Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Wow...it's been exactly a week since that last post, and a hell of a lot has happened. But this is a Blog event for me, the following is the first writing that will ever appear on both my blog and Snowbaseball.com, So I guess the title "stuff I don't put at Snowbaseball.com" is no longer accurate. Perhaps I'll fix that. Perhaps.

Anyway, here's the full Montana story:

Friday, May 21: The day started with a lot of tears, Laura and I parted ways in Des Moines, and to say this made me really sad would be a tremendous understatement. At this point I started counting the days to August 28, when I would be home again to see Laura. Probably should've seen that as a bad omen. Once I got on the road and composed myself I drove for a long time because I didn't want to stop to think about the events of the day...I drove from Des Moines to Sheridan, Wyoming, ate at a good Chinese restaurant, called Laura (briefly) and went to bed.

Day 2: Up early and on the road to make the short second leg of the trip to Missoula. Got to Missoula around 2 in the afternoon, the first day didn't hurt all that much. Moved into the new place, actually was pretty optimistic about it. I met Dan and Lorie for the first time this day, Dan was at home when I got there and the first thing he told me was "Welcome home." I'm going to write a section later where I talk about all the nice things I have to say about all the people I met in Montana, but I'll say this now, I didn't make it in Montana for very longer, but the kindness Dan and Lorie showed me made me want to stay way longer than I would have stayed on my own. Stayed in the hotel with my mom on this night, figured I'd sleep in my bed in Montana enough this summer.

Day 3: Woke up relatively early, did the last setup things in the new place, did laundry with my mom, went to dinner (the Montana Club was excellent and is a definite must-stop in Missoula, btw) and went to see Van Helsing with my mom...said goodbye to her for the summer this night, cried a fair amount. The last person I knew from home was leaving and for the first time I started to feel completely alone in Montana. Dan and Lorie were very cool about it and tried to cheer me up, but really I just wanted to see familiar faces. I called Laura but it was too late, she had already given up on me for the night and gone to bed. So I went online and talked to Tara. Here's the first absolutely glowing reference I have to give out in this story. In every tough phase of my life, the person who's been able to reason with me has always been a female friend who can somewhat relate to how I feel. As I tell story after story, it's usually someone different every time, but in this case it was Tara. Virtually every time I needed someone to talk to this week, Tara's been the one who's come through for me. She was the first one to agree with my decision to come home, and of everyone (except Laura) I've seen since I've gotten home, she's the person I've been able to keep in touch with the most. I'm assuming at some point in the future you'll read this, Tara, and when you do, know that I know that you know that I owe you big for all the support you gave me this week.

Day 4 (Monday, May 24): Woke up early for my first day of work, showered and the like, was ready for work at 8:15 (I had to work at 9) and got bored. For those of you who talked to me during this week, you know boredom was public enemy #1 and created the only situations I couldn't recover from. Being bored made me think about home, all the things I could (and would) be doing if I was home, and all the things I was missing out on. After 15-20 minutes of moping I went to work and for the first time in a few days the excitement I showed wasn't fake. I met everyone in the office right away Monday morning, and I think I got a pretty good impression of the people I was working with right away. I'll talk more about people I worked with later on, but here I've got to mention the first person who went out of his way immediately to introduce himself to me, Tom "Tugboat" Carter. Tug held my job last summer, and did a good enough job that he was allowed to remain on the staff as Community Relations Director this season. The immediate interest Tug showed in meeting me made me feel important and definitely gave me the right impression right away. I worked all morning folding letters for a future mass mailing, and went to lunch with Brett, the other intern, who was nice enough to cancel his lunch plans to take me for a walk around downtown and show me some of the sights. After lunch we came back to work and I went back to folding, and I made it until 4 or so before I finally got bored.
That's when I started to see the problem. I didn't get out of work until after 6, and by the time I did I absolutely wanted to scream. I went home and called my mom, and told her I didn't think I was going to make it. I agreed to press on, and then called Laura, who finally managed to calm me back down a bit. After I talked to Laura, I went back into my room, laid down on my bed and drifted off to sleep. At about 6:30. I woke up briefly and met a friend of Dan's later that evening, but I remember nothing about the conversation...for all intensive purposes I was still asleep.

Day 5 (My 21st birthday): Lorie invited me this morning to go out with Dan and some of their friends that evening to celebrate my birthday, and I accepted. I went to work, had a staff meeting, looked at photos for the team website, and spent most of the afternoon stuffing envelopes again. Finished the day off with a tour of what will be the new ballpark (if it ever gets done) and went home to call the family and Laura...had some nice conversation there, got off the phone and decided another nap was in order until Dan and Lorie got home. I slept like a baby for another couple of hours, and got up and had a good time with Dan and Lorie and their friends. Credit where credit's due here for Dan and Lorie...they saw me struggling and they pulled out all the stops to make me feel better. After partying for a little while I went back to my makeshift desk to receive birthday greetings from those who had waited up for me (most notably Tara) and went to bed.

Day 6 (The breakdown): I had a really hard time sleeping Tuesday night and woke up feeling out of sorts on Wednesday. I went in to work but after a few hours I was really disoriented and just completely not myself. Someone at work who had seen me struggling suggested that my grogginess could have been mono, since I had been so sleepy the last few days. At this point my groggy mind began to worry, earning me a team-forced trip to the doctor. Spent the late morning and early afternoon there, underwent some blood tests (and most of you know how much I love needles) and was found negative for mono, but positive for something. Yes, that's right. By looking at my white blood cell count, which was high, the doctor decided I had contracted something, but decided not to further investigate. He recommended I rest the remainder of the day, but said I could go back to work if I had to. I decided to go back to work. I worked for an hour or so before deciding nevermind, I could not actually make it, and I was sent home, where surprise! I got bored. I napped for a few hours, and then I got up and did some hardcore thinking. I realized that the concept of potentially having mono had actually gotten me excited, because if I had mono I'd have to come home. I realized all I'd been doing all day was trying to find an excuse to get out of Montana and back to my life. After some more thought, for the first time the possibility of giving up and coming home entered into my mind. I didn't want to find out what would happen in the next 93 days, if my brain was already trying to derail itself after four. I talked to Dan and Lorie to work out a deal to possibly leave, and I called my mom. Neither were happy with my decision, but I was able to explain my side to both. Finally, I called Laura. We talked for almost an hour about my decision, how disappointed she was in it, and how she thought it was the wrong move, but eventually I got her support as well. I went to bed Wednesday night having told myself it was the last time I would sleep in Montana.

Day 7 (The ending): I woke up early Thursday morning, couldn't sleep again. I hadn't been able to reach my dad since making my decision, so I tried to call him again at several places, but ended up leaving him an e-mail and a phone message. I packed some things before work this morning, then went in to talk to Assistant GM Chris Hale about what I wanted to do. After I talked to him for a few minutes, then talked to GM Matt Ellis, we reached an agreement for me to leave. I said some quick goodbyes to people around the office, went back and loaded up my car, and left Missoula for the last time at 11 am Mountain time. I drove all the way through Montana and North Dakota that first day. My dad found out about my decision and called me while I was in a cell phone dead zone in Montana, so I was able to talk to him briefly and let him know what was going on. I spent the night in Fargo, North Dakota and drove the rest of the way back the next morning, stopping briefly for dinner and to unload some things in Rapids before I moved on to Appleton, meeting Laura after work. Laura and I spent the weekend together and I think her and I are back on good terms. I'm still upset about the way things turned out but all in all I'm happy to be back home and I think I learned something about my own limitations in Montana. I learned that some things are more important than any baseball career I may have, and I will not neglect those things again.

Storytime concludes. Promise next time post will be made on a lighter note.
This has been KL Snow.

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