Tag Archives: www.thelaughyouknow.com

Fun and Sun

Yesterday we slept in. Or at least we think we did. Our phones keep changing times so we are never totally sure what time it is. It doesn’t much matter since everything is on island time anyway and has its own flow.

image

We headed to north beach which is just around the edge from our hotel to do some snorkeling. Dev had been skeptical about the endeavor but once he got his face in the clear blue water and saw the myriad of schools of fish, he was hooked. We swam until we were prunes and decided it was time for a meal.

image

We could have been happy sitting at our table on Hildago street watching (and making fun sometimes) of people all day but we had asked Lalo to get us a golf cart so we could visit the south end of the Island and eat at some of my favorite spots down in that region.

Lalo had another job to help out with, so Dev, Syd, her pup Chiquita and I took off in the cart.

image

Devin drove with Chaquita as a lookout and backseat driver.

We made it to the south portion of the island just as the sun was setting over Cancun.

image image

We had our dinner midway Down the island at Baseball tacos. It may sound pedestrian and in looks it very much is, but these are some of the best tacos you can ever get.  They have sauces and fixings that are simply awesome.  I was full after two, Syd also had two, Dev had two and then two more and all that with drinks was only $12.00 for the three of us.

Cannot beat that. Or the day

Love from Isla Mujeres

Sally

A Special 90th Birthday

Today is my Uncle Bill’s 90th birthday!

90 years

He is my dad’s brother, the oldest of the four children in his family.

I can’t say I knew him well as a young child.  His branch or our tree lived in Iowa and we would maybe see them for a few days every few years.

For me, while he was a Methodist Minister and gave sermons nearly every Sunday, I saw his leadership through his actions since it wasn’t often that I was where he would preach.

preach the gospel everyday

A few years after I moved to Colorado, I found out Uncle Bill was bringing out groups of youth from his church for a hiking trip each summer.  They would hike in the Rawah Wilderness in Northern Colorado.

Rawah WildernessTwo of my cousins said that they would be joining him on a trip one year and invited me to join in the crew.  Nothing unravels years of stories between family like long hikes, early nights and a common pursuit.  The pursuit was to see who if anyone would keep up with Uncle Bill each day.

Uncle Bill was probably already in his early sixties when he took us all on that backpack trip with the church group.  I was in my mid twenties and my cousins a few years ahead of me. The hike is a fairly long one up to where he would have us all set base camp for the group.  Once at base camp he would lead hikes up various trails and peaks to a different named mountain top each day.

We started the week with the intention of going on each and every trek that he could plan for us. Not one of us made it on every hike that the determined preacher would take each day.

He did not map out where folks could go and send them on their way. He led his hikes.  He showed us that there were amazing and glorious rewards for the effort of making it to the top.   He showed us how every corner holds the possibility of a new view. He showed how a hard trail can change your perspective on what a hard day is.  He showed that we all could indeed push ourselves more than what is comfortable and come out with a sense of accomplishment that we hadn’t known we could have.

He didn’t preach of God’ s wonders, he showed us.  He didn’t preach of what we could do, he showed us.

A few years later, he married my hubby and I on one of those very trips.  It was at a spot we called inspiration point.  A chapel of immeasurable beauty and wonderment.  A service that only one minister that we knew could do.

I sit here typing these thoughts of him and his influence while drinking a cup of water and have to think of him once more.

It was on a visit several years back when he and Aunt Eileen were here that when asked if I could get them coffee or tea in the morning, they both asked for hot water.  Sure, I could do that figuring that they must have their own tea bags or something to add to the hot water.  No, they just wanted the hot water stating that it was very refreshing and soothing and didn’t require any additives to be satisfying for them.

I thought this was borderline bazaar as I had never encountered such a request.  They didn’t justify it with twenty reasons why drinking plain warm water is good for you, they just provided the example.  Soon, I tried it and became a huge fan of a nice cup of hot water at any time during the day. Today, I too know how a cup of warm or hot water is as equally refreshing as a cup of cold water can be.

He has taught us all so many things and joined in so many fun events over the years that he has given us all the model of how to advance in our lives.

It is easier getting older when there is someone you hope you can grow up to be like.  Thanks Uncle Bill for providing the example of who we want to be when we grow up.

90 and still going strong

Love and Birthday Wishes,

Sally

Mystery Visit


In the spirit of the mystery theme this week, I had one of another sort.

When #2 son got home on Wednesday, there was a note on the door.

image

I’m not even sure if I would have been able to discern what the heck that says had I not also received a call (that I missed) and the subsequent voicemail.

The voicemail asked where the heck I was as the two gals leaving the message were at my house and hoping to see me.  Not just anyone that would normally stop by, these were my college room mates from eons ago!

room matesI phoned them back not even considering that they were actually at my house.  I just figured that they were at Deb’s residence and had decided to call and pretend they were in Evergreen.  Well, the note proves me wrong.  I was astounded and shocked that they would just show up when we haven’t seen each other for way too many years.

They were on their way to Breckenridge to ski and celebrate a nephew’s birthday with more family and some of their grown kids as well.  They wanted me to come up and visit them up there since they had missed me at home. The suggestion that possibly they might give a little notice that they were going to visit prior to knocking on the door, seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Of course I would go up and visit.

happiness is meeting up with old friendsBec was in the shower when I got to the townhouse they had rented. I chuckled that I should go surprise her since this would go with the unannounced theme they had created. I reined in the urge and sat down to visit with Deb, and one of their other sisters who was also on the trip along with the husbands and kids.

When Bec emerged, we settled quickly into the joking, teasing and general ribbing that was the base of our existence so many years ago.

We had not met one another prior to being assigned to that second floor room in the all girls dormitory of Barrett Hall at The Ohio State University back in 1981.

We found that we had much in common and all being the youngest in our families, after seeing siblings leave the nests ahead of us, we were collectively ready to test our wings and see just how we could soar. Not knowing very many other people, it was easy to hang together and start the collection of memories.

Fraternal twins, they were like having two versions of the same friend available to hang with.

We lived together our freshman year because we had been assigned to do so and then lived together our sophomore year because we couldn’t imagine not doing so.

So many stories still stream out when we see each other. Circumstances stirring different recollections from us all.

The Naked Roommate

Today, Bec admitted that as she heard my laugh while she was in the shower, she had an immediate flashback and grabbed a towel in mild panic.

It seems that hearing Deb and I in the other room had brought forward a time when it is alleged that we had at one point removed all towels, clothes, washcloths and even the rug from the bathroom while she was in the shower. Apparently it was a vivid memory that she was made to streak out of the bathroom across the small main room and into the bedroom to find some clothing – with the main door also left open and us laughing in the hallway.

I had forgotten about that one. We laughed and wove some new stories in with recollecting some other old stories.

I wouldn’t say we had lost touch over the years. We merely didn’t access the connection that we had woven so strongly all those years ago.  It was such a great day today to check in on that connection and verify that it is still amazingly strong.

a friend callingFun Times.

sal iphone 007

Love Sally

 

 

Little Mysteries

alive within mysteries

I got up from my slumber a few mornings back, and shuffled out to the kitchen to start the pot of coffee and was stopped by the lack of comprehension of what I was seeing on the counter.

cookies and onion

I had baked cookies last week and they were in ziplock bags to keep them fresh, but there in front of me was an uncovered plastic container with half a dozen cookies or so and an onion? I couldn’t envision any of the men in my house going so far as to use a container to take cookies to wherever they planned to park and snarf them down, let alone add an onion to the container!

Our eldest son had a friend over who’s father is also a good friend of ours.  Had hubby created a little care package to send home to him?  And if so, what is the thought behind that? – “everyone can use an onion and some extra cookies?” “Here’s something to make you cry and feel better – all together?”

Perplexed, I went to make the coffee.

As I was standing at the coffee machine, I realized there have been a few mysteries in the house lately.

The coffee is generally a daily mystery as we (okay, mostly me) tend to not quite make the same coffee the same way any two days in a row. I hardly ever use just one type or version of grounds in the same pot. I’ll put a scoop or two of one, add scoop(s) of another and sometimes a third before sprinkling in some cinnamon to round out the concoction.

Hubby sometimes works on the machinery at one of the coffee plants in Denver and will bring home seasonal blends or experimental roasts that they are testing.  Problem is, if someone doesn’t mark the bag, we have no clue what it is.

unmarked coffee

That little mystery is not really so bad since we will be mixing it with others anyway, but it does add a little intrigue into the morning.

I asked about the cookie container with the onion but was unable to get a coherent response, so we’ll count that one as an unsolved mystery.

More mysteries tomorrow.

Love Sally

 

 

Awesome Morning Hike

It’s been a chilly week and it snowed the prior night, but I had no doubt I would still get my hike in yesterday with my good friend.  The temperature gauge might read cold, but it never fails to be better when we get to our beloved Three Sisters Park.  Be it the scenery, the camaraderie or just magic, this is a walk that just makes me feel better even if I start out in a great mood.

The snow and cold had created beautiful crystals on the blades of grass looking like fuzzy antennae on the snowy landscape.

crystals on grass

As we traipsed through the trees, we  couldn’t help but stop and appreciate the shadows and sun-kissed branches.

image

The trees were still frosted and coated in snow and every turn gave a different view of our familiar winter wonderland.

sal iphone 019

The shrubs tried to see if they could hold as much snow as the trees.  And I started to play with my filters.

 

3 sisters hike

Woody was ecstatic that it was a slow day and he could be let off the leash in the secluded areas.  He still wants to pose anytime the camera is out – and he does a fine pose too!

Woody on a snowy hike

More shrubs, more filters.

snow covered bushes

Gorgeous views.

great views at three sisters park

The Alderfer Homestead in the background.

3 sisters homestead

And then as we were walking the last little bit, I saw this patch of crystallized snow and was amazed at how it looked like a snow geode.

snow geode

People can read about our cold and snow and figure it is not their cup of tea, but until you are here and get to enjoy it for yourself, you will never know for sure.

Love Sally

Childhood Neighbors

My sister in law messaged yesterday that one of the farms down the road was being sold off.  The contents of the barns were that day, the A-Frame was to be sold next year and the main home separately.  Geeze, I remember when that A-Frame was built on the opposite side of the road of the main house, down the field from the McClure’s place.

I realized that I probably didn’t know any of the neighbors back by the farm anymore.  Mrs. McClure (Gladys) was living alone in her home back when I was young.  I can recall her more vividly than anyone.

She was one of the older neighbors.  A beautiful white haired woman who never had a hair out of place and she had ample hair and it was styled in a complementary way.  It makes me wonder now, just how often  her hair had been done/styled and was it plastered with hairspray to keep it that way 24/7?  I mean, I never saw the woman with a bad hair day. Never.  I wonder if they put that into her obituary. “Gladys was a well coiffed woman with impeccable taste”

What I saw of her belongings were what I thought of as impeccable anyway.  She had some china tea sets that were beautiful – although I only saw them just a few times as we did not visit her often.  She generally came to our house to visit.

She drove a large green beast of a car.

Old buickI think we all tended to “get lost” when she was coming over as she was so hard of hearing that it was painful to be in the room when someone was trying to have a conversation with her.

I think back now and wonder about those conversations.  I think dear old Mrs. McClure might not have needed to hear responses as much as she just needed someone to listen to her.  I’m sure she was lonely and just to have someone let her speak was enough some days.  My mom didn’t complain about the visits and wouldn’t allow us to either.

A person could be in the barn across the street from our house and know when Mrs. McClure was leaving from a visit.  Since she couldn’t hear the car start, she would rev it up so high and loud when turning the ignition that it was akin to a shuttle launch.  The entire capsule would scream and roar and then the body shake with the explosive power of the engine not yet released into motion.  I’m guessing she knew it was running when it was shaking her teeth fillings loose.

It’s funny how some people stick in your memory much more vividly than others.

Love,

Sally

 

A Day for a Good Book


I awoke today to cold.  Beyond cold, beyond freezing for this time of year.  By the weather map on my phone, it was 7 degrees and getting colder!

image

I replied to a few texts from Thanksgiving that had come in whilst I slumbered and I ached with desire to stay in a warm bed instead of getting up and going to work.

Oh, to sit around the roaring fire that will heat the house today, read a good book, and drink a warm and comforting beverage. Heck, if I could stay home, I would even promise to go for a chilling walk in the park with the dog.  – Probably a short one as I don’t want his paws to get too frozen and I mainly want to get some photos of how gorgeous the trees are with the snow frozen to each tiny branch and needle.

snow covered needles on pine

The Aspens are their own displays of beauty.

snow-on-Aspen-Trees

Unfortunately, I was not able to stay home and headed off to work upon the icy and snow-packed roads.  I have been listening to an audio book lately on my commute. I had a friend tell me I needed to watch the movie “Wild” soon.  It was not on my upcoming TV schedule, was not showing available on Netflix and I even checked Redbox to find out it was not there either. (even though I have yet to use a redbox and would have had to figure that one out).  I have an AudioBooks account that I signed up for the freebies for my Australia trip that I have yet to cancel, so I figured I why not get it on audio.

Wild movie photo

The book is written and especially read in such a way that most times I can envision myself saying many of the same things had I been on such an adventure.  I laugh out loud, cried when she speaks of losing her mother and generally just relate to much of it.

I am about half way through the book. Today, I was enjoying the story and being in my now warm cocoon of a car, started to wonder just how far would I need to drive today to enjoy the stark currently harsh but beautiful landscapes around me as I listened to Cheryl Strayed’s account of her journey through beautiful and harsh trails.

I overcame the notion and made it into work anyway.  Seems as though my mind was much more wanting to spend the day with a book – either at home or in the car – than it was to hear customer complaints today.

Here’s wishing your day is spent where your mind takes you.

Love,

Sally

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

I am Thankful

I have to say that my level of thankfulness this year is over the top.  I’ve been blessed, blessed and then blessed some more.

Gratitude and thankfullnessIt wasn’t just kindness received this year, although that has been abundant as well. It has been opportunities presented and hearing that voice that says “yes” to them louder than the one that says “that isn’t so practical or realistic at this time”.  It is seeing the good that comes out of even bad situations.  It is my peeps being safe and unhurt after accidents. It is having the audacity to jump into this realm of putting my thoughts out there so that I can hear your echo.

So while I cannot be with everyone today, let my words wrap not only around the page of your screen, but may you feel my remote hug and know that I am thankful for you.

Hug in wordsToday we are headed to our friends. Laughter so hard as to work our abdominal muscles will surely be part of our exercise after a great meal.

It's a Friendsgiving

Love to all,

Sally

 

Little Reminders

We had some gale force winds last week that toppled trees and blew anything not nailed down from its place. (Or cars from the highway if you read yesterday’s post)

Yesterday, while my men were cutting and chopping wood in the yard, they happened upon a small nest that had been lifted from its perch in some tree. Dropped among pine needles and dead branches that the trees had let the wind comb out of their midst was a still perfectly formed nest.

nest with Bullseye's hair
Hubby pointed to the nest when I came out to check on their progress. He had placed it upon a log so that he wouldn’t forget to show me. As I approached it to inspect, I asked if he was thinking that we should keep it to place in our Christmas tree with a few others we had collected over the years.

I noticed his stance softened from the flexed working one as he said to look at the makeup of the nest. “Check it out, I think they used Bullseye’s fur to make it” he relays.  Sure enough, there are strong black and white hairs that we saw so often when our old dog was alive.

Sure, it could be from another animals hair, but whether it came from our dog or not, it is a beautiful reminder that it is sometimes the littlest things that pull at our heart strings and allow us to think of someone.

It also made me think of the times when there was some little thing that reminded someone of me and they took the time to share that with me.

I myself was touched this summer when we had been unable to join in a camping trip with friends and a photo was sent to me.

Sally Spirit feather

They had been kayaking in a lake when they happened upon a feather and picked it up and kept it with them as my symbolic attendance on that trip.  There being enough feather stories from me that it fit.  To have the photo and story relayed cured the pain of not being able to go and made me feel loved and missed.

Another moment shared with me that brought a huge smile to my heart was when a cousin came back from a beach vacation in June and messaged me that she saw these on the walk to the Atlantic and had thought of me. We had never been to the beach together. It was just the same flower that I had also taken the time to stop and photograph one day and share.

Paula's flowersThe lucky duck cousin went again to the beach in September and messaged me once more that she had seen hundreds of butterfly and took the time to send me another photo with the message that it reminded her of me once more.

beach butterfly

When you don’t just have that thought of how that song, or picture or stupid joke reminds you of someone, but you actually reach out and tell them, that is the little reminder that makes everyone’s day.

It’s a blessing to be thought of and hear about it.

do the little things

Love Sally

 

Close calls

It’s been one of those weeks here his week. Truly, I could say it has been several busy weeks strung together that has caused the lack of postings, but this one begs to be told.

We were blessed to have visitors from Ohio. Hubby’s aunt and cousin came in for four days. They didn’t catch us at the best of times.  Normally, CO is bright and sunny but the weather was more in keeping with Ohio and the midwest than was our norm.  It turned cloudy and the snow began to fall within a day of their arrival.  The days were not just filled with clouds. There were other events that cast shadows upon our days causing diversions and pulling from our giving our all to our guests.

I feel that they did not get our full attention for several reasons. First, it was during the work week – work has provided many challenges lately that require more decompression time that the drive home alone provides. Then there was the first snowstorm that layered the roads with ice and snow and making access to some planned activities prohibitive.

This might not have been much of a factor in an of itself had I not come home early on the second day and then received a text from #2 son which read, “my car flipped!”

My initial reaction is that he is at least conscious if he is texting, but seriously, we need to talk about how in this instance, a mother wants to hear a voice, not see a text of this nature.

I call and he says he is fine and car is on the driver’s side in the road and emergency help is there. He was headed to his girlfriend’s home and was just a few miles down the road.
I jumped back into my car and headed down there.

4runner on side

I found a spot to park off the road and made my way to the group of sheriff cars, fire engine and ambulance. The chief fireman said my son was in the ambulance staying warm and I was welcome to go in. He and the paramedic were just chatting away as he had only slight scrapes on his one wrist and elbow and required no medical attention.

4runner on side front(for those of you doing close inspection, the bottle is pop)

The scariest part was when the trooper came back to my car after the tow truck had flipped the car back on all four wheels.  We rolled down the window and he asked, “son, is there anything you want to tell me that is in your vehicle?”

Let me tell you, that even if you believe your child is honest and states that he is not part of a crowd that does drugs or drinks, you still fly through a myriad of possibilities that he either might have been part of or that his friends who ride to lunch with him might have left behind.

Not to make light of the situation, but I was tremendously relieved when Trooper Cleveland (not even making that up) stated that he noticed that junior had some bottle rockets in the car.  Our eldest son had purchased a slew of pyrotechnics and various fireworks in Ohio (or maybe Indiana, Ill, KS or some other stop on the way from Ohio to CO) and here some were in the back of his car.  The trooper relayed that he was not going to ticket him for these (he had after all been a teen and had them as well) but did admonish that they should never be used here in our mountains where we are subject to wildfires and to lose them quickly. Not a conversation that hadn’t been already had in our house, so why they were in the car would be one of those conversations that will wait until everyone’s legs still aren’t shaking.

We had the car towed and left on the road above our house. (dirt road, no through traffic, we’ll deal with it in a few days)

The very next morning, #1 son leaves for work at around 5:30 am. I had opted to hang around the house for a bit before going into work, so when he came back not quite an hour later visibly shaken, I was there to hear of his auto escapade.

It was a morning of gale force winds across the front range and as he was driving along Interstate 70 heading down to work, one of those powerful gusts took him off of the snowpacked lane he was in, through the median.  When he finally came to rest, the car enveloped in the snow he had plowed through, he had no idea which way he was facing or where exactly he had come to a stop.

To his horror, when he finally cleared some views out the windshield, he was sitting in the fast lane of the opposite side of the highway!  Fearing for his existence, he managed to get cleared and back into that direction of traffic and just came home to shake in Mom’s arms for a bit and be thankful that there was no damage to him, anyone else, or the car.

At this point, I was not about to leave my nest where I could watch my peeps and sent a text to work (I know, shouldn’t text about emergency situations, but it was only work and I could include visuals)

Turns out, with the advent of apps that report accidents, either his was already on the radar, or someone else had succumb to the same hazards as he had.

The traffic map showed an accident at the very spot.

I70 accidentWe managed through the rest of the week without another daily accident. Our extended family had a minor ‘got stuck on the way to school’ incident, so we counted that as the third one in the -everything happens in three – scenario.

And if we were unsure if we had been sparred the third accident, we received confirmation yesterday.  While at an intersection with a traffic light for us to turn onto our four lane highway through parts of Evergreen and us being the first in line to turn, a car failed to stop at the red light and T-Boned the car next to us that had been first in line at the second turn lane.  I had caught sight of the car and held fast my  position but the car next to me did not and was smashed into.

Enough with the auto incidents. We may just walk to church this morning to give our blessings of how fortunate we all have been to be unhurt and only have auto damage to deal with.

Drive safe my friends.

Love,

Sally