Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sweet Pea, my sweet pea, oh won't you sing with me!

Have I mentioned that I am leaving for New York City tomorrow morning?  I don't think I have and I am so shocked it has slipped my mind!  I must have been caught up in the holidays.  But tomorrow morning I will be arriving in the Big Apple for 5 fun-filled days with my good friend Sweet Pea (no relation to Mama Pea or the Pea family).

Sweet Pea and I met in college working at a residential YMCA camp in Potosi, Missouri.  A tiny town no one has ever heard of, but an amazing camp that changed my life.  I reflect on life and often think what would have happened had I not chose Southeast Missouri State University for school, joined a sorority, met Maggie Beardsley- a sorority sister- who brought Sven to our sorority house my freshmen year (hot Englishman with an accent) who convinced me all men at YMCA Camp Lakewood had a hot English accent, which led me to meet two very important people in my life: Jody Heimos and Emily Piper (aka Sweet Pea).

Jody Heimos was integral in my life; he was the reason I moved to Wisconsin.  No I was not chasing an English accent, rather a short bald man with a promise of a new job, a new beginning, and an adventure the summer after I graduated college.  He was the Assistant Camp Director when I began working at Camp Lakewood as a freshman, and soon after he took a job at YMCA Camp Edwards in Wisconsin where he invited me to come work and where I met the wonderful Mr. Kummerow (known to me then as Kumo or the Walrus!)


Sweet Pea's influence was more immediate, but also came much later as well.  Immediately she taught me to have fun, say what was on my mind, be myself and love life!  She taught me about spontaneity and what good music is.  We spent two fabulous, fun summers in Missouri, working together and experiencing life!  She was an instant friend and even though we live miles apart now and actually always have...when we visit it is just like old times!

I mentioned her influence came later in life as well because after one  year in Wisconsin, I was ready to GET OUT!  It was much too cold for me there!  When I met Sweet Pea, she lived in North Carolina, just worked in Missouri for the summers.  So when Mr. Kummerow and I were exploring warm places to live, it was only natural to visit her hometown.  While Sweet Pea was off roaming the country, her parents still lived in North Carolina and so we stayed with them multiple times while searching and interviewing for jobs, apartments, etc.  They even let me live with them for 3 weeks while I started working but my apartment wasn't ready yet. 

Another cool, fun fact about Sweet Pea's family is that her dad is the one who married Mr. Kummerow and me.  He is a minister and gave such a heartfelt meaningful message at our wedding that we will cherish forever!

So while Sweet Pea is still out exploring and roaming the country, I find it fun to visit her in all of her new adventures.  Once in Virginia Beach on vacation with Mr. Kummerow and my little sister for my sister's 21st birthday.  Sweet Pea was interning with a newspaper; she just finished her undergrad in Journalism.

Once in Boston where we watched the Cardinals beat the Red Sox and I got up close and personal with the Celtics right after their championship win!  Sweet Pea was working as an editor then.

I missed my opportunity when Sweet Pea packed up her life and moved to Arizona to volunteer with Young Adult Volunteers through the Presbyterian Church and worked at a food bank to help set up community gardens.

But now she is on a new adventure!  And I'm not missing my opportunity here!  Sweet Pea is attending NYU for a Master's in Food Systems.  She has one of the coolest internships ever (helping start a low-income CSA) and I am going to visit her in Brooklyn tomorrow!  You may remember Sweet Pea from her guest post on the blog not too long ago! 

Either way, I assure you the next 5 days will be full of adventure, spontaneity and probably some Bud Light.  After all, those are the things we bonded over way back when! 

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