Day -298 – Just Add Water

IMG_20140729_204116515_HDRThere are few things that give me as much pleasure as water…it doesn’t really matter the form it takes.  Be it as a drink, used to clean up with, or my favorite…a natural flowing body of the wet stuff.

Last night we joined a friend on his boat on the Tennessee River outside of Chattanooga.  I had been uptight all day, not feeling 100% either mentally or physically.  Todd had the boat at the dock when we got there, all we had to do was hop in.  Within minutes, I felt my pulse slow, my blood pressure come down, a calm wash over me.  Water has that effect on me.

The night was beautiful, not too hot, no wind to speak of, and being a Tuesday night, it was quiet.  We launched from the Tennessee River Park and made our way down river to downtown.  They have created quite an expansive area near the museum that is designed for entertainment and activities.  The Hunter Museum grounds on the bluff provide the backdrop to an amphitheater under the bridge; there is a water play area and a huge water fountain.

IMG_20140729_203552373We tied up at the dock and walked up to Tony’s for an awesome Italian dinner, a brief stroll back to the water as the sun was setting, we cruised back to the River Park to load and leave.  But not before we got to enjoy our leisurely trip back up river.

I am reminded often of how much I love this life, the friends we have, the things we get to do.  Thanks to all of them who think to say, “hey, you’re in town…let’s get together.”  Now just add water, and we are set.

Day -294 – A little help from my friends?

friendsI’ve been reading and researching a lot lately, trying to get my mind right for the novel I want to write.  Of course, if you ask me what it’s about, I can’t rightly tell you.  I have three already started and one that is niggling around in my head, but it isn’t concrete enough to start to flow from my fingertips yet.

I just finished reading “How to Buy a Love of Reading” – it’s been on my Kindle for years, reading it made me realize how little I know about novel writing, hell, I don’t even recognize all the parts and their definitions.  I am not a “creative writer”, I am just a voice, I want to write with a true voice, a voice others can relate to.  What I need help with first is character development….that’s where you come in.

Would you tell me your story?  Everyone has one, whether you are 15 or 50 or 85…each of us has a story. My favorite question to ask when I talk to someone is not, what do you do? It’s What is Your Story?  I’m writing mine every day, but I think I have figured out the central theme.  My theme is change.  I can pinpoint at least four times in my life in which an action I took changed my life dramatically, in my case, it was always for the better.  So as I spend a little time crafting my story to tell, would you tell me yours?

Some of my friends are going to get tagged on Facebook – I particularly like strong, independent women, and I know a bunch of them.  I think of them as “Women who get S**T Done!”  This is a private lesson, not for public consumption or publication, I just need inside some of your heads to help me figure out how others think.  I hate looking at the world from only my limited experience.

A little history, a little backstory about who  you are, how you came to be that person, what decision or action in your life brought you to where you are?  Is there a fear that keeps you rooted to your origins, or a fear you have already faced and defeated? Don’t worry about how it is told, think of it as a conversation.

If you want, send it by email to shelleyontheroad@yahoo.com, or post in the comments.  Be true to yourself, I want to use these “characters” to fill my books with real, yet imagined people.  I want to combine your qualities with others so no one will recognize you, unless of course, you are fabulous – and then who wouldn’t want to be recognized!

 

 

Day -259 – Pikes Peak

pikes peakLooming over the top of Colorado Springs is Pikes Peak – one of Colorado’s famed Fourteeners, it is paved to the top.  A bit commercial, there is a railroad, famous donuts that aren’t supposed to be able to be made at that elevation and a race.  What you won’t find is ….me.  Elevations like that kick my ass.

Josh and Big made the trek up the mountain, not a surprise, they love anything to do with racecars.  Many of our friends and acquaintances race Pikes Peak, up the twisties to the top – it’s all paved now, but that is a recent development.

The record to the top is 8 minutes and 13 seconds.  From mm 1 to mm12, the elevation climb is 4720 feet.  The cars have to reach over 100 on some of the short straightaways to do that.  Big said he drove it in low gear, somewhere around 15 mph mostly.

On the way down, the National Forest Service rangers stop you at one point to review the temperature of your brakes – too hot and you get to sit awhile.  Makes sense to me, so many don’t know how to drive mountain roads.

Pikes Peak is named for the famous Zebulon Pike, explorer of many lands.  I would have loved to have gone on the trek up the mountain, but this is one limitation I have finally come to grips with.  Anything over 10,000 feet makes me feel icky – I start to feel it between 8,000 and 9,000 feet, but only if I exert myself, by 10, I only have to try to breathe to know I’m out of my element, sometimes it’s just best to stay home.

Day -258 – Rocky Mountain High Colorado

ROCKY_MOUNTAIN_HIGH_monitor_colorado_marijuana_2-1024x576It is a weird sensation to smell marijuana at an intersection.  Just sayin’.  We have been in Colorado Springs for a week or so, did laundry last week at a place right next to a weed store.  Yep, I think it overpowered the sweet smell of laundry soap and landed on my clothes.

At any given corner that passes a strip mall, you can smell pot.  Me, being the naïve girl that I am from Idaho, my California boys had to point it out to me, but they were right.

Honestly, I have had one experience with pot – ok, two, but the first one doesn’t count.

The first was when I was in high school, I was on a date with the brother of one of my best guy friends – he was older.  When we pulled up on the offramp, the sun was in our eyes – he dropped the visor and a baggie of weed dropped in my lap.  Freaked me out, I made him take me home.  Yes, I was that girl.

You see, when I was young – 5th grade or so – we lived in San Antonio, Texas.  For a school report, I read the San Antonio Light every day and cut out all articles that were related to drug use.  After a week, I had a binder full of stuff – scared me to death, I have never wanted to use drugs of any kind.  I can take ibuprofen, but that is the extent of my pill poppin’.

Move on to time two…after I retired from my job as a CPA, I agreed to a one time experience, part of my 50 new things project.  Several of us got together and lit a bowl –see, I’m probably not even using the right terminology.  This is what I learned.  Everyone reacts differently, one person ate everything in sight; another pointed and laughed, but couldn’t speak; another talked nonstop; me – I cleaned everything I could find.  That one time, it was enough for me.

I get that it has some uses for pain control, I understand it can help some with ADD focus better, I also understand the need to tax it – but I also know, I don’t want the work force to be smokin’ it, it’s hard enough to get a good days work out of most people.  So, Colorado, you can keep your stash, but could we try to clean up the air a bit? Our kids are out there.

Day -257 – Rocky Mountain National Park

rmnpA trip to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park was on the agenda today – together with the Junior Ranger program.  Rocky Mountain National Park is located on the Continental Divide, the point in our country where the rivers split – they either travel east or west.  The Rocky Mountains in Colorado have some of the highest peaks, in fact, it is Never Summer all year on some of them.

As a Junior Ranger, the RMNP teaches you about the different ecosystems; the Montane at the lower elevations; the transition to the Sub-Alpine and the Alpine air.  Of course, this is because you are traveling up, up and up.  The Alpine Visitor’s Center is over 11,500 feet above sea-level.  For me, that is too much.

We saw lots of wildlife in the park, but my favorite part was visiting with the park ranger.  I love the experiences that they have and all they share with us.  It’s a great life experience.  Our park ranger has his Junior Ranger badge from 72 parks – personally, I’m jealous…I have a long way to go.

***Photo by Josh England at Rise Above Photo