August 25, 2015
Dear Darkened Rose,
Today marked the two year anniversary of one of the top ten most memorable days of my life. It was the day Bae Rose Gauthier adorned the world with her tiny body. I can’t wait to get home and squeeze her.
“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” -Shakespeare
I’ve been in Davy Crockett National Forest for almost 30 days of the past month and a half. We’ve been building a bridge, an approximately 100ft boardwalk, and clearing hiking trails. We’re on our third cycle of 11 days working here followed by 4 days off. Our first trip here I dropped my phone in water, and was forced to be in my own thought for a while. It created change.
My relationships outside of The Corps have been a bit confusing and stressed lately, to say the least.
My relationships within The Corps, though, are growing to have significantly more memorable minutes than I imagined they would. These relationships are absolutely nonpareil. They are not simply comparable to being roommates, coworkers, antagonists, family, teachers, nor friends. They represent a unique combination of them all. They are my crew; the coolest crew around.
For my time at work, this is my adopted family:
- Dad–Kellan. He is our crew leader. He worked with TxCC last year, and has a familiar eye with certain projects. He is mostly from the San Antonio area (though raised a military brat, I think). He smokes like a chimney, and sometimes gives off a hint of a creepy Cupid. He also seldom wears underwear, so regularly being able to see his untamed crack is something we’ve all grown quite accustomed to. His philosophies are somewhat progressive, and I enjoy our conversations most of the time.
- Mom–Hesby. Also a crew leader. He used to work with the California Conservation Corps. He’s from LA and he exudes this in his unintentional assuredness, conceit, wispy medium-length hair, colorful music, and his obsession with loOoOove. He doesn’t understand Texans, and he believes they don’t understand him. He studied financing, but he dabbles in architecture. He’s kind of a west coast, Hispanic version of Ted from How I Met Your Mother.
- Older Sister–your’s truly. I think I’m better as a middle child.
- Older Brother–Taylor. He’s a go with the flow-er. He grew up in Buda (a bit outside of Austin), and went to college in Kansas. He enjoys basketball. He has the same degree as Caleb (MIS). We’ve concluded he’s probably our fastest hole digger. He listens to everyone intently, and I think he could blossom well in any community.
- Middle Brother–Mitchell. He was with a different crew for a good amount of time due to schedule conflicts. He brings a completely different dynamic to the crew (when he’s around) that I appreciate. He’s one of our three Michiganders. He is clear about not being a vegetarian. He understands that some rules can be stretched, and 15 minutes can vary on different people’s watches. He listens to heavy metal and has plans to go to a luthier school.
- Middle Sister–Emilie. She is from the Cypress area (another Houston surrounding area). She studied public health at UT. Though relatively still young, she’s incredibly wise is her ways and graceful in her movements. She’s a fan of puns, Star Wars, and telling neat details of her adventures in Batswana. She’s a vegetarian. She reads books often and in a way that reminds me of you. Her sneezes have the cutest songs. She is such a respectable person, and she inspires me.
- Younger Sister–Laurie. She’s every definition of cool. She is another one of our three Michiganders. She studied Anthropology. She plays rough sports, creates art on any canvas (mainly Taylor’s arms), and is a pescatarian. She, like Emilie, has had an adventure in Africa. Her stories of there are rooted in Ghana. I dream of being her pen pal in the future.
- Younger Brother–Rob. He’s our last (but surely not least) Michigander. He studied plant Biology, so he’s our guru. He is generally our knowledge source for damn near anything and everything. I envy his ability to find confidence for dancing in any and all moments worth truly celebrating with groovy songs. He sometimes even creates said groovy songs and ends them with a nice “whooo!”
On the subject of admirable people I know, I need us to celebrate something (though I wasn’t able to in person). Mary graduated from her Physician’s Assistant program! I know you’re equally as proud of her as I am right now. She’s bloomed so much in our 15+ years of friendship.
I found a cardinal feather the other day, but lost it in my pocket. I googled the meanings of a cardinal totem, and I resonate with it. My motivation currently lies solely with the progression of my inner self. It feels incredibly experimental right now, but I’m sure the newness of it will wear off. I think Freud could dive deep into where my mind has been lately, but I’m comforted with knowing I’m aware of my actions. I’m ultimately proud. Id comes out, and I’m occasionally embarrassed with it’s appetite. Although, I understand it. I appreciate all sides of me with a gently sense of self-awareness. Super-ego has been mostly on the rise this past week.
I anticipate covering my carnal bits in my next stage of letters. It’s sourced a lot of my past anxieties throughout life, and I think you could understand why. I’m hoping to get crude; Lena Dunham inspired. We’ll see. Laugh with me at my attempts.
On that note, Janie bought me Lena’s book Not That Kind of Girl. Such love. Such hard love. I whipped through it last spike, and emotions of eagerness emerged for writing letters for the remainder of these stages. You’ll learn to hate and love me more.
I love you. I miss you.
Enclosed are cool things.
The Song: Battle of Someone