Viva Las Vegas

Well, I made it. I’m married, I have a new last name, and I live in Henderson, Nevada, with a boy. And I’m happy. So happy. I thought I would get butterflies the morning we got married. Everyone gets cold feet, right? But Brad and I never did. We got our marriage license the day before our ceiling, and the lady just kept saying, “You both seem so calm. I don’t typically see this.” Then the ladies in the temple kept saying, “We always feel so nervous for the girls because they seem so nervous, but you seem completely calm.” And I was. So was Brad. And now that it’s all said and done, we keep asking ourselves, “Why did we wait 19 months to do this?”

We went to Glacier National Park for our honeymoon. It was a different kind of beautiful than I’ve ever seen. It looked like hundreds of paintings smashed together. I felt like we weren’t in America. At a certain point during each hike, there were small signs next to the path that read, “Entering Grizzly Country.”  For being such a sure warning, I’m not sure why they didn’t make the signs bigger. Then the signs gave specific rules on how not to get killed. They said such things as, “If your body has a strong odor, do not hike. If you are carrying food, do not hike. Make lots of noise as you hike so the animals will know you are coming. Report all Grizzly Bears and Mountain Lions you see while on the trail.” Luckily we didn’t see any bears or mountain lions because we would have been dead before we could report seeing them. We did see lots of dear and mountain goats. Beautiful. Sister Morgan, if you’ve never been there, it’s time. Brad and I will come pick you up and take you with us.  

Now we’re in Henderson, Nevada, in our little apartment that seems huge because we don’t have enough to fill it. I thought I would cry for days leaving Idaho, but I only cried when I hugged my family goodbye. I’ve driven downtown four times by myself so far. I’ve even changed freeways. And I’ve only gotten really lost once. Talk about true accomplishment. I might even like it here, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions too quickly.

I start work on Monday as a long-term substitute. All that means is that I’m a teacher who writes lesson plans according to the state curriculum, but I don’t get paid a salary. The hope is that by October the district will start hiring again, and I’ll get to keep my spot and get paid like a real human being. The teachers keep scaring me about what it’s like. The big fights are outside of my classroom, so they told me how to best jump in to break up a fight. They even told me how to handle students who are having sex outside of my classroom. I’m not in Rupert anymore…


Jami said...

This sounds so cliche and stupid, but I hope you know me well enough to overlook that and see the sincerity. I am so happy for you. I've been thinking about you, so thanks for the marriage update.
I agree, hugging family goodbye makes it impossible to not cry. I cried then and once more after I realized how far away we actually are.

But things get better. From one lost country girl in a city to another, I have to tell you thumbs up for navigating in traffic. It's a lot scarier than people may think. I love the sarcasm with the substitute job, but that even sounds wonderful to me. By the way, how does a teacher break up a fight? I was wondering that when me and Travis went into Philly and I saw all of the drug-dealing teenagers who would probably be in my high school class (after I get miraculously placed for student teaching and certified, of course).

I've decided that the way I'm going to start fitting in is by being a grizzly, scary, abrasive Easterner. It seems to work well for everyone else, so I'm going to try it. I'll let you know how it goes.

My love is with you!

iBo said...

Jami I don't think I could ever imagine you as a grizzly, scary, abrasive Easterner. It's just not you. Don't do it :p.

iBo said...

The mountain lions and grizzlies were probably too sick from your happiness to come bother you Empo. Haha, good luck out there.

Sky said...

EmPo, beautiful post. I hope you printed it and save it in your journal. I loved the colors. And, yes, I agree that mountain goats are the most amazing animals. I used to watch them with binoculars for hours. I think the Grizzly Bear warning sign is the greatest metaphor for marriage: "Go past this point, and you need to follow these gospel rules, or you die." Imagine me saying that with a black patch over my eye, dragging out the last "i" sound. And, hey, getting lost a lot is OK. I've been totally lost for days, even months, and never even known it.

And, Jami, you will be great. If you relax and be yourself, the light around you will protect you. Everyone of those little drug-dealing brats was with us in the pre-existence, bless their hearts, and they'll sense "home" around you.

Chan said...

Hey, congrats Empo! Did the wedding go off without a hitch? Good luck teaching, don't get killed.

Leanna said...

After growing up in the Southeast, I think my mind must have adapted by growing my own internal compass. I can picture it in there everytime I make a turn onto a new street. "You are now headed south," it says. All those windy backroads will do that to you. I just hope it's still there when I leave all of these waffle designed cities and go back to those southern roads that I miss so much sometimes.

Sky said...

EmPo, I just read this again (it makes me smile). My favorite line is "It was a different kind of beautiful than I've ever seen. It looked like hundreds of paintings smashed together." Whew. THAT's a simile.

And Leanna, how are you feeling? How close? Promise you'll post.

I love your line..."when I leave all of these waffle designed cities and go back to those southern roads that I miss so much sometimes." It's so good, it sounds like a great country song. What a trip to be connected to so many GREAT writers.

Emily Poteet said...

Sister Morgan,

I read my post again and felt kind of sick about how blunt some of my sentences were. I could have been a little more lady-like in my choice of words.

Today at school, a fellow teacher was telling me what to watch out for. "Lots of kids from the projects. Lots of homeless kids. We feed them twice a day and give them clothes to wear." Then she chose to warn me about the "Mormons". "I don't know if you noticed, but there are a lot of Mormons at this school." I told her I hadn't noticed. I wondered if I should slip in the part that I'm among the highly populated at the school, but she kept going. "I don't know if you're familiar with Mormons, but their parents are very involved in their children's lives." Then she looked at me and said, "I don't know what religion you are but the Mormons..." And that's when I did it. I cut her off and broke the news. There wasn't much more Mormon talk after that.

Julie M said...

Hey Em,
Wonderful post and what a beautiful life--projects and all. If you ever want to chat about gang fights after school or security guards beating up kids in the hallways, let me know.
My favorite line from one of my fellow teachers today, "There are Mormons out here? I thought they were all in Utah." Oh, it's a good time.

iBo said...

Hey Empo so do to the teachers not like those crazy Mormons or what? Is being involved in your kid's lives a bad thing?

Answers to these questions and more the next time Empo posts.