If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

First month as a Colorado resident.

One would think with all the time on my hands, and so much wonderful things happening around, I'd blog some. In reality, not only this thought barely crossed my mind a couple of times, I haven't even journaled. And it's not that I wasn't in high emotions, mostly positive and on high end, of course, but enough not-so-awesome to warrant contemplation at least on the pages of my diary. Nope, didn't happen. Lets pretend to catch up on the past five and half weeks now...

The mountains are amazing, breathtaking, awesome, and any explicit adjective you English native speaking can come up with. They are extremely close to home - a mere 15 min drive, which is a local drive, too. Hope and a stretch. I got into a pattern of doing Incline Loop every Wednesday morning, Section 16 Loop Friday morning, and something in tune of 10-15 miles with Larry on the weekend. Incline kicks butt every time (that is 0.88 miles with 2,000 feet of climb, mind you, on steps that some so high I have to use hands). The loop includes approach (1.3 M), The Stairs, and Barr trail down with same road section add-on as at the beginning. To my delight, I keep chewing minutes off the Incline Climb, even if it never gets any easier. Breathing is so labored, the eyes are popping, but the legs are holding on much better. So there's that. Downhill is also feeling smoother and more natural, and since I used to be a very good downhiller, it pleases me. Improvements in increments, small and larger. We're slowly getting back into trail running. (Below is a very small collecton of photos, not to overwhelm).








The rest of the week is taken by road runs in the morning, and yoga classes. I signed up for an introductory month (low cost) at the Power Yoga studio, and taking full advantage of unlimited classes and my non-working status.

Which is whole another deal. While I was looking forward to, finally, for the first time in a decade, since moving to Austin (and sitting home for the first 3 months looking for jobs), having legitimate time to myself, it was obvious I am not good at doing nothing. A week was fine, two - ok, then I got edgy. Not to mention, after the first 2 weeks, the delay was not due to any limitations on my part. I got a job offer, literally, on the first day of my arrival to CO. It's the bureaucracy of license transfer here that was so crazy. Not only the amount of paperwork to submit - the process hit a dead end when it appeared TX eliminated some records, and CO was not going anywhere unless those are presented. The anxiety was hitting big! Eventually, there was a human communication one fine day, more paperwork I dug out, and by July 3rd, full 4 weeks after submission, my licensing was granted. This week is my first week back to work! The job is a chiropractor office, part-time, just what I wanted. It'll take time to build clientele, and I am ok with that. I simply hated the uncertainty I could not control.

We did some drives to see things that were recommended to us, like Bishop Castle, and it was awesome.




One Saturday we drove to Denver to visit Larry's little sister. It was nice to have family close-by.


The weather here continues to give me joy, 50's at night, 80's during a day, afternoon thunderstorms bringing the cooling.


We had our first visitor - Larry's son Harrison came to spend a few days in our new home town and house. We all scaled Pike's Peak (I went from "normal" Barr trail side of 12 miles route, they went from opposite, shorter, side, we all met at the top, and came down together on their 7 mile route). The boys went to Denver to see professional baseball game, and we did some touristy stuff as well.




The next-street (quite literally) gold course has become another attraction for our time, Larry hitting some gold balls, and me knitting.


Speaking of knitting, I haven't done as much as I thought I would, with the time on my hands, but I did read a lot, frequenting library - something over a dozen of books! This was a great return to what I loved since I was a child.

Other than that, the house is absolutely lovely. We can't stop talking how lucky we feel to have "snatched" it last October, with the market going up in huge steps, and the offerings in the desired locations being extremely thin to say the least. It was a miracle. Now we just need to bring it up to our standards. This 90 years old 830 sq ft (plus small basement) bungalow is getting kitchen/bathroom/back entry re-haul starting end of July. So it'll be 2 months of living off scraps and microwave food...well worth though.

I guess I caught up with the happenings, however briefly. At least I can check this one off my list:)



Monday, June 03, 2019

Home.

Dreams do come true. No matter how long the wait, how hard and tedious and uninspiring, how impossible it all seemed...if one keeps their head down, eyes laser focused, and desire burning, it'll happen.

We turned the key to the realtor for the next Austin house owner on Thursday at 4 pm, and drove into the sunset. "Go West, young man".
With an overnight stop somewhere an hour and half before Lubbock (we both really needed sleep and rest after a week of 3 am waking up, work and all the things involved in moving to another state), we finally crossed into a state of CO at the top of Raton Pass. Our home state.
And just like that, not even couple hours later, by 2:30 pm, we turned the corner of the street (the view never gets old!!) and rolled into OUR driveway. OUR HOME!
 The grass was over a foot and half tall, and due to recent May snow storms - last as late as a previous weekend! - there were A LOT of heavy tree branches both in our front yard and backyard. But, it was still the cutest house one could wish for. The cutest one for us, for sure.
We didn't take breaks, and straight from the stirring wheel got into unloading the truck and bringing boxes and items into the house. By 4:20 pm the U-Haul was returned, and we could exhale slowly. We have arrived.
The evening, and the following day have been spent in 2 ways: me - unpacking ALL the boxes and allocating their content into different rooms and the few closets we do have in this 829 sq ft home. Larry - chain saw in hands, cutting tree branches, putting them aside for disposal, and mowing lawn, not once, but twice, due to its complete overgrown condition.
And like that, at 4 pm on Saturday, 48 hrs after we pulled out of our Austin house, we were all settled into our CO home. Coffee and beer and knitting in hands. This is home. Pinch me!
Sunday was our day for fun. We returned to the local (OUR local) trail loop of Section 16, 12 min drive, one we discovered 2 years ago, for a repeat exploration. In a mere sub-2 mile steep climb (1100 feet), we were deep into backcountry line, in peace and quiet and amazing views opening up 360 degrees. Do we really get to be near this awesomeness for the rest of our lives?!
The morning was absolutely gorgeous, and the almost-5 mile perfect grade and trail condition downhill was such a warm welcome back into trail running. I have done "road running only" for majority of the past 3 years (venturing to Austin trails only to hike with a backpack while in the midst of training for my summer hikes), and I, quite literally, forgot how to run trails (not that Austin has "trails" in my personal definition, but pardon my obnoxious PNW past). We ran gingerly, but oh, so happy! My heart was flattering, my soul singing, and I couldn't wipe a smile off my face.
Everything is blooming here, from bushes in the front yard, to wild flowers. It smells and looks gorgeous. The morning runs picked up pace, yet again - a phenomenon I can never figure our explanation for (at altitude I run at least 40 sec per mile faster than back in TX at zero elevation, even before heat and humidity comes). The weather in the first half of the day is so beautiful - upper 60's and sunny. In the early afternoon, the clouds roll in. It is monsoon season here, in the mountains. Storms come with thunder, hail and hard rain, and the temperatures drop by a good 10 degrees. I love it! I take it any day over 100F and 100% humidity! But it also means all the errands need to be done and over with by 1-2 pm.
 
Monday morning, Larry got back to work: he is doing same job at Dell, but now remotely. Thank God for this option! The transition went flawless, and I can be his personal secretary, serving him tea, coffee and lunch, right into his office. :) I got to make a trip to DMV and get my new CO driver's license - I am officially a resident of this state! I also had an interview with a chiropractor doctor on Monday evening, who's office is looking for a massage therapist. She is awesome. While I still don't have my LMT license transfer completed (need to get fingerprinted, my appointment is not until Wednesday), and I can't start for at least another month, I figured a mock interview to test waters is not a bad idea. I am not going to jump on the first opportunity though, regardless how anxiously I want to get back to work. I now know my worth as a therapist. I also know there are so many more things I can do here besides working all damn time!

It has not settled in our brains that this is a move, not a visit. We've been coming to COS for the last 3 years: 3 times in the first couple of years (every 7 months or so), then 5 times since last October. We never stayed more than 5 days - in fact, we always stayed exactly 5 days - and we think once we pass this number, it might finally hit us: we live here now. We don't have to leave.

Grocery shopping done, I am tending to the kitchen chores. I prepare meals - nothing new here - but now I am preparing them fresh before consuming, slowly, mindfully. There will be a renovation here starting in 3-4 weeks, and I am so looking forward to it. Kitchen is the only space in this house that desperately needs work: 90's era is just so ugly. We want to bring back the style of 1928, year our home was built, but have appliances and conveniences of 21st century, in European (a.k.a. small-size) style. Everything else in this house is in perfect condition - they used to build to last! Original wood windows, wood floors, doors, door knobs and hinges. Beautiful backyard with 2 blue spruce trees and an apple tree bearing fruits (I tried them last October, for real!). All of it needs tender loving care - and we will provide. Lets begin this wonderful chapter of our lives.
Slow pace of life... last time I experienced it was, like, never? I am not sure how I feel yet, but I am certain that I love it here. Weeds are therapeutic. So are books (I got a library card and picked 5 at once!), knitting, yoga, walking to a store to pick up freshly baked goods... 

4 weeks without working every day. How odd. How fortunate that I am forced into it, otherwise I would have never gotten to slow down. I must breathe deeply...The air is fresh. Every tree and bush and grass remind me home, where I grew up. Including airplanes zipping by from the airforce base. It's a soothing sound, in a weird kind of way. Other than that, all I hear are birds chirping in the backyard. #lovenewhome