Times They Are a Changing


The past ten years have been a wild ride and it looks like it isn’t over yet.

I moved to Montana from Minnesota about ten years ago. I was scared, lonely, and bewildered. Depression had pretty much ruined my life.  Moving to Montana was only to be a temporary thing.  I was going to clear my head and then move back. I didn’t quite work out that way. Mr. Bernie and I became a couple. We worked together. We became involved in the community. We got married. We bought a house. We took trips. We celebrated weddings & births and mourned deaths. We took on new crafts. We made new friends. We held/hold offices on boards. So many things we have found to keep ourselves busy. Some days we look at each other and wonder what happened to the times we were able to just sit around like slugs and not worry about much more important than our next cribbage game.

My first six years in Billings were difficult. I had NO friends, none. I had the folks who came to work and who were nice to me. Yet, I didn’t go out for lunch with the girls; shop with girls; or hang out and watch movies with girls. Mr. Bernie was my boyfriend and girlfriend, a role he played as needed. He pretty much sucks as a girlfriend, if truth be told. He did try, though. Finally, I found an amazing group of women and a “Not the husband” that I’m blessed to call my friends. I no longer needed Mr. Bernie to play ‘girlfriend’ & go out to help find clothes, or do lunch. The friendships that I had been craving finally emerged. I was someone who was sought out to do things with. I began feeling that I belonged here.

I’m finally getting to the point of this ramble. A few weeks ago I noticed a job posting for a Deputy Clerk in the District Clerk’s Office and thought that I would apply for it.

A month or two in Montana and then go back to Minnesota, that was my goal. We can see how well that idea worked out.

When I saw the position Mr. Bernie and I had already been talking about The Rubber Stamp Shop. How perhaps one of us should look for a job outside of the family business. The idea of more money and benefits appealed to us both. The thought of actually being able to talk about our days after work and not already know what happened really appealed to me. We don’t really talk a night like most couples. What can you say when you have spent the whole day with your spouse? The thought of not working and living together 24/7 started to sound appealing.  We only had a couple of months of working together and not living together. Just what do people talk about when they are not together all day and night. We shall soon find out.

I was offered and accepted the position of Jury Clerk for the court!!! (No, I can’t get you out of Jury Duty so don’t ask) It’s a very fast paced job and stressful. I will also get to fill in for the gal in Central Services when she is out or on vacation. So double my fun! As many of you know I’m Instant Gratification Girl. It about darn near killed me to apply, and then the wait to see if I got an interview, the actual interview and finally the job offer.  Poor Mr. Bernie and a select few had to listen to me moan and fret over everything. “Will HR give the Clerk my application? Did I get the job after interviewing? What if I get the job? What if I don’t get the job?” I could go on but those questions are now answered.

The fear of the unknown is what keeps me up at nights. I have not had to work in an office with strangers in over 10 years. It’s been just me and Mr. Bernie for most of the years. Just one man, who I’m married, to so I had a HUGE taste of freedom I wouldn’t normally have with a regular job. What if the other kids don’t like me?  What if I over sleep? What if I can’t get this as quickly as I want to? What will it be like having a regular schedule with scheduled breaks? What will I wear? What will I do with my hair? How do I get supplies? What if I mess up? There I said it, what if I mess up?

On the other hand, I worry about Mr. Bernie. How will he deal on his own? There are days I’m sure he is going to be happy to not have to listen to me prattle on. Yet, he hates talking on the phone. He will have to typeset, answer phones, hand out completed stamps and oddles of other things.  We have a semi plan where I can help on my lunch break and after work. Mr. Bernie says he doesn’t want to burn me out and have me working a 12  hour day. I want to keep my hands in the shop and don’t want to see him kill himself to work alone.  He keeps saying that it will all work out and I have to trust him on that.

The past ten years have been a wild ride. If you asked me ten years ago if I saw my self as a Jury Clerk for the County I would have just looked at  you and cried. It was the most hopeless I ever felt in my life. I honestly didn’t know where these years would take me. A job like this was not even a blip on my radar. It just gives me one more sense of belonging.

Wish me luck as I will need it. I have met my boss and a couple of folks in the office during the interview. They are warm and welcoming and have faith I can do this job. The gal in Central Services has been one of my biggest cheerleader for years so working with her should be pretty darn cool.  These women have put their faith in my abilities and I feel blessed. Now I just need to put the faith in my abilities and it should all work out fine. Scary but fine.

It makes me wish that I could talk to the me of ten years ago and tell her, “Everything is going to work out fine. Just give it time.”




  1. you could have a great blog right here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my blog?

  2. What an exciting new adventure!

  3. Patricia Doemland says:

    Congrats again, Bernie. It’s just stage fright! Enjoy the ride. xoxo, Nana

  4. I am so happy for you! I am happy you were able to hold on long enough for them to tell you that you got the job. :) I know how hard that must have been for you. So glad that you decided to blog again too, I et there will be just a few instances that will make for some great blog posts. Congrats! !!

    • Thank you. It should be interesting to say the least. As far as posting, I’m going to need to figure out what I can and cannot talk about. :)

  5. You will be awesome at your new job. You have your lucky key chain!

    • I do have my little croc shoe keychain, thanks to you and Joel. I have not decided if I’m going to use it for keys or leave it on my desk as a decoration.

  6. Bernie, you are going to do an amazing job! Once the new-job dreams stop waking you up at night, anyway…(I always have work-filled dreams when I start a new job…should draw overtime for those!)
    Can’t wait to hear how it is going !


    • Thank you. Yes, new-job dreams are keeping me up. My biggest fear is oversleeping, which is dumb because I usually get up early anyway.

  7. Brett Foster says:

    That is awesome Bernie! Congrats on the new gig! Quite a journey you have been on – keep after it. Brett

  8. Awww, Bern <3 You made me tear up with it. AND laugh. And I'm so darn proud of you and happy for you. You've come a LONG way, BABY :) Now go git 'er dun :)

    And KEEP ON BLOGGING. When there's time. You know… ;) <3

    • Thanks, San. Who knew I would actually get a blog post done about it? Thanks for all your “encouraging” to get me to blog again.

Speak Your Mind


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.