Winding down in Wyoming

As my summer in Laramie, Wyoming comes to an end I realize that I might actually miss this place a bit.  There is something oddly nice about leaving downtown, big (sort of – if you’ve ever been to Denver you know what I mean.  It isn’t huge, but it isn’t tiny, either) city Denver living and coming to small town, middle of no where Laramie, Wyoming to live for half of the summer.  The old men are sweet, wear cowboy hats and say “ma’am” at the grocery store, women wear belt buckles that are bigger than I have ever seen and everyone seems friendly and certainly not uppity or too fast paced.  Kids still play outside, I can leave my window open all night without having to worry and I don’t have to constantly check behind my shoulder while I’m out walking Copper.  In downtown Denver I don’t even feel comfortable leaving my apartment building without my pepper spray clenched in my hand.  Here in Laramie, I take it with me out of dependence (you carry pepper spray long enough and you start to depend on it for security) but don’t really think twice about having it with me.

My professors are sweet women who have a bit of country flare and one in particular, who came here from Texas, is the first professor I’ve ever had that openly likes Jesus and is on the same political spectrum as I am.  I never found that in my 4 years of undergrad at U of Massachusetts or Sonoma State.  It’s refreshing – and I’m not surprised to have found it here.  The campus is clean, very pretty & embraces recycling and greenness – which I absolutely love.

Life is a bit slower here.  I’m sure if I stayed here long enough I’d find that in many aspects it’s just like every other city & state I’ve lived in, but my initial impression after this summer is that it’s different.  And I actually think I like it.

Throughout the spring and fall I will be commuting to Casper, Wyoming which should also prove to be very different from what I’m used to.  Though Casper has about 57,000 residents , it’s still considered “small” and is only the second largest city in Wyoming, right behind Cheyenne, the capital.

Commuting to Wyoming and having two residences has not been easy by any means, but I have certainly enjoyed the journey and will do my best to continue to.  Driving along Highway 287 provides gorgeous scenery and this morning as I left Colorado (I went to Andrews for the night last night to practice my assessment on him – he’s such a good sport) I got to watch the sun rise out East over the plains.  It was beautiful!  It reminded me of simpler times when I traveled the world as a carefree junior in college aboard the MV Explorer.

It also reminded me of why I’m in nursing school and why I chose U of Wyoming to begin with… because it’s a great school, in a great state, it’s a different type or life here and that reflects on it’s amazing program that brings so much diversity to the table.  And last, because it took me out of my comfort zone, which I thoroughly enjoy.

I have two finals tomorrow and one on Friday and then I am done until August 27th (when online classes start) & until September for clinicals (when I will travel to Casper for the first time).

This summer FLEW by and my time on campus is over in two days. From then on it’s clinicals and all online work!  I can’t believe it, but I’m so ready.

I haven’t been able to hike and have only gone fishing once, so you can bet I will be very busy enjoying what part of summer I actually have left.  After I finish moving, of course.  Because in case you missed it in my last post, I’m moving to Greenwood Village (a south Denver suburb) in a week from today.  I’ve decided to stay in Denver and resume my normal life despite having clinicals in Casper.  My hope is that Andrew will get a job in Denver and be able to move, SOON.

We’ll see.

In any case, these next few months are sure to be crazy, hectic, exciting & I’m glad I’ll have August off to prepare for the adventure!  A year from Friday I’ll be finished with school for good & ready to take my national board exam.  Time.  Flies.

Here’s to August… and the rest of nursing school 🙂

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