Friday, January 31, 2014

The End of an Era

All good things must come to an end.  At least, that is what they tell us.

I've never believed it.  Why can't good things last?

Yes, we can't have that same "high" forever.  Things evolve.  The "shine" wears off.  It "dulls".

I agree.  I also disagree.

All good things don't end, they evolve.  They change.  If we are lucky, they change for the better. Sometimes, for the worse.  Or just not the greatest.

We are human.  It's okay.  Me?  Personally?  I think it's best when we understand things change and evolve, as we grow.

I'm a very lucky person.  I have friends I've known for over 20 years.  A few close to 30.  But the most remarkable thing about these friends?  They aren't my friends because of how long we have known each other, but more, we are incredible friends - it's just a bonus we have known each other this long.  I have great friends.

Why stay in a friendship just because of the history?  I stay, well, because, I'm a friend. I can tell you though, even if I've know someone for 30 years, they aren't my friend because of that.  It's because, we evolved together.

Sometimes, friendships change.  Sometime they end.

The house in Hawaii is for sale.

Of course it is.  Could this really last forever?

This part of the journey I didn't know I was on is coming to an end.  I'm not sure what to do.  I'm sad.  I'm okay, things change.

Sometimes, life takes you to a place you never thought you would end up.  Much less change your whole life.

I've been to the Valley.  The Island.  The Desert.  The Mountains. The Ocean.

All on one island.  And a million islands in between.

I'd like to be my optimistic self, because that is whom I really am, but this time, I feel a hole has been ripped from my soul.

Messages have already been put out to see if we can do something different.  Maybe it's time for something different.  I've heard there are a couple of other rooms available on the island.

Or maybe, the universe is telling me, I can make this happen in a different way.  Or I can walk away. I've had the tools the whole time....

This island had to teach me, some things are worth it all.....

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A weekend in Vail

Nothing like a weekend in Vail to restore your inner beauty.  Restore it in a way that makes you realize how you really SHOULD feel - on the inside and the outside.

My best friend came to town for the weekend.  A much over needed girls time.  No kids this time.  Although we did go to Duncan's hockey game and then to lunch with the boys.  Her daughter didn't come on this trip.

Just us.  Just like we were there through all these years.  Of course, now we are "more mature".  Oh yeah? Not to worry, we aren't believing it either.

We have our night out in Cherry Creek.  We sleep in.  We see the boys.

What are we doing now?  I don't know, what do you want to do?  Want to have dinner in Vail?  (it's about an hour and a half drive - on a clear dry day).

We can stay with Rob and Deb.  Or I can see if my running buddy is at his house?  (He wasn't there, but said we could stay at the house)

Okay, well, let's go.

We stay in the most incredible house, right on the creek in East Vail at the base of the mountain.  A picturesque scene from a movie.  And it turns out, my friend Rob actually designed, delivered and installed the kitchens, bathrooms and woodwork in the house.

We stayed out late.  We slept until noon.  We woke up to go out for lunch.

Then we went to the bar we always visit for Apres Ski (the one where one time we knocked on the window for them to let us in as it was closed for a private party.  More here).  Apres Ski (after ski) only you don't have to ski to show up during this time.

It's "high season" in Vail.  Great snow.  The places are crowded.  And well, how do we put this, this is the place "groups of guys" go on vacation.  If you think about it, you either have groups of guys on golf trips or ski trips.  I don't ever remember meeting a group of guys (over the age of 30) on a trip to the beach.

And then, the next thing you know, we are the most beautiful women in the bar.  Of course, we are the only women in the bar.   But, it doesn't matter.  Everyone has the ski adrenaline running.  The vacation vibe flowing through their veins.  Everyone is singing along to the piano singer like we were in a bar in college.  Father/son trips.  "Traditional trips" - the same guys have been coming to the valley for 20 years.  The stories are all the same.  Everyone is anonymous. (Yet, you are sitting with CEO's of companies, Firemen from NY and Oil riggers from Texas - and everything in between).  People are just being friendly, wonderful people. Reminding us how great life can be.

We've met some great people in Vail over the years.  They help you breathe.  This trip helped us learn things once again:
  • Vail looks just as pretty as it did 10 years ago, only we appreciate it more
  • People are generally friendly.  Everyone is having fun, and it's fun to be around fun people.
  • We don't go back to the house to change clothes once we've left.  So, if we leave the house, we better be prepared to stay out. (we knew that this time - we've learned that lesson)
  • Vail is really just Disneyland - for adults.  Only better.
  • It looks just like you expect it to look.
  • You aren't on VACATION - it's called "Vailcation"
  • We actually met a "Jimmy Cappuccino" Yes, that was his real name.  And the only true irony would really be if I married this guy and I lived on a Coffee Farm in Kona. I still wouldn't drink coffee. But what a great story - how can you not smile when you say I met "Jimmy Cappuccino"??
  • You are thankful for the fact that the Red Lion has bad lighting and guys still think we are in our 30's.
  • You appreciate Vail most when you are with your best friend.
  • The odds will always be good.  Just don't ever forget, the goods are still odd.
As we stumbled to the shuttle at the end of the evening for the ride back to our Vail house. We decided, in our next life, well, we are coming back as us.

Isn't that what a weekend is supposed to do for you?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Look how far you've come

Both my sons were in hockey tournaments over the weekend.  One was out of town.  One was in town.  

In the tournament world, you are "guaranteed" four games.  If your team does well, you proceed to the play-off game.  Then again, a championship game.  

I did not attend Nolan's games.  From Friday morning until Sunday morning, I attended four hockey games.  They won all of them.  I was then at the rink at 7am thing morning.  They won that game too.

Side note here:  I LOVE sports.  I love it all.  But, I'm like any parent, I'm glad they are winning, but well, losing, would it be all bad?  (yes, parents other than me have admitted the same thing).

Championship game was at 1:00pm this afternoon.  Let me add this up for you.  Hockey has 3 periods - at this age level, they play three 15 minute periods.  SO, by this afternoon, end of second period I had attended 225 minutes of hockey play time, plus 2 minutes of overtime in one game PLUS 30 minutes into the game we are watching.  We are now at 257 minutes of hockey in 36 hours.  

This does NOT include warm-up time, drive time or anything else.  This is shear on the ice time.  

We have 15 minutes left.  We are up 1-0.  Everyone is exhausted.

One of the dad's states the fact "We have 15 minutes left".  Yes, in the world of sports that is a VERY long time.  ANY thing can happen.  

I turned around and said, "Yes, but look how far we have come!"  We have already played 257 minutes - we only have 15 minutes left - that's nothing.  

He replies, "You really are a glass full type of person aren't you??".  I replied, "I'm used to training for things - I know you aren't supposed to look back - and if you do, it's just to see how far you have come".

BTW, they won the championship.  And for this sports enthusiast, 6 hockey games and 2 NFL games later, I'm exhausted.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Where have you been?

If you are a regular reader, I've been here.  While, I've been HERE, I haven't been "out there in the real world".

I haven't been going out.  I haven't been seeing my friends.  I've been in the "library".  Although, for me, the Library isn't a healthy place to be.  I do better out there in the world.  Yes, maybe I needed to recharge, but I still need to be amongst the living.  Not squirreled away at hockey games and on my couch.

Two weeks ago - the boys had hockey to attend on a Wednesday or Thursday night.  I decided I was going to take off my yoga pants - actually put on slacks - well, at least leggings and go out while they were at practice.

I can do this.  I have no problem going out by myself.  I'm not there to "pick up" anyone.  I just want to talk. I'm a friendly person.

I walk in to my favorite old restaurant - the manager comes over and gives me a hug.  She had been a waitress at this same restaurant several years ago.  

She remembered my name and commented on "I haven't seen you in forever". The truth is I recognized her immediately, but couldn't remember her name.

I walk to the bar and grab a seat next to two guys I knew from the club where I work out.

I left 2 hours later - I didn't pay for a thing.  Someone else picked up my check.  

The next week, I went back to meet some other friends.  We got preferential treatment.  A great table and a very fun time.

I'm not sure where I have been, but I'm back.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Penny's from Heaven

I remember reading a poem YEARS ago.  By years, I mean, at LEAST ten, maybe even more.

It went like this:

I found a penny today
just laying on the ground
But it’s not just a penny
this little coin I’ve found
“Found” pennies come from heaven
that’s what my Grandpa told me
He said angels toss them down
oh, how I loved that story
He said when an angel misses you
they toss a penny down
Sometimes just to cheer you up
make a smile out of your frown
So don’t pass by that penny
when you’re feeling blue
It may be a penny from heaven
that an angel tossed to you.
- – - written by Charles L. Mashburn
Copyright © 1998 C Mashburn

Read more at Poem : Pennies from Heaven 

And I find penny's.  Not all the time.  Random times.

Last year, my grandfather passed away.  When I came home from the funeral, I had been home for about two days.  I went to one of those "sprayer car wash places".  You know, pay $2.00 rinse the car off and call it clean.  It's really hard to keep your car clean in Colorado.  As when you wash it, well, the next day it will snow, then the car is dirty again.  In the summer, it rains every afternoon.

My Papo used to tell me to wash my headlights - it helped let the light shine.  I remembered that every time I washed my car.

This time, while washing the car, there were two pennies on the ground in front of the headlights - one for each headlight.  It made me smile.  Thanks Papo.  I knew you were in Heaven and had let me know.

I went to a funeral on January 4th.  A death way to young.  His name was Guy.  He was 36 years old.  It was a beautiful service.  We had worked together at the last start up I helped.  He was wound tighter than anyone I know.  He had 5 heart attacks in 24 hours.  Declared brain dead.  His organs were all donated and the service was moved until after the new year.

Yesterday, I was at a hockey rink - one of the other employees was there too.  I walked in late and had to run to the restroom.  As I was going in, I looked down and there was bright, shiny penny.  It had the year 2013 on it.  The year Guy died.

I picked it up.  After going to the restroom, I found the other mom and gave her the penny.  I told her it was from Guy.  I asked her if she knew about the "Penny's from Heaven".  She didn't know.  I explained that this was her penny from Guy.

Today at the club where I work out, there was a penny again - on the floor in front of my locker. Facing heads up - bright & shiny with the year 2013 on it.  This one was for me.

Thanks Guy!

My favorite "Penny from Heaven" story?  Yes, even more than the two above.

About 13 years ago, a dear family friend of mine lost his step-son.  The son had fallen asleep at the wheel.  He never knew what happened.

Needless to say, this was a very tragic time in our families lives.  My dear friend was completely distraught.  Life was a mess for several years.

Several years later, we went skiing.  Me, him, my boys.  It was his first time skiing since his son had died. You see, skiing was something they did together.  Something they did every weekend.  It was "their" thing.

It was an emotional day.  It was a great day.

The boys were finishing ski school - we were walking back to the truck to put our stuff away.  On top of the snow, in the middle of the street - ALMOST to the car, there was a penny.  I stopped and picked it up.  My friend was in front of me.  He was already by the car.

I hear this "WHAT are you doing?".  "There is penny", I replied.  "Seriously?" He said, "You stopped to pick up a penny?".  "What year was Josh (the step-son) born in?"  "Oh, I don't know 77?"  "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

Me, "Josh sent us a penny."  "WHAT,  ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?"

I tell him the penny story.  I ramble for a bit on all the pennies I've found from angels I've known.  All of them.  I haven't NOT found a penny from an angel I've known here on Earth.

The penny date was a year off.  He said, "Josh would have figured that was close enough".

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter Training

Training in the winter is different then training in the spring, summer and fall.  At least for me.  I live in Denver.

We get four seasons.  We GET winter.  It snows.  It is cold.  We do get lots of sunshine.  We do get 50 degree days.  

Just not every day. 

I HATE running on the treadmill.  Really, I don't like running.  Well, I mean I do, but I don't.  We have a love/hate relationship.  Only I never really get to the "love" stage - more to the "I like you, like you" stage.  

So, I'm training for something I said I didn't want to do again until 2016.  And it's winter.  And I have less than 90 days to get ready.  

But, I'm doing it.  I'm training for a marathon.  I put together my training schedule:

6-Jan 1 Rest 4.5 6.5 10 21
13-Jan 2 Rest 4 6 4 cross 8 cross 22
20-Jan 3 Rest 4 7 4 cross 10 cross 25
27-Jan 4 Rest 4 7 4 cross 11 cross 26
3-Feb 5 Rest 4 8 4 cross 12 cross 28
10-Feb 6 Rest 5 8 5 cross 14 cross 32
17-Feb 7 Rest 5 10 5 cross 16 cross 36
24-Feb 8 Rest 5 12 5 cross 18 cross 40
3-Mar 9 Rest 5 10 5 cross 20 cross 40
10-Mar 10 Rest 5 12 5 cross 17 cross 39
17-Mar 11 Rest 5 8 5 cross 15 cross 33
24-Mar 12 Rest 4 8 4 cross 12 cross 28
31-Mar 13 Rest 3 mile 2 mile 20 minutes STROLL THROUGH PARIS  31.2

This is just my guide.  I should have made it equal 414.2 miles, but I don't really want to run those extra 13 miles.  It would have had to be an extra 14 miles - then the numbers wouldn't have been even.  I'm not really even going to run 401.2 miles as I'm already behind.

I'm kinda on track.  I ran 6 miles today.  Only 2 yesterday, but I also went to yoga.  Today I had to wear a hat and gloves and walk around ice on the trail.  

Good things:  It's not too hot
I don't have to get up and run at 4:30 in the morning to avoid  the heat.
I'm not near as dehydrated.  
The mountains look incredible with the snow on top of them.

And when I run in Paris, in April, I can leave all these winter clothes at the start line.......

Friday, January 10, 2014

Doing this Backwards

I didn't have any adventures last year.  Last year was about getting through it.  It's over now.

One of the things I've realized about my life:  if I plan it, I will make it happen.  It's a goal.  So, I'm now planning the first six months of this year.  Let me tell you, I'm booked already.

Carolyn visits in January
Vegas in February - for a hockey tournament (I haven't booked the flights, but I have to go)
March - Moab annual camping trip.
The start of April, I'm going to Paris.  I'm running another marathon.  My running buddy whom wants to go.  The things I do for trips.
End of April - Granny/Leasa birthday trip to Nashville.  A half-marathon.
May  - St Louis to see my nephews graduate high school.

The Hawaii people are going to come stay in my house while I'm in Moab/Paris.  As of right now, they don't think they are coming for the summer.  I have a feeling though, they will be here.  And if not, I've already started looking for other people to swap with.  I'm not quite ready to give up our Hawaii summers.  

The boys and I did talk briefly about going another place.  Trying a new adventure.  We just aren't quite done with our old one yet.

NOW - I have this all planned.  I'm all committed to all sorts of people.  I'm in.  

As I look back at my life, I plan it, then I figure out how to pay for it.  If I don't plan it, I don't have extra money sitting around.  I won't have any money AND I won't have done anything (best example is the year 2013).

So, I'm booked.  I'm planned.  Now to go find the money......