2014 — Where Are the Space Chips?

January 6, 2014

2014, guys! Back when I was a kid, I thought we’d all be living in space, eating space chips and listening to space music by 2014. I was wrong. I’m still eating normal chips like a loser.

Lately I’ve been getting texts from friends asking me where in the world (literally) I am. Who even knows anymore, guys? However, it is likely that I am somewhere with negative temperatures and tons of snow. Somehow I never end up in Hawaii.

The past few months, I spent a lot of time in Minnesota with my family. The delay in my work visa was a disappointment, but I can see the Lord’s hand in it — my brother was going through a lot, and I was able to be around in a way that I haven’t been for years. I have spent more time with my grandparents and brother than I probably ever have, and for that, I am grateful.

I was in Minnesota for most of December to celebrate my dad and Bonnie’s wedding open house, to hang out with my grandparents and brother, and to spend time with my mom. Andrew came in for Christmas in Minnesota, which we celebrated up north and in Minneapolis. We are Christmas fiends!


Andrew learned how to play cribbage. The math in cribbage, you guys. I became a writer for a reason. (The reason is that I hate doing math. In case that wasn’t clear. I don’t like math. Just so you know.)


After Christmas in Minnesota, we wanted to join Andrew’s family in Fairmont, British Columbia. We wanted to do that, but Fargo was not so keen on the idea. My mom and Gary drove us to the Fargo airport and most of the drive was just fine. Then came the last hour of the drive to Fargo which consisted of some major white-out conditions. Now, I’ve heard the term “white-out” plenty of times, but I don’t think I’ve ever been in a car for a real case of the conditions. Gary was driving and we literally could not see the road. Like, picture a road, then picture not being able to see it. Then picture snow all around. Then picture me gasping every two seconds because I think we’re going to die or be hit by a car that we can’t see. That’s what it was like.

But, thanks to Gary’s good driving, we finally made it to the airport in hopes that our flight still might be able to go out. We were supposed to fly from Fargo to Denver to Calgary and get in about 10 p.m. We arrived at the Fargo airport and supposedly our flight was still  on time — woo hoo! The plane we were supposed to take landed just a few minutes late and our pilot confirmed that we would be on our way soon … but wait. There’s a mechanical issue with the plane. We have to wait for someone to come fix it. But he should be in soon.

Just a little delay, guys. We’re feeling fine.


The mechanic fixed the plane and the United guy announced that it was time to board! Only about an hour and a half late. We might miss our connecting flight to Calgary, but there’s still hope. We all hop on the plane, spirits high.

Plane time! We’re in the last row, but no worries! We’re only going to be on the plane for the hour and a half flight to Denver, guys!


Here’s when our story becomes a sad tale of woe and starvation and lies. Our kind flight attendant made an announcement once we board. “Hey, guys. Quick update. Keep your seatbelts on, we just need to de-ice and then we’ll be on our way. Five minutes.” Of course we’re de-icing! This isn’t an issue. It’s cold outside! De-ice away. We’ll just hang out in our seats for five minutes — NO PROBLEM.

An hour later. “Hey! Sorry for the delay. We’re almost ready to go. Just finishing up some paperwork and then we’ll de-ice. Five minutes!” … OK. I thought we were de-icing an hour ago. But you know what, it’s fine. Andrew and I are having fun — the toddler in the seat ahead of us is cooing and we’ve got almonds to keep us full. We’ll be on the way in no time. We may not make the Calgary flight, but maybe there’s a later one we can catch. Feeling good.

Half hour later. “Hey, friends! So, it’s super cold out. We need to de-ice one more time. Just to be safe. Lots of ice and we want you to be safe. Best case scenario: five to ten minutes.”

Forty five minutes later. “Hey, folks. So, some news. We are out of de-icing fluid. Bummer. Hashtagwhatwerewethinking? We’re going to go ahead and fill up and then finish the de-ice. Best case scenario: five minutes.” Umm. We’re sitting in the last row next to the steady stream of bathroom-goers. People are beginning to get slightly wild looks in their eyes. The sink in the bathroom is no longer working and who knows what else is not functioning properly in there. We’re offering almonds to people as they pass by and they scarf them down like wolves. The toddler ahead of us is beginning to whimper.

Four years later. “Hey, friendsies. So, some bad weather in Denver and we’d rather be safe than sorry. We’re going to put some extra fuel in the plane just in case we have to circle around a few times. So, they’re on their way with the gas — best case scenario: we leave by July.”

3014. I’m eating space chips. The toddler in front of us has stripped naked and covered himself in war paint. The lady across the aisle is using some words the toddler probably shouldn’t hear. The hippie a few rows ahead of us has lost all zen and keeps asking about mechanical issues. Don’t ask about mechanical issues, hippie! Haven’t you ever watched the Friends episode with the phalange?!

“Hey, guys! OK, it’s a tad bit chilly out there. Good news! We’ve filled up the de-icer and the plane with extra fuel. We’re just going to go ahead and de-ice one wing. Also, we’re going to put in new carpet and paint the plane. Maybe add some potted plants. Best case scenario: we arrive in Denver after the sun burns out!”

Here we are after sitting in this plane on the runway for three hours. This was right after the flight attendant ran down the aisle throwing cookies at mutinous customers.


Finally, finally it was time to take off. Fueled up and iced no longer. Our plane took off and it sounded like we had about half an engine that was actually working. (And that half of an engine sounded like it was shredding a goat.) But whatever. We were in the air!

When we finally landed in Denver everyone had missed their connections except those going to L.A. But then the pilot decided to just take a nice drive around the airport lots for 20 minutes — for the fun of it — so the L.A. people missed their flights too. We then waited for an hour in the customer service line before we got a hotel voucher and a re-booked flight to Calgary for the next day. Thanks, United!

Actually, everything turned out OK. The hotel we were at was beautiful, and our friend Andy came and picked us up and took us to church at my beloved Wellspring, and then we went to lunch at Snooze. (Ask them to make you the cinnamon roll pancake at Snooze. They’re ah-mah-zing!)

Eventually we made it to Calgary and then to the Fairmont hot springs. Glorious! We sat in the hot tubs, played outside, hung out with Andrew’s family, and laid around.

We also played this game called Walleyball. It’s like volleyball (with a clever name), but you can hit the ball of the walls and you can hit it on your side as many times as you want. I’m awful at it, but I think it’s so fun! Let’s start a league, everyone!


Here we are in our classy new year’s outfits. 2014, y’all!



2013 was a challenging year. Remember when I was studying for comps and writing my thesis and complaining about it non-stop?! That was 2013. Gross. I haven’t lived in my own home with my own things since May. I haven’t had a steady job all year, even though I was offered one in July. In October my family suffered a heartbreaking loss. Overall, it’s been a weird year.


Through the year, God has been at work. We have felt our God comforting, sustaining and providing. I am grateful for my family and the time I’ve had with them. I am thankful to them and my wonderful friends in Colorado who have let me stay with them and hung out with me while I’m a homeless wanderer. I am grateful to my potential employers for being patient with this process and sticking with me. I am so very thankful for Andrew and excited for what the Lord is doing in our lives. I am praying that I hear good news about my visa within the next month so I can move and get settled and get to work!

Lately, I often read about or come back to the Exodus in the Old Testament. My thesis focused on it, and it is one of the major threads that runs through the Old and New Testaments. I love it. In the book of Isaiah, Israel is again reminded of the events of the Exodus. The things God did for them. The hope of something new:

 “This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:16-19)

Happy New Year, friends! May the Lord bless and keep you and cause his face to shine upon you this year!!


3 Responses to “2014 — Where Are the Space Chips?”

  1. Anonymous said

    I hate math too, but I love your blog. I pray 2014 is a better year for you and your family! I’ll still be plugging away at DenSem trying to do the math to figure out when, if ever, I’ll be done. God bless you!

  2. Sonya said

    Loved this post, Denise! Loved the update on what you are up to and where you are at. Your clever and witty writing style got me to laugh out loud on a Monday where my lovely, perfect boys needed their mom to read a post that made her laugh 🙂 You’re so talented my friend. So glad God has given you a great perspective on the events of 2013. Thankful He has given you Andrew as well. Keep writing…

  3. […] yesterday’s post told you about how it took us 6 light years to get to Canada. Well, now I’m here in The old […]

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