Exploring

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A fun Sunday afternoon in Manitou Springs, a twenty minute drive and decades leap into the past, reminding the hubster and I of every Western tourist stop of our childhood. We wandered and admired the eighties style arcade, old-timey thrift and gift shops, and scads of silver and turquoise (Squee!). Ravenous, we ate at one of those restaurants that just can’t manage to get it together. They were out of cheese dip, smoked trout, three kinds of beer, and quite possibly dropped the hubster’s smoked elk brat on the floor. Thankfully, all tasted delicious and no one fell ill!

Oh, and the spring water was delightfully fizzy…

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In the morning, we walk in the thin cold air, marveling and giggling, at blue sky and wondrous sunshine, overflowing from every possible angle, inside, outside. No, we didn’t forget to turn off a light. Even our our basement is aglow in afternoon. This is our life now, the smell and feel of childhood with the wisdom and appreciation of age. Mountains, hills straw yellow and sun bleached, life at 6200 feet. We are here but were elsewhere for so long, or maybe just a moment, it sometimes seems.

Last night, I remembered our Portland house. The kitchen cabinets that we painted the color of water, the window that was half sun and half shade of the patio. How I watched the birds at the bath: hawks, robins, scrub jays, finches & sparrows, bush tits & chickadees. Paris stretched and yawning. Milo catching flies. Our first November, the yard downright boggy and my shoes nearly sucked into the squelch of muck. Sixteen years in that sweet house, every shade of grey and green, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

And this mess of boxes, wreck of a house and yard, washing dishes on our knees in the shower, I wouldn’t trade for anything either. We are home again.

Nighttime

Nighttime walking, positively giddy with neon and gliding geese. Quiet and brisk, my hat pulled down over my ears, fingers laced with the hubster’s. Everything I don’t need to see is hidden, forgotten, mostly, save my worries and woes, which, thankfully, are few at the moment. Goodness, yes.

Our little brick house is one step closer to reality. We had inspections yesterday, by fine and thoroughly kind professionals and were grateful for good news and even excitement from our structural engineer (“One quarter inch of settling in sixty years – incredible!”) and celebrated with high-fives and me gasping, “I could hug you!”

So now, my head is full up with ideas I can rightly execute and thinking about contractors, plumbers, tilers, cabinet installers. Someone who will repair and sand the neglected floors. Another who builds fences, so I can spin like a dervish in the back yard with only the hubster and Google satellites to witness it. Excitement. Cabinet fronts! New windows! Light fixtures – sixteen on their way! This is happening, and we are not going to eke it out like Portland. Sixteen years of projects and paint will be done in rapid HGTV style, with us camped out in the basement, using a pink toilet and a sink short enough for elementary schoolers to delight in the oh-my-goodness-I-don’t-need-a-stool wonderment of it all.

And it was SEVENTY degrees outside when I wrote this. In February. Oh, Colorado!

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Snow Day…

 

A slow amble with friends through the Phipps twinkle lights. Singing. Sparkling conversation. Laughter. The air heady with paperwhites and orchids redolent of Christmas itself. Magic!

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