Summer 2021: LAX to ORD to MKE to …?

Written 6/12/2021

Hello all.

I write from my normal spot – a plane – somewhere in the airspace between Los Angeles and Chicago. When, if, I ever have to set up my own workspace, I might need to consider sourcing an airplane seat instead of a desk chair.

I’m currently returning to the Midwest after a two-week whirlwind stint working at a summer camp in the San Bernardino mountains, my unexpected second trip out to California this summer. I was “recruited” to come help them train and develop an almost entirely new kitchen staff team and process. My job was to be a small cog in getting them ready to feed several hundred people for the next nine weeks. I learned plenty of lessons; practiced lots of worthwhile skills; was honored to be part of a stellar team of people; and humbled by the love I was shown by a staff that invited me to be part of the crew even when my time with them would be so short. It was a lot of work; we put in 12+ hour days for most of the entire two weeks and have (hopefully) pulled off a pretty big feat. The experience was full of joy and good things and fun times and laughter and staying up late and jokes and meaningful words. It was hard to leave. It’s amazing how even such a short window of time can be so fully encompassing and immersive. I feel a weird mix of awe and numbness and culture shock on a flight back to “reality.”

I will land and be promptly whisked by my fabulous father from the airport straight to a birthday celebration for my grandma with extended family tonight, and then at some point over the coming days will go live with my brother C for a couple weeks in Milwaukee. He’s gearing up for a big adventure of his own that probably means he’ll be a bit less available next time I come to Chicago, so I’ll soak up whatever time I get with him and with my sisters in Milwaukee while we’re all around.

Come July 1st, I am not yet sure where I’ll find myself. I have a few job possibilities on the table here in the States in drastically different places, along with the still-open door to return to Belfast for the remainder of my visa (which lasts until August of 2022). These coming couple weeks will be a lot of watching those continue to develop while getting myself in order to head wherever I may imminently head to next.

For now, I’m looking forward to reconvening with my family tonight, catching up after a few too many 4-hour nights of sleep as of late, and letting the dust in my head settle after such a fast and full two weeks.

Until next,


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