Saturday, March 24, 2012

BJ Hill

I met this really cool guy years ago at a Scout Camp. (I think it was 1995) Our Stake went to the Island Park Scout Camp one year. I was the leader over the YCLs at the time, so I heard all of the girl talk about the cute boys who worked at camp. BJ was one they talked a lot about. Not only was he cute, but he was from Mass and had a cool accent.

After the camp season was over he visited a bunch of us in Pocatello. He stayed at my house and I don't really remember very much about his visit. I do remember we got shaved ice. Hum.. Well, we stayed in touch and over the years I've been able to vicariously share in his adventures.

He's one of those guys who does all of the crazy things I dream of doing but don't dare. He taught English in Japan for quite some time. While on his break from teaching in Japan, he volunteered in Afghanistan. I may not have all of the details correct, but it was either Afghanistan or Iraq. I think it was shortly after the start of the war. Anyway I thought that was the coolest thing. I would never dare to venture off with out knowing anyone and live in a foreign country.

When he graduated from college his mother gave him a Greyhound bus pass that allowed him to travel all around the country. He visited friends in Pocatello and my mum. I came up to see him. He met my brand new niece and nephew. I remember he was holding W who was probably only a month old. She started to fuss and in a kind of surprised and awkward way he said to her, "That's enough of that now." For some reason that memory has stayed with me. It was really funny. He also visited me a few weeks later in Salt Lake. I made him sleep out in a tent in our backyard. Ha, poor guy. I was living with 3 other girls and our rule was no boys spending the night. My friend Jana was much nicer and let him sleep inside her apartment. He visited again a year or so later. I was married to LT then. I remember we watched a Star Wars movie and I painted my toenails. (Ya, I remember the strangest things.)

He worked for a season with Americorps doing all sorts of cool service oriented projects. He volunteered with the Red Cross when Katrina hit New Orleans. He taught Special Education for a year. He is a writer and a walker. One summer, he walked across Mass gathering messages from the people to present to the Governor. He was spotlighted in several newspapers and he was able to present the book of messages to the Governor.

Then, in 2008, he walked again. This time it was across the nation, from San Francisco to.. um.. Mass, I think. It was an election year and he wanted to gather messages from the people for the new president. He used Couchsurfer to find places to stay and he camped as well. I'm not sure how many pairs of shoes he went through, but I can imagine it was a lot. He started his walk in the spring and finished in the winter. Just recently he was able to meet with President Obama and give the notebooks of messages to him. When he was give an appointment to meet POTUS instead of flying from Mass for the meeting, he walked and gathered more messages. You can read about his experience here  He stayed with us for two nights during his walk to the White House. A picture of our family is on the above website.

Right now he is the IT guy for a non-profit company. He is also and EMT and volunteers and events like walks and races. And, he is still and active volunteer with the Red Cross. He was even called up to help this past summer.

Here we are in 2000 in Salt Lake City, UT. 

11 years later here he is sitting on my sofa. I love that he's wearing a 
Captain America t-shirt. So appropriate for meeting the President.

Check out my super long hair, oh, and BJ sitting next to me.
I wish I could find the pictures from camp when we first met. That would be fun to see.
BJ is a genuinely good guy and I am happy I know him. He has a talent for telling stories and that keeps me pretty entertained. I can't wait to walk into a bookstore years from now and pick up a book of his memoirs.

Moving on

I really ought to be going to bed, but I want to just sit and write instead. I have lots of different things on my mind that I want to share. The primary feelings that I feel right now are awe and gratitude. I am so blessed. Truly, I am. How did I ever get so lucky to be where I am and know the people I know?

We will be moving at the end of June. The owners of the townhouse we are renting are going to sell and since we can't extend, we are going to buy a house. It's far more affordable to buy than to rent in this area. We've been keeping our eye on the market since we placed an offer on a house last year. We really love the area where we are living and we love our ward and we want to stay. But we couldn't find an affordable home or one we liked. So, we are moving a few miles away. We will be going to church in the same building but to a different ward. I'm sad to be moving wards. It means I have to give up being the camp director. Boo!! The new ward already has a rockin' camp director, so they won't need me. Sigh!

The home we are in the process of buying is pretty cool. LT and I had "lists" of things we wanted in the "next" house we bought and this house has almost all of them. I know the thing I will miss the most about where I'm living now is the kitchen. Seriously, this kitchen is amazing. I want to bring it with me, but, I can't. Our new kitchen is itty bitty. I'm sure I'll survive. However, the kitchen is a small sacrifice to make for a yard where O can play outside and a space for a food garden AND space to have chickens. I kind of chuckle when people respond to me, "Oh yes, fresh eggs. You'll love them". I am looking forward to fresh eggs, but these chickens won't be pets. I plan to eventually eat them too. I wonder what they'd say if I told them that part.

The things we were looking for were a 2 car garage that is actually large enough to park 2 cars and be able to get out of them without hitting the other car. We wanted a yard where O could play and I could see her from the inside. We wanted space for a garden. We wanted it to be large enough that we could invite friends over and not feel crowded. We wanted a basement so we could send the kids to play away from the adults and to chill out in during the summer. We wanted space to be able to store and have it out of the way. I wanted a lot large enough for us to have chickens.

The house has only had one owner. It was custom built and the reason why I like that is it doesn't look like every other house in the neighborhood. It is obvious the house was loved and well maintained. The lady of the house was a gardener. She had a green house build on the side of the garage. I plan to grow wheatgrass to juice and other things to add to smoothies. I think O will enjoy planting and watching things grow too. The yard has a nice variety of trees and plants. It's just really cool. I'd post pictures, but I haven't downloaded them yet.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Tonight for Family Home Evening, O had the lesson. I'm still not sure what the lesson was about, but she used a whoopee cushion, some of her dolls, a car and a pot.

I was conducting and when I started with announcements O raised her hand, "I have some announcements you don't know about. No watching TV unless it is Once Upon A Time, Veggie Tales or a Jesus movie."

(That's our Sunday rule)

LT responded with, "What about Toy Story 3?" She had watched it earlier on in the day.
"Never mind" She said.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Our LMNOHILL email accounts are offline, permanently. SO, you'll have to use our gmail accounts to contact us.