Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday's are the worst

Several years ago I read a book about "recovering from a loss" - (I think that was the name) and it was an easy read and bullet points. One of the bullet points said: "Sunday's are the worst". That quote stuck in my head.

Sunday evenings are about routine. Getting ready for the week. Rituals. Wrapping up the weekend. When your routine changes and things are different, you get used to everything during the week, but Sunday's are the hardest to change.

And really, I love Sunday evenings - the house quiets down early, it's usually clean for a few hours, the laundry is done and put away. Ready for the week to begin.

One exception. And it's without fail.

When friends/family come to visit, Sunday's are the day they normally leave. A nice weekend visit - Wednesday to Sunday or Thursday to Sunday. Sometimes Monday afternoons, but like I said, Sunday evening.

And the drive home from the airport is ALWAYS the same. Quiet in the car. And I can't even call anyone - just spend the time listening to music having happy thoughts about glorious weekends. And then, I'm sad. Sad the weekend is over. Sad the person is leaving. And I'm not ever sad. I've been here 19 years, and EVERY TIME Carolyn leaves, it's the absolute same feeling. You would think we would be used to it. And it's not just Carolyn, but she's been coming to visit the longest.

So this Sunday evening feels the same distant sadness. The weekend was action packed - from touring Denver, to the Pro Cycle Challenge in Vail, to a hike, a 30 mile bike ride and sitting on the 18th row of the 30 yard line for a Broncos game. Thanks for coming and touring my state. Happy and sad all at the same moment.

This Sunday evening it's okay to just be content. Sunday's aren't the worst - maybe melancholy is a better word. Sunday's are melancholy.

And really, I just need to think: I have to do this again 3 weeks from tonight. When I drop him at the airport again.

Monday, August 22, 2011


People still have weddings. Can you believe it? In this day in age? There are two people out there whom are willing to buck the odds and go for it?

You say you aren't a risk taker? Yes, you are going to not only get married, but have a wedding?? Yes, YOU, are a risk taker. Only we don't think of it that way. We think - "that, is what you are supposed to do". It's not really taking a risk. But, if you look at the odds - sorry, you are better off going to Vegas with $10,000.....

Weddings tell us - I still have hope. I still believe. I still believe, that I am different. And isn't that funny, the rest of our life, we want to be just like everyone else???? See, you are a risk taker.

I attended a wedding this weekend in Nathrop, CO - the back drop to the "collegiate mountains" - Mt Princeton. It's beautiful. No argument there. And in fact, it was an afternoon wedding. A risk in Colorado in the summer. Rain. And yes, it clouded up, and darkened, then sprinkled. Then, just as the ceremony starts, the sun comes out. Sometimes hope is enough.

That is the thing about weddings - it's all about hope. I never thought about it before, but really the wedding has only something to do with the bride and groom. It has TONS to do with parents saying "look what I accomplished" and TONS to do with people wanting to get together.

And truly...... My favorite people I met at the wedding????? And it's almost hard to admit, but anyone who knows me, knows this answer. The mother of the groom and her best friend.

Because truly it's funny, I just told you - I don't believe marriages last against all odds. BUT, the two best girlfriends know - they last. It doesn't matter, and weddings are great and we have all hope and I wish nothing but the best for Sharon and Ross.

However, I KNOW what will last until the end of time. I know Ross's mom will be standing next to her best friend at the moment she needs her. I'm NOT saying Sharon and Ross won't last, I'm just telling you what will.

You know why? Because we never had to, we just wanted too. And it's ok, we got left behind and separated, but we've always known, who'd we pick up in the rain, 2000 miles away.

Really, weddings have EVERYTHING to do with LOVE. EVERYTHING to do with gambling. AND EVERYTHING to do about best friends.

Sometimes in life, we understand, they greet us in a couple of different ways.....

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Chameleons (family Chamaeleonidae) are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of lizards. They are distinguished by their parrot-like zygodactylous feet, their separately mobile and stereoscopic eyes, their very long, highly modified, and rapidly extraditable tongues, their swaying gait, the possession by many of a prehensile tail, crests or horns on their distinctively shaped heads, and the ability of some to change color. Uniquely adapted for climbing and visual hunting, the approximately 160 species of chameleon range from Africa, Madagascar, Spain and Portugal, across south Asia, to Sri Lanka, have been introduced to Hawaii, California and Florida, and are found in warm habitats that vary from rain forest to desert conditions.

Many, many years ago, I was in Houston - for the first time. At my best friends house. For the first time. We had a New Year's Eve party.

The next day, I came downstairs. My hair was in a "french braid". Normally, my hair looks fairly blonde - sometimes, it is straight, sometimes curly, dark, blonde, it's changeable. "Mom" says, "You know, you're like a chamelon" "You never know who is going to come down the stairs. " I've remembered that moment. The chameleon.....


She's in Vail - skiing; She's married; She's pregnant - having a son and a house in Cherry Creek; She's living in Colorado; she's the career woman; she still think she's the insecure girl without much money; she's running a marathon in Greece; she's the hockey mom, she's learning to surf and on and on. You get the idea.

When I am in a moment - I am COMPLETELY there. I don't ever wish I was somewhere else. Right there and then - whatever the moment, I am PRESENT. And I assimilate. Become part of the place, the experience. I fit right in.

And here I am. School starts Thursday, pre-season hockey, blah, blah, blah..... Right back into the swing of things.

It's funny. Last year, after running the marathon, I thought things would look different when I came back. They were the same. It was an experience. I wasn't the same.
Assimilate: "to take in and incorporate as one's own; absorb: He assimilated many new experiences on his European trip."

Assimilate - is that the right word?

I always think of the word really as the opposite. I do absorb, but become part of - transform - and I guess that is where the chameleon comes in. I change to fit the environment.

Did you ever meet someone and you know - that the moment you speak to the person - your life will change forever? I've had that happen twice. And I think I've added a third time.

But, I have to tell you about the second time. (Can't tell you everything at once - you'd quit reading).

SO, SIX years ago, I was skiing in Vail...... I was at at the Red Lion. I was with a girlfriend and we were trying to move away from these annoying guys. We just started talking with these guys at the next table. I hear the story. "this group of us get together every year, blah, blah, blah" Same story, different day. This guy is talking TO me (not with me) and I look over and see this cute guy with the group (the group the guy I am speaking to) . Blue shirt - and WEDDING RING. Dammit. Of course.

I believe in attraction - you are either attracted to someone or you are not. No amount of money, beauty, finesse, etc, will change that. Now, you can become MORE or LESS attracted to someone, but, if it is there, well it's there.

The guy I'm speaking with has to go to the bathroom. And as he leaves, his friend stands up from across the way. Literally, my first thought: "Please, please don't come over here". How can you have a thought like this, well, when you haven't even spoken to someone?"

Let me give you the short version of a very long story: As of today, he lives on the East Coast, he's still married, and has an incredible career. AND, we still keep in touch. Which, truly, I think, is the funniest thing of all. Some people collect seashells, I collect people......

The reason I bring all this up....... He was in town today - Denver. We had lunch. How RANDOM is that?? We were talking work, life, Hawaii, love, children, happiness...... Isn't that what friends do? Keep in touch???

And TRULY - at lunch today, I wouldn't have been anywhere else in the world.

What do you do?

You believe. You assimilate. You be.

I have incredible friends. And I believe it takes hard work. And the chameleon is part of whom I am. She was there today. Giving advice to a Fortune 100 Executive. ....

Have you seen the movie "Au Chocolate"? Jonnny Deep?

Yes, at some moment, we need to shut the window....... Or maybe we don't. Don't let the spirit guide us to the next point. Maybe we are supposed to stay here.... Here - not the next moment. Not , not, not.....

Not transform..... just stay here. Not all Chameleon's change......

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hawaiian Hangover

I knew it would hit. I knew it was going to be a hard hangover, but like any good party, it comes to an end. Then you forget, the hangover hurts. And sometimes, it hurts hard.

Took longer than I thought to hit. In fact, a week. Usually, at least for me personally, the first day back from a vacation isn't so bad. It's day two. And I don't mean, I get back on Saturday, and Monday stinks. It's day two of the normal routine. Meaning Tuesday. Sunday's and Monday's are usually filled getting caught up. One with house stuff, the next with work. Maybe it's just Tuesday's??

The "hangover" started yesterday. It was busy. Work is busy (by the way, THAT is ALWAYS a GOOD thing). Boys were back from their dad's house. Pre-season hockey started. Back to the routine.

I was handling it well. I needed to work out. The day before (Sunday) I participated in a triathlon (*** (someone please remind me to write a story on that experience in my life). I lost my Garmin - but it was turned it to lost and found and is being returned to me. Sorry for the tangent - back to swimming laps....

During the Tri, I remembered I really like swimming. Of course, I think I'm part fish and had been swimming in the ocean all summer... I should go swim. I go to our athletic club and start swimming laps. Swimming laps in a murky pool with tons of people in it. Not sure it helped with the hangover. In fact I think it pushed me further down the drain.

Today, full blown hangover hits. It's a busy day. Orthodontist appointments for the boys at SEVEN AM. Drop off school registration. And work. I made it until about 3 and I needed to swim. Back to the club, back to swim.

In the meantime, the Hawaiian house owners (anyone have a good name for them?) call and say they are back. The house looks great. Thanks for taking such great care of it. Thanks for the gift. And thanks for our house too. I now have tears in my eyes. I really was hanging in there - by a thread.

On the way to the pool, Hawaii calls and asks if I knew how to operate their dryer (BTW, I only used it once - they have a line to dry things) - they couldn't remember, it was new when they left. Wait. You are calling me to ask me how something operates in your house? You mean my other house????

I get to the club.

POOL IS CLOSED. Some kid pooped in the pool and they had the shock the pool. No swimming laps.

Hello real world.

Wait, this isn't a hangover - this is REAL life. And although today, re-entry into the real world seems a bit rough - I have my health, my children, my experiences, a roof over my head...... well, you get the idea. It's perspective. And really, it's not that rough. I'm just having a bit of a hangover from the dream.

This too shall pass. Nothing a Bloody Mary and an Advil couldn't cure. My only fear is this "hangover" may last a little longer than normal.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I was supposed to.....

Not sure to start at the start of this little adventure, or back at the age of 13....

The picture is from the driveway, at my "Hawaiian Hale" the morning of the day we leave. And once again, even back in Denver, I couldn't have written it so perfect.

Really, I lived in Hawaii for a month? I closed a deal - proving to myself that yes, I can work and play all at once. (All my friends never had a doubt, the 13 year old whom sometimes lives inside my head, she has doubts). My sons had a summer they will never forget - and neither will their mom.

I'm home. Denver. In my own bed, in a city I love. And truly, it is, looking at a long lost friend whom I haven't seen in years. While you are glad to see the friend, not quite sure if you want to keep in touch, but so glad to re-connect. We are talking MY OWN HOUSE HERE.

Truly, as I said on an earlier post - home is the present. It's not a house, it's not a place, but a moment. Contentment.

My house is a place I sleep, raise my children and a roof over my head. HOME is a whole other category.

What was I supposed to do?? Learn to surf. CHECK Learn to dance? Hula lessons? A helicopter ride? Ride my bike? Run the IRONMAN Course???? I had all these hopes and dreams. Don't we always have hopes and dreams in life????

I accomplished NOTHING on my list!! Okay, one thing - surfing lessons. And you know what??? Hands down - the best month of my life. Goals and dreams are great. We just have to realize it's okay if we go off track. We have to also realize dreams come true and they just don't look how we thought they would.......

Truly, the only thing I wish from this entire adventure: I WISH I could have given the 13 year old Leasa, wait make that the 20 year old Leasa, wait make it the 30 year old.....a glimpse of this is how it turns out now..... She wouldn't have believed it. She probably would have somehow thought something was wrong with the picture. She had these ideas..... These ideas everyone has..... The way it's supposed to be......

What we forget are all those things we DID accomplish not on the list:

Hiking a volcano
Swimming in a waterfall pond
Staying in a local hotel -
Going to breakfast at midnight - and TRULY, it's one of the boys favorite moments.
Getting a black-eye
Swimming with Manta Ray's
Watching your son surf
Seeing outriggers in the sunset
Being impressed your sons didn't flinch when a 12 year old GIRL showed up in a hula skirt and said, we are all going to the beach......
Seeing sharks close up
Telling your sons the beach one "north" of us was "clothing optional" and if they wanted to check it out, well, go ahead.....

And on and on........

Somehow, sometimes, it turns out even better. Even if this wasn't the picture we had in our head.

Maybe the picture was wrong.....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jet Lag

The boys have never experienced jet lag. We left Hawaii at 9:00pm Hawaii time yesterday (1am Denver time Aug 2). Arrived in San Fran at 5:00am then in Denver at 9:30am Denver time.

Two short flights = no sleep. The boys each slept a bit. Me, I think I slept an hour.

It's very strange to arrive "home" to your own city, get in your own car, and drive to your own house and feel like a stranger. Looking at everything as if it's an old friend you haven't seen in a while.

I took a two hour nap. All the world of difference. Of course, the boys didn't. Four o'clock comes around and Duncan is down for the count. Tried to keep him up until 5. I told him when he woke up at 4 in the morning STARVING and wide awake not to wake me up!

Nolan is hanging in there. And at this point I'm delirious.

The house looks great. The cat is looking at us like we look familiar...... And I wonder where to hang up my clothes. Oh yeah, this is my house.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Hui Ho

Dear Hawaii,

Are you a place? a state? a state of mind? a thought? an island? Or a new hale?

Fourth of July weekend, 1992, I left Houston, Texas for Denver, Colorado. For a "season".

Yes, that was 19 years ago. I had never been to Colorado. And really, it wasn't on the list. Although, to tell the truth, I'm not sure Hawaii was on the list of places to visit in life. Other than the thought "Oh, that would be nice".

This year on Fourth of July weekend, I headed to you.

Mahalo Hawaii

for the season,
for the memories,
the love,
the black-eye,
the kindness,
the ohano,
new friends and old,
Sunsets and memories,
(you can keep your chickens and roosters!)
fresh fruit
and things words can't even describe.

This dream, I couldn't have even dreamed it this well.

We now load up the car, and head to the LAST sunset at Huggo's for one more fish taco and one more Mai Tai.

I say to you:

there is no cash left in the purse, but

there is goodness in my heart,

peace in my mind,

joy in my soul, and

tears in my eyes.

A hui ho Hawaii, A hui ho.....

One last sunset

What to do on your last day???

Well, we were going to kayak and snorkel - then we discovered the kayak still had a leak. Only this time the leak was discovered BEFORE we put it in the ocean. :-)

Let's snorkel. No that's okay - let's stop for lunch where EVERYONE says to stop. We do. It was worth it.

Boys say: Let's go to the beach where we watched our first sunset. So off we go.

The waves weren't as rough, and our friends weren't there. The beach and the sunset were just as beautiful.

Technically we have a sunset tomorrow night before we leave. We won't be in bathing suits and we won't be at the beach. I can guarantee you though, I will have tears in my eyes.