Wednesday, December 5, 2007

On Roaming and Blogging...

There's a magical tie to the land of our home,
which the heart cannot break,
though the footsteps may roam.
-Eliza Cook

I'm roaming, folks. It's the nature of my job and sometimes what I do. Let's talk about it today, because from the sound of it some of us are getting frustrated and downright mean.

This is the town I'm currently working in. Kid you not. It doesn't matter, really, where it is or where I stay, and I prefer to afford myself a bit of privacy, you understand, since you never really know who's reading. I will tell you the town has nine streets, a closed-up bank, a little white church, a saloon, a saddle maker, a post office, an abandoned salon, a cafe and a courthouse. That's where I visit most... the courthouse.

In my day job, I'm in the oil and gas business. I'll spare you the details of my job description, but suffice to say that oil companies hire me to go into areas they want to drill new oil or gas wells. It's my duty to find out who owns the land, and more importantly - the minerals underneath - and get everything ready, legally, for the company to move a drilling rig on site and drill for oil. Or gas. Whatever it is they suspect they'll hit.

This job found me. Really. I never thought I'd be doing this sort of work. I'd wanted to be the next old-school reporter/anchor... you know, the Walter or Peter or Dan who braved the front lines and retired, all crusty and bitter, to a news desk somewhere. My plans changed for me one Tuesday in 2004; I was packed up and moved to a little town in east Texas, where my mother's sister lived, by Friday. I didn't work... at all... for a few months. Then I got a call explaining this oil and gas job and asking, would I be interested? I was, and I'm glad.

This business is tricky at times and competitive at all times. The days are long and demanding and I do a lot of driving and stressing. My cell phone roams constantly and doesn't work a lot out here -perhaps you can see why- and I go without internet for days at a time sometimes. It's not that I'm avoiding calls or skipping out on my blogging friends. It's just that on the road I'm more likely to miss messages, not get voice mails, or not have an internet network. And as my dear, sweet friend Sondra says, the church won't take up love offerings to pay a single woman's way. So here I am.

These jobs last anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, depending on how much oil and gas they happen upon. I was told yesterday that this will, in fact, be a quick project. I suspected as much going in, and was glad to hear it. But I like to work these projects and I like the distance and privacy these jobs afford to write, when I can, and work on the book. And sight see. Although that doesn't take long up here.

Short of going into a full on, Alica Paulson-esque Why I Blog, I wanted to say that I adore blogging for many reasons, and delight in the opportunity we all have to meet here and say what we like, when we like. I get to my blog when I can with what I can, but certainly assume no further obligation or indebtedness to this forum than that. Blogs are meant to be enjoyable. To tickle us and educate us and inspire us. Blogs are not supposed to morph... nor must they be allowed to... into another job. Lord knows we have enough of that already. Well, here... Alicia said it best: All of us want, I think, to be able to respond to everyone's comments and questions, to check-in on our friends, to give help and advice when its needed. But the reality is that there is only so much time in a day — especially at this time of year — and only so many . . . relationships . . . one can do well. The nagging feeling that certain things, people, and opportunities have fallen through the cracks can be frustrating but . . . inevitable? I made a promise to myself early on in blogging that I would give what I could, when I could, because the important thing was to find a way to keep doing it — happily, without it feeling like a burden or another bundle of expectations to be dealt with.

I know you understand. I know you do. And I know that you know that I know that magical ties do pin our hearts to home, and although we may roam, our footsteps will land us home again soon enough. After the oil dries up and the words stop flowing. After the adventure is over....

Thanks for hanging in.


Betty said...

Fascinating job you roam and discover!!
I don't have a blog and find just catching up with blogs takes time never mind writing one.
So I'm with you what you can and when, we will be waiting here..

Anonymous said...

I am just waiting for your adventures to bring you back home. I miss you terribly!!! I am looking forward to seeing you soon.

God Bless you and keep you safe,


Terri Steffes said...

I love to read you when I can. I understand what you are saying. I appreciate all your efforts for NOW knowing that life may take you elsewhere.

Have you read Eat, Pray, Love?

Also did you finish The Glass Castle?

Brambleberry said...

Well said! Hope you enjoy the adventure while it lasts!

Rox said...

Hello there Miss Brin. I have been reading and catching up with you myself. I can't go too long with a cup o' Brin to make me feel like I am somewhere else or swear I can smell the inside of a candy church or feel the wind blowing my hair around somewhere in TX or Idaho or wherever your travels take you. Your job sounds like just the thing for you right now. I find it very interesting and it would be right up my alley. Who knew there was a person out there that did what you do? So, please keep us updated and always include pictures. You are in places that I will most likely never see. I love reading about them. So I will be here hanging in and understanding : )

Anonymous said...

Hi Brin,
Can you please email me? I am looking for a post you did some time ago where you were embroidering some cute little people? You had links to websites for the transfer patterns which I now can't find again. I think this was your blog....if not just ignore me for I must be confused. ;)


Vee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vee said...

Yup, hanging right in and it's not one bit painful. This is my first day not to post in many...I doubt that the world will stop turning. "Blogging without obligation" is the term that I see around and about...seems to fit here.

So are you abstracting mainly? That can be interesting work, but mostly it's dull as toast. :)

Anonymous said...

tonight my dear friend and i were talking about just this topic. i come home and click on your blog, and there you are - sharing your thoughts on blogging. :o)

enjoy your time away - i enjoy your away thoughts as much as your home thoughts. both are good stuff, brinn. :o)

Seawashed said...

Brin, I am sad to hear that people are frustrated & mean with you. I am guessing you have received some rude comments. My friend Haus Frau and I both have 'comments' written as 'sweet thoughts' because thats what they should be. If your comments aren't sweet than please don't leave any, right? I don't mind at all that you post only when you can...I am thankful for just the lil bit I know you here in blogville. When I started my blog I just wanted to post uplifting, encouraging words, poems, scripture with pretty pictures...not so much about me personally...I want to give. We all need cheer & kindness and so I try to give some beauty...I like you & your blog because you are a giver and well, you have cheered me a many of times. So thank you for all that you give to all of us here in blogville. I do think you have a fascinating job and I enjoyed reading about it. The pics are priceless...even my hubby who was looking over my shoulder said, 'look at that bank, it has no road or street of any kind near it! It just looks like its out in some field." Fascinating. Drink deeply of this December, roaming with your Beloved...beholding His beauty and giving thanks for His love.

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

Brin, If there are people who are sending you unkind notes I hope you find it in your heart to ignore them the best you can. Isn't it funny, this time of the year should be about sharing, family, kindness, giving and love.

I assume you're not in Ivanhoe, MN or you'd look me up for a home cooked meal and a laugh or two :).

I found this bit of history about Ivanhoe, population in 1880, 60.

The dry spell was such a rough one that an early settler wrote on a board nailed across the door of his cabin:

250 miles to nearest post office.
100 miles to wood.
20 miles to water.
6 inches to hell.
God bless our home.
Gone to live with the wife's folks.

Thank you for sharing today, it gives us another look at your life and what you are doing to make our world better. Happy thoughts and blessings to you Brin!

Anonymous said...

Poo on the meanies! Here's the deal: You post when you can, and we'll check in regularly and get excited when you do! Happy adventuring!
Nita in SC

Unknown said...

Brin, you so remind me of Mary Tyler Moore in her show! lol What a interesting job, and what fun to roam and discover! I can't imagine anyone being mean to you or your posts, all we can do is what were able! Hugs!!

Anonymous said...

I, and many others of your inner circle, know of the extent of your efforts to blog on the road, while trying to make a living as a single girl a la Mary Tyler Moore w/out an agent, a microphone, studio, gophers, make-up experts, wardrobe helpers, millions in the bank, etc etc. However, like Mary, you do have a fan club! And we are cheering you on at every opportunity!

Ignore the people who are too small to understand the pressures on someone like you. All of us single girls have had to do jobs we'd rather not do from time to time to make the mortgage, car payments, etc etc. As with any job that pays a decent wage, travel is involved. I, for one, bet you'd rather be trimming the tree and drinking hot choc at Freeman House at this very minute...but you (not being a bit lazy or irresponsible) took a very difficult job in order to take responsibility for your life as well as to be in a position to help others.

As a single woman who's had to travel alone and endured crime and many scary moments, I can easily imagine how many nights you'd rather be blogging, blogging, blogging than dealing with 12-hour workdays, endless lonely roads and empty rooms. And, I bet you don't have room service in the hotels you've been staying in, do you?

At my last job, the corporate policy was for no single woman to stay on the ground floor of any hotel/motel for safety considerations. Those who've never traveled alone as a working girl cannot imagine how you have to watch your back. It is hardly glamourous.

Know that I'm praying for you and hoping you can block out any unpleasantness that comes your way from those too uninformed to be important.

Nuff said.


Betty said...

Great post....interesting little town...makes me wonder about the people that lived there and their experiences.....

I agree blogging is not a vocation...although it could easily become that.....Betty

Brin said...

Hi Lynne,

(The Lynne who wanted the embroid patterns...) I couldn't find a link to you, or your email address!, so hopefully you'll find this:

The site for the patterns is Wee Wonderfuls - Hilary Lang has the cutest things ever, and I especially like her fairy stitchettes. Peppermint ones are great, too...

Hope you find this, and hope it helps!


a woman who is said...

No obligations, I consider blogging a pastime, not a lifestyle, a moment or two perhaps to meet some new friends without the demands we feel from the rest of life.