Was it just September that I left Slate Falls?

It could have been yesterday and it could have been a lifetime depending on my emotional and mental state.

So yes, I left Slate. Worked that last day until 1700, organized referrals, make the typical 60 calls to stubborn health workers across the district,  ran the last meds across to the band office at 1650, locked the clinic, got in my car, and drove away. BAM. Done. Finished. Goodbye, gotta go, gotta make it out before dark, see ya later, nice knowing you.


No more phone ringing. No more late night calls. No more broken fax machine. No more responsibility to keep things organized  or running smooth or keep people alive, and happy. No more wood smoke. No more tea and potlucks. No more laughing at Miriam racing off to the plane.

I was so sure I would cry the whole way out, part with exhaustion, part with sadness, part with joy.

But I didn’t. I was numb and calm. Had to get to Dryden before dark. Had to get oil changed, battery changed, and drive to MN the next evening. I spent the next three days driving to Orgeon.

Three months later, I am exactly 16 days away from my wedding.

Yes, you read that right. I’m getting married in 16 days.

To some of you that is old news. Some of you are like, “Um..WHAT?”

It is a long story.

Which can wait.

Nia told me he was the one, after she saw letter after letter come out of that old canvas mail bag this spring and never saw me send one in return. “He’s a rare man”, she said.

Somewhere in the next 5 months I found I loved him for the 2nd time in my life. Maybe for the first time, but that’s just too complicated. The best gift I’ve ever been given.

So I’m going to marry Justin Doutrich on the 26th in my simple, homemade dress, with lots of birch trees and “Except for Grace…”  written on the isle, because that what our story is. Grace. All Grace.

We will move back to Oregon and for the first time in many, many years I’m going to try to stop running, stop using adrenalin, and stop being in the middle of crisis. Maybe getting married when you are still totally burnt out wouldn’t be recommended in those Christian how-to  books, but I have it on official word from Jesus, Justin, and a psychologist, that I will be just fine—all reputable sources in my option. It will be an interesting ride.

I’m going to actually live in a Mennonite community for the first time ever.  Stay tuned for embarrassing stories to follow J

As Anne Morrow Lindbergh said, “ Wish me…wisdom, courage, and a sense of humor… I shall need them all”