Holidays away from home

Energy Corps

Read about Jared’s recent service projects and his thoughts on spending a year in a new community;

As I write this, I sit in Anaconda waiting for an early Christmas gathering. I had a phenomenal time the last time I was here—Bike Walk Montana participated in a city-planning workshop along with the Western Transportation Institute—and was invited back to help celebrate the holidays early. Since my last blog, I have been wrapped up with preparing for our annual summit, trying to make contact with as many engineers, advocates, and potential attendees as possible. We’ve also been working to maintain and improve our membership numbers, build quality newsletters, and several other clerical tasks to gear up for our big projects in the New Year. Needless to say, between these tasks and the loss of daylight, I was ready for a Montana-style getaway.12.22.14

Also, if this is to be a heartfelt blog, I must admit that I needed a year off from the family for my holiday season. A large part of taking on my year of service was clearing my head and getting away from the pressures of the family while I pursue and consider my change-of-career options. I think it is important in life to recognize when things shouldn’t be forced and instead allow time to pass for things to work themselves out. A failed relationship, your professional or personal priorities changing, realizing where you’ve been living isn’t the best environment for you—all these can stand to be made worse if you look for an easy way out or force the issue. This is something my family—I included—has never been very good at. No one wants to see his or her loved ones unhappy. I’ve learned, however, that sometimes your friends need to be your family as to not drive your actual family nuts. I think a year apart will make the rest to come that much sweeter and I’m looking very forward to watching my nieces grow, my parents enjoy their retirement, and being the person I’m working to become. As far as my anticipated professional directory, stay tuned, but for now I’m going to tell you about the dish I’m making for tonight.

Your basic bruschetta—take about 8-10 roma tomatoes and cube them (cut them into small cubes), throw them into a mixing bowl with half tablespoon of salt and teaspoon of pepper. Add about a ½ cup of olive oil—splurge on the good stuff, you’ll be happy you did—add a handful of chopped basil leaves, about 4 minced cloves of garlic, and toss gently. Cover and put in fridge for about an hour. Cut a baguette or two into ¼ inch slices and broil in oven until brown. Spoon tomato mix onto toasted baguette, pop a bottle of something red and enjoy—I’m getting to that part right now.

DSC_0473Jared Utecht studied philosophy, history, Japanese in college, and took every opportunity he could to travel. His professional experience is largely related to the service industry (cook/table waiting), but he is very passionate about music and literature as well. His travels and studies have led him to appropriate his values and, consequently, artistic expression and preservation – both environmental and historic – are things about which he’s grown to care deeply. Jared is serving at Bike Walk Montana, expanding the organization’s capacity in the field of education and outreach as it pertains to alternative transportation.

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