Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Four Agreements

There is a book someone (I don't remember who) gave me years ago called "The Four Agreements". Easy read.

Short book.

Simple. Easy.

This is book is based upon Four basic agreements in life:



With all the political un-rest this year, as it is all the time, these agreements are more important than ever.

It's hard to stay focused. It's hard to not take things personally. Or make assumptions. I do find it easier to be impeccable with my word and also always TRY to do my best.

These are goals upon which to strive. Goals that keep me being a better person.

We are in Southern California for a week. A group of us are going to Magic Mountain to celebrate Christmas. Roller coasters, junk food, Santa and lots off fun.

We invited Lily to come with us. She told today she can't make it.

AND if, I weren't following my four agreements, I would think:

  • Her dad doesn't trust us to get her home on time
  • Dad and the girlfriend don't like me - or at least the girlfriend is so jealous of me - they won't let Lily come with us. It's all because of me.
  • I'm assuming all of the above
  • And my best wouldn't want me to call him and ask "what the hell is wrong with you?".
But instead,

  • I meant it when I said, "we would be friends forever"
  • This has nothing to do with me.
  • I have asked if this is about Lily's boyfriend not wanting to go. I have asked questions on what makes the girlfriend insecure when I'm around.
  • I'll continue to be in Lily's life and honor my word to her.

I can only do, what I can do.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Envelopes

Christmas Cards are my thing. I LOVE them. I think I’ve written about them before, but now that I’ve been writing for several years, words roll into each other.

Many people have switched over to electronic Christmas Cards. And, I may actually do that too. In a few years……

In the meantime, I LOVE receiving cards. I love sending cards. Religious cards. Funny cards. Christmas Cards. Photo cards. All of them. They are moments from people sharing their lives with me. A card someone noticed in a gift shop. Or online. Or at the carwash. A card that made them think of me. Or made me think of them.

You buy the card. You write a note. You send it to the person.

NOW, that is true love. A moment stolen and given. A moment you thought of another person – AND let them know.

Texts seem to be the replacement these days. But that’s okay. It is still a moment you are letting someone you love know you are thinking about thing.

But, back to the Christmas Cards.

Yes, I mass produce Christmas cards. Yes, I sent out probably a hundred. Yes, I order the return address label to go on the envelope. As that is the same for every card.

But what I have done and don’t like – labels for the people I’m sending them too.

I tried it. I did the mail merge. I put all the cards in the envelopes. I put the return address labels on them. I attached the address labels. The self-adhesive stamps in the corner. I mailed them.

You know what?? I don’t really remember anything about the cards I sent that year. I do remember the cards I received.

What I do remember?

The years I sit down – and yes, it’s a pain in the ass. But the year, I RE-started hand-written addresses.

BECAUSE

As I look up each name. As I write each address. The memories flood in.
I’m a tactical person. I need to experience. 

See. 

Touch.

As a write the address on the envelope, memories flood my brain of how and why I’m sending this card. 

Stories I have with this person/family.

Stories that keep me smiling.


While we all think that hand written address was for us. And it is.

It's also an envelope touched with love.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The last holdout

Cherry Creek is an area in Denver. Upscale. For those people in the world who like to shop, and like "high end brands", it's the place to be. Shop. Eat Dine. Be Seen. Visit.

There are many words for this pocket of town. I've also mentioned many times, one of my favorite places , but not a favorite place for the shopping. A favorite place for a burger dive joint.

I swear, you can smell the smoke in the furniture, from when smoking cigarette's was allowed inside.

The stale beer. You can smell that too.

When visitors come to town - I make sure they see many scenic places in Denver and the surrounding area. The Cherry Cricket is always on the list.

We've all wondered how long it could last. A run down bar in the middle of an area with 5 million dollar condos. The "Cricket" swore they weren't going any where. The rest of us always knew it was a matter of time.

Wednesday night. There was a kitchen fire. The Cricket is closed until further notice.

Which means:

The Cricket we all know and love - isn't opening back up.

Yes, it will probably re-open. It's sitting on a piece of land worth millions. It will be clean. The burgers probably won't be as good and there might actually be some light in the place.

But the stories I have from this place......

I met Peter Pan there.
The man who became Nolan's Godfather
A great girlfriend whom I visited New York City with for the first time
A few more girlfriends, a few more guy friends.
A few celebrities
I've closed the place down
I've been there early when the Broncos had an early game, and they let us open the place up.
Friends of my sons have worked there
A place that still has parking for free - and decent parking (as parking is not one of my better attributes).
And if you read the article, I referred to at the begining. A place that let's you change other people's lives.

A place that changed my life. As all experiences change your life. All of our lives.

The Cricket is closed until further notice. Thanks for holding out.

Not sure where I'm going to watch the Broncos game next week. But hey Cricket, thanks for hanging in there.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Finally

Usually, when I write a story about someone I love, whom has passed, the words come quickly. The words come flowing out of me. Screaming, like they need to tell the world about the person I loved and lost.

This time, I’ve had no words. I’ve had no words about a lost young life. A life we lost to demons bigger than us all.

I’ve searched. And searched for words. Searched for emotions other than sadness and anger.

I truly now understand how depression affects people. The understanding of not wanting to get out of bed. 

Or truly put one foot in front of the other.

Not that I haven’t felt moments of despair and blues. I’ve had them. (previous to this). We all have them. But moments of not knowing how I’m going to make it until the end of the day.

I now get you.

And dammit Hil. I’m mad.

I’m angry. And, I’m very, very sad.

One of my Mother’s Day “kids” committed suicide the last week in August. NO ONE saw this one coming. Yes, I thought I knew depression. Yes, I understand people with internal battles we will never understand.

BUT, USUALLY, we know. Or think we have an idea.

We like to think we have an idea this person was battling things that were hard.

So, instead of being angry. Or mad. Or sad.

Hil, this is what I have to say about you:

I will always miss you.       
              
AND

You still owe me!

You grandparents made sure you had seen all 50 states. In your short life (and yes, I know, you didn’t believe 18 was short)

Every Mother’s Day since you were 10 years (or maybe 8) we had all run a 5k together and had a cook-out at my house. You were a junior in high school and you and your grandfather had been on a cruise to Alaska together. The only state you had left was Hawaii.

We had all run our Mothers’ Day run and we are sitting in the stands discussing this situation. I turned to your grandfather and said – what is the state you are missing? Your grandfather replied. Actually, wait, you replied “Hawaii” that’s the only state left.

I then turned to your grandfather and said, “That sounds like a perfect graduation gift to me. “

You went with your mom, brothers and grandparents to Hawaii the summer you died. (And selfishly, and because of course, this is about me, I drove you to the airport)

It was also your grandfathers fiftieth state to visit.

You were his best friend. Not trying to make you feel guilty. Trying to explain what the rest of us were feeling.

By far, your funeral and picking your parents and your ashes up at the airport was the HARDEST thing I’ve EVER been through in my life.

I’m sorry you felt you weren’t loved enough to get you through that day. Or today. Or tomorrow. Or the next day.

Because, let me tell you Richard Hilstad Lee Abbott. YOU were loved. Are loved.

Always will be.


Rest in Peace my sweet boy.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Song for Another Time

There is song out

side bar here - if you haven't figured out when I find song that resonates with me you've been missing a lot about me.

called: A Song for Another Time  This song has EVERYTHING to do with me - yet, nothing all at the same time.

If you don't like country, it's okay. Listen to the lyrics. The melody is there. The theme is there and so is the soul.

Let's have our fun and not worry about tomorrow. Let's sing the songs that belong to us.

Breathe

Live

Hold your breathe

At this moment, we are singing about the beach. The wonderful breath taking moments in our lives.

AND,

living them.

The sadness?

Well, that's a song for another time......

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Find the Outliers

My perceived notion of the "cool" kids - were girls/boys everyone like, whom got invited to everything with those same people and did all these things together.

Truly, that is a perspective. No one really lives that - you think other people are living that way. THOSE people, are complaining about their lives too. They need breaks. They need moments for themselves - we all do. Yes, some of us need more "socialization" than others, but it's easy to look at other peoples lives and wish we had that too.

The feeling we are "missing out" on something.

Only, the truth, we don't really miss out on things. It's a hard thing to grasp - we truly are meant for other things.

You don't get married.
You don't have kids
You don't get married and you have a kid
You don't get married and you adopt a kid
You travel
You stay home

Or you get married. Have kids. You live happily ever after. Right???? I don't know ONE person who would tell me the last statement was a simple as it looks. The statements above, people some how are drawn to those stories.

We are sold a bill of goods. Hollywood has told us, there is a certain way through life.

The funny thing is, we have chosen to believe it.

The great thing is: there is an alternative ending and you learn the truth.

I don't know much, but what I do know is:  Find the OUTLIERS.

Find the people whom might understand Hollywood was wrong.

Yes, it looks good on paper. The idea sounds perfect. But the people in your tribe?

Have them fit your life. And you theirs.

If you have a need to be the "queen" of your social circle, go be it.

But the real people - if you a real person - are standing at the edge of the playground. In a funny skirt and cowboy boots. Wondering how she ended up on an art committee.

Or they are on the backside of a mountain trying to scale the wall.

Or found a mouse in her house and had to live at her mother's for a week - yes, she was in her 50's.

As I recently told my oldest son:

Go find the outliers and together you can form one.




Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Girl on the Train

There was a book I read, a few years ago named: The Girl On The Train

It's a messed up booked. I remember thinking half way throuh the book that I needed to put it down - it was messing with my head. This year, it came out as a movie. It has a good story line. It messes you up a bit, but you want to keep reading.

In Denver, we now have a train that runs from the aiport to downtown. The "A" line. The "B" line will open this fall - it will drop people off from the airport less than one mile from my house.

We live in a real city now.

You can take the train from the airport (BTW, the airport is NO WHERE near anything - STILL 20 years later).

BUT, the train?

I think I have a romantic interestt in the train the way I used to have a romantic interest in airports.

For NINE dollars (although when I took the train in Atlanta, it was only $3.40 - and here I thought NINE dollars was a good deal) - you can take a train right into Downtown Denver.

The only person I've picked up from the train station was I guy I knew from high school. He took the train from the airport to downtown.

And it was single-handeddly the most romantic thing anyguy anyone has ever done for me.

You see - the train has captured romanticism the airport has lost.

I could meet him at the tracks. There were feelings like those when we used to meet the people at the gate of the airport.

There were signs from kids. There were smiles. Business travelers going their way home.

There was a girl, waiting on a a guy. On a train.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Joy in Sadness

Grief is an interesting thing.

When life is lived correctly, we all grow old and bow out gracefully. When it doesn't go the way we are told it is "supposed to go", we have learn a new way to cope. A new adjustment in life.

Much like when life goes better than planned, we have to adjust there too.

I never knew grief was so exhausting. Although, I have grieved before. We were all "sucker punched", then kicked while we were down. This all continues to take it's toll.

What has been important in keeping me, and everyone I know going, are the bright moments during the sadness.

The kids are getting on with their lives. They should. Kids are resilient.

The moms and dads are having a little bit of a harder time.

We are getting back to our "new normal".

I want to get back to writing about the Olympics - as I have some wonderful, incredible, stories to share. Only, it's hard to hang on to that happiness. The stories will come. Wonderful, beautiful stories.

During all the sadness, there were good moments. Light is starting to emerge.

Yesterday while walking the dog, Cole's mom was on her front porch. The first time I've seen her there in months.

When she saw me, she had the biggest smile on her face and invited me to sit on the porch. We talked. A few tears, but not many. She was going for a bike ride later in the day with another mom friend.

I texted her at the end of the day, letting her know, "Your smile made my day. I hoped she enjoyed her bike ride."

She replied, "Thanks for stopping by. I had a great ride."

A little joy of a smile in all this sadness.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Perfect Storm

This October, at least for me, is a month of NO decisions

I kept planning things to do. Places to go. People to see.

Last week I caught a cold - I only get sick about once a year or so. So, when I do catch a cold, I feel it's the universe telling me to slow down, sit down, recharge. Of course, I fight it. I keep going until, I can't.

The summer was a roller coaster. Still not over - in fact, will never be over the emotions of the last few months. There is no more "normal". Not even "my normal". We are all getting back to our "New Norrmal."

The new way life looks for all of us here in our little bubble.

Don't get me wrong, during all this sadness, there have been some great moments of happiness.


  • We went to the Olympics
  • Even in the midst of all the sadness, there were some beautiful moments remembering the boys we lost
  • An old relationship renewed
  • A new position with a great company
You look onto the horizon. The dust is starting to settle. The sun beginning to appear.

Then you see the shadow. The shadow who always comes back. Suddenly Peter Pan is on your windowsill, having moved back from Neverland....








Saturday, October 8, 2016

You Didn't Know?

On the day of Hil's funeral, I receive a text from a childhood friend of mine.

The text stated:

Thinking of you today. Wanted you to know it.

That day -  September 3, 2016 - was probably one of the worst days of my life.

It was as horrible and beautiful as you can imagine.

A friend of mine, her son committed suicide. I'm not quite sure how to describe the emotion as I love this child as if he was one of my own. I also love this family as they were my family. They are family. Only they don't have any blood relation to mine.

Fast forward.

I finally call my childhood friend whom sent me the text. We've been friends since we were 10 years old. She's on Facebook, but not really. She doesn't check in too often.

I called her to tell her thank you for her text that day. It really meant bunches. I was being the backbone to my friend and knew my other friends had me covered.

The first thing I say:

Thank you so much for sending me the text the day you did of Hil's funeral. It meant so much.

She replied:
What do you mean?

I explained about Hil's death - even though I had posted it on Facebook - she didn't know what I referring too.

I figured she had seen it on Facebook and sent me a note. She said she didn't know what I was talking about. She felt the need to let me know that someone was thinking about me.

We've been friends since we were ten years old. We all have dark moments. It's nice to know people know we need them beyoned being ten.





Friday, September 30, 2016

Don't tell anyone

I started a new contract position for recruiting last week.

Sorta an employee, just no benefits. Hourly rates.

And the most honest, breath-relasing moment was the thought that popped in my head.

Ah, this feels really, really nice.

The last few months of my life have provided tons of sadness and anxiety. I do want to write more about moments these last few months - but we have been in survival mode around here.

But this.

This "job"

This " guy I've been dating"

This "backbone I always knew I had"

This "backbone of community I knew was here"

Have given me a whole new perspective on life. In life.

Shh..... don't tell anyone. I haven't slept in months. I've gained some stress weight. And I've worked my whole life to be right here.

Shh.... this is where you find out what you are really made of.

Don't tell anyone, but now that I'm here. I always knew I was this capable.  
 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Growing Up

When you sign in for security on a website - one of the security questions is:

What street did you grow up on?

I have an easy answer. I lived on the same street for quite a bit while I was in elementary school. That street is the one I usually name.

Although, I've been thinking a lot about this question lately.

If Peter Pan and I were ever asked how we knew each other, I would always reply:

We grew up together

Only, in "practical" terms, I didn't meet him until I was 32. But if you were to ask me today, I would still give you the same answer. "We grew up together."

The street I live on now - I've lived here for longer than I've ever lived any other time in my life. I do wonder what military family kids think of "as the street they grew up on"

I was raised thinking that "grew up on" meant "the longest time you spent in a place".

I've realized "growing up" has nothing to do with age. Or how long you have been in one place.

It has to do with how much you grew. And where you grew.

I may have been raised in Texas, but I grew up here.



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

No words

There have been no posts lately. As there have been no words.

Last Sunday, August 28, 2016 there was another death in our little bubble of a community.

Something no one saw coming.

Suicide.

An 18 year old family friend. Friend of Duncan's. We are friends with the family. As in, a friends family we were all supposed to be in Rhode Island with for Labor Day. Wait - the kids weren't going - just us adults.

There are no words for the heartbreak our neighborhood has been hit with these last two months.

There were some okay moments during all of this. Moments that and will continue to make us smile.

The words will come again. I do still have some wonderful Olympic stories to share.

But for now, there are no words.....

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hey Media

I don't like telling other people what to do.

As I don't like being told what to do.

But, I can't hold this one in. I think this is how my letter would read:

Dear Network Providers:

Thank you for the great coverage of the Olympics. HOWEVER, you owe RIO a HUGE apology.

We didn't even SEE a mosquito, much less worry about the Zika virus. 

Having been to the Olympics, it would be a "hard thing" for ANY city to pull off. Much less a city in an under-developed country with NO infrastructure.

People kept posting stories about all the bad things going on in Rio.

Let me tell you something:

RIO - you were a class act. From the people to the food to the transportation. If I was from Brazil, I'd be proud. 

I'm proud as an American. 

Rio, you didn't pretend to know English. You only marked things up moderately - you could have raised the prices much higher.

It was beautiful. 

ALL of it. 

Hey Media, you should apologize. You called this one wrong.....




 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Taking your time

When you are getting ready to go on a trip, there are tons of "last minute" details.

Things you THINK you have accomplished, but are still missing a few pieces. I needed to get these things done:

  • Pick up snacks for the plane
  • Return a dress to Nordstrom Rack
  • Wash clothes
  • Clean the bathroom (don't want to come home to a dirty house!)
  • Notify the bank/credit card companies we will be traveling
  • Let the cell phone company know you are traveling too
We are packing. Cleaning. Washing clothes. Doing the things we always do before a trip.

I mentioned to my oldest, we need to go to the bank and get some temporary debit cards. The bank will give you temporary cards and a "travel" account. That way, if you lose a card, they only have access to a certain amount of money. PLUS, you have a couple of cards that will only work with PIN numbers.

It was a beautiful day.

He says, "It's so pretty. Can we ride our bikes?"

I think I choked.

This kid has only grunted at me between the times of being really sweet. He wants to go on a bike ride with me???

Of course we can ride our bikes to the bank! Make sure they have air in the tires!!

Then he replies,

Well first, I need to make sure I can find my helmet.

This from the young man whom hasn't worn his helmet on his bike in years.

We put on our helmets. We got on our bikes and went and got our temporary debit cards.

This wasn't last minute. We didn't rush.

We took our time. We enjoyed our ride.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Greater than I

There is a quote, we all "misquote". The rendition of the quote I know is,



I think most of us know this quote.

While at the memorial service for Cole last week, Father Patrick brought this quote into his sermon.

This a Catholic Priest. I'm paraphrasing here, but, what I remember him saying:

People misuse this quote (after he had said the quote). Then he says, it's not true. If God were NOT to give you something you can't handle - there would be no suicides. God gives me things everyday I can't handle.

Father Patrick then continues on:

He may give ME something I can't handle. BUT, he won't give US - the community, this group of people, etc. Something WE can't handle.

Father Patrick had another great story relating a biblical tale to us the next day at the Mass funeral service.

Cole was here to remind us there are things greater than I.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Community

com·mu·ni·ty
kəˈmyo͞onədē/
noun
  1. 1.
    a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
    "Rhode Island's Japanese community"
    synonyms:groupbodysetcirclecliquefaction
  2. 2.
    a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
    "the sense of community"

I'm all about community. Always have been. Always will be.

I've said for years, it's my "tribe" who has gotten me through my life. I wouldn't be where I am today, without the community who helped get me here.

One group, got me to the next.

I've known for years, my neighborhood has been special. Sometimes almost too much.

In my group, you know each other well - you are not in everyone's business. You are though in everyone's life.

The school (Slavens) my kids attended is a neighborhood school. K-8. Public School. Only 50 kids PER GRADE. I've often referred to it as the "public/private school". You find your tribe. I found mine.

Or rather,

The tribe found me.

This has been a harrowing week in the community. A loss that hit way too close too home. Every time I've said or written that statement, I've had to retract it. This one didn't hit CLOSE to home.

It HIT home.

And, you know what - if this had been my own - instead of "one of my own", I could think of no better group of people to take care of me.

Watch out Denver, we are about to "go all Slavens on you."






Saturday, July 16, 2016

Downhill from there

Sunday night at 11:30 pm. I receive a text from my youngest.

I'm in the police paddy wagon headed downtown. You need to come pick me up.

I respond

Is this for real? How do you still have your phone?

Long story short. He was out after curfew. I thought city curfew for teenagers was midnight. Apparently on weeknights, it's 11pm.

No handcuffs. No fines. They got to keep their phones.

We do have to go to a class on "diversions" to keep teenagers from getting into gangs. There were no fines, tickets, etc.

We got home about 1:30 am Monday morning.

My week went downhill from there.

I normally have these kinda weeks in February.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Where's Patrick?

There is a picture that was on my fridge for years. (It's in the family room now).

It was the cast of the TV show Sponge Bob Square pants at Universal Studios in California. Plus DN and the daughter of my friend in California. The kids look like rug rats. I think they were 7,8 & 9 ((respectively)

It's a great picture. M always says "one of our best pictures ever." In fact, every picture is compared to this one. "Not quite as good as the Sponge Bob picture". "Maybe second best to the Sponge Bob picture."

There is family down the street with the oldest being the same age as D. The youngest 4 years younger.

We would trade off bringing the kids home from school. Sometimes, we'd all have dinner together.

What I remember most about those "after school moments":
Every Tuesday, when the other kids would come to my house, one of the first things the younger child "C" would say: Ms. McIntosh, where is Patrick?
Patrick Starfish is a character in Sponge Bob. He was missing from the picture.

This went on for months.
Ms. McIntosh, where is Patrick?
I don't know. Was always my response.
Finally, months into our conversation, I finally replied:
He was sleeping that day. We didn't get our picture with him.

That was it. That answered satisfied his curiosity. He never asked me again about Patrick.


Flash forward: I met a guy named Patrick. Charming. Good looking. A million other things I could go on to describe.

I called C's mom, down the street.
Will you tell Cole, I found Patrick?

There was a car accident yesterday. An 82 year old woman was driving her car. We still don't know if she had a stroke, a mini heart attack or what.

She hit two teenagers on their bikes/skateboards.

It was in my neighborhood. An accident. It could have been my kid. It could have been me.

Monday, I had been on my bike and there were some boys on their skateboards/bikes with Slurpees riding down the street. After all, It was 7-11.

Cole was on his bike and waved to me.

Cole - I found Patrick.

Thank you for the inspiration.

Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fourth of July

For the first time in 8 years, I was in Denver, Colorado for the 4th of July.

24 years ago 4th of July, I arrived in Denver for the first time. While I've lived in Colorado ever since (except those 9 months in California) then, I haven't celebrated the 4th actually here in Denver.

The 4th marked another monumental day in my life.

I've now lived in Colorado longer than I lived in Texas.

I remember driving here all those years ago with my mom. She flew back on July 5th to Texas. That moment seems so long ago.

It also seems like yesterday.

I remember (and I might have told this story before) getting to the state line. We stopped. We took a picture of me in front of the "Welcome to Colorado" sign. I remember crying.

My mom said, "we can turn around."

I remember saying, "That's not why I'm crying.".........

After all, it's independence day.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Accosted

I had something interesting happen tonight and wanted to know if anyone else had something like this happen. A) if I could have handled differently? B) was I wrong?

There was a restaurant opening in Cherry Creek area of Denver. (high end area of Denver). Upscale steak house opening. The open house was 5- 7. Granted, it was crowded. It was loud – but you didn’t have to shout to talk to the person next to you.

Ambrose was AWESOME! He was right at my side. Was in down position – still working on him curling up. 99.9% of the people were great. Thanked me. Complimented him, etc.

It was getting a bit much, even for me. We went and stood near the front door. Off the main entrance, off the bar area. It was NOT crowded where we were.

This man comes up to me and says “How old is he?” I replied, “10 months, he’s in training.” He replied, “My wife is a vet and you are abusing this dog. This noise level is bad for his ears.”

I looked at him in complete shock! I said very nicely, “I appreciate your concern, but he needs to go to a variety of places as he will be assisting someone in all types of different environments.”

He then goes off: you are damaging his ears. AND – keeps going.

He walks off. (Apparently, he goes over to the hostess stand and asks them if they will make me leave since I’m “Abusing” the dog). (I didn’t find this part out until after the next part.)

He comes back.

He walks up and asks what organization in which I’m associated. I told him CCI. He then told me he was taking pictures and recording the noise level in the restaurant and would be calling them to let them know.

I asked him his name. He wouldn’t tell me. He asked me why I needed to know.

I then said, “So, if I were in a wheelchair and this was my service dog, helping me, you are telling me, I shouldn’t be allowed to come?”

He replies with “you are abusing this dog. Just because you want to be here doesn’t mean you have to torture your dog.”

I then say, “So, if I were in a wheelchair and this was my service dog, helping me, you are telling me, I shouldn’t be allowed to come?”  Again, in a normal voice.

I asked his name again. Still wouldn’t tell me.

He then starts taking pictures of us, telling me he’s calling “THIS ORGANIZATION”.

At this point, I reach to grab his phone – in which he tells me, “you can’t touch my phone.” I replied, “And, YOU don’t have my permission to use my picture.”

The hostess see this happen (we are by the front door) and escort him out of the restaurant.

The hostess apologized PROFUSELY!! I was SHAKING. I can’t even imagine if he was truly in service for me and this person had approached me.

Other than that one moment, people have been SOOOOO wonderful and gracious.

Oh and that other moment when Ambrose figured out how to take remote controls from the table……

Happy Independence Day……. My favorite holiday ever…..



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Take it from me, pass it by

High roads. Low roads.

We have millions of miles across these great United States. In the last three weeks, I've driven over 3600 miles.

I was able to check off four states - four states, in the "I've never been there before" states.

Absolutely. You - everyone, should go see our wonderful United States of America. All of them.

During Phase I of the road trip, I was in Idaho and Montana. Two states I've never visited.

Phase II: Alabama and Mississippi.

As much as I've been restless in my life. As much as I've been bored. There is something to be said for where I live now.

I arrive back home in Denver, Colorado. Friends were gathering at a backyard cocktail party.

I pulled out of the parking lot at Denver International Airport, and all I could think was:

GOD BLESS AMERICA

This is the BEST city in the WHOLE world. It was 79 degrees, I took the top off the car. I swear to you, I wanted to stand up and sing.

If I EVER complain about this city again, everyone has permission to tell me: SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

What a beautiful city.

Sometimes, we go searching for things. Sometimes, we shut those things down. Sometimes, we are offered cities to visit and we have to say: No Thanks.

Or we go.

And explore.

Then we come home. To the place where we were supposed to be all along.

Sometimes we say to ourselves: Did you find me, while you were looking for yourself out there?

Not you.

Me.

Sometimes, we catch a glimpse of an alternative universe.

How it would have turned out, if you had made a different choice.

Take it from me, pass it by.






Saturday, June 18, 2016

I wish

I've started this story at least 12 times in the last 12 days.

I wish I coulda/woulda


  • have known I turned out okay (but I always knew I would)
  • believed 
  • trained ((for everything - not only running)
  • shoulda gone on an on. About all the things I shoulda/woulda/coulda done.

The thing I know most about life looking back?

Don't ever second guess yourself.

In the last 10 days - I drove 1800 miles. More miles than I've probably driven in the last 18 years put together.

Not once, in the last 10 days did I ever second guess this whole story.

I just wish, others. 

No. That's not it's.

This is the ending I can't wrap up.

I keep trying.

I just wish....

Oh, wait,

I wish the ending to the story.....

I wish....









Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bad Decisions

Every single day, we make hundreds of decisions.

Split second second decisions. Long term decisions. Decisions we have been thinking about for a while.

We also all make bad decisions.

Should I turn left, instead of right?

You can spend your life second guessing.

I'm not one to keep up with "national news", but there is a story lately that is bothering me. Bothering me, to my core.

I'm not sure, if it bothers me because I'm female.

Or because I have sons.

I can't decide.

It's the story of the Standford guy whom raped a passed out girl.

We know his name. We don't her name - she's the victim.

Do we know his name because he was found guilty? Or did we know it before?

If it's after he was found guilty, I might be more okay with knowing his name.

IN MY OPINION,

We all make bad decisions.

And yes, "SHE, is going to have to live with HIS bad decision for the rest of her life."

HOWEVER, so is he.

What makes her loss any less than his loss of having to live with this bad decision.

She has to live with this everyday.

So does he.

But, to his defense - regardless, right or wrong, they both made bad decisions.

They both drank too much.

I'm going to stop there.

I'm not going to get into the fact of what happened next.

Once again, in my opinion,

He's being held responsible for his actions while under the influence. Is she being held accountable for her actions?

No - No one ever deserves to be raped.

No one ever deserves to be judged for the rest of their life for one bad decision.

Women have wanted equality for years.

Which bad decision should define your life?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

My type

A girlfriend of mine was in town last week for work. She has been offered a job here in Denver. Stayed with me for the week while she was working.

She lives in Houston. Her family is there. Her parents are there. Her husbands parents are there too.

The plan is to come to Denver in July. One kid goes to college in August (side note - we are not possibly old enough to have kids going to college!!!!). The other two kids are in middle/high school.

The kids and husband will be here next summer.

We go to dinner. That is, my girlfriend, my dog and I. While she was here.

We were talking about "types". You know, the "what attracts you to someone type."

She declared: "I"m attracted to Tall, Dark and Handsome".

I laughed. She does have her type. Her husband is all of those things.

During dinner, she said, "Did you see the guy at the end of the bar?" I replied, "No". "Now that was my type."

Obviously, he wasn't "my type" or maybe I would have seen him.

My type? We discussed this at length. "I don't have "a type", I proclaimed.

I've loved them old.

young.

dark hair

blonde hair

short

tall

wealthy

poor

I concluded: "I don't really have a type. I've loved them all." I'm a "situational" romance kinda gal. If we like to do the same things, well, then, YOU are my type......

Until she said.......

"What do they all have in common?"  It took us both a couple of days. I awoke in the middle of the night with the answer.

Ah......

They are all perpetual bachelors.

Said, the bachelorette........


Sunday, May 29, 2016

What If

I've got it all planned.

Duncan leaves in August to play hockey not officially yet sure where. There are several options. College has been deferred for a year. Even if he plays junior hockey here in Colorado, he will go live with another family.

Brodie/Ambrose leaves in February. Off to his "Olympic training".  His graduation is August 2017

Nolan leaves in August of 2017. To either college or play hockey.

It's all planned.

The basement is rented for the summer. The job is going well. The travels for the summer are booked.

BUT

What IF?

What if something changes? What if Nolan goes away this fall. We have scouts calling.

I warned him, if he goes, the dog goes with him.

What about finishing high school?

There is online school now. There is independent study. Don't let school get in the way of an education.

Others have done this route.

My sister never finished high school. She lived in Germany for a year. Came back and got her GED. (BTW, she now has her PhD and turned out fine).

These days, you don't have to "quit" - you do things "differently" than the "norm"

We've always done things different than the norm.

What if, things don't go according to plan?

What if, this is the last summer of the DNL adventures.

The "planner" (aka Martha Stewart)  in me is going crazy.

The gypsy girl knows this will all be fine.

BUT, what if? I don't have another year?????

What if, I buy that condo in Kona?





Friday, May 27, 2016

So Go

We are going to the Olympics in Rio.

Never in a million years did I think this was something I was going to do. In fact, it had never occurred to me to go to the Olympics. I grew up poor - other people did those things.

Several years ago, (at least 4) some friends from the kids school went to the London Olympics. Heck, all my friends in Salt Lake City ended up there because they volunteered at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Why has this never occurred to be before?

Why haven't I ever wanted to go?

I didn't know these dreams were possible.

My dreams were to graduate college.

Get married

Have a family.

Live happily ever after.

Those dreams are great. And those dreams were/are possible.

What no one ever told me:

Other dreams, are possible too.

Not greater dreams. Different dreams.

I woulda/coulda/shoulda never believed how my life has turned out.

Never in a million years, could I have hit "fast forward" and come up with this story.

You can continue to let others lead you down the path. The safe easy path.

Or you can take a chance.

'They" tell you there is danger in going.

Of course there is.

So listen.

Or go.






Monday, May 16, 2016

Just

There is a great movie you need to watch. It's billed as a "children's movie". We all know though children's movies, the good ones, are made for the parents.

The quotes. The lines.

Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium. I LOVE this movie. It's bizarre. Perfect. Long. Boring at parts. Everything you need in a movie. Only thing it's missing is a great soundtrack.

My quote from the movie:

Molly Mahoney: i knew it. As soon as I saw that suit.
Henry Weston: Knew what?
Molly Mahoney: You're a 'just' guy.
Henry Weston: What's a 'just' guy?
Molly Mahoney: A guy just like you. Same hair, same suit, same shoes, walks around, no matter what, you think it's all just a store, it's just a bench, it's just a tree. It's just what it is, nothing more!
Henry Weston: Alright but, but this
[looks over his shoulder]
Henry Weston: is just a store.
Molly Mahoney: I'm sure to you... it is.

I'm not a "Just" person. Although lately, I've realized I use that word a lot. "I'm just going to Mexico.." Why wouldn't I say, "I'm going to Mexico."

There is no "Just" here in my life.

All these years I've fought it. I'm not a "just" person. I've tried. I so wanted to be a "just" person.

My life is bigger than that.

For years, I said the title of my book was going to be "Just Landed"

I think it should 'just' be "Landed"

And as much as I wish the ending to this story was different, it's not. Sorry, Justin (aka Peter Pan), I'm not a "just".

Truth be told, I've always "pined away" for Peter Pan. He's always known though, I'm not a "just". No matter how much we both wish we were something we are not.




Okay

***Spoiler Alert - I'm going to tell you the ending to the story.

It all turns out okay.

All of it. Any of it.

Any angst. Troubles, problems, highs, lows. In the end, it turns out okay.

While you are in it, it doesn't always seem that way, but when you look back the answer is the same.

Peter Pan was in town last week. My best girlfriend was here too.

Peter Pan and I actually met for drinks. Like real adults. He said he was nervous when he walked in. I actually wasn't. We are all good now.

The kids are good. They have been assholes for a while. Teenagers are supposed to be assholes. That way, you want them to leave.

So they do.

I get to leave too.

Or I can stay.

OR

I can do both.

I can stay and leave.

I need to go write my book now. The blogs have slowed down. The kids are all grown (almost).

Spoiler alert.

We all turn out okay.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Trying to get away

Things are always easy.

People make it look easy. But to pull off things, it takes practice. Think of your favorite play/music/performance. Those people showing up in front of you - they aren't walking on the stage/in front of the camera for the first time.

It's been rehearsed. Practiced.

I was trying to get away two weeks ago. A round trip, stand-by ticket on Southwest. Any place Southwest flies.

I was trying to go to an island - East this time. To see Peter Pan.

The flights didn't work out that day. I didn't try the next day. I just didn't go.

I should have just bought the ticket. It's been a cold, damp spring. Living with mouthy teenagers get tedious. It was 80, the day after I was supposed to leave. We had two feet of snow that Saturday.

A girlfriend of mine, said, if you can wait two weeks, I'll go with you.

Against my better judgement, I planned a different trip. 4 nights, all inclusive (airfare, food, drinks) for $600 each.

We are set to leave on Wednesday - the Thursday before (I had my passport out to write down the serial number for the ticket), my passport was on the end of the table. I remember knocking it off and was in the middle of something. Then thinking "I need to grab that so the wonder dog doesn't".

Well, you guessed it. I look out and he's chewing on my passport.

The dog gets fixed on Friday (that was planned). I went to the passport office and my passport would be ready to be picked up on Tuesday. Pick it up between 1 and 2.

To keep the timeline straight here: Thursday, damaged passport. Friday, renewed passport - dog gets fixed.

Tuesday - the day before I'm supposed to leave. The dog is chewing on my flip flops.

My youngest son comes home from school doubled over in pain. We get in the car, go to the doctor, go the passport office, go to the emergency room

Yes, in that order. No, I do not have any flip flops. I'm actually in my running shoes. Yes, the dog is with us at the hospital.

If this is appendicitis, I'm not going on my trip. But we don't know what it is yet, and if it's something as simple as your really constipated - I'm going on this trip.

6 hours later, 3 shots of morphine, it's a kidney stone.

Some friends picked up Brodie at the hospital for us. We got to go home that night.

I packed and left the next afternoon. Sending both Brodie and Nolan to his dad's.

For a couple of years, I've wanted to take a vacation that didn't involve marathons, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes. I finally got that relaxing do nothing 5 day vacation. (Although I did still work one morning).

Next step? Working on my exit strategy. Maybe one day, I'll just be able to plan, pack and go.

Ha. Not counting on that one anytime soon.

(Oh, I forgot to mention on that same Tuesday morning, the garage door wouldn't open. The spring had broken. They came out and fixed the garage door before everything else happened on Tuesday).

I've got this. I've had lots of practice...



Friday, April 22, 2016

The Basement Rental

I've owned my house for 12 years. In fact, it might be 13 years this August (I'm not really good with dates and time and when things happened). I might KNOW they happened. I just can't always put my finger on the moment it happened.

From what I can recall, I've rented out my basement 6 summers. Traded for two. A total of 8. Which makes sense - I didn't start at the beginning.

Not sure where I actually got the idea. Maybe from a friend of mine whom rented her basement out - her basement though was more like an apartment. Had it's own kitchen. It's own entrance.

My basement had it's own entrance at one point, but that has been changed. Although, I don't think any of the renters ever used that entrance.

As I mentioned last year, I had trouble finding a renter. It seems everyone is renting a room now. More people rent their rooms and basement. NOW, that everyone is doing it, I get a little more skeptical.

Fingers crossed, I've only had good experiences. It was looking for a summer rental, that changed my life into my love for Hawaii.

This summer, my renter from last summer, he referred a friend. A friend whom got the same internship he had last summer. Last years renter sent me an e-mail wanting to know how things were going and telling me the story.

His friend had asked about a place to rent. He replied, "Let me reach out to family I stayed with last summer, they were great. It was a great situation.".

I've never had a summer referral. I didn't even look this time.

The friend of a friend is coming for the summer.

Things are changing this next year. He might be the last summer rental.....

At least in this house.


Friday, April 15, 2016

It works out ok

I'm not sure where to start.

Yesterday, I went with some friends in the hood to pick up their CCI puppy. We met another CCI family - picking up their CCI puppy.

It gets long in life. It gets complicated. It's very simple. Teenagers can be annoying. Parents are annoying too.

But friends, friends of the real kind, will always be great.

I try not to blog about my frustrations with them. I wouldn't want them to blog about my frustrations with me.

At times, we all have frustrations about each other.

But this time - a friend and her family whom live much like me - I told them to take a look at the House Swap site.They did. They are gone for the month of July. We are all figuring this out together.

Today, I get a text: "Hey, can you swap for a weekend in San Fran, Memorial Day."

Sure, I say. I'm there.

Cool. Let me connect you.

Years ago, I was a risk taker. I held my breath and swapped it for a summer in Hawaii.

A weekend in San Francisco? Anyone want to join me????

We will be just fine.




Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Little Free Library

Books.

Hard bound. Soft bound. Tattered at the edges. Stains on the pages. Holding a page in your hand.

I love BOOKS.

Much like I loved the newspaper.

I'm a tactile person. I need to touch. Feel. Experience.

A couple of months ago I was reading a paperback book. You know, the old fashioned kind. One that was printed.

I had picked it up at a "My Little Free Library"

This author I had read before. My sister had read this book. I was about half-way through the book. Then I left the book on the plane.

Instead of buying another copy, I downloaded it. Then finished the book.

Part of me still doesn't feel like I "read the book" - even though I know the ending.

I have a "Little Free Library" in my yard.

They have been popping up in my neighborhood for years. I have wanted one for years.

I'm one of those people - if I want something, I usually go get it. But for some reason I could not justify this expense. I'm not sure what it was that held me back.

My dad and step-mother normally send me money for Christmas. This year, I asked them to please order me a Little Free Library.  It arrived late. It had to be painted. It needed not only some parts, but installation as well.

The only thing I knew I could cover was the painting.

Long story short. I painted it. I bought the extra parts. I paid a local handy man to install.

I LOVE books.

I LOVE everything about books.

Now I wonder what the stories the books have heard to make it into my yard. I have two stories. The one from the book. The one from the person whom put the book in the library.

The purpose of the library in my yard: take a book, leave a book.

There have been children's books. Teen lit (and the day I found a Beverly Cleary book I was ecstatic. The day I discovered it was gone, was a bit sad).

I put "Fifty Shades of Grey" in the Library. (I had the book for years, someone told me it was very poorly written, so I never read it - it sat on my nightstand for years, the library was the perfect place to pass it on".  It took over two weeks for someone to take it.

There is an older couple whom stops by every Wednesday. He parks the car in front of my house. He comes over and opens her door. He walks her to my library on the side yard.

I can't actually see the library from my house - unless I go sneaking around.

Sometimes,  I think I need to get a life.

Sometimes,  I think I need to go out and talk to the couple - the little couple whom visits my library.








Wednesday, April 6, 2016

You look like I need a drink

There are moments, when you can look across a room. You look and know that everything changes from that moment on.

No. There are no flashes of lightning. The band does not stop playing. You just know.

You look up. You pay attention to your surroundings. You know something is all RIGHT. And at the same moment something is so not all the way it used to look.

You look up. You think, "this isn't how things used to look." "So this is how is it supposed to look".

If alcohol is involved or not.

This is a defining moment in life.

Everything changes.

Once, in Vail, a million years ago. I was talking with a girlfriend. We had been skiing all day.

I keep trying to make this story fluffy. I keep trying to make things the way they aren't.

I'm going back to making things the way they really are.

Once upon a time, I was at the Cherry Cricket.

This young guy said to me, 

"Can you buy me a drink?"




Monday, March 28, 2016

Start or End here

If you were to give someone a road map, most of us could clearly define where to enter. Where to exit.

It's the middle that confuses us. The middle sends us off is all sorts of directions. But we KNOW - if you start one place. You should really end at the other.

We just don't have a road map of the middle.

I have written many blogs about the middle of things. The middle when it gets crazy and confusing and we don't think we have any direction.

Today though I realized, we are wrong about the middle. We are wrong for so long. We keep thinking we need to put the middle on a map. If we enter at point A and Exit at point B. Shouldn't it be easy to get from one to the other?

Sometimes the time from Point A to Point B is hours. Other times? Days. Other times? Decades.

Sometimes we find a different Point B on our way.

Some friends of my sons parents and I were all talking about this summer. They are going to Kona. My heart hurt just a little when they said they were going.

I asked if they wanted a resource.- I had lived there for 5 summers, I could give them some pointers. I told them I would not expect them to do what I wast telling them about. I would give them a local perspective.

The text arrived today, "Okay, tour guide, send us on our way.". The parents. Asking for suggestions.

They have never been to Hawaii. Where do I start?

I started with an e-mail.

This e-mail began:  Either start or end here, ((giving location))

For the first time in my entire life, I filled in the middle......




Thursday, March 24, 2016

Living life

The neighborhood I live in was built in 1955.

Brick ranch style houses. Houses that were top of the line in 1955.

My house still has the original master bath - pink and burgundy. Double pink sinks. Pink Toilet. Pink Commode. I can't even think of changing it.

As much as my neighborhood is new - it's still old. Or, as I would like to think - traditional.

We still have ice cream trucks in the summer.

There is a tire swing in my Willow tree. A tire that fell out of the tree when a young girl down the street was swinging on it.

She was crying when she ran up to tell me she had "broke my tree".

Sweet kids still afraid of telling grown ups "I made a mistake"

I told her, "Everything breaks after a while. Thanks for coming to tell me. I'll get it fixed. Please come back and swing some more."

The neighborhood house. This was the house I wanted to live in when I was a kid.

But that was my childhood.

I figure it's this way in life:

you live you life you thought you were supposed to have.

Sit around and be disappointed about your life.

Or

Go live the life you wanted.

Of course, that is simple in theory.

There is heartache. Disappointment. Ecstasy. Everything in between.

Pick which one works best for you.

Remind me to tell you about my library.




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Growing into things

Sometimes when we see things or hear things, we think

"That's too big for me."

or maybe

"That's not enough for me"

It doesn't fit for the time or place.

Things change.

When we were first told we were getting "Ambrose" - we didn't like the name at all.

We picked a nickname for him.

Brodie.

Brodie was 8 weeks old. This little bitty thing of a puppy.

To me, it's much like the name "Richard"

Hard to call a little baby, "Richard". Many are called,

Richie

Ricky

Then, he moves to Rich.

Perhaps then to

"Dick"

Have you ever met a baby named "Dick"?

You grow into things. You grow into names.

The name Ambrose seemed so foreign when he was 8 weeks old. He's seven months old today. The name Ambrose is fitting him better.

He's growing into his name.






Thursday, March 17, 2016

Your next one

Having our first CCI puppy has been a delight.

The number TWO question. After the number ONE question (How are you going to give him up?), is well, when do you get the NEXT one?

Society assumes we have to do things again.

People have one child. When's the next? How far apart do you want them?

Society also assumes, once you have done something, you are going to want to do that same thing again.

THEN - society tells us - every experience is different. Treat each one likes it own. Even if you are doing the same thing a second time.

Why would this time be just like the last?

With most, "first children" - there are certain expectations we create around those kids. What we expect of them. How we hope they will turn out.

Second children? Third? We have those expectations too, only truthfully, we just hope we - and them - all get to the finish line alive. (The finish line being each milemarker in life).

I'm probably just the same. Yet, the complete opposite all at the same time.

Let's say my CCI puppy graduates from Advanced Training and gets matched.

Let's say my oldest son graduates from high school. Is a productive member of society and can live on his own.

That would all be great.

Do you really think the next one wouldn't raise that bar?

If my first one was great, wait until you meet the next one.......




Thursday, March 10, 2016

Raise the Bar

My sons high school has a 'pep rally' three times a year. Fall sports. Winter sports. Spring Sports.

I remember in high school - we had a pep rally once a week for football. I'm not sure if we had them for the other sports.

(BTW, I really HATE the phrase "when I was a kid". No one cares about when you were a kid. Get over it. Your childhood is OVER. This is NOT your chance to re-live what SHOULD have been your childhood.)

Sorry for the tangent.

Last year was the FIRST year EVER in the history of Denver Public Schools for the district to have a hockey team. It was pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

The hockey team was good. Not great. Good.

They made it to the first round of playoffs.

There was then the "Winter Pep Rally".

NORMALLY, when the teams come out: the athletes walk out. Wave. The crowd cheers. The announcers announce the "team"

"Please welcome the East High School Wrestling team."

Everyone cheers. Everyone waves.

Last year, the hockey team was announced.

They had a "skit" planned: they lined up the players as bowling pins and "rolled" a senior to the pins.

The crowd went crazy..........

This year: the hockey team set it up to have a little brother of the team (he just turned 10) - "Sack" all the players and score a "goal" on the best goalie in the state.

The crowd, once again, went crazy.

The other teams, still walked onto the floor of the gym and waived.

Except, for one other team - they had a skit this year too.

The hockey team has "raised the bar"

Set a standard higher than what was previously attained.

The hockey team is already worried about what they might do next year. Next year, "to top" this years performance.

Sometimes you change what is considered "standard"

Sometimes you raise the bar.....

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Peter Pan and Hope are Assholes

Peter Pan is the child like adult we all want to change. Either that, or we want to go play with him. The thing is, he will never be the man we want him to be.

The grown up in all of us, knows that. Hope refuses to believe he's not turning out the way we thought.

Hope - she just "knows" Peter Pan is going to want to go. She just wishes he wouldn't be who he is. Only, who he is, is who she loves. Hope is whom he loves too.

Hope and Peter Pan are in a fight.

They are fighting over the way things are "supposed to be".

In the meantime, Gypsy Girl received a call from Mr. Bigg.

The real Mister Bigg. The real - thank you for bringing me back to reality. Thanks for being this incredible guy - a wife, kids, running a huge international company. The friend of mine whom all he wanted to know I was okay.

He wins.

Peter Pan loses.

Mr Big called to tell Faith - it's all good. Glad that we were all friends.

So does Hope. Gypsy Girl - Hope's cousin. Faith's sister.  Gypsy learned to go on with her life.

Or she caught the last port from Kona. She went on.

Her cousin Faith? She lived Happily Ever After.






Thursday, February 25, 2016

Colloquialisms


kəˈlōkwēəˌlizəm/
noun
noun: colloquialism; plural noun: colloquialisms
  1. a word or phrase that is not formal or literary, typically one used in ordinary or familiar conversation.
    • the use of ordinary or familiar words or phrases.


Colloquialisms. "local phrases or dialect". If you aren't from the region, country, etc, you might not realize things you say. Other people don't know what they mean.

In Cincinnati, people say "Please". "Please" does mean, "yes" - like it does in the rest of the US, but it also means, "Huh?". Or I didn't hear what you just said, will you PLEASE repeat it. Only, they just say please.

The Southern United States is also famous for many phrases the rest of the country doesn't use. "Go put your books up. " Meaning "Go put your books away" to the rest of the USA.

I moved from Texas to Colorado in 1992. I've now lived longer here than I did there. People often comment that I don't have an accent. I usually reply "I left my accent, my hot rollers and I got the hell out of there." People usually smile.

If I've been in Texas for a bit, I can come back with my accent. I hear how other people talk and assimilate to the culture.

I notice when I wrote the Dear Timothy blog, I used the word "hollering". I didn't even notice I had used the word until I was back in Colorado proofing the blog. I have no idea when the last time I even SAID hollering much less wrote the word down. I normally would have used the word "yelling".

The family I went to help out is a very Southern Family. It's no wonder I came back with the colloquialisms I used in Texas. 

I remember just after college, I had applied for a position. The hiring manager asked me what kind of reference my previous employer would give me. (You know, that part-time babysitter position I held). My first response:

"Oh, he thinks I hung the moon".

Huh? I remember the man looking at me like I had two heads. I was no longer in Texas.

Since I've been back from Texas, I've actually said. "They think I parted the sea"; "Over yonder"

I don't think I've said those things for years.

But the BEST one yet?

When I called the grandparents to tell them the story of Timothy's arrival into the world? The Papa replied,  "well, darling, you earned your spurs this morning."

The Colorado girl in me wasn't sure what it really meant, but the girl born in Texas? She knew it was a compliment in the highest regard.