I have a new friend who I met about a year ago. She’s a ‘friend of a friend’ and I rather like her quite a bit. She’s very artsy / theater type personality… she’s had quite the life — she’s been on a soap opera in the early 90’s (One Life to Live which is what my mother watched). She’s about 6 years older than I am… so shes in her middle 50s… she’s lived in California – to NYC. She’s traveled the world. Met very interesting people. Romance… friends… travel….. A trustifarian of sorts to be exact. She’s dabbled in local theater… I met her of all places as we gathered around a bond fire at a Christmas tree lot in Mountain Brook Al. Where all the cool cats hang obviously. We continued to cross paths along the year at First Tuesday Cocktail Club (FTCC) .
And then…… after seeing her this December (it’s now Feb)…. I have been notified that she got married this past weekend. I completely smiled when I learned this…. the flip side to that is that she’s dying. She’s been given 2 weeks to live. TWO WEEKS. Trying to wrap my mind around this news I received another text this evening (a week shy of two weeks) that the end is near. She’s been moved to hospice. Pain management. Cancer. I sit shaking my head thinking this is not fair. AT ALL. I wish to make a complaint. Why. How. Scared. Sad. Angry. Disbelief. Acceptance. Cheers to you sweet friend – as you journey on to parts unknown. Look for me…. help me when my time comes. For I will be scared and afraid. I’ll look for you. In the stars. Journey on. Journey on.
“In the blink of an eye…. I never got to say goodbye… Like a shooting star across the room you were gone far too soon.”
Rocky Mountain High. Can’t get the song out of my head since we’ve been here. That’s OK though. I’m a big fan of John Denver. Denver (not John) was the destination for this trip – W had a work meeting to attend. I got to play. I love traveling with W. He has an Orvis backpack he wears (I call it his book bag- he he). He resembles a graying 8 year old. Love it. I walked quite a bit – street photography is a big deal for me. I’m a huge fan of Diane Arbus and newly discovered Vivian Maier. I highly recommend you see the movie via Netflix called Finding Vivian Maier. Click <here> for some famous street photographers. Ok. Back to Denver.
Denver has this great mall I suppose is the word you would use to describe 16th street. On weekends they close it off and it becomes a huge hangout of sorts. Food carts, performers, you name it – it’s there. There are also pianos all over the place. Brightly colored – urban art sort of décor painted on them. Anyone can sit down and play. I did get W to tinkle a tune on the ivory keys. He’s very talented I think. There’s also an unusual amount of homeless here. I’ve come to the conclusion (via indepth conversations with a new friend) that the younger street people are actually just on a journey of sorts. I watch them quite a bit without being disrespectful to anyone. I have to wonder where they came from – is someone worrying about them – or maybe no one at all is. Which makes me sad. The elderly is quite a different story. Heartbreaking. I did learn that Denver has quite a large network to help the homeless. Which made it all end on a happy note of sorts. I suppose.
I met a new friend (one of other wives attending the meetings with her hubby). There was an immediate connection on our parts. We ran into one another at Union Station of all places. We sat and plotted our adventure for the next day. We rented a car and drove to Georgetown where a wonderful train has a loop (about an hour ride). We talked of books and kids and lives we’ve lived. We boarded the train and nested in the Parlor car (first class which includes beverage and snacks – no martinis on this ride – too early in the day!). We scooted through Aspen and evergreens – watching rapids on the river. The conductor was quite the charmer as he wove stories of trains past. Quite the comedian we chuckled at his stabs of humor. We meandered through the streets of Georgetown as well – quaint with a splash of Victorian thrown in for good measure.
We headed back to Denver where I picked W up. We jumped right back in the car heading back to the train and town ending up in Idaho Springs for dinner. The conductor on the train highly recommended Beau-Jo’s for dinner. Pizza and OH MY WORD not just ANY pizza. Good GRIEF it was delightfully yummy. We got the deep dish pie – then you add honey to the crust after devouring all the cheesy goodness. Foaming at the mouth thinking about that pizza. :::::shaking my head and smiling::::::: All these quaint towns turn into ski villages during the snow seasons. I may need to return just for that pizza again. Holy smacks.
On a side note – here are a few links to some odd and curious things about the Denver airport. I really like the airport personally. It reminds me of tents in the desert. Not that I’ve ever seen tents in a desert in person mind you. But if I do – I bet they will remind me of the Denver airport. Just saying. Ahem.
8 Curious things about Denver Airport (truly bizarre)
Blue Mustang Statue
Pics below — my street photography if you will. You can view these without being a member of FB by the way. Which is uber cool. I use FB for photo storage.
Day #4 – headed home
You’ll have to remember when you read this– unless you’ve actually known me for my entire life — or at least a month– I’m overtly sensitive AND I have an over-the-top imagination. I’ll just say ‘you have no idea’ and really mean it. Nothing has been smoked or consumed other than coffee for my imagination to be so. When people tell me ‘don’t be so sensitive’ I look at them thinking ‘Don’t breath then’. You can’t stop yourself from breathing — and sensitive people can’t stop being sensitive. And THAT’S OK! As if I can really change the fact that’s how I’m hard-wired – OR shut down my imagination. God made it – don’t judge. I like to also think God’s pretty darn pleased and amused with how I manage to keep him entertained much of the time.
On to a very furry story. I have a petite cabin nested in N Georgia mountains – Ellijay to be exact. Red Bear Cabin. Quilt filled, whimsical perched beside a babbling brook. I like to sit out on the front deck listening to the babble of the brook as if it’s filling me in on what I’ve missed since my last visit . I imagine it saying ‘you should have SEEN the deer in the back yard yesterday’…. or ‘we have the chubbiest chipmunks…have you ever noticed that?’. You get the jest of our conversations. You may have completely different conversations with my babbling brook– but I digress.
I was aware of the presence of a petite mouse (hopefully it’s one and not an entire herd of mice) at the cabin when I noticed my wonderful berry filled wreath above the fireplace began looking a bit ….. berry-less. I walked closer to said wreath when I realized there were small calling cards (mice poo) scattered along the mantle. Eyes wide with the realization we have a small visitor — who wasn’t on the guest list at the cabin. Smack. Criminy. Love/hate relationship immediately formed with the little fella.
Friends were visiting the cabin a month later and caught the little guy. I was hopeful that was the end of my mouse saga. Alas — I popped up to the cabin yesterday to get my mountain fix — I sat nested in quilts on the over-stuffed brown leather couch – happy as a plum – sipping a good glass of Cabernet – when I noticed a petite furry brown face staring at me across the room. Obviously the twin brother of the previously slain mouse my friends captured a few months back. It was lounging on the Palomino club chair – in striped red pjs (that part is a lie obviously- maybe) watching me watch a movie. I smiled at him. He was pretty darn cute. I imagined him making himself at home when the cabin was unoccupied by humans. He had a martini on the back deck as he hung his towel on the hook before he entered the hot tub for his nightly routine of watching dusk descend upon Red Bear Cabin. He had a favorite quilt – the one with sailboats and red patches – weathered and worn from years of snuggling.
My heart sank because I realized I would need to kill the little fella. Tearful as I write this. That’s the overtly sensitive part of my tormented soulful self. I give human personality to animals and inanimate objects. I think there’s a name for that in the mental health community (anthropomorphize). For now we’ll just call it #Kimysworld shall we? Lordy. :::shaking my head:::::
I watched him scurry behind the chair as I turned off lights getting ready for bed. Little did he realize it was his last night at Chez Red Bear. I put a dab of peanut butter in the mouse traps and walked sadly up to my bedroom. I lay awake for hours – fitfully trying to sleep and apologizing to him and the world for slaying this sweet little mouse. Hopeful he was very smart and knew I had set the traps that he would be able to escape. Darn.
I finally drifted off at some point – I awoke to birds chirping as the sun was filling the room with a new day. A day without one little brown furry mouse in the world. ::::sigh::::
The little guy hopefully went swiftly into never-never land of mousedom. His death turned into morbid curiosity as I held the mouse-trap with his limp or should I say already stiff body. I buried him by the babbling brook who quickly babbled to me that it needed to be done. It’s OK. I love my babbling brook who obviously loves me back.
So — I sit here recounting this furry little story to you – at the Martyn House Intown – my haunt when I’m at the cabin. Sipping my latte – feeling better already. Thanks for listening. :::wrinkling nose :::::::
One of my dearest BFF’s bought a 1958 Deville 12 foot camper. It’s a complete dream. Completely. Think of all the possibilities of road trips. ENDLESS. The goal of any road trip of course is where you’ll end up at sunset and what cocktail you’ll be having at that moment sunset begins. Let’s get our priorities straight here.
She bought this camper (who I think they’ve named Mary Jane or Betty — I can’t remember which is the car and which is the camper….) and traveled from Atlanta to California (San Fran area) to pick it up. A magical journey ensued in which I would text her mid-day – ‘So where are you now’….then afternoon ‘what cocktail and where will you be for sunset’…..then ‘where are you headed today? ….. yadda yadda yadda…… it went on for a month and finally they came back through Birmingham so I could see and touch and completely think of stealing the camper as they slept over night on their way home to Atlanta.
So…last night… I dreamed of road trips…. and cocktails at sunset… settling into National Parks and putting enticing invitations on other campers doors to join us for cocktails, conversations and stories of the road around a roaring campfire… as we plotted our next few days of sunsets and cocktails. Endless possibilities…. endless I tell you. ::::dreamy sigh:::::
Don’t worry — I didn’t steal the camper. I do get to plan road trips though. We’ll go GLAMPING….. Just us girls. ::::beaming:::::::
I woke up this morning in an enchanted land of quilts, beautiful art, whimsical dishes, french pressed coffee and a wonderfully playful red-headed wackadoodle best friend who I adore. I’m the cheese to her macaroni — her nickname is Anda Panda Macaroni. Don’t ever get too old to be silly with your bestie. You’re missing out if you do.
I drove into Atlanta (the song from the B52’s ‘Atlanta Hwy’ always in my head when on I-20 – I got me a car it’s as big as a WHALE… :::wiggling toes merrily:::::) to handle some business. Once the business part was over I headed to see ‘The Uncles’ and get my uncle fix — #UncleLove – meet the girls for dinner then sleep over at Panda’s house. The grandkids room is up a narrow winding staircase that over looks the tops of the trees. It’s really like a little treehouse room. Filled with quilted beds, toys, books art, posters and so much more! I walked to the end of the room where a bedside light was already on to welcome me. My puffed quilted bed was already pulled back. Dreamy sigh. La-de-dah-de-dah. Indeed.
Girlfriends have ALWAYS played a very important part of my life. The Uncles do too and though they would like to count as girlfriends technically they don’t have the required girlfriend parts (at least not that I’m aware of…ahem). Giggling at that. Lordy.
After a wonderful dinner catching up with three very important girlfriends… Anda locked up and I meandered up to my ‘attic nest’ to retire for the evening. My lips curled into a smile as I made my way through the dim light to my patchwork quilted bed. My bedside lamp glowed warmly as I curled up to read. I quickly realized that wasn’t going to last long. I reached over turning out the light as moonbeams filtered in through the window where my bed was perched underneath. Rain drops tipped and tapped making my nights sleep restful and sound.
‘Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast’. — Queen of Hearts, Alice in Wonderland.
I texted Anda when I awoke to let her know I was headed down to make coffee = french press style. She tends to scream (loudly) when startled. You understand my text now.
We giggled over morning coffee and Facebook updates. I in my pink lounging pjs with the white pin-stripes and Panda in a thick robe and red hair sticking up all over the place. Surrounded by treasures from estate sales and coffee cups…. life is wonderful.
We met more friends for coffee at Rev Coffee (with the hidden bar in the back — love it!). I headed back to Birmingham and my love – W. Fun to get away — great going back home. Although I have two homes really. Historic College Park and now Birmingham with W. Life is wonderful. Truly.
Girlfriends fill your heart and spirit. Thank you to all my dear friends who add so much to my world!
I remember being oh… maybe 10 or 11. I was a very observant adventurous kid — I soaked in knowledge, people, places and things. Overtly curious (much to my parents chagrin and energy level at times- ahem). I loved learning and sharing with whomever I could. It’s not something I could help actually – it excited me then and now to share (why would I want to stop anyway – LOL). Back to my being 10ish — I had a new book (something about Egypt and King Tut if I remember correctly). I was mesmerized with the pictures of this foreign land. I read and reread. I shared this information (possibly adding to it just a bit of scare factor) with a my cousin who was close to my age. He sat quietly with large eyes listening to everything I had learned (which I think then went into something about King Tut being a zombie and coming out at night – did I mention also I have an over active imagination?). It was a great story – which also scared the snot out of him which then led to a talk from my mother about not scaring my cousin. Smack. I was trying to entertain not scare him. Jeepers.
Getting back to this — I’m a connector — I love sharing with people and connecting them with people places and things. I’m hard-wired. There’s a book called The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I highly recommend you read. We fall into either a connector, maven or salesperson. Sometimes we are a bit of each or spill over into some of the other categories.
As you see, I’ve shared this information with you — and hope you connect with it. :::::wink wink::::::
Ok. So. I’m in Seattle for the ‘Annual Kimy – Diane Girlfriend Trip’ which usually corresponds on the first weekend of December every year. We did Austin TX last year. We’ve been to Maine, Key West, DC (we did DC for years – then realized ‘gosh – there’s a whole other world out there – lol – easy to get caught up in DC at Christmas; or really anytime of the year actually. He he he).
A travel partner is a finicky beast. Di and I travel REALLY well together (I have several friends who I can coexist with on trips – you know who you are! Beach! ). W and I travel really well together (that’s my fiancé by the way ::::dreamy sigh:::: )
This morning I got up really super early Seattle time. 4am here which in ATL is about the time 3 hours later I would usually stir and awaken. Di was still asleep. I slowly reached over for my phone which I was able to entertain myself for a bit before the urge to slip my laptop out from under my pillow where I had tucked it the night before. I glance over to make sure she was still asleep. Good so far. I slowly eased myself under the covers and bingo – laptop up and masked by sheets and a thick comforter. If she were to awaken I’m sure she would have just closed her eyes and gone back to sleep. The dull glow from my sheets I imagined was like a very large fire fly.
I found myself smiling as I thought about my childhood. I was a ‘under the sheets’ flashlight book reader. I went through a ton of batteries because I would fall asleep and the flashlight would be dead the next morning. My mother would try to tip-toe down the hall to make sure I was asleep – however I have EXCELLENT hearing and would turn off that light in a snap and feign slumber. Academy award please. I earned it! I never worried if my kids were reading under the covers. I would bring them a glass of water and sometimes slip under there with them. Reading under the sheets is well… just plain fun.
Now here I sit at Starbucks off Pike Street Market in Seattle. At laptop – writing, working a bit – watching the Seattle streets fill with people. Life is good. And magical.