Category Archives: montana

Chemo #8 {crossing over}

Chemo #8 {crossing over}

Few words today… plenty on the video. This is my crossing over day, and while I’ll spend the next few weeks with the same side effects and many more months being restored to full health, I feel closer now than I have in the previous five months. To God be the glory… great things he hath done!
{heading out the door to the cancer center}
{greeted by volunteers}
{Coleen, nurse practitioner, not even a hundred pounds… made her sit on my lap}
{Mrs. Ann/ Jadon’s tutor saves the day and babysits, bringing the kids by with my surprise}
{my surprise}
{precious Vic}
{a woman I will love for life, Sarah, who soon will make her way home to Montana with her husband who has just returned home from his second tour to Afghanistan. They both have served our country well. Now I have a good reason to visit my Montana dream!}
{saying good-bye}
{saying good-bye some more}
{and more to the blood collectors}
{and more… I love this place; I will miss it!}
{and more to the gals at the registration desk}
{and finally out the door, crossing over to home!}
Friends, I can’t even begin to process all that I am feeling in this moment, but time will reveal my heart in the matter. I have spent some of the best weeks of my life at the Cape Fear Valley Cancer Center. The folks there (patients, nurses, drs., and volunteers) have significantly changed my life, and I am forever in their debt. I’d like nothing more than to serve them with my heart for my remaining days in Fayetteville. Thus far, they have been the best, most gracious reward of my cancer journey. I love you each one. {For the record, they scored two honey bun cakes, Sassy Granny cookies, Krispy Kreme donuts, Preacher Billy’s applesauce cake, candy Christmas chex mix, Starbucks, banana nut muffins… never hurts to win their favor with some food!}
Now, in regards to the video, I know it is lengthy. I thought of breaking it up into smaller segments, but honestly, it takes so long to do that. I changed my mind. If you want to skip over the preliminaries and get to my main thoughts, you can fast forward about 5.20 minutes. I will be collecting all the videos into one to serve as a “stone of remembrance” for my family for the years to come. Thanks, again, for all your prayers. More to come after a few days of much needed rest and healing. I still have to weather the effects of this round of chemo.


PS: On my way out of the cancer center, I saw a precious young 20 something gal sitting outside the bloodwork bay. She had tears in her eyes and was getting her instructions to start her chemo. I briefly stopped, offered her my “you can do this thing, by God’s grace you can do this thing; I just did this thing, and before you know you’ll be a pro at this.” I wish I had more time to spend with her, but I promised her my prayers. Her name is Serena. Just another tender soul now a part of club she never wanted to claim as her own. I know she’d appreciate your prayers as well. Thanks.

my Montana dream…

for “Montana” and for pilgrims everywhere who dare to dream it…


Wanderlust. That desire in each one of us to roam and to move beyond the current boundaries that cradle us in order to explore the wild unknown with carefree abandon. A search brought about because of an underlying “stirring of the soul” for something better … something purer. More peace and more pleasure.

I’ve thought about my “wanderlust” this morning. I didn’t mean to, but through an e-mail to my friend, Kristen, I was reminded about a piece I wrote over thirteen years ago. A season in my life when I was a single mother of two young sons dreaming about better days—a better time when all would be “right” within my soul. Those dreams always landed me in one place—


I’ve never been there, but there is something about its vastness, its wide-open spaces and “heart of the land” kind of living, that unsettles me; stirring something within me, creating a hunger deep within my soul for something more. I no longer dream a great deal about moving to Montana, but the unsettled feelings? The stirring in my heart for something better, some soil beyond the current earth that supports my feet?

Well, it’s still there. It still flames, and one day soon, I’m going to get to my “Montana.” I believe its boundaries are closer to me than I might realize, thus strengthening my passion for my crossing over. Perhaps you understand something about “Montana’s pull.” If so, then I offer you a piece of my writing history to stir your own imagination and wanderlust for something better.

It’s not great writing, but it was my heart’s writing in 1996. Still is, and I suppose that makes it great all on its own.



MY MONTANA DREAM {written in 1996}

If I could move to Montana, I would. Life would be different there.

In Montana there would be plenty of space for me to be me. In Montana, I wouldn’t worry about wearing make-up or if my car was dirty or if my English was perfect. Jeans and flannel shirts would fill my wardrobe making me a “good fit” with the locals.

If I could move to Montana, I would buy the boys and me a cabin on the plains. It would have a warm kitchen where the sound of boiling water and the sight of tea bag would greet me each morning. Pancakes would start our day and cocoa would rock us to sleep at night. The light from the fireplace would warm our spirits and give us atmosphere for our nightly adventures within the pages of books. The three of us would crawl up on the couch with grandma Killian’s quilt and fight for the warmth and love of its cover.

In my Montana home, each of us would have our own hiding place. I would choose the attic room as my escape. In this place of escape I would hold myself captive. I would create new adventures on paper. I would search out the true meaning of my journey on this earth.

I could do that in Montana because in Montana, there is plenty of room for the search.

If I could move to Montana, I would own a pick-up truck. I would take my truck to the market whenever I needed food or just some company. I would park in my spot and visit the local meeting place, full of sojourners like myself, who understand the beauty of the simple life we share in Montana. I would stop at the post office to collect my remembrances from days gone by, and I would send out some new memories for those who’ve never been to my Montana.

If I could move to Montana, I would find a country church where I could sing my songs on Sunday mornings. I would voice the endless love of Jesus to everyone within earshot. In Montana, I could sing with great resolve and strength because the soil there is strong, vibrant, full of hearty livin’ and earthy understanding. The windows of my church would be open and the hills would dance to the delight of the message. In Montana, everything living could hear my voice.

In Montana … everything would understand why I had to sing.

When Christmas came to Montana, the boys and I would venture to our back yard and cut the chosen Christmas tree. We’d make decorations out of materials we’d found during our annual pilgrimage in Montana, and when we needed a break, we’d sit around the tree and drink more cocoa. We’d hang our stockings on the fireplace, and we’d listen to our favorite holiday music. We’d have lots of friends over to celebrate the season. We’d take our truck into town to see the lights and visit the stores.

If I could move to Montana, I’d learn to love more. Montana would be a good place for the three of us to learn about love. To learn about acceptance—accepting life and others and what it means to be accepted. We’d love so much that hate would never enter our home.

In Montana, I’d learn to love animals. In Montana, there are enough animals to love.

If I could move to Montana, I wouldn’t worry about “things” as much. In Montana, I would raise my boys to be “real.” In Montana, I would get healthy. In Montana, life would be simple. In Montana, dreams would be within reach.

If I could move to Montana, I would. But I live in Kentucky.

In Kentucky, there are no flannel shirts. There is no truck. There is no attic room, or no small country church. The Christmas tree will be bought at the grocery store, and I’ll never own an animal.

I may not ever live in Montana. But in my mind, I go there quite often. I hold onto Grandma’s quilt and dream my dreams for a more peaceful time.

Perhaps you understand. Perhaps we all have times where we long to be in Montana. Perhaps Montana is not big enough for all of us dreamers.

So, I will sing my songs in Kentucky. And maybe, just maybe, the wind will carry my songs over the miles to my long awaited Montana home. And they will wait for me there until I have the strength to make the journey myself.



Maybe today.

As always, sweet friends, God’s peace for the journey … wherever your feet are walking this weekend. I love you.



Copyright © October 2009 – Elaine Olsen

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