Off to Colorado I go

Off to Colorado I go

Work travel with a side trip to visit with one of my besties! 

Got to Denver for a meeting and had some time to burn before checking into the hotel so I took off for my favorite restaurant The Berkshire. If you love bacon this is the place for you. When I landed it was spitting snow and raining so I had the grilled cheese with BACON and tomato-parmesan-basil soup. Absolute deliciousness!!!

If you ever have time to tour Celestial Seasonings in Boulder, Colorado I highly recommend it. I had the opportunity to be a taste tester for green teas they are trialing, and I was compensated with a box of Peppermint tea. A great trade off for sure!

Sassy

Once my meeting was over I hit the road to meet up with my friend Cindy and I was finally able to meet her fiance. He’s a sweetie and he’s lucky to get her…just sayin’. (Obviously, I’m writing this after the wedding, so if you are just now reading and missed the trip to Colorado for that event you can catch up here. Rollin’ down the highway Part 1 and Part 2 of the Colorado Trip)

We had a blast with her being my tour guide. I actually started my day birding along the Arkansas River. Cindy knew I would love it and sent me on my merry way with a set of binoculars. I added to my life list, was able to contribute some finds, and in southern tradition I met people that know people from my home town. So much so that our families are buried in the same cemetery. Really folks I just have a knack for finding these encounters. Give me a plane full of people and I bet there’s an Aggie on it. Instant rapport and recognition of shared experiences. That actually happened on my trip to Pittsburgh two weeks ago. The guy sat next to me on the first leg. I never talk but I chatted with him. Alright back to CO.

I’d always wanted to visit the Royal Gorge, which is just outside Canon City. We road the gondola. Cindy rode it but didn’t want to look down. I would’ve hung over the side I was so excited to be hanging in air.

A true test of friendship!

It’s funny how I live in Arkansas and the Arkansas River flows through our great state, but it doesn’t look near this pretty. It’s muddy and nasty by the time it gets to Little Rock. The first time I ever waterskied was on the Arkansas River in southern Arkansas. I was staying with my aunt and unlce during the summer. I remember it being dirty and that I about drowned learning to ski. Experiences that last a lifetime. I’ve spent other days hanging out on the river with my cousin and friends of hers. Despite the brown color of the water we had a good time. Just had to keep sunscreen on her ghostly figure. Think vampire and you’ve got the right color. ❤ her!

The Arkansas River…I want to raft that one day!

Look ma no hands!
Aster’s peaking out
Looking upriver – I want to ride the train too!
Quartz is used everywhere – beautiful
A lovely pine

It was a hot was day in comparison to the spitting snow and rain I had when I landed in Denver a couple of days before. I was melting and grateful for any respite that included shade.

Royal Gorge Bridge

The bridge has lots of movement because of the type of construction and there is a boat load of wind whipping through there. Cindy walked down the center and provided interesting tidbits about the bridge and surrounding area.  In the most recent past there was a fire that burned up the gorge area. Devastating to look at the land and see the carnage fire can bring to nature.

Love this photo because it makes me think of art for some reason! 

This is only a portion of my trip. I’m going to have to break this one down. Next part will be about the mountains and a castle. Really you don’t want to miss it. Oh and a cat named Bandit! A real charmer.

Enjoy-G.

Advertisements

Friendship

I saw a picture yesterday that reminded me of so many things – beauty, survival, adaption, friendship, beginnings and endings. A lot for one picture I know. 

The dandelion is a symbol to me of survival, overcoming the elements and thriving despite whatever comes your way. So much so I have it as a tattoo. 

A permanent reminder of where I’ve been and that through sheer perseverance I will go forward by the Grace of God. 

Some days I forget it’s even on my wrist and then others I keep looking at it thinking I can do this, I’ve been through other stuff, and I’m not going to allow my will to be broken or worn down to nothing. Sometimes it’s close because life is hard and there are challenges that can be overwhelming. Anyway they seem so at the time and then later maybe even years later you think ‘wow’ I’ve survived so much more than that one instance, heartbreak, or roadblock in life. I wasn’t promised a life without trials. Accepting that sooner rather than later helps although it doesn’t necessarily make it easier.

Something that does make life easier is family and I talk about mine quite a bit. I love them and they support me wholeheartedly, but for this blog I’m going to focus on friendship. I’ve had friends come and go. Lifelong. Some of my close friends I’ve gained later in my life. Friends are a treasure of support, love and laughter. Got to have some laughs! Maybe even be a bad influence.

Facebook has allowed me to stay connected because some live far away and when we are together you would never guess the time apart or distance. I have a friend that went to great effort to support my need for petty revenge. Bless her because I(we) reveled in that shit when it was over. I know I should’ve left it to God but my will was weak and I wanted to do it myself. Anger is ugly, exhausting business!

Last week I was traveling and had an opportunity to see a friend that I don’t get to see very often. He’s also someone that I connected to later in life. We have so many things in common and he totally gets my connection to the dandelion. We bonded last year over a discussion of tattoos. He didn’t realize mine was a dandelion and was telling his plans for a new one…you got it…a dandelion. We are of like mind and it was awesome to realize there was a guy me. Strange and maybe frightening for some.

I may struggle but I’m not alone. My network is full of family and some really awesome friends. They make the struggle bearable. The loneliness tolerable. They put sunshine in a rotten day. When they call and make you laugh or talk for hours about anything. Some have drug me home and tucked me in when needed – now that’s a real good friend. Or talk for hours about your favorite book or tv show. Really GOT is vital to my life.

Friendship can be found in many places and I’ve noticed in my life where I’ve picked them up along the way.

Change – when big changes were happening like job or moves

Sheer luck – don’t be surprised we just found each other

Time and opportunity – sometimes trust and interactions over a period time have to occur

I’m sure I’ve missed something but I read an article once that said friendship comes down to chemistry and proximity. If it’s truly proximity I’m screwed because a good portion of my closest friends live far away. 

You know that quote is the absolute truth! I have a high maintenance friend that does the same shit and I return the favor. That’s some serious love. ✌😍 

Just remember when times are tough, you’re having a bad day, you want to be the pick-me-up to someone else’s crappy day, share in some serious laughter, sarcasm or gossip reach out to your friend. If you don’t have a close confidant then you need to get out of your comfort zone. Those friendships sustain us during the good and the bad times. 

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. 

Addition:

My bestie sent me this meme, and we both thought it would be a great addition to the blog. ☺

Amen! I love the funny memories and definitely getting some priceless lessons.

-G.

The Journey Class

The Journey Class

Not quite five years ago I found myself in The Journey Class. It had been years since I’d stepped foot in a Sunday School classroom. It had been long enough that I couldn’t recall anyway. They were a mixture of all ages from college level up to 50’s. Being right at 40 I wasn’t feeling like I was too old or too young. Kind of like goldilocks finding just the right porridge – I had found it in the class and the church.

The Journey class turned into more than just a Sunday gathering. They are also my pew crew, family, and friends. I couldn’t imagine how empty my life would’ve been these last several years without their love and support. We see each other through trials and tribulations. It was my pew crew that held me every Sunday during church service as I learned a new way to live. They fussed, worried and prayed for me, which I can’t thank them enough. I wasn’t  expecting to have an empty nest so soon but I did. It was tough to find my center and know where to go with my life…my world was a bit messed up. In the end I’ve survived that change in my life. It took the pew crew and being voluntold. 

Voluntold….I know some are thinking wth! Crew was needed for the hot air balloon festival in our town and my cousin needed more volunteers. I agreed and I had no idea what to expect – but what happened was amazing. My pilots were both Aggies and if you know anything about Texas A&M we Aggies tend to stick together. We were fast friends and I had a fabulous time. During our weekend of ballooning we talked about the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM. It was on my bucket list! My pilots encouraged me to come out and crew there as well, so I took them up on the offer. 

That was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself. I made the long haul out there in my vehicle by myself. The music options are terrible and the views across Texas are nothing to write home about. It’s flat! The great thing was the thinking time. I was able to consider what direction I wanted to take my life. Make decisions about my future personally and professionally. To take some deep breaths and just know that God had all these worries, doubts and concerns all taken care of for me. I could just let go of the stress! Amazing idea I know. 

I’m about to make this trek again. This time because I love ballooning. New Mexico is spectacular and I’ll be able to see people that I met last year, my pilots and friends. It’s because of The Journey class that I find myself taking a new journey in life.

I love that we get to see all the amazing and wonderful things God is doing in our lives. Our class shares in joys, concerns and God sightings. If you aren’t sure what a God sighting is well it can be almost anything but today’s example: no traffic at my normally busy stop sign, where I have no view of oncoming traffic and I’m on an incline. It was a blessing!

I’m just so thankful for my class aka pew crew, and the opportunity I have to spend the weekend ballooning with all of them. Our Sunday School fellowship is community service this weekend. They are amazing people and I love them!

-G.

Purge…Purge…

Purge…Purge…

This isn’t a blog about throwing up or killing folks…I’m sure a few of you went there. It’s about purging people or situations we get ourselves into out of our lives. I’ve purged a few times. It’s sad when you come to that point in a friendship or a relationship, where you know this is what is best and it’s going to hurt doing it. Of course there are those times when purging is quite refreshing and you find the change frees you from a weight you didn’t even know was holding you down. I’ve experienced both types and maybe a few things in between.

Purging personal relationships…ugh those are a beast on your emotions. Sometimes I feel I have a sign that’s inviting narcissistic assholes into my life…they are like a moth to a flame on a positive person. Probably because they are miserable to their soul and want to siphon off your positive energy…purge that vampire! I’ve known women that are the same way…I’ll offend equally here.

Let’s talk friendships. I had a friend that I absolutely loved and we did everything together, but there came a point when her choices conflicted with my values. I’m good with kicking back and having a drink or two but drugs…peace out sister. She didn’t want to give those up so I gave our friendship the boot. I still wonder how’s she doing every now and then, but I don’t regret my decision. Might seem harsh to some but there are things I’m cut and dried about in life. I’m not going to wallow in the same pit because it comes down to an individual making a personal decision to drag themselves out. You have to do it for yourself any way you can but no one can make you do it. I couldn’t make her, and I wasn’t going to remain in the pit because she might need an enabler. I’m all about making my way and standing on my own two feet….if you had the thought she might need help refer to ‘you have to drag yourself out any way you can’. Maybe that’s rehab, God, jail, a program…but it’s a personal decision that nobody can make for an addict. It’s possible you’ve had a different experience this is mine.

“When we throw out the physical clutter we clear our minds. When we throw out the mental clutter we clear our souls.” -Gail Blanke

Alright I was on my soapbox so back to more purging….any hoarders…purge what you don’t use or haven’t used in eons. I’m not talking about the family treasures, but gobs of things that creep in and pile up. Do you have a catch all kitchen table or a chair? What about a whole room that catches all the stuff? I try to recycle like a champ; donate every year at least once but normally multiple times to a local charity…clothing, etc.; compost…I might have a healthy squirrel population because of that habit. I have the circle of life going on in the backyard. I compost, squirrels chow down, and the hawks prey on the squirrels…ummm not a circle but a pyramid, I think, cause I’m not eating the hawk.

Maybe you’re good with the clutter and purging isn’t necessary. Honestly it’s a personal decision to purge physically and  mentally. Just think you could commence with the annual purge in your life!

-G.