Hello OBC community,
I was a lay trainee in residence at Shasta for a few weeks in both 1975 and 1976. I also spent some time as a layman at the Chico and Eugene Priories at about that time. The last contact I had with OBC or anyone even remotely connected was in December of 1984 when I made a brief visit to Shasta while passing on the way to a job interview. While I never got in contact, my mind visited often. Imagine stumbling on this website and all the news. So many familiar names.
When I left the Abbey in 1976, I was on my way to earn money to return and see about being ordained. An avalanche of circumstances seemed to intervene and I worked my way through a second education, becoming a certified secondary school teacher in Montana in 1984. By that time, at age 39, I had held more than 100 different job titles and did not like the experience of teaching either. That snowy Christmas Eve, at a payphone off the Interstate in Vail, Colorado, my quick stop to contact my on-again/off-again lady turned into a life-changer when her answering machine announced that she and her husband were out for the evening.
I called off the teaching interviews, told the night law school that I was out also and in Vail at 9pm became a ski bum of sorts, working since then as what is called a hotel night auditor at more than 50 front desks from the Keys to Glacier Park and from Stowe to Telluride. The first 10 years went by as if a dream. Beautiful places and enjoyable work.
I plan on working about 5 more years. Seeing the posts of the community, their goings and comings, their views, with a 28-year long perspective... My wondering about the ones I knew is fulfilled with very seasoned answers and I look at their travels - or lack thereof - and their current expressed viewpoints as indisputable lessons about training tacks. Nice to see a place where it isn't weird to openly discuss such topics as are found here. Nice to see the OBC Connect community uniformly wrestling with their consciences seemingly as second nature.