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Well, we pulled an all night drive on Friday, so we made it through most of Montana, all of South Dakota, and all the way down the border of Iowa before stopping for the night in St. Joseph, Missouri. 

Pardon us if we were less than impressed with the Midwestern states- in our defense we only saw what there is to see from the interstate, and we were also sleep deprived!

Today we passed through Kansas City, which was surprisingly pretty in some spots, and will be going through St. Louis and Nashville later on today. I saw my first real live cardinal, and we saw sweet roadside justice being served to a guy who had sped by us going ​waaayy over the speed limit. 

We definitely aren’t playing the tourist with this trip, which we’re more than okay with. The days leading up to us leaving were so busy, the whole Missoula debacle was exhausting, and we’re so sleep deprived. We just want to make it to our new home and crash as much as possible before heading up to the Bastille concert in Brooklyn this Thursday. 

Yes, we’re going to a concert in Brooklyn four days after we move to North Carolina. It was my Christmas present to Seth, so there’s no way we’re going to miss it! 

We’ll be arriving in Charlotte really late tonight, probably 2 or 3am. Not ideal, but it was imperative that we sleep as much as we did last night, so we’re okay with it being late. 

Has anyone heard of Wall Drug? If you have, just forget that you ever did. Don’t go there, don’t talk about it, don’t look into it. It’s a twilight zone, a 50’s ghost town throwback remeniscent of a landscape you might see in a Fall Out game.  

If you’re fool enough to turn off there, you begin to feel as though you’ve been drawn into a cult: where the closer you look the more you start to realize that the entire town is run by the same people, and it all has this bizarre, fairly well kept, pseudo-western facade on everything. 

It’s​ a place where if you spend too much time there, you’ll leave and realize that twenty years have passed and the world has continued to go on without you, but​ you never had a clue, because in Wall Drug things stayed exactly the same. The coffee was always 5¢. The food was always overpriced and disappointing. The jackalopes were always oddly disturbing, with their pheasant tail feathers and their bizarre bird feet.

You’ll never go back, of course, but Wall Drug will forever lurk at the back of your mind. You’ll always wonder if it was actually real, because you’ve never heard anyone else ever talk about it, and part of you will always feel like it’s being drawn back there to see if you can figure out just what was the deal with that place. And if you ever find yourself in a little town that has a distinctly old West vibe to it, you’ll start to think that maybe you never actually left Wall Drug after all. 

On the road again! 

A little more than 24 hours later, we’re back in the road! New car, same (slightly dented) trailer, only casualties that we know of are the Jeep and Seth’s poor monitor 😦 

Only 2336 miles to go! 

Meet the new car, Duck!

Rip Jeep, you were a (mostly) awesome car! 

Going to see how far we get tonight, I will probably post again tomorrow 🙂 

Seth likens this experience to moving up a level: we got a new car, made it through the first big obstacle of our journey, and are on our adventure again! 

-Amanda

Day One

Oh boy. Montana yield lights are confusing and pretty stupid.

That said, we’ve got a dented U-haul trailer, and​ a Jeep with the tow bar and part of the chassis half ripped off. 

The poor lady who hit the trailer in the intersection has no car now though, so she’s definitely worse off than us 😢 

The warranty on the trailer has basically paid for itself threefold though, and U-haul has set us up in a hotel for the night here in Missoula, and is helping us take care of the trailer (that got towed to a lot immediately following the accident).

The Jeep is unable to drive us to our destination now, so that’s a work in progress. After the accident, we had someone look at it and turns out the underside of the back end is so rusted out that it’s a wonder it held out so long. In truth I’m grateful that things went down like this, because if that tow bar had decided to go out at any other time it might have been disastrous. 

So we’re looking into other vehicle options right now, but we’re safe and unharmed. I don’t know if I can say the same for everything in the trailer, because I haven’t been able to look into it yet! Fingers crossed. 

As far as we could tell the other driver was okay. We heard that she was probably concussed, and they took her to the hospital, but she was up and walking on her own. Thank God we were both insured! We were cited for a basic traffic violation (failing to yield), and hopefully that’s as far as it goes. 

Hoping that tomorrow is smoother and quicker moving! 

-Amanda

We’re Off!

Bye house, bye Coeur d’Alene, bye Idaho! It’s been fun 😘

More posts to come 🙂

Story Time: Modeling

In light of getting a new phone soon, I was transferring all my photos from my iPhone to my desktop computer and ended up looking through them all, and was reminded of my first and only modeling experience about a year ago.

It was a couple weeks after I’d sliced the tip of my thumb off at work, and it was the first day I’d gone all day without it being wrapped up or covered, because it was healing nicely.

I was doing a little runway walk for a Mary Kay event, modeling an outfit from a local shop that had some really nice women’s business attire (in other words, I was looking pretty fly). In the changing room backstage at the event, I was one of the last people to get ready because I’m slow and unsure, and because I was taking care to not bump my thumb on anything.

Well, bump it I did- or caught it or snagged it or WHATEVER- and the scab that had formed started coming off and it started bleeding everywhere. And did I, being the grown up adult that I am, think to bring any backup bandaging with me to a modeling event? Of course not!

So there I was- wearing really nice clothes that still had the tags on because they were going back to the store- with a bleeding thumb that I kept having to rinse off in the adjoining bathroom sink. I asked some of the other ladies that were modeling if anyone had a band-aid, or at least some tape, but no such luck.

Finally (and yes, I was the LAST model to join the queue), I just wrapped it really tightly in a bit of paper towel, folded my thumb inside my fist, and decided to just keep that hand closed.

So that turned out fine, but then after we’d all walked individually they sent us out again in single file, and halfway through the lights in the ENTIRE BUILDING went out completely. Which was ACTUALLY a blessing in disguise, because my shoes were a little too big, and one of them had started falling off. The back of it was folded under my heel, making walking almost impossible, so the lights going out provided me with the five seconds I needed to reach down and fix my shoe, and finish the walk like nothing had even happened.

As far as I could tell, I was the only model that kept malfunctioning, but it was a ton of fun, and made me realize just how fast your brain has to think to cover up these little things going wrong so that no one notices. 10/10 would model again.

-A

Well This is a Bit Late

I’m gonna write about my tattoo.
Well, one of them. I have four now, in case anyone wasn’t all caught up.
My writing mind is elsewhere, so pardon the lack of creativity and quality here… I’m just word-vomiting.

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The reason I got this tattoo is because it’s in memory of my little brother, David Matthew. In case anyone reading this doesn’t know that part of my story, David (plus 3 siblings) was adopted by my parents when I was 12 (I’m 23 now). Both David and his brother Chance were diagnosed with Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy, a genetically inherited muscle wasting disease that can shorten the lifespan drastically, and almost always puts the diagnosed in a wheelchair. We knew they had DMD, but that didn’t make things any less difficult.

Chance is still with us, a pretty healthy and strong 16-year old who is a menace in his power wheelchair. He’s almost as dangerous as David was. In the last year or so of his life, David turned from a pretty angry and rebellious teenager to a sweet, funny, and clever guy who was a true joy to be around. He got sick often, thanks to an almost nonexistent immune system, and eventually was put on oxygen because he just couldn’t breathe well enough on his own. I know it wasn’t fun for him, but he dealt with it with acceptance and as much grace as a 17-year old guy could.

He passed away on May 4th (the kid loved Star Wars), and I was just getting off work when my husband picked me up to take me out to the Hospice House he was at to be with him in the hours before he slipped away. So much family was there, and though he wasn’t conscious, I know he felt the love.

Previous to this, Seth and I had just finished watching the anime series “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”. It was by far one of the best anime series I’ve ever seen, and definitely my favorite. I’ve pretty much seen it twice now. Anyways, that morning at work I was thinking about it, and how the central characters reminded me so much of David and Chance, and I had decided that I wanted to watch it with them, because I was pretty sure they’d love it.

And then I got off work and Seth was there to take me to say goodbye to David.

It could have tainted the series for me, but instead just furthered the impact it had. I’ll tie it in by explaining the main theme of the show. The entire series centers around alchemy (hence the actual symbol I chose as my tattoo design), and around two brothers. In an alchemy related accident, one of them loses an arm and a leg, and the other loses his entire body- his soul instead being bound to a suit of armor. So essentially, the series is about two disabled brothers, fighting their way through life, wishing they had their bodies back healthy and whole.

Sounds just a little familiar to me.

I couldn’t get it out of my head, and the very night after David passed I started re-watching the series with Tamara, and made the decision that the alchemy symbol widely used and depicted in the series was going to be my memorial tattoo. I found the basic design I wanted, and had my tattoo artist draw up a design incorporating David’s initials.

In my researching of the symbol, I also read that it derives from a Jewish symbol that essentially means victory over death. Fitting indeed.

Pretty much worded out right now though, so there’s that. Hope it makes sense, and if not you know where to find me!

-Amanda

Each and every name of each and every victim is read aloud. 

Beautiful names. Names given and learned and loved.

A flower placed for each victim. A flower placed by members of a community who have wept and cared and prayed for strangers across the country.

I watch this and as the tears start to flow all I can think is that there are too many damn flowers on that table.

Fifty seems like a lot and it looks like even more when you see blossom piled upon blossom.

I attended a vigil for the Orlando tragedy tonight, organized and hosted by the local LGBT+ community. I attended to be a part of a community, I attended for solidarity and support, I attended because my heart is broken with my country.

I stood beside a couple that was two women, who silently wept and held each other, and when a speaker called for us to reach out to one another as a show of solidarity, and one of them held her hand out to me I eagerly accepted it and held on tight in the cooling evening. 

The entire circle of roughly a couple hundred people reached out to one another and held on tight.

The tragedy of what happened on Sunday didn’t really hit me until tonight, and there are just no words to express how terrible of a thing has been done. 

And yet, in the midst of this, I have never felt more a part of the community of Coeur d’Alene than I did tonight. 

To any friends of mine who are a part of the LGBT+ community, I know you feel hated, I know you feel rejected, I know you are targeted, I know you are a minority. 

But I also know that you are loved, and you are valued, and you are needed. You are unique and beautiful human beings. 

For every person that stands up and spews hatred, there will be a sea of people rising up to engulf them, to say you are wanted, and you are loved, and I want you to know that I will be a wave in that sea. 

No more flags at half-mast.

No more of these damn flowers piled on black tables.