Saturday, September 27, 2014

Heart Aches

A week ago Saturday, my neighbors across the street left for Kona, Hawaii.

I was a bit distraught. Jealous might be a better word.

Their cars were in the driveway, early Saturday morning. There were other cars out front. I knew what was going on.

Knew in the good way.

There were good things happening. There was so sadness, only for my jealously.

They had been to Kona before. They like to scuba dive. They usually go to the Caribbean - they think the water is warmer there.

They have been to St Johns and one other Caribbean islands since the first time we went to Kona. They finally went back to Kona.

I sent them with a list of things they needed to do. Places they needed to see. They had asked as they had met our "house swap family" and heard also the tales we had to share.

Tonight, I stare at their empty house. The house/dog-sitter's have left. They will arrive home in the morning.

Who knows, they might not have fallen in love with the place I love. They might be glad to be home. But I can't wait to hear about Canoe Club, or the hikes I sent them on.

I can't wait. But I can wait. As the heart ache for all of us will be here soon enough.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The bunny

I live IN the city. As in, Denver proper. Not the suburbs. Not the "surrounding area". 

IN Denver.

Yet, I still think downtown is bit far. 6 miles. Parking is pain though. You can ride the light rail (train) or bus. Which is great. I've done this many times.

I tell people I live in "Suburbs in the City".  Still in the city, yet, some "suburban" happenings. 

The happenings I think of are the wild animals in my neighborhood.

In this neighborhood we have squirrels (although they tell me they have those in the city too), foxes, coyotes and rabbits. To name a few.  These don't include the wild birds or stray cats that roam the neighborhood.

There are two golf courses nearby. The foxes normally live there. They then over-populate and are moved out of town.

The next summer, the squirrels and rabbits are rampant. They have no predator except the domestic dogs.

Then the following summer?  The rabbits and squirrels will be gone. 

Foxes and coyotes will be back.

Truth be told, I like the summers and falls of the foxes and coyotes.

They don't eat my flowers. They keep running.

The rabbits? They stick around for a bit.

In fact, I've named the few in our yard.

The first one is Charlotte. Then there is Sam. Now there is a baby named Bob.  (Ask Lily about all the Bob's in our life)

My kid's roll their eyes at me when I talk about Charlotte. As they are sure we have more than these three bunnies living in our yard. I've been told "It's not the same one".

Although, the other day, I was told to not let Dakota (the dog we are dog sitting) out as "Charlotte was in the yard." They tried hard not to smile when they actually called the bunny Charlotte, instead of some "random rabbit in the yard".

We are dog sitting our dog from Hawaii. We have a bunny name Charlotte.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A 12 year old girl

When I think of pre-teen girls, I think:

  • Giggles
  • Laughter
  • Cliques
  • Vivid Imaginations
  • Fairy Tales (BTW, I had to spell check these words, as I thought it was just one word)
  • Obsessive
  • Stuck between childhood and adulthood
  • Dreamers
  • Insecure
  • Realists
  • Hopeful
Not having a daughter around full-time, I, of course, revert back to my thoughts as a pre-teen girl. Basically, the same as all of the above.

That inner 12 year old still lives inside of all of us.  I don't know if it's true with the guys, but I'm thinking it is. One day, I'll ask my grown sons if they still think people think of them as 12 years old.

There is a HUGE distinction here - not a 13 year old or older. Not 11 or younger. But 12.  

That magical age when you are still a kid. Yet, ALMOST an adult. With no hormones.  Perfection. 12 years old.

Old enough to get to ride your bike around the neighborhood.  Not old enough to be expected to have a job.

Can stay out until it's dark. Yet your only responsibilities are at your house.  With your family. Not yet whiny that you can't go OUTSIDE your neighborhood (your brain).

The perfect age in life.

Which brings me to last week.

I had a busy Tuesday - I had been in Dallas.  I flew in. I went to the grocery store. I picked up the dog. I cooked dinner. (Recurring them here - when I'm busy, I don't pay attention to details)

The boys came home from school (dinner was early that night). I went to Back to School Night. The boys went to hockey - my oldest drove them.

I had an hour to kill before I needed to do the hockey pick up. (It's 8pm now)

Long story, even longer......

I stopped at Elway's on my way home. I have an hour. 

Sit at the bar. Have a drink.

Chatting to the guys next to me. Mid conversation with the guy on my left - I think my mouth fell open.  


Have I really done this again? At least this time I realized it sooner than later.

I had realized he was the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche.  Former Goalie for the Colorado Avalanche.  (our hockey team)  (Patrick Roy)

We chat.  I chat with the guys on the other side of me.

It's time to go.  Do I say anything?  Do I not?

Holy cow, this guy is my sons' hero.  How do I not at least get an autograph. Only, my boys aren't here - so that's quite odd.

This time, I was the grown-up.......  "Excuse me, I realized whom you are. Both my sons play hockey. One son is a goalie, would you mind writing my son a note?"

As I said, long story, long......

He wrote Nolan a note. Then he suggested we take a picture together.

He's really cute right? We look good together, don't we? Look in the picture, it looks like we BELONG together- we match our blue!  He's single too!  AND age appropriate. Maybe I should have given him my phone number? Maybe he will leave a note for me at the bar? Maybe I should go back?  I know he's still thinking of me too?  OMG!!!! He was SOOOO nice!!! Can you imagine if he gave Nolan pointers on how to be a goalie??


I was telling this story to another hockey mom. Her 12 year old daughter was sitting with us - after showing her the picture, she rambled a bit like I rambled above. (the daughter that is)

Glad to know there is still a 12 year old alive inside.

(PS.  I'll keep you posted!!!) ;-)

PSS.  One of my girlfriends wants to know whom I'm having drinks with next month....... (See, we are all 12 some place inside).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Oh my

I'm still alive. These last couple of weeks ended up busier than I thought. I just didn't realize it had been so long since I had written.


I know how it is. There are a couple of blogs I read and COMPLETELY get being disappointed when you check the page and there is nothing new. But I also I have to say, one blog I check, he updates everyday - then I'm kinda exhausted.  A bit much.

Oh my - I'll write more soon.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A setting on the washing machine

There is nothing in my life that even begins to resemble what people think of as "normal".

Although really, what is normal?

What does society think of as normal?  And by society, I mean ours - in America.  And by America, I mean white, upper middle class.  In other words, those people we run around with.

If you were to ask people in rural America what their definition of "normal is - it might include: owning a horse.  Or growing/hunting their own food.

If you were to ask people in Alaska - it might even be different.  Heaven forbid if we ask people in another country - another religion - another economic status their definition of "normal".  It changes from group to group.

My normal?

I'm going to Dallas tomorrow.  I'm dog-sitting right now, but the dog is going to stay with friends whom also helped us dog sit in Hawaii.

Then I call a friend whom we do the airport shuffle together (we all live in the same neighborhood so we take each other to and from the airport on a regular basis when needed) about picking me up from the airport.

Sure, it's not a problem.  But, my brother-in-law and his family are leaving that day.  Do you mind if we take your car and leave it at the airport for you?

"That works great!".  Oh, wait, who is staying at your house while you are gone?   "No one, just the boys coming in and out to feed the cat".  "Oh, can my husband's parents stay the last two nights, then they will drive your car to the airport.".

They have house-sat before.  The in-laws that is.

I just laughed during our conversation.  I'm so thankful my world just flows.

The only normal thing anyone has in their life is the setting on the washing machine.  (That's assuming you have one of those).

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A ride like no other

I love amusement parks. Every.Single.Thing. About them.

They are a true testament of our culture. My analogy here today is going to be why amusement parks are like life.  Or maybe how we think our life should be, but it isn't.

1)  Everything is over-priced.  From the ticket to get in to the drinks to the t-shirts to the food.  It seems ridiculous to spend that type of money on a one day activity.  Maybe if it's a special treat, but not something you can do all the time.

BUT, entertainment comes at a price.  If you want something/someone to entertain you, you should pay for it.  After all, we all are in business to make money.

2)  The lines are long to get to ride the good rides.  Everyone else wants to ride the good ride too.  Whom can blame them, the good rides are fun.

Getting what you want takes patience.  In the rest of life, we usually give up, just before we get something we have been waiting for.  If all these other people are waiting, shouldn't we wait too?  (That's not usually the case).

3)   The ride is over really fast.  The anticipation has been great.  Then suddenly you are back in the real world.

There are all these things we want in life:  to get married, to buy a house, to travel, to have kids (or not), to have a career, to...... (name your moment) - then it's over before you know it.  You get one/all/some/none of those things, then you are to the next phase.  

4)  The "rush" lasts a really long time.  The adrenaline high you get from riding the ride, lets you enjoy the moment for a while.  (Now we understand why there are drug addicts in this world).

The endorphins keep going.  You accomplish goals.  It's satisfying and makes you understand why you keep doing #1,2,3 over and over again.  For all of it.  We continue to go stand in line. 

My youngest son and I went to the local amusement park on Sunday.  He had a season pass - and a coupon for a discount ticket.  He finally agreed I could go with him (as I know it's not cool to hang out with your mom, but I truly do love roller coasters).

We don't go until late in the day after his hockey practice.  My favorite ride was not working when we got there.  I was bummed.  We went to another ride.

The wait was FOREVER.  (What, am I 14??).  We finally got on the ride.  It was fun, but really, I can't even tell you the name of the ride. Just as we were about to get on - in the last (BEST) seat, these two kids come get in our seats.  I'm like "What the heck???" The girl working the ride said, "They must have had an Exit Pass or something".  "Huh?".  I don't even ask.  We just wait another round.  Sometimes you get bumped in life.

We then go, to the "BrainDrain" - it's basically a circle, that you go forward, then backwards.  Then forward - just a little bit further, then backwards, then round and round and round.  Both forward and backwards.

We stood in line for what seems like forever.  We are getting on the ride. As we are sitting down, they close the park for the bigger rides; Lighting was spotted within 10 minutes of the park.

Seriously?  All that time - now it was wasted.

We were told we could stand there and wait.

Yes, you can stand there and wait in life.  And what you always wanted will open up for you.


You can ask for an "Exit Pass"

Still unsure of what an "Exit Pass" was, I asked for one.  I guess it is for situations like this, when there is a delay, beyond their control - and you can come back, and skip the line - you just get to get on the ride.

We got an Exit Pass - it was good for 4 people.  There were only two of us.

We nearly left the park.  (It's easy to quit)

Instead, my dear teenage son rode the swings with me. We ate corny dogs, then the big rides were open again.  (Patience - or distractions in life once again).

Technically, when you are given an Exit Pass, it's only good for the ride you didn't get to ride. That makes sense.  It's a do-over.  We all deserve those.

Our conversation:

"Let's do this.  What ride do you really want to ride? I said to my son.  "The Twister".  "I really want to ride the "Mind Eraser", and well, we have to ride the "Brian Drain" - as that is where we were able to get the Exit Pass."  

We will start at the Mind Eraser, as that is the #1 ride and use our pass.  We will then go to the Twister - as that line won't be so long.  Then if the park is still open, we will do the Brain Drain.

We go to the Mind Eraser - as I said, my favorite all time ride.  You sit there, but there are no sides - no front.  I guess you kind of hang there.  Only when you go through the exit, well, you get to pick your seat.  We rode first seat.  She didn't take our pass.

From there we go to the Twister - through the Exit once again.  This time we hand over our pass. The teenager looks at the ticket and says "This is for four people". "There are only two of us", I reply. She says, "Well, use it for one more ride".  And hands it back to us.  (there are breaks in life)

We go back to the BrainDrain.  They take our pass this time. It's okay - it was over due.  In fact, we had said, if we don't have to give it up this time, we need to pay it forward to some others to enjoy for at least one ride.

It was then time to go home.

We know that sometimes in life, people cut you off.  It can be annoying, but as usual, there is something better in store.