Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gates, Girlfriends, and Nature

What an exciting few days ending with a somber canceling of a date with Angie and a simultaneous message to my client, “Microsoft, oh, Microsoft, it’s a good thing Bill Gates started a foundation, or I'd be really upset with him.” Why does Word have to be a necessary evil? Cannot all their social-disease-like bugs be vanquished, and can they not cease their busybody, ADHD upsets, aka upgrades? What a misnomer upgrade is for them.

I might be a geek, but is a person’s ingenuity continually required when using a single piece of software? ’Twould be cool to use something for a spell without a glitch. Que serĂ¡, serĂ¡. Let’s start with some fun.

Friday I escorted my down-in-the-dumps neighbor to my favorite towny pub, Johnny’s. Johnny Nolan is a guy who’s been serving me since 1989 at the Ritz. Though Rebecca had never been to Johnny’s, she knowingly greeted a fellow parent, whose child attended the same school as my now-social, maybe-not-so-shy-after-all girlfriend’s daughter. I then introduced her to a lady whom she’d seen walking her dogs. We were on a roll. The iced tea flowed and so did water from the heavens.

Wild ’n’ fun was the remainder of the eve, when alas! Saturday greeted me six hours later with slime. Good thing for two carpet shampooers, since dog puke was what I saw. Yippee, I thought, this is why God sent me to Earth, so I can clean up others’ messes. Sometimes I wonder.

During my morning therapy session, my daily check-in with nature, the reality that keeps me sane (my hike), I talked with my galfriend in Tacoma. This friend of 26 years went to high school with sculptor Dale Chihuly, famed glass blower (vs. some gas blowers I know). Quite a renowned artist herself, Nola vindicated me through our conversation about recent events that had left me underwhelmed. She reminded me of the hardworking, responsibility-taking, always-there human being I am, which, in this time of amnesia, was quite helpful and restorative, as justice ought to be.

After our conversation, I’d felt as if I’d dropped a 10-pound shit and was ready to start taking sustenance again. That afternoon after having read and listened to two books, I made a vibrant, colorful mahimahi dinner with pineapple, red pepper, and mango, intuitively appropriate for my next caller—from Miami.

Again, the heavens opened and cleansed the parched earth with heavy rains.
My sister, Cherri, rang from Florida, where the nightlife is hot, as are the Brazilians, Venezuelans, Dominican Republicans, and she. Known in Breckenridge for her unusual hats and bare feet, this girl needs to be rediscovered, and not just as the creative artist she is.

Comfortable in her own dark skin, you have to wonder why Oprah never found Cherri and her deep, warm voice speaking deeper, warmer words—unless she’s taking on a preacher’s role. Though we didn’t have a sleepover night when we’d fall asleep talking, we ended the night in peace, together.

Sunday’s puke free, sunny day refreshingly opened its arms. I developed a new set of greeting cards then set off on my explore. A hungry female coyote and red-tailed hawk being bullied by smaller species were my entertainment, less formidable than what I will see Wednesday morning.

My former high-tech-company colleague soon rang to wish me a happy belated and to impart news of her moving back to Colorado to share space with her daughter and grandson. I recalled little Stephanie groaning and whining as we scaled to the top of Mount Rosa 20 years ago.
I recalled Geri, our personnel manager, watching me vomit when I was pregnant, thinking I was dying of divorce. Friends. Good times and others, and always transitions.

After we ended our conversation, lightning shared time and space with heavy thunderous clouds drenching the receptive ground with water. At 10 p.m. a great horned owl hooted me to sleep from the southwest corner of my property. Ahh, nature.

A few hours after the robin pooped on me Monday morning, saintly Anita came over to help hem my new drapes—day two of her devoting life and talent to me. Long-time friend Joe had given me these enormous, new, burgundy window coverings after the Air Force Academy rejected them. Finally getting some of my 401(k) rollover tax dollars back. Thank you!

That eve, no storm, no owl, but a kind neighbor with a cold beer. Ahh, life.

Tuesday brought updates from Kelly in Wisconsin, Patrice in Virginia (soon to be Montana), and Bob, my old hiking bud. For the first time in 19 years, my life seemed normal in comparison. At 11 p.m. Thor reacquainted himself to those below in a fury. Torrential rain, lightning, and thunder pummeled those things earthbound. The household canine, whom I bought for protection and companionship, became a frightened lap dog and kept me awake all night bumping my bed. Try to move a 100-pound, growling Lab when he’s glued to the carpet. Just try.

Wednesday before therapy, my iBook powered itself off. I was as scared as Shiloh was last night but with no one to rescue me, as usual. The geek in me troubleshot four times until I hit the target, of course, then excused myself for a hike.

Halfway across large, open lower Bear Creek Park, I saw a juvenile cougar sprint across my path. In the two decades that I’ve hiked this vicinity, I’ve never seen, nor have I wanted to see, a mountain lion. I stopped, did an about-face, and walked, watching behind me for quite a stretch.

And when I finally reached home, I found that the only thunder was, well, think “scared ——less.”


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