The wind blows a crisp scent of fall, and just like that summer is over. Fall is my favorite time of year. Fresh apple cider, cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and a new school year. While I hate to see the relaxed days of summer slip away, I love the discipline and routine of fall and all the potential of fresh notebooks and sharp pencils.
It’s a time for new beginnings.
For two years I prayed about a new beginning for me–going back to work at a regular job. I’m thankful for the opportunity to stay home with my children the past decade and for work I did as a freelance writer and speaker. I wouldn’t trade the past twelve years for anything.
I’ve had a longing for something more consistent to fill my days. I longed to be part of a great team doing great work, and for the opportunity to help with some of our family’s financial needs. So, I began to pray and search, but my list of required elements was hefty.
- Part time job.
- Opportunities to use my skills as a communicator and marketer.
- Work for a great cause with great people.
- A job close to home and with flexibility so I can still be mom.
- Hours that permit me to still write and speak.
Yeah. It seemed impossible. Ever prayed for the impossible?
I applied for countless jobs. I interviewed for a handful. It was a tough market and an even tougher list of requirements.
Then in a span of a couple weeks, I was contacted about three jobs. All sounded good. I interviewed for all three. I was called back for all three and made it to the final round for all three. After two years of wandering in the wasteland of job searches, I was at a beautiful oasis.
Then one called and offered me the perfect part-time job. That list above? This job is all that and more.
I’m the new marketing and communications coordinator for the North Country Trail Association. The North Country Trail is the nation’s longest national scenic trail. You’ve probably heard of the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, or at least the recent books and movies that take place on their trails–Wild and A Walk in the Woods.
There are 11 national scenic trails, and the North Country Trail happens to be the longest (nearly twice as long as either the AT or PCT). The Trail wanders 4,600 miles starting in North Dakota, through Minnesota, the northern tip of Wisconsin, through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, over the Mackinac Bridge, through the Lower Peninsula, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and finishing (for now) in New York. Legislation is on the table that would extend the Trail into Vermont and connect it to the Appalachian Trail.
And it’s headquartered here in my little hometown, which happens to be about the halfway point on the Trail. It’s a beautiful Trail through national and state forests, state game areas, Pictured Rocks National Lake shore, along old canal towpaths, Lake Superior, through bogs, and along countless rivers and streams. The Trail showcases the best the North has to offer.
For 20 hours every week I get to share the story of the Trail and its thousands of volunteers who build and maintain the Trail. I get to share the stories of hikers who enjoy the Trail and go out for personal growth or to connect with a community. I get to share the story of preserving a beautiful, eighteen-inch-wide slice of earth that highlights beautiful flora and fauna through a diversity a landscapes. And I get to go out enjoy the Trail with my family too.
It was worth waiting for.
So what now? I didn’t mean to take a few months off from writing here. I started the job in April and had just enough time to start figuring it out before school ended. It was a whirlwind summer of new beginnings as I worked and the kids had all kinds of new adventures with grandparents and day camps.
I will begin to post here again once a week, and I have a full speaking schedule for this fall with retreats, holiday events, and Bible study kickoffs. I’m also scheduling speaking events into the spring. If your church is looking for a speaker, please have them contact me here. I’m working on new material for Christmas, and a new retreat with the theme of Telling Your Story.
So, how was your summer? What do you love most about fall? What has been worth waiting for in your life?
P.S. – All photos in the post taken by Kedron. Yup, I’ve roped him into volunteering his mad skillz already.
P.P.S. – Of course, this is my personal blog so anything I say here is just personal views and not reflective of the North Country Trail Association.
P.P.S. – The North Country Trail Association is filled with really awesome people who work there and volunteer there. Learn more about the Trail in the video below (e-mail subscribers click here), and look up the map here to see if the Trail comes near you!