[Forgive me for the slightly sentimental, sappy nature of this post. It is the end of an era for me, after all.]
The day has come for me to say goodbye to the American West Heritage Center. I have been involved at the Heritage Center for years—beginning as a volunteer, working as a camp counselor, being a volunteer again, working as the receptionist, and finally finding the job as Education Coordinator. I have enjoyed my job. I’m not going to say I’ve loved it, because there have been days that I have absolutely despised it. But I feel so blessed to have found a job that I really enjoy and feel compliments the things that I love to do. History is a part of me. Education is a part of me. And agriculture is a part of me. That is why it is going be so hard to leave. The unique nature of my job is going to be irreplaceable. The people I have worked with will be irreplaceable. New things will come into my life, I know that, but nothing will replace being able to walk about the grounds, being greeted by ducks, peacocks, chicken, geese, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, cats, and any sort of surprise animal. The beauty of the setting of the Heritage Center is irreplaceable. Looking out to the snow capped Wellsville Mountains, the open pasture with buffalo and cows, hay being cut with horse powered machinery, volunteers and staff bustling about in period clothing, the smell of campfire, the excitement of the kids, and the historical buildings set amid the trees and somewhat white fences …these are all things that I will indeed miss. There are people at the Heritage Center that I have grown so fond of. So many of the people that I’ve known at the Heritage Center are just good, down to earth people. There are unique personalities, wise and calming influences, and an overall feeling of being a part of something like a family. And just like real families, there are always those moments that they see the best of you…and the worst. That is how it’s been at the Heritage Center. I feel that I’ve done an okay job—probably not the greatest that could be done—but between Liz and I, I think we’ve accomplished some good things. It’s hard to leave it all behind. It has become a part of me. But life moves on as it always does. Who knows what awaits me…it could be the biggest mistake of my life (or the greatest adventure), but it is the thing that I need to do now. For better or for worse, ready or not, I’m leaving something that I am pretty comfortable at to embark on a great and scary unknown. Luckily for me, I have listened to Wayne say for our 2 ½ years of school groups, “It’ll all work out.” And it always does, even if in that moment you have no idea how it could. That is the life lesson learned from my Logan chapter.
So, today is the day things at work are officially not my problem anymore. Worrying about schedules, completing the patchwork of volunteers and staff, handling personality quirks, lateness, camp counselors on the verge of what seems to be quitting, the weather, staff telling me how to do my job, an infuriating lack of communication, school group set up, animals…well, the list could go on for awhile. Today, all of those things, all of the little details, well, they aren’t my problems anymore. And in a way it feels really good. It is time to move on to a whole new set of them.