the merry merry month of May.

23 years ago, on Mother’s day… I graduated from college.

28 years ago, again on a sunday…..Mt. St. Helens blew…while I was deep in the cascade mountains.


ah, the good old days.  Way back when…. High school with dreams and hopes for the future….I was on a high school weekend at Holden Village, an intentional community owned and operated by the Lutheran church, nestled deep in a valley up from Lake Chelan in the Cascade mountains. We were outside waiting for the bell and heard distant rumbling far off somewhere….we wondered if it might be an avalanche. With no phones or radio reception, we wouldn’t know that a volcano had erupted until  the people came in from their trip up lake.  We left that day and stopped at Macdonalds near Wenatchee and wrote our names in the ash piled up on the tables outside…. At this age, I think I was planning on studying forestry in college…

Jump to May, 1985…. graduating from WSU with a degree in Speech Pathology… I had already decided not to go to Grad School…. I drove away that day, with my mom and my dad, with a degree in one hand and  (figuratively) a student loan in the other….. My only plans for the future were to work all summer at the cannery in town and then in the fall to return to Holden Village, this time not as a guest, but as a volunteer cook.   I remember those months as scary and disappointing times, I managed to get myself through college with a decent GPA and found myself on the brink of……………NOTHING!!!!!!

Jump ahead, it’s May, 2008…..I have spent nearly half my life in Japan, employed more often than not teaching English to interested and uninterested folks from 3 to 80.  It turns out that having experience in Speech Therapy comes in handy when teaching ESL, what with all that /R/ and /L/ confusion in Asia….

Which brings me to a song on a Nanci Griffith album….. it sums it all up quite nicely, I think.

I want a simple life

like my mother

One true love for my older years

I don’t want your wars

to take my children

I want a simple life while I’m here.

–Nanci Griffith/Elizabeth Cook–

denim meets peaches and creme.

a patchwork rainbow.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. laneyloo
    May 23, 2008 @ 02:14:52

    ooooh, very pretty and looks durable. Can I ask what it is? a quilt ? a bag ?

    Thank you for telling us a little of your history. I’m glad your degree has taken you so far and helped support you. I have been recently contemplating more schooling. I have a B.S. in Psych and feel like to really be marketable, I need something more, to get a real job…I’ve actually thought about speech therapy…..the ideal would be to craft for a living, but I haven’t figured that one out yet………..Have a great weekend!


  2. tiktiki
    May 23, 2008 @ 03:51:33

    your quotes always speak to me, keep ’em coming!


  3. Ravenhill
    May 25, 2008 @ 20:54:10

    I loved reading more about you Jan! I felt the same way when I graduated from college in 1990. that is why I ended up in Norway…

    I too am curious as to what you are making! Socks? Wish I could drop by to give you a lesson. I actually talked with a rep one evening in 1990 about the possibility of moving to Japan to teach English! I really dreamed about it. I would still love to visit but now that i have a family I am so glad that I don’t live even further from the US and my family!
    ~Emily xxx


  4. jude
    May 27, 2008 @ 18:42:54

    rainbows seem to be in the air. oh the good ol days. amazing how things line up.


  5. whereishenow
    May 27, 2008 @ 21:41:02

    the rainbow is a quilt block which will be part of a blue and white denim quilt. I am embroidering and embellishing each block before I sew it together. Each block is about 12 wide and 12 or more inches long.

    Jude. I copied the rainbow idea directly from you… instead of cloth, i used yarn. Your patchwork rainbow was so amazing I just had to make one for myself immediately!!!


  6. Grandpa H
    May 29, 2008 @ 04:37:29

    I remember very well the day Mt.St. Helens blew. Father and I were sitting in the living room drinking coffee and reading the Sunday paper. We are about 8 hours away from the mountain. and I jumped up and ran out of the house and told father that our furnace had blown up and we had to get out of the house, it sounded that close. Was so worried about Jan and other kids, all day till they got home. A very long day.


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