I’m thankful for my cool job(s)

I’ve been busy traveling for work again.  I got to travel to a conference to put on some training for a project I worked on nearly a decade ago now (where does the time go?!) and I gave a talk on cool, fun jobs that allow you to travel, make a little money, and earn some experience doing fun, geeky sciencey things.

My conference was 1,800 miles from home–that’s halfway across the U.S! And I drove.  Hubby came with me (he was involved in the training) and so did Stinker, for one last trip to see some family and friends.  So a quick word about my little Stinker–she’s now 13 1/2 years old and we found out this summer that in addition to her failing liver (which we learned about last year and she’s been on medication to aid its function) her kidneys are also failing now.  Earlier this summer she got really sick and I thought at least 3 times “Oh, this is it.  She’s not going to live to the weekend.”  But each time she rallied.  In late summer she began retaining fluid in her abdomen (she gained 7 lbs in August–all fluid. No bueno.)  By mid September I was working from home so I could spend every last possible minute with her before she died. Then we put her on a new drug (also an expensive drug, but whatever). Within a few days the fluid was gone from her abdomen. She regained her appetite.  Her energy levels soared. It was like she was 3 years younger!  Who is this dog?!  I LOVE her!

So, I love road trips.  Stinker is an awesome traveler.  She loves to go, too!  Hubby couldn’t take time off work to make a long road trip out of this adventure, so he flew home after the conference training and Stinker and I drove back.  Just us girls.  On a road trip out West.  We stopped in Colorado and I got to visit a friend from college and do some field work (I can never just go on a vacation, but that’s okay with me. Really.). I’m really grateful that I can travel, get paid, have the flexibility to do a little vacation-work road trip, and…I’m really grateful that, as a woman, I can drive across the country by myself (and my lovely doggie) and stop at rest areas, fuel up my car, stay in hotels, go to parks, and do the things I want and need to do without worrying about my safety.  I realize that I am fortunate to be able to do these things.  I realize that in some places in the world, I would have broken numerous laws doing what I just did–I am lucky to be a liberated, independent free-spirit…with a camera–check out some of my highlights!


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