Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ready for Takeoff

Ladies and gentelmen, we are now ready for takeoff. Please ensure your seat belts are securely fastened, and your seat backs and tray tables are in the upright and locked position...

On Thursday 21st June I accepted a job offer from Willamette Valley Hospice in Salem, Oregon. 27th August 2007 will be my first day of work there as an RN Case Manager.

My last day of work as a Nurse Coordinator for Stanford will be 1st August, and we'll drive up to Salem from Redwood City on Friday 3rd August. Our last day at our sending church will be 29th July.

It's all happening so quickly, these things I've chosen to not share publicly until now.

In an earlier post, I likened our process to a crockpot. The light has now come on! It is time to dish things up and start eating!

In another word picture which feels more applicable at the moment, it feels like we've been sitting in the airport since 2004 because our flight was delayed. Then we were able to board the plane last summer, but there were more delays.

Now the jet is roaring down the runway and our heads are blissfully, if terrifyingly, pressed against the back of the seat.

What a rush!

~ Keith

Friday, June 15, 2007

Changing Roles

I've read The Lord of the Rings many times, and watched the movies a few times as well. There is a part in the movie that always makes me cry.It is late in their journey together when Sam & Frodo are talking. They are road-weary but still feeling a strong sense of call. Sam wonders aloud whether the two of them will ever be in stories and songs like the heroes of old, and imagines what it would be like for a son to ask his dad: "Tell us again about Frodo & the ring!" Frodo stops, and turns to look at Sam, telling him he's forgetting a character: "Samwise the Brave". Sam gets bashful and chides his master for making fun. Frodo says "I am being serious Sam. Without you I never would have made it this far."

In the past the reason this has always made me cry is because I've felt God's affirming/confirming love and approval as a "right-hand man". Never feeling a need for the limelight, I've been fully satisfied being a mainly background/support character.

Recently, I was watching the movies again. At that same scene, I cried again -- this time a bit harder, and for a completely different reason. As I watched, I felt God's love and approval on me for who He is calling me to be, and the thought struck me:
I'm Frodo now.
I used to be Sam, but now?

I'm Frodo*
Scary but exciting -- I think the word they use to describe that combination is: "exhilerating".

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

~ Keith

*And immediately I also got the sense that it is not me as Frodo and Cathy as Sam -- it is us as Frodo.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rave: CCSF Transcripts Department

A critical part of the process in obtaining my Oregon RN license is getting my college transcripts into the hands of the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN).

On 6th June I mailed City College of San Francisco (CCSF) five things:
  1. The CCSF transcript request form
  2. My check for $10.00 (rush processing: 3-5 business days)
  3. The OSBN transcript request form
  4. A post-it note on the first form, asking them to please include the second form when mailing the transcript
  5. A post-it note on the second form pointing out the address and re-stating the request that the OSBN form be included when mailing the transcript
Imagine my delight when I called the CCSF Transcript Department to check on things and spoke with Ms. Anne Lee. She said my transcript had been printed yesterday and would be mailed today! Hurray!

but then...

Anne called me on my cell phone to inform me she read the post-it note on the CCSF form, referring to the OSBN form...which she could not find! I asked her if I could fax it to her ASAP and she said I could. She kindly gave me her direct number so I could let her know (without wading through a phone menu) when I had faxed the new form.

I downloaded the form from the OSBN website, and faxed it to her right away. She answered on one ring, and confirmed receipt of my fax.

but then...

I noticed at the bottom of the OSBN form the ominous message in bold font:
Sorry, No Faxes
Oh No!

While on the phone with Anne I pointed this out. She said the original form I included with my request might be lying around in the transcript office somewhere, but finding it would be like the proverbial needle in a haystack. I said I guess I'll just have to pray! Anne didn't disagree with me on that idea, but she added an idea of her own: she offered to call the OSBN and check with them! Not only that, she offered to call me back once she'd spoken to them.

Less than five minutes later, my cell phone rang. It was Anne. She had a smile in her voice when she said she'd been able to speak to a live person at the OSBN, named Midge. Per Anne, Midge said "Oh yeah, a fax is fine. In fact, if that form is not included it is no big deal at all. It is just faxed transcripts that we can't accept!"

Before I hung up, I made sure to thank Anne profusely for her kindness and extra work on my behalf.


Now to type this up in the form of a thank you letter to the CCSF Registrar's office so her boss knows what a valuable employee Anne is!

~ Keith

Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Road Trip

I went for a ride early Sunday morning, and shot these pics.
for bigger images, with captions, you can view the album here:
Another Road Trip
~ Keith