Bye Bye Bemidji

A belated but better late than never goodbye to Bemidji.

Hi, my name is Ori and I’m addicted to…moving? I’m not. I really hate moving but the facts don’t lie. Since moving out of my parents’ house at age 19: I’ve packed my things 12 times, lived in 6 cities (if you count Viking as a city), moved home twice and to my brothers once.

It’s definitely nothing to brag about. Quite frankly, it’s kind of embarrassing that I can’t find my footing anywhere I land. And it’s not like I’ve lived in 6 different cities around the world. They’ve all be within a 2 ½ hour drive of one another.

We moved to Bemidji last October for what I thought was the last time before “settling down” as they say and buying a home. But that was also 2 moves after I thought I was where I was going to be. We did our best to fully embrace all that Bemidji had to offer. I transferred within the company from my job in Grand Forks.

It’s a beautiful city and a handful of lakes are around the area. That’s what lured us in, the lakes. We don’t agree on many things but one thing Channing and I could always agree on was living on or near a lake. We worked with a realtor and looked at dozens of houses all hoping that “life” would work out in our favor.

Some would say that we didn’t give it enough time. I can see that I guess. But how much time do you give a place before you decide yay or nay?

Since leaving the house going into my 2nd year of college, I haven’t lived anywhere for more than 13 months. My shortest stint was 3 months in a shitty trailer and even shorter when I moved back home and to my brothers place.

I think if I was a single adult, some of my choices would have been different and I’m sure I’d be in a totally different area of the world, pursing a totally different career path, who knows. But I’m not living the single life and I’m glad I’m not.

I’ve made sacrifices being in a relationship, I think you have to. There is no world where you always get your way. Those that think so are full of shit and should end up alone. Life..love..they require compromise and it goes both ways.

Moving to Bemidji was a mutual decision. Channing wasn’t super happy with his job in Forks and there was an opportunity for me to transfer within the company I already had dedicated 2 years of my 20-something adult life to. I loved the people I worked with, but I needed a change. I wasn’t growing professionally where I was and there wasn’t any room for me to from my point of view.

We didn’t do the “research” when moving. Our thought process followed something like this:

  1. Ori can transfer, that’s great.
  2. We’re going to live in a beautiful city surrounded by water.
  3. This feels right.
  4. We don’t know the job market for Channing but it’ll be okay. Trust that it all will work out.

I mean, it kind of did. I’m not going to lie. It was a pretty city. I liked my job for the most part. Our realtor was one of a kind. We were pre-approved for a mortgage loan, ect ect. But it just wasn’t right, none of it felt right. Channing made just as much as a 16 year old working at McDonalds and finding an employer that offered health insurance for him was a bitch. We were pre-approved for a loan but it didn’t get us anywhere near what or where we wanted.

We’re not settlers. We have no interest in getting a fixer upper. We have no interest in living in a shitty neighborhood or an arm’s length away from our neighbor. Some will say we’re too picky but are we really?

So we talked and we talked and we talked some more. What are we going to do?

It was scary moving to Fargo. But exciting. Channing applied at a load of places and landed a pretty decent one. It was a tough but not so tough decision to move. I’m a pros and cons type of person so believe me when I say that I had my notebook with list after list of why we should or shouldn’t stay. There is so much more to every story ever written. Some people understand and some don’t. It is what it is I guess.

The decision was made and we jumped ship.

Fast-forward a month or so later, we’re now living in West Fargo and became cat parents. I transferred (thank you Lord) through the same company I’ve been working with the last few years, Channing found an alright job and we’re doing well.

Advertisements

House Hunting Happenings

Sorry that I’ve been a little MIA lately. I have a few posts that I have sitting in my drafts waiting for me to finish. They are the type that I feel need time and effort put into them and I just haven’t had that laying around lately!

We’ve started looking at houses in the Bemidji area. It’s not an easy task, I can tell you that much. I don’t know if we’ll ever feel that we have all the information that we need to own a house. It’s like this whole world of grown-up-ness that you have to jump into without knowing how to swim.

Millions of people do it, I’m sure we can handle it. It’s scary though; mortgage, escrow, down payment, house inspector, wood stove….the list goes on. My dad thinks I’m too picky, he’s probably right. For the first few weeks, if I saw a baseboard heating register or a wood stove – NEXT! And for (in my opinion) completely sane reasons. First, I do NOT want any critters, rodents, or snakes for heavens sake to come through a register. (Yes, it’s happened and yes to me.) And second, I’ll probably somehow blow my house up or set it on fire if I have to rely on an actual fire in my house. Thanks for that, mom.

I’m trying to keep an open mind though. I know that with regular maintenance and actually taking care of and knowing the house that you live in, horrible circumstances should be far and few in between. Channing and I are ready to own a home though. Apartment living got old the second we signed our first lease years ago. No privacy, no creativity. I’m tired of white walls and not being able to have a pet or a yard to lounge around in. I want something to call my own and I can “screw it up” any way that I want!

We’ve looked at a few the last couple weeks and they’ve been alright but nothing that makes us want to jump on it right away. We have time though. Our lease isn’t up until the end of October so if all goes according to plan we can figure something out by that time. Hopefully not too much sooner because we (being unestablished beings) couldn’t possibly afford a mortgage payment and rent. Right?

I downloaded a few realtor apps including one called Zillow. Whenever there is a new listing, I get a notification. 21st inventions are cool. Am I right? Anyway, check out this link and let me know what you think. When I saw it, I was like “perfect!” It was one of those “this is it” moments. We’ll be looking at it tomorrow and sometimes photos are deceiving but based on the provided information, it’s the closest to what we’re looking for in comparison to others we’ve researched that are in our budget.

Stay tuned..

Sunday Drive.

I did a lot of driving today. I hate driving. I needed to get out of the house. I’ve only worked 5 out of the last 14 days because I needed to use some vacation time since I’m not accruing it anymore. Unfortunately, it was kind of a last minute decision and I didn’t really make any plans to do anything. I thought I’d be content hanging out at home and diving into Netflix full force – which was fine for awhile. I don’t know. Cooped up all day when it’s freezing outside gets me thinking and nothing I thought about was very positive.

2015-01-04 14.07.05I kept thinking about our recent decisions that landed us to where we are. Was it a mistake? Why did we decide to come here? All that pity party jazz. So, I decided to bundle up for the 15 below zero [who knows what the windchill is] weather. I popped in Taylor and just drove. I drove and stopped to take pictures. I took my time. I don’t think I’d ever been passed so many times in my life! I guess that’s my fault – 30 in a 55 probably isn’t legal.

It was a refreshing drive. Although I still don’t know if we made the “right” choice by moving here, I felt better after getting out of the apartment for awhile. My mom told me to enjoy every single minute of every single day as much as possible. I really should take her advice more often. Moms always know best.

Today, I fully enjoyed the two hours I spent singing to Taylor Swift as loud as the radio would go. I enjoyed driving like a tourist in Bemidji admiring the beautiful homes and scenery. I enjoyed pulling over and baring the cold air for a good picture. I enjoyed driving even though I hate it.

I also decided that I’m going to look into a few things over the next year. I love photography. I’m no expert and I don’t even know if I’m any good at it in the terms of being a “photographer.” But I do know that it’s my meditation. It makes me happy and it helps me capture beauty the way I see it. It helps me to tell a story that I have no words for.

2015-01-04 14.13.25

So, I want to spend a little money and send some of my favorites to get printed on a larger scale to see how they look. I’ve only ever printed small scale stuff but it’d be really cool to sell my photos down the line and if they don’t print well now, I need to teach myself how to take photos that will print well.

Second, I’ve wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember but I don’t know what exactly I’d write about. After venturing to a few bookstores in the last few weeks I’ve seen a lot of imagery themed books. I would probably refer to them as table top books. I’m sure some in the literary world wouldn’t consider the title of “author” to be an accurate definition of the books creators but it’d be a great way for me to combine my images with some small passages. I don’t know, just a thought. But my plan would be to gather 50 or 60 photos that I’ve taken and pair them somehow with text. I used to work with a gal that has published a book of her own and I’d probably ask her advice once I gather some material together.

Thanks mom for getting me thinking. You really are the best. I took these pictures today with you in mind.

2015-01-04 09.48.23

Nostalgia.

10891799_10152947100593363_8204990569162125994_nI should have left the house sooner than I did today. The snow was fresh and fallen. We didn’t get as much as was forecasted but that’s okay. I drove to one of my favorite spots in town; Campbell Park.

I haven’t “discovered” very many places yet but this is one of the first that I came across a few months ago. The last time I was there, we had a crisp blanket of snow but the ice wasn’t frozen over yet. It was probably one of my favorite photos that I had taken in quiet awhile. The sky was bright and blue, the water was shining. By clicking here, you’ll be able to see it on my other blog; A Working Title II.

I wanted to capture winter in Bemidji. We haven’t had much of a winter (not that I’m complaining) but there’s something about a winter scene that brings a sense of warmth and security. I’m calling this on “Nostalgia.”

2nd Day Of Christmas: ‘Tis The Season Of Giving

IMG_7437Today’s story comes to you in the form of a good deed done by my mom. My mom’s heart will always be the biggest of anyone I know. She has this uncanny way of being accepting and compassionate even towards those who least deserve it. She has the ability to look beyond the surface without judgement. She’s who I want to grow up and become because there really isn’t anyone much more wonderful than my mom.

If I’m correct, my mom has been donating to the Grand Forks homeless shelter; Northlands Rescue Mission for awhile now. $10 or so here and there whenever she could. I don’t think it’s been too regular or anything but I think the mission sends out donation requests periodically and if she can afford it, she’ll throw a few bucks their way.

Bags-of-Blessings-2014-231x300Recently, Northlands Rescue Mission sent out flyers with the tagline “Bags of Blessings.” As we all know, Christmas is definitely coming. Those [believers] of all ages, races, and income levels in some way, shape, or form have Christmas on their yearly bucket lists. Whether you have the money or you don’t; Christmas is special. ‘Tis the season where miracles are possible and kindness is spread.

My mom took part in being someone’s Christmas miracle this year. Instead of tossing the flyer she received like I’m sure a lot of people would do (sadly, myself included) she decided to spread the wealth. Good karma if you will.

On a routine trip to Grand Forks she picked up all of the items on the list including a sweatshirt, socks, shampoo, deodorant, and a few other things. She also bought a gym bag as asked and marked the front of it male also noting the size she had bought for. All that was left was to bring the bag with the items in it to Northlands Rescue Mission and that she did.

The total cost of all the items purchased came to $72 and some change. When I asked my mom what her reasoning was for helping the homeless shelter more than she usually does, she left me with this:

Matthew 25:40 “What you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” ~Jesus Christ

I’ve been one to judge too quickly and assume things that I do not know.  I’m sure that many people in homeless shelters across the region and country are truly in need of generous help from those like my mom and I hope that I can find the empathy needed towards causes like that. My mom deserves a round of applause not only for buying a few things and donating it to the shelter but for being a damned good person. Coming from someone (myself) who finds it hard to see beyond the grime and the dirt on the surface and actually wonder what the story behind the homelessness is – it really takes a heart of gold and compassion to donate towards a cause that faces so much ridicule.

IMG_7970If you’d like to donate to your local homeless shelter please do so; I’ve listed both Grand Forks and Bemidji’s contact information at the end of this post. They need more help than any of us are probably capable of even understanding. If you chose not to donate towards the shelter, find a cause that you feel comfortable donating towards even if it’s just one time a year.

In an effort to embrace the season of giving and to do some good; I’ve decided to do some research myself and donate a little bit this Christmas season as well. I fully believe that rehabilitation is one of the key factors to solve many of the homelessness cases in the area. I’ll be looking online and around the area locally for a non-profit rehabilitation program to donate towards.

Northlands Rescue Mission – 420 Division Ave, Grand Forks, ND 58201
Village of Hope – PO BOX 1035, Bemidji, MN 56619

Merry 2nd Day of Christmas!

 

A Working Title II.

Wow! To say “it’s been awhile” is a bit of an understatement. But I come to you with fabulous news! As you know (or you should know) I recently moved to a new city and started a new job.

I also received approval to start a Featured Staff Blog at the local newspaper that I’m working for. This is exciting news for me! I love to write and I would love it if my voice could reach more than the small handful I’ve received with this blog and my previous blog. But please, don’t fret. I won’t be abandoning this one.

This blog is going to remain the same. It will include my random ramblings, critiques on life in general and everything in between. My new blog, creatively dubbed “A Working Title II” will be a little more straight forward and to the point. I won’t be going in deep on the personal front or posting anything borderline offensive. It’ll be clean cut I guess some would say and I’m okay with that. It’s a foot into the right direction for me.

Since I didn’t go to school for journalism or actually anything even close to that; I feel that any opportunity I have to get my voice out there is an opportunity to take. I’ve posted a few times on my new blog and I plan to post the link for those posts periodically on this one so that you always have access to them.

I hope that you continue to see what’s going on in the wonderful (kind of boring) world of Ori as well as start a new trek to my new blog! If you have any questions or would like to you know…publish me – my contact information is updated on the appropriate page.

To visit my new blog; A Working Title II, click here.

As always, enjoy!

Why Bemidji?

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve regularly blogged.  A lot has happened. A lot of “unexpecteds” I suppose you’d say. We’re moving to Bemidji, MN.

SAY WHAT!?

I know, I know. Quite the change huh? Grand Forks has it all. A growing young city, a great college reputation, stores galore. It has a pretty decent mall, great eating establishments, excellent coverage of local happenings, you name it. I’m a perfect fit for this town right? An eager, 24 year old? Sure, on paper.

I’ve had more people than I can count say “Why Bemidji?” since they’ve heard the news of our moving. And it’s not the typical “Good for you! What made you choose Bemidji” chatter. It’s more like: “Really, Bemidji? What’s there?” Ugh. I’m sick of it.

I’ve had more people look at me like I’m a moron than take it as it is and accept that maybe I don’t care for the legendary night life in GFunk. I like shopping, sure. But I don’t go regularly enough to where I need it to be the staple of the city I live in. And have you seen the water attraction of the city? The river that splits East from Grand? It’s a milky, polluted brown. I wouldn’t let my imaginary dog go in there.

So, with that being said. I’m moving to Bemidji because I want to. I want to live in a smaller (not so busy) city. I want to live where “lake life” is a day to day lifestyle not just a weekend getaway in the summer. I want to live where the tourists flock (because I am a tourist). I want to live in Minnesota again. I want the home-town feel instead of the Canadian invasion whenever I go uptown. I want to find my “home” and I can’t do that in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

I hope that’s good enough reason for those of you who don’t get it.

And who knows, maybe Bemidji won’t be my final resting place. Maybe I’ll want something more. Maybe I’ll regret it. Maybe I’ll miss GF. Maybe I’ll want to run away to New York or duck down in the woods where no one can reach me. Maybe I’ll want to live where Judy Garland grew up or where I can see Lake Superior out of my window.

I have time to figure it out. Some people don’t get it and some people do. I’ve just learned from this dramatic change to be more accepting of peoples choices regardless of what I think. We all have a reason for the things we do and even if we haven’t verbalized why to you; it’s in your best interest to respect each my decision even if you don’t get it.