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Saturday, December 29, 2007

So What Got Me On That Airplane, Anyway?

I've been negligent in explaining how I came to be on that airplane in my first blog post. I was interviewing for a Women In The Outdoors position , a job that I'd been pursuing for a couple of years. It was my 2nd interview with them.

Shortly after I was divorced, we started a local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation in Butler, Missouri. I was elected secretary of our chapter, and eventually spent a year as chapter president. One of my favorite parts was in coordinating a Women In The Outdoors Skills Day at Adrian a few miles to the north.

I'd only attended one such event, in southern Kansas the previous year, and it was the key to my being brave enough to come to Washington later. In fact, that trip of less than a hundred miles was my very first road trip as solo driver. I wanted to go so badly that I taught myself to drive on Highway 71 even though it scared me to death. I'll tell you about that another time.

The important part of today's story is that I began to apply for jobs in the Women In The Outdoors program. After about a year, I was called to go to the national headquarters in Edgefield, South Carolina for an interview. My sister Susan went with me on that trip, and there are tales to tell...having 3 teenagers, she was up to the task of teaching me to drive across country. Our adventures in the South are yet another story, and a prequel to our trip to Washington. If I stop to tell it now, I'll never get on that plane.

The last couple of months in the Residential Program were intense with Scout Camp and the Survival Trip leading to our graduation in early June. And I knew that there was a regional position open in the Women In The Outdoors program. It was for Arkansas/Louisiana, and I knew that my Mom and Susan, who had both moved to Arkansas, would be...annoyed... if I didn't at least apply for it. I did, and then pretty much forgot about it. In our final week as Rezzies, I got a call on my cell phone. They wanted to interview Little Rock...the week after graduation! I didn't have time to drive...I could only see one way to get there, and I didn't like it.

Now here's the cool part...when my fellow Rezzies - my clan- found out about my dilemma, they started talking to me. Todd was the first to ask how I was doing that day. We were down near the Cable Tree among the tall Cedars (Thuja plicata) and the Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum) waiting for the others to catch up. By now, I knew I could absolutly trust my clan. I confessed that I was thinking of passing up the interview for my dream job because I was afraid to fly. Todd flies a lot. If he has any scary airplane stories, he did not tell me. Other Rezzies gathered around. Filip, Heather, and Laura were especially encouraging. Not one person came up with a bad flight experience. Every single one told me I could do it, that I'd be great at the job. Every single one of them encouraged me to try.

So, I got on the plane, changed at Ft. Worth, then landed in Little Rock...did the interview, which seemed to go well...and returned to Seattle wishing I didn't have to leave. In 2 days, I had 4 take-offs and 4 landings. And knew that, whatever the result of the interview, I'd passed yet another milestone in one short year. Kingfisher!

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My Favorite Fiction Authors and Books

  • Suzanne Arruda- the Jade del Cameron mysteries: "The Mark of the Lion" "Stalking Ivory", "The Serpent's Daughter", "The Leopard's Prey" and "The Golden Cheetah"
  • Ken Goddard - "Balefire" and others
  • Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are all great. "Kill Me" is my favorite.
  • Harlan Coben - anything he writes is great
  • Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody mysteries

My Favorite Nonfiction Authors and Books

  • "Coyote's Guide to Connecting With Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown- 2nd edition coming soon!
  • Gavin De Becker - "The Gift of Fear"
  • "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales- the best survival book I've ever read! Not a how-to, its more of a who does,and why.
  • Candice Millard - "The River of Doubt -Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey"
  • Anything that starts with "Peterson's Field Guide To..."
  • Tom Brown, Jr. - "The Tracker" and others
  • Mark Elbroch - "Mammal Tracks and Sign" and "Animal Skulls"