Friday, August 28, 2015

Twenty three days

This time it took 23 days.

23 days before I didn't want to get out of bed.

I've bought a car. The boys have started school. Hockey practices have begun (I'm not sure those really stopped, but I don't have to drive to them anymore and these are new teams).

AND, I'm BORED out of my freaking mind.

I've done dinners. Mani/Pedi's. Happy Hours. Bike rides. I have stuff planned for the next month on Wed/Thur nights. I'm going to Bronco games. I've booked a trip to Atlanta in a month.

AND, I'm BORED out of my freaking mind.

When I first arrived home years ago from Hawaii, I would lay (or is it lie in bed) in bed and be sad. This would be day two or so.

I've learned to put it off.

I've learned I to appreciate my life in Colorado.

This time, it took me twenty three days to wonder why the hell I'm here. Why I'm not in Hawaii.

Making progress

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A priest, Leasa and Mike walk into a bar

It's the little things.

In life.

In thought.

In general.

It's the little things that always make the difference. We don't always pay attention to the little things. They slip by us. While we are chasing the "big" things.

The trick in life: pay attention to the little things you don't know are happening.

Years ago (in my adult life), I continual ran into the former head coach of the Denver Broncos. I swear, he must have thought I was stalking him. (Now looking back, maybe he was stalking ME??) 
I would run into him on the running trail. The 7-11. Elway's steakhouse. 

We would run into each other all the time. It was weird. And actually, until I just wrote this, I thought it was nothing but coincidence 

Tonight, I went out and had dinner by myself. I look over to the table next to me. It's Mike Shanahan (former Broncos coach, former DC coach - I think he was at George Bush's daughters wedding), whatever.

With a priest. (If Mom Frusco was there, she would have titled him "Father What a Waste"). He was SOOOOO very handsome.

I went to leave. I went to have my picture taken with them. I went to do a lot of things in life. But sometimes, you have to keep going.

I stopped at the table to say hi. 

I couldn't ask for the picture.

The picture of Father "What A Waste", me and Mike.

We all knew we had our moment.

The story is really good.

Bless you too, Father What A Waste.....

Sunday, August 23, 2015


I knew these years were "transitional". Knew, this period of revolving my life around my kids was slowly changing.

I knew when they got their drivers licenses my life was going to change. (When was I going to actually read my books if I didn't have to sit and wait in a parking lot for a practice to end?)

When was I supposed to get my errands done if I didn't plan to do it while they were at practice?

I knew changes were coming.

I knew I was about to transition to the next stage of all of our lives.

It's true what "they say" - this time does go fast. Not while you are in it. Not day to day. But at the end of the day, it's hard to believe I have kids entering their senior and junior years in high school.

Bazillions of other parents have made this transition to the next stage of their lives. It's not just the kids, it's us parents too.

Easy transition preparing us for the next one.

Now that I'm here, I have to figure some things out.

I can sit and read a book if I want.

The laundry will still be there.

There is time for a class. I'm thinking a Spanish class. I'm thinking about what is next.....

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Like versus Love

What is the difference between liking something and LOVING something. Someone. Something.....

We all LIKE things.

I like you. You like me. I like LOTS of things.

Ferris Wheels (Although I hated those as a child)
My new to me car
Being able to work from home
My toenails painted "sea blue"

There are lots of things I think.

What do I love?

A good song
My breath being taken away
My sons
My family
A morning on the ocean

The lists aren't in a particular order.

We like LOTS of things.

Tell me the last thing that took your breath away.......

No, this isn't Hollywood

Only, I'm not settling for chips. Nor salsa. Nor cake.

There is like and there is love.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mr. Big

There was a television series out a while ago. Actually, it was over 15 years ago now. Called "Sex in the City."

It was about four single women in their late twenties/early thirties and their dating lives in New York City.

When the show was on the air:
  1. It was only on HBO. 
  2. We did not have HBO.
  3. I didn't get the show.
  4. I was married.
  5. I had two young kids.
I caught up with the series after I got divorced. It made a little  lot more sense. 

The show did a good job of making each girl just enough relate-able to you. You could understand their point of view, even though they were all very different.

One of the characters - the writer whom was the "voice" of the show had an on again off again boyfriend with a guy they referred to as Mr. Big. Later he just became "Big". As in, "I'm having dinner with Big tonight."

The series ran for years. We didn't learn "Bigs" name until the series finale.

That's okay. We didn't need to know his name. (If you name the puppy, then you must take it home).

We knew the drama. The heartache. The fact he was successful, then married, then not married and forever in love with our writer.

So today, I'm at the DMV registering my new car. I'm thinking what a grown up thing to do.

I leave. I'm in the car. 

My phone beeps.

I don't look at texts in the car, but I do when I stop at lights. 

Holy cow,  "I'm near Cherry Creek today, can you do lunch?"

This is my Mr. Big. I had not heard from him in a while - I think it's been a couple of years. I've reached out to him for work stuff, but we really haven't kept in touch.

No. It's not Pan. It's not Peter Pan either.

It's the grown up man whom I know and love.

He's has a high ranking position with a Fortune 1000 company. He's married. He has three kids. We met in Vail over 10 years ago. He moved away from Denver over 8 years ago. For some reason, we've never lost touch. 

Timing is always everything in life. Meaning both today and in our lives. 

I had no appointments scheduled until 2pm. Yes, I can meet you for lunch. 

In my grown up car. With my grown up clothes. I went to lunch with my grown-up friend. 

We spoke of our lives. Our kids. My dating life or my not dating life. Work and business and things we still enjoy 

He had a plane to catch. Another meeting to attend.

Making my day knowing my Mr. Big had missed me too.

(The best quote of the day when we were talking about my dating life - "So, besides "Denver's Most Eligible Bachelor", whom are we going to date.") - I'll let you know soon.....

Sunday, August 16, 2015

My turn

For me, cars are "an ends to a mean"

Meaning, the sole reason I have a car, is so I can get things done without completing relying on my body or public transportation to help get me there.

I'm a not a "car" person.

Yes, I like to "like" what I'm driving. Meaning, I don't want to drive something unreliable. Or ugly. Or that doesn't work correctly. Or uncomfortable.

But other than that, I don't really care.

If you don't get the irony in this situation, you just don't get me.

I've had the same car for 9 years now. It's 11 years old. It's good. It's reliable. It smells like a hockey bag. It's dirty. It has dings on it. It has 125,000 miles on it. (which actually isn't many).  It's been great.

In the last year and a half, I've been to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) 5 or 6 times. A used car for the boys, temporary plates, permanent plates. two permits, two drivers license. (Thank goodness when mine expired, they allowed me to do this online).

Many had asked if Nolan was getting his own car. I decided the value of my car was just a little above his brothers. So yes, he was getting his own car.

Only it's my old car.

It's my turn.

The boys can have those cars. I'll start looking for one for me.

Where do I start? I haven't had to do this in a very long time. Where do I always start?



I pretended to start looking in June. Upon my first search, I found the car I wanted.

We went back and forth. I tried to get him lower, as there we a couple things needing fixed and I was going to be gone for the summer.

Finally, I told him I was gone until August. Let me know in August if it is still available.

I received a text a few weeks ago asking if I was still interested. I said yes, but I needed to get back. Needed to get it checked out and we'd go from there.

We did all that last week.

I picked up my convertible today. It's a "retractable roof" - meaning it's a hard-top when then top isn't down.

It's sweet. It's white. (Because, I didn't know cars came in any other color).

The boys have been told they can borrow it for special occasions. (The first day of school, is not a special occasion. The last day, might be).

It only has 25,000 miles on it. It's my turn.

More irony: I own three cars now. I work at home.

Friday, August 14, 2015

My leg

Get into the ocean.

It's cleansing. It's the only place to be.

Only, on you last day, you climb into the boat and the woman in front you of you says,

You have a staph infection on your leg.

What are you talking about?

There are a couple of spider bites that have become infected on my leg. There are no venomous spiders on the island. 

Long story short:

I have a staph infection going up and down up leg. I've been on antibiotics since I got home from the island.

I've gained 15 pounds. As I am sure, these antibiotics are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

My legs.

They look great.

My legs are healed.

Only one little spot, that still looks a cigarette  burn.

Much like the rest of my life, I'm almost there.

I'm taking my left leg with me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

No babies, No puppies, No kittens

There aren't many "rules" in our house.

Many "guidelines". This is because when the children were young - there were rules. Hard. Fast. Strict. Rules to obey.

I hate using this phrase, but someone once told me, a "well trained puppy gets more freedom later on - you know you can trust them.".

I'm not comparing children to puppies or vice versa. Basically, it means, do your job right the first time, then they get freedoms.

We all need structure. We all need limits. Even if we can't admit it. We all like to know there are boundaries in life.

The only consistent rule around here has been:

 "No babies. No puppies. No kittens."

I figure it's a pretty simple rule.

Our cat is almost either 11 or 12, depending on whom is telling the story. He was a shelter kitty - he was around 1 and a half. We then argue if we've been in the house 11 or 10 years, or sometimes 12. We got him in February. We think his birthday is August ish. So really, I think he's turning 13. Regardless, he wasn't a kitten.

No babies has been a no brainer. This rule applied to mom. The rule applies to the boys too. No babies around here - let's keep it that way.

Which brings us to a puppy.

Nolan has been asking for a puppy for at least 5 years. I just explain the "Cardinal Rules" around here. One of them being:

"No babies. No puppies. No kittens."

This is also non-negotiable. You have a dog at your dads house.

EXCEPT..... I had a moment of weakness. A moment where I think we can compromise.

A friend from the club raises CCI puppies. (Canine Companions for Independence). My friend whom inspires me on a daily basis. She bikes, she swims, she has other recreational activities too, and she has a CCI dog - she's turning in her second. She gets a third around January.

I was having a meltdown at the club one day. She suggested I go look at doing this.

SO - well, yes....

We had an interview. We had a home visit. There are very strict rules.

We don't get to name it. We go the airport and pick up our puppy - either on a Wednesday or a Friday, after we get "the call"

We go to training twice a month. We train this puppy for 12 - 18 months, then it goes to advance training for 6 months. Then we go to a ceremony in San Diego and present our dog to a person whom needs this companion - wheelchair bound, veteran, or need for assistance or a companion. 

There are very strict rules. Nolan can take the puppy to school. He can put this on his college application as volunteer work. So can I.

This dog needs to go with us as many places as possible. This puppy can stay with another CCI family while we go out of town for the weekend. The week. The month......

NO - is the answer to your question. I'm not getting attached. YES, it will be hard to say good-bye. It will be hard to send them on their journey to go help the person they are supposed to help.

I'll send care packages. I'll send Christmas Cards. But I know I will have my done my job.

We are on the "list". Waiting for our call. Breaking rule #1 around here.

(PS - If he/she doesn't "pass" advanced training, we have "first right of refusal" to keep the dog. If we choose not to, we can name a family whom can adopt the dog for $500. But I'm not worried, only 40% actually pass, but I'm a bit of an over-achiever. My  Nolan's CCI companion, is going to be the valedictorian.)  

Monday, August 10, 2015

My shoes

Once this summer - about two weeks in - I had opened the extra closet. I spotted a suitcase and a pair of wedge shoes.

I distinctly remember thinking - "Wow. They leave an extra suitcase here." Then I smile. Realizing they are my suitcase and shoes.

The night I left, I put the shoes on. Packed my clothes in the suitcase. Threw away my old running shoes, my worn out flip flops too

Basically, I had the shoes on my feet and the clothes in my bag.

Liberating, yet knowing I didn't need to bring anything back.

I get to the airport. I check my bag and as I walk to security, my ankle turns. My shoe breaks.

You know, those grown up shoes. WC doesn't know how to walk in them.

We couldn't finish our island visit in grown-up shoes.

The shoes break. My bag is checked.

I'm barefooted.

I climb the open-aired stairs to my first class seat. Barefooted.

Just like our Wild Child would have wanted.

(OK - when I made it past security, there was the whole ONE store at the Kona airport. No slippas (Flip flops))

I got on the plane. Washed my feet and put on a pair of socks. (as they are needed for over night flights) When I got to LA, the bookstore there sold flip flops.

I traveled 7000 miles round trip and came home with only a pair of flip flops to remind us WC is happily living on the island without shoes......

The teenage years

The children I gave birth to, have turned into teenagers.

They are ornery, good looking, smelly, charming, angry, happy, and I'm sure I'm missing a few of the personalities emerging on a daily (hourly) basis.

Wait, they told me those were all the signs of menopause? You mean we are all going to go through this at the same time around here? Oh Hell No!

I figure, I've been pretty lucky. Numerous friends have complained about their teenagers for years. Including all of the above symptoms.

Maybe it's because I have boys. And my daughter, well, she's not here day to day.

(On a side not about the daughter - she told me her dad asked something about me. She replied, "I think if you want the answer to that question, you should ask her yourself." As the Island Mama, I loved this response. As the mother of teenagers, "OH FOR GOD SAKE!".  Love the attitude - yah, no.

I feel lucky. I'm at the end of the teenage years, and it's just now ___________.   (I tried to think of a word, but there isn't one. Tiring, Languorous, Exhausting, ????? that fits.

Other friends have been dealing with this for years.

I had one son whom didn't come to Hawaii this summer. It was his choice.

Although, two nights ago, we were watching a Hawaiian movie and he says, "I really missed out this summer by not going. I'll go next summer, if you go."

I didn't smile. The only comment I made was "I can't believe you just told me that."

The next day, I did tell him, "It takes a big person to say they made a mistake."

He replies, "I didn't make a mistake. I would now just make different choices,"

"I'm still proud of you. It's not easy to admit you wanted to do something else."

And this too, shall pass........

Saturday, August 8, 2015

At once

By far, this has been the easiest transition I've ever had back home.

Not that it's been a piece of cake, but a better transition from the islands back to Denver than ever before.

Yes, I miss my carefree days.

Yes, I miss paddling every morning.

I miss my sunsets. I miss the water. I miss my new friends - and my friends I've known for years.

I missed my friends in Denver too.

I missed my kids.

I missed the day to day interactions.

Denver is an incredible place.

This time, I realized, I don't have to choose. In fact, in a few years, I will GET to choose what I'm doing with some time in my life.

I've thought it was a "trap" - sometimes, I felt stuck. Even though my life is wonderful on both sides of the world. It was like I had to choose.

One or the other. Hawaii or Denver. Kids or no kids. Career or no career.

Really, I can have it all.

We just have to remember - everyone has been saying this for years.

WE (a collective society) want it ALL. Not only do we want it ALL, we want it ALL RIGHT NOW.

Life doesn't work that way. Or at least for me. Or at least for the majority of the people we all know.

You can have it all.

You JUST CAN'T have it all at once.

I can't live in Denver and Hawaii and have the lifestyle I want and be the mom that I want to be.

HOWEVER, I can be in Hawaii part of the time. I do get to go. I get a break. I get my freedom with my career, but not up the corporate ladder. My "time" with daily interaction with my boys is winding to a close. They get to go live their lives. I would miss all that if I wasn't in Denver.

I can have it all.

I do have it all.

Just not all at once.

(Someone please remind me I was okay with all this in the middle of February!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

One last time

When you pack, the first time you go through the house, you put everything out that you must take.

Then you start putting things in a pile you can give away.

The battle then becomes, what do I really want? Want to I want to give away?

When you are packing to go pack from a trip, pretty much the same thing happens.

THEN, there is the final walk through. The "what drawer did I forget to check". "What closet did I not open."

One last time. Double check.

You never know what you might have almost missed. If you didn't check. One last time.

I'm packed.

My suitcases are over-flowing. Which is really funny, as I don't think I wore any clothes this trip.

In fact, there was a whole drawer with clothes never worn this trip.

I threw away my paddling clothes. An old pair of running shoes.

Then one last walk through.

In the closet sat a pair of shoes. A pair I nearly left behind.

Shoes that didn't even enter my level of conscience.

The pair of wedges.

Those heels, I thought belonged to someone else.

I actually smiled when seeing them there. Like they belonged to someone else.

I slipped them on. My flips flops are at the door.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Camp

At the start of summer, I went to summer camp.

No. I did not send my kids to summer camp. They wanted to stay home. Hang with their friends.

I told them to then, well, stay. But, I'm going.

A fine line.

Letting go. Hanging on. All at once.

Letting the kids have their freedom to live their lives. Stay with their dad. Hang with friends. See their grandparents. After all, they have spent their entire life hanging out with me.

Let them go.

They didn't want to go to camp. With or without me.

Part of me says, "They are more like their dad - not as adventurous as I am" But, that's not the truth. They are learning to be their own person.  Maybe they don't want to go to camp.

But, I'm going.

So, I went.

For five weeks.

Nolan came out for a week. Lily came out for a bit too - as she really is part of the family. As we always knew she would forever be.

The summer has been great. Every summer has been different. All with a bit of summer magic.

Once, about 3 weeks ago, I opened the other side of the closet. There was a blue suitcase and a pair of wedge platform shoes. "Hmm", I remember thinking. "I can't believe these people leave a suitcase here."

It only took me a couple of seconds. Then I smiled. I realized, that was my suitcase. Those were also my shoes.

That stuff seemed so out of place.

There was a party Saturday night for the residents of my condo complex. Tonight, after paddling this morning. Working. Spending some time at the beach. I took my bike to the property managers house. (I guess, technically, he would be the camp counselor).

Some others were sitting around. We all had a beer. He will take care of my bike. We talked about the summer. We didn't sing any camp songs. But it wouldn't have surprised me if we had.

The property manager gave me his card. He and his girlfriend leave next week for a month back on the mainland.

I told him, "When you are ready to move on, let me know. I want your job. "

I told the story of the original swap and how we ended up here. He gave me his card. "E-mail me when you get back. Let's figure out when we can do a swap. We'd love to come to Denver."

Now, I'm supposed to be packing. I'm supposed to be saying good-bye to my summer camp boyfriend. Taking the red-eye plane back to a wonderful place with wonderful people.

I've always had a thing for summer camp.