message at Grandpa's service and he said, "Max is not just in our past, he is in our future."

He will be genuinely missed. I'll think of his brown sweater and worn out-jeans, the smell of the soap he used, and his easy smile. We shared the same birthday and that day will be a little bittersweet in the years to come. I look forward to seeing him again someday. He'll have much to share once again and I'll have an eternity to listen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Green means 'GO.'

Since I was in the fifth grade, people have been turning my plain little name into all sorts of roadway jokes. "Hey there, Street." The one that gave me a complex about my weight was, "six-Layne-highway." In Tijuana, the name even got confused with sidewalk.

Instead of pouting about it - I've adopted the nick-names and I've even used them in practical everyday situations. "Hi, my name's Layne - like the road." That particular instance is useful when dealing with those who are hard of hearing in that one, I generally use hand motions when describing 'the road' and two, it helps to cut back on the Layne/Elaine confusion.

At any rate, I've stolen the jester's thunder again with the title of my blog. A fun little play on words, I suppose. I love to write and need an outlet for daily exercise (writing exercise - not the physical hullabuloo). Hence Layne Street.

I find that writing pulls you back in every once and a while. It keeps you tapped in to your own thoughts so that when asked what you think, you might have something to say.

So. Rubber, meet Road.