Monday, August 19, 2013

Dating 101

Normally, I just end up dating someone.  A friend of mine will introduce me.  I will meet someone through some organization I'm involved with.  Or I meet him out and about.

I'm on a mission this time.  How does one date, if you don't meet them through the above means?  How does one meet someone???  Give them my card at the grocery store?  I might be thought of as a stalker. 

I ask my friends.  What do you do?  For reasons unknown to me, I've managed to date plenty over the last 10 years of being single.  Yes, but now I've made my mind up that it is time to date. 

It's a numbers game.  Like anything else in life.  But what if we have too many choices today?  Do we go out with a bunch of different guys to see or just a couple and keep going out with the one that is "the best" of the group.  You know, the convenient one.  The one you like.  The one you have fun with, but isn't the one whom fills your soul. 

Hmmmm.  I'm not sure.

I think I'm going to need a list though.  I always need a list.  A list of things to do to meet people.  A list of qualities I think I like or don't like.

So, of course, start a list:

  • Must like tomatoes
  • Must own a bicycle
  • Prefer someone whom doesn't have a job.  Yes, I realize most people would like someone they are dating to have a job.  I prefer those whom run companies, create companies or are retired.  Or maybe a trustfunder if I'm going to date a younger guy.
  • Volunteer at events I like as to meet like minded individuals.
  • Attend social events
  • Wine tasting classes
  • It's pretty hypocritical of me, but I usually like guys whom don't have kids.  Or kids whom are away from home already
  • Maybe I'll run an ad on Craigslist - since it seems to be the place that has changed my life the most.
  • Or maybe I'll answer that ad on Craigslist.
I've always said, "Rules are for the ones you don't like".  If you find someone you like, you break all the rules.  I'm not going to concentrate on "what I'm going to do".  More concentration on "How" I'm going to do it.

My friends are actually very frightened.  They all know when I make up mind, we are all in trouble....

Here we go......

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Denver, Colorado is an incredible place.  In fact, the entire "metro area" is pretty down right incredible.

There are bike paths through this entire city.  By city, I mean, the entire metro-plex.  I can ride from my house - well, to Red Rocks (stop and listen to a concert), then ride to Golden (for a beer - only go to "The second largest brewery in Golden"), from there to Boulder, CO  (check out the football stadium on the CU campus) then ride the trail straight back to my house.  Of course, that's A LOT of miles,  but it can be incredible.  What other city can you literally "ride your way around?" 

Dining is incredible.  Great restaurants.  Wonderful food.  Decent prices.

One of the biggest small towns you will ever visit.  It's easy to get to meet the people in your circle.  It's an easy place to be.

The temperature tonight, well, it's a 'non-temp" - it's not hot.  It's not cold.  It's not humid.  It's not dry.  Literally, there is no temperature.  I thought about that thought for a moment - the lack of temperature.  Wouldn't that be your body temp?  But, it's not.  I can't describe it.  It's the lack of something, plus something more, equaling, well, an even temperature.

I've covered bikes, food, people and temperature.  There is world-class skiing just an hour from my house.  Okay, maybe an hour an a half.  But, I can leave my house and be in Vail, on the slopes in less than two hours.

There is hiking.  There is biking.  There are numerous outdoor activities.  There are also museums.  World class shopping.  In fact, the Cherry Creek Shopping District (in the middle of Denver) accounts as the #ONE tourist attraction in Denver. (this actually makes me kind of sad, but I digress).

What an incredible place.

Only today I realized I think I'm missing a part of this incredible place.  I could be any place.  I'm just missing someone to share all of this joy in this place.  I think it's time to find someone to share this joy.  As, I've always taken the opposite approach - "I'm pretty darn happy and if someone is going to come into my life, it's a wonderful addition."

But now, I've been missing something.  Now,  I think I'm going to start to date."  You know, share all this joy of my life with someone else.

Knowing my personality, when I make up my mind to do something, well, I tend to do it.  So, here we go Denver, I'm going to date.......

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Recovery from anything can be traumatic.  Of course, most of us cause us our own injuries. 

When I started writing this, I was annoyed.  Not angry.  Not sad.  Not depressed.  Just annoyed.  You are BUGGING me.  You know that feeling?  Like a two year old whom won't quit asking "why?".  Like an older person you know telling you the same story for the MILLIONTH (yes, I KNOW IT"S NOT A WORD) time.  Irritated. 

There are times we get annoyed in life.  Sometimes we are lucky and we can get whom or what is annoying us.  They tell us the same story over and over.  "They" keep telling us we are wrong. 

Truth is, we know it.  We know everything someone is telling us.  You just don't need to KEEP telling us.  Tell me once.  I promise, I do hear it.  I promise you, I will listen too.  I will TRY to get better.  That is all I'm asking of you.  Just try to be nicer when you tell me.  I will try to be less annoyed when I tell you.

One of the owners of the Hawaii house called today.  We had run out of spa supplies (chlorine and shock treatment for the hot tub).  I had ordered more.  They still haven't received it.  But instead of being nice, I think I sounded a little annoyed on the phone.  I did receive an e-mail, I told him.  I didn't have a chance to look at the e-mail, let me see. 

Truly, though, I wasn't annoyed that he wanted to know when the chemicals would arrive.  I was annoyed I wasn't there.  He's living in MY house.  On MY island.

I now have to go back to this real world.  THEY get to live in mine.  Okay, it's their house.  The island belongs to America and anyone can live there.  BUT, I'm here.  And I"m pissed off.

Our story of the summer is beautiful.  I shouldn't be upset.  I'm just transforming back into my life.  Much like the caterpillar whom is about to become the butterfly.  Only, it's the end of the summer and I feel more like a butterfly being forced to changed back into the caterpillar. 

I want to be the butterfly.  Really, the dragonfly.  I've always liked those better.  Not as fragile as the butterfly. 

I am sorry.  (those words are always hard to say).  I didn't mean to be short with you. 

What I said:  "I will check the e-mail.  I will let you know."

What I wanted to say:  "You hot tub supplies will get there.  Just calm down.  I'm annoyed and pissed off that I won't get to put them in the hot tub". 

I know, you are just wanting to make sure everything does get there.  You are so sweet and concerned that we aren't being ripped off.  Thank you.  I appreciate it. I'm sorry I was annoyed Thank you for letting us enjoy your home.

I'm going to try saying that to myself a few more times.  Maybe one day I will be brave enough to say it to you.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


My dearest Avocado,

I truly love you.  Love you in salads.  Love guacamole.  Love you straight on a plate with a little salt and perhaps a little olive oil.

But we must break up for a bit.

You see, now my clothes don't fit.  I enjoyed you almost every day all summer long.  Up until the end.  Then I had to ignore you.  In fact, I even threw a couple of you away.  I just couldn't take it any more. 

Now upon arriving home, there was some on my plate at dinner the other night.  You tasted bad.  Rubbery.  Maybe you were just too green.  Maybe you were one of those avocados from a Mexico greenhouse.  You had no flavor.

For now, we are going on a break.  Not to worry, I'm sure by next summer I will be in love with you again.   I do tend to fall in love in the summer.  Maybe my clothes will start to fit.

Please go feed the world. 

I will still forever be loyal to you.  I will miss you.  I love our memories.  I would just like to fit into my clothes.

Love you avocado.

See ya next summer.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The third summer

The summer I turned 20, I was introduced to a guy whom my dad worked with his dad.  We had a really fun summer.  In fact, it was a great summer.  I fell head over heels for the guy.

The summer ended.  We went back to college.  Life went on.  There was no text messaging, snap chat or instantaneous correspondence.  We would have had to write each other a letter.  Or heaven forbid, make a phone call, actually talk to each other, but that would have been a long distance phone call. 

You just go on.  Happy for the memories.  Happy for the fun.  Back to the real world.

The second summer.  It was a heart break summer.  Well, after my 21st birthday anyway.  Up until then it was pretty fun.  But I do remember being completely heart broken for half of a summer.

The third summer.  We didn't have a third summer together.  I went off to Europe for school.  He had run off and married another girl.  He was all of 20 years old.  I still remember hearing the news.  It was heart-breaking.

Life goes on.  We lose touch.  I always wondered what it would have been like if we had the third summer together.  Instead of resolving unanswered questions, it made us just wonder "what ever happened???"  "Where did they go?"  Going on with our lives, but in the back of our minds, wondering "what if".  At least that was me. 

When we did re-connect it was many years later.  We were both divorced.  I had two boys.  He had a girl.  He's probably one of my dearest friends.  Romantically, we wouldn't have worked out.  We would have figured that out the third summer.  And then, we would have never reconnected.  I wouldn't have wondered what happened to him.  I would have known.

See, he's everything I tried so hard to get away from.  He's a bit messy.  He didn't want more out of life - he was given what he needed.  He likes trashy women.  Man, I still love him, but really we need to help his taste in women.   He's an incredible friend.  Very loyal.  I would have known all this years ago.  And my boys would have missed out on an Uncle whom they adore. 

This year, I finally got my third summer.  Only this time, it was another summer love.  The first summer was filled with romance.  The second with heartache and the third, well contentment on my part.  I don't need to wonder "what if".  I know the answer to that.  He's neat, not sloppy.  He pretends he likes quality, but his taste in conversation and how he treats his girlfriend, well, that's not quality.  And, he's not the good friend he says he is.  All that matters to him is "how long you've known him" - not the quality of the relationship. 

So now, the nice thing is, that I don't have to spend the next 10 years wondering "what if".  I'm sad that my sons won't have a male friend to admire, but it's a small price to pay for the quality of our life.  We know we turn out okay. 

And one day, I may get my third summer with my first summer romance, but it's okay if I don't, I know whom I really am and how it turns out.  Never really wondering what would have happened that third summer.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


It finally happened.  Civilization truly declined this week.

You see, I'm part Martha Stewart.  I like my crafts.  I like my "hobbies" and I'm a bit of a perfectionist.  I also understand that this Martha person needs to go away and let the gypsy girl run free.

I met some people this week whom are more gypsy than me.  A young couple I met on the beach Friday.  We ran into them again today.  They moved to the big island four months ago, but it's not working for them.  They were camping - she was trying to get a yoga following.  Her husband, a personal trainer, was trying to get business going.  It wasn't meant to be here.  Their last few days, they have rented a car (they are now sleeping in their car) and leaving next week.  Originally, they are from Oregon, but not sure where they will travel next.  We spoke of Colorado.  They might try it there.

I'm not THAT much of a gypsy.  More just of a free spirit.

And this last week, the gypsy has been in charge.

We made it to the beach twice this week with only one towel.  I remembered to bring mine, the boys did not.  I didn't think to remind them, I thought they would have figured it out by now.  We made it to a beach the other day - and I wasn't entirely sure I had my swim suit packed.  As we had been paddling, and I put dry clothes on before we left the house.  I did end up having a suit with me, but the top and the bottom didn't match.  Although, that is now the style.  Lily's dad brought us a Costco pizza later in the day.

Today though, I hit an all time best.  I nearly left the kids at the beach.  Well, actually, I did leave the kids at the beach.  It was the end of the day.  We had joined a picnic of a local family.  School starts tomorrow here on the island.  Everyone was soaking up the last moment of summer.  For whatever reason, we decide that I'm going to go get the car (across the street) and pull into the parking lot to load up the chairs and boards. We no longer have the cooler with us.  There are no towels to carry, but I guess we still thought this made sense.

I say good-bye to the lifeguard whom had rescued me the last two summers.  Plus good-bye to another lifeguard we adore.  I get to the car and I'm so lost in thought about leaving, I leave.  I'm thinking about Duncan wanting to say good-bye to the lifeguard instructor, I'm driving to that beach.  I suddenly realize I don't have the boys with me to say good-bye to Ricky the lifeguard.  I was only just past the parking lot when I realized I was alone.

Once again, and for the first time this trip, I made a U-turn.  Taking me back to the beach that taught me so much.  The beach filled with summer memories.  Filled with winter memories too - as it was here where I saw my first whale.  It was at this beach that I was able to see truth, jealousy and magic.  How could I just drive on by?

When I pulled up I was laughing so hard, I was crying.  The boys saw me drive by.  "Did you forget us??".  And really, I didn't forget them, I just couldn't believe they weren't physically with me.  They will always be with me.  So will the memories of the summer.  So will the magic.

Civilizations decline.  People come and go.  Laughter and tears continue. Memories forever.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Crying Game

The good-bye's have begun.

They started on Tuesday.  A couple of people from the paddling group were leaving.  They said good-bye to us.  Or rather "see you next summer".  I tried not to let my eye's water.  I'm not sure if it worked.

Yesterday, I had driven to the drugstore, to get chips and candy for the kids.  They were waiting for me in the shade.  We had determined that the ice cream truck wasn't going to come today.  It's near the end.  Why not?  What's better than chocolate and chips and candy on a hot summer day?  I was on my way back to the beach.  The store is approximately 2 miles from the beach.  My eyes watered up the whole way back.

We stayed to night swim after the sunset.  I had "glow in the dark" bracelets for the kids.  Fun to see them play near the shore and their wrist and necks (because of course you can join them and make necklaces).  My eyes didn't water, but the melancholy feeling overtook me.

What a great wonderful lucky person I am.  This summer has been incredible.  I truly love this place.

I asked the kids "I wonder if we were only here for two weeks, if the tears would start with so much time still left?".  We determined probably not.  Although, the boys are use to me - they said I wouldn't cry until the end.  I think the girls thought - she'd probably cry the whole time she was here.

This morning we said good-bye to the local girl.  We might see her on Monday, but she's gone with Lily to the other side of island for the weekend and school starts on Monday.

But first, we all went paddling.

Like everything else in life, I can't help but immerse myself.  Today - in our canoe, I had 5 of the 12 participants.  Duncan was steering.  Lily was calling, I was stroking, L & Nolan were helping the new people on the boat with how to paddle.  I couldn't help but smile.  I couldn't help but have tears in my eyes as we paddled back to shore.

Saying good-bye to our paddling friends was easier than I thought.  It was more of a "See you next summer"  once again, plus I was ready for it.

We went to the farmers market on our way home - everything seemed a bit brighter and tasted better - even more so than it had all summer.  Our one guy had our fresh macadamia nut basil pesto fresh pasta ready for us.

We made pancakes.  The girls braided my hair.  The girls recorded the boys singing silly songs.  The girls said good-bye to the house.  We took them home.

The tears are in check.  I'm really trying to savor these last few days.  Enjoy every single moment and not worry about the sadness that will follow.  As they are really not tears of sadness, but joy.  Crying for how fortunate we all have been.

Friday, August 2, 2013

I need a shower

We shower at the beach.  We shower when we get out of the hot tub. 

I wash my hair at both or either locations.  If you shower at the beach, the showers are outside of the restrooms.  In other words, co-ed and very public.  Needless to say, you shower with your swimsuit on. 

If I shower at the beach, then I usually rinse off at the house to get rid of the rest of the sand. 

Also, as mentioned earlier this civilization is a bit of "lost paradise".  We are dirty.

As in Duncan informed me he's only washing his hair once a week.  It is wet everyday. 

Lily's hair has a knot in it - I think that combs out.  My hair on the other hand?  It also has a knot in it.  And I'm not sure if there isn't something living in my hair.  Curls are nice, most of the time.  I'm beginning to think I'd kind would like only wavy hair. 

I'm not sure when Nolan is washing his hair.  Although Nolan does put on fresh clothes at least once a day.  Duncan informed me he hasn't worn underwear this entire trip.  I don't think I needed to know that.  Sorry, I thought you might need to know that.  (smile!)

So tonight after the beach, I took a real shower.  One that include a dry towel, hair shampoo, conditioner and a razor! I feel like a new woman.  I even got the brush through the hair.  Ahhhh...

I'm clean, but I'm betting there is still sand in my hair.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


When I started this blog, I wasn't sure how to start.  I wasn't much of a writer, I'm not sure I even enjoyed writing.

What I wanted was a record of my adventure with my sons on our first house swap to Hawaii.  Only I didn't know it was going to be a "first".  Well, I knew it was my first, but not the "first" of something. 

What do I name the blog:  DNL Summer Adventures.  DNL - the first letter of our first names. Only, when I created the blog, I typed in .  Me, of all people, misspelled summer.  I only put in one M.  It only took me over a year to realize there were not two M's in my summer.  And quite honestly, I'm not sure how I figured it out.

Then as I kept writing, I removed the word "Summer" from the title, but had to leave it in the web address.  The blog became titled DNL Adventures.  The adventures of a divorced mother and her sons.

Truly, these are my adventures, with my perspective.  Although, the D & N do contribute on a non-regular basis.

But, I was writing a note to a friend today and went to refer to the kids as DNL (Duncan, Nolan and Lily).  I then realized I knew something before I knew I knew it.

It may have been me whom started them on this crazy journey, and yes, this is my blog.  But, the real story will one day be the adventures of those three.  If it's not already.