Happy Halloween to all the goons, goblins and everyone else.
I will admit that I am not necessarily a fan of Halloween. I never really got it as to why people love it so much.
First of all, I don’t really much like chocolate and super sweet things. I know, that makes me a witch of some sort to not like the candy.
Second, I don’t like to dress up. We are talking about the woman who was married in the mountains wearing hiking gear and not a wedding dress.
Third, I like my friends just as they are, so seeing them in a totally different persona is a little disturbing to me as well.
I grew up in a neighborhood that was rural and can only remember trick or treating a couple of times. I have lived in my current neighborhood for 23 years and have never had a trick or treater come to our mountain home even once.
I did join friends and take the kids into the suburban neighborhoods of some other friends and let them trick or treat for several years. And that was cute.
This past week, #2 son went to the corn maze with his girlfriend and found both he and the scary farmer person at the maze were dressed alike. That too was cute in a somewhat disturbing way.
Personally, I did something really scary today in observance of the day of the dead. I cleaned out our chest freezer in the garage! I’m pretty sure the bear was the last person to clean out that freezer, so it was it’s own little horror show.
And sure I organized it and it will stay that way. At least until the first person takes one of the baskets out to get to a lower basket and then moves something a half an inch resulting in nothing fitting together properly. The door then doesn’t close tightly and by morning I have two inches of frost buildup on the sides.
Why can’t they build the chest freezers like a tackle box? you lift the lid, and trays pop up and everything can be seen and accessed?
See, I can’t even stay on the subject of Halloween.
So, whatever scary thing you are up to tonight, have a grand time.
I got to thinking last night that six months ago I landed into my first days of autumn for 2015. It was the benefits of landing “down under” in Australia.
How lucky am I that I have in this year, seen fall colors in Australia, Colorado, Tennessee and Georgia.
I Australia, there were beautiful purple flowering trees in the fall.
In Colorado, we have the John Deere fall colors of yellow aspens and green pines.
In Tennessee, the colors were just starting.
And had I stayed a few more weeks in Georgia, the wedding photos could have included these colors.
I know it has been a lot of third season photos and talk lately, but really, can there be too much focus on beauty? Besides, this time of year seems so fragile and fleeting that it feels that more time should be focused on observing it.
I left for lunch today and went to my little picnic area at the end of another parking lot nearby.
I had planned on an activity, but forgot a component necessary, so that was nullified – more on that another day.
I’m still not feeling like exerting myself on a walk and it is bit north of breezy, almost on the windy scale, so I just parked under one of the trees and decided to rest inside the car.
I was enjoying some quiet time that allows for the settlement of the noise that gets carried out the door with me when I exit the building.
Pretty soon, the chatter inside my head was replaced with the flutter of the leaves above.
It’s then that the wind howls at me to look around and see the leaves being blown across the parking lot.
I realize that with each gust, they look to be running, skipping and chasing the group in front of them. It makes me smile.
And then there are those still on the tree, cheering as they clap together for those racing on the ground. Some get so excited that they let go of the security of the branch they have clung to all summer just so they can join in. A few come straight down, but there are those that make it a competition on how far they can surf that next wind current away from the tree.
Going to make it short today as I’m not feeling so hot.
It could be I’m getting a cold so am taking precautions in some zinc tablets and Umka drops.
As a friend mentioned, it could be life catching up with work running me over right now. I’ll be writing something on that soon, but I have learned to not say too much when I’m already feeling low so I’ll definitely save that.
So, for today, have a good one (or the rest of it anyway) and hopefully I have something better to say tomorrow.
If you’ve ever read Mitch Albom’s “Tuesday”s with Morrie” you know that it is a book about Mitch spending every Tuesday for fourteen weeks with his old professor from college who was dying.I think he writes it in such a way that if you had a “Morrie” in your life that it serves to remind you how precious that time is.
It is a book with wisdom and beautiful conversations between the two of them. I related to this, as I was lucky to have had someone that I had similar conversations with. Oh, not every week as they did in the book, but it was every break in college and every time visiting my home after moving away. I would call and time would always be granted to sit down and share where my life was and delve into the bigger meaning of things.
My Morrie always pressed for not what my surface feelings were but what were the currents that ran deep that stirred up those surface tides.
I would sometimes feel as though I had been operated on after a visit with wounds exposed that I hadn’t realized were there. Roommates would wonder why I would want to have hard questions asked like that, but for me, it was the genuine interest in what mattered to me and the guidance to let me see the bigger picture that made me feel cared for.
This book rang so true for me that I probably cried for two weeks at just the thought that I could one day loose that person who in my life provided guidance and spoke of life in concepts of how we deal with one another. She is the person who is as I once wrote to her, “my mentor, my guru, my friend”.
It’s been quite a few years since I have read it and still I find myself choked up at the thought. Unfortunately, so hard was it to fathom losing my connection that I think I subconsciously stopped communication for several years to insulate those raw emotions.
I’ve realized that it is a rare thing to get a person to ourselves for any extended time. So many times there are groups to get together, couples, teams and families. Sure we know each other’s families and the stories of coworkers and friends but mainly it has just been a dialog between the two of us. We all get some one on one time with friends but to have that special one that is set aside not fully intertwined with everyone else allows an honesty more closely associated with confession. Or therapy.
I’ve contacted my “Morrie” and conveyed my thanks as I now realize that those words that we think are out there and don’t need to be spoken, do indeed need to be conveyed.
“Not only does Denver have a long and rich history, but the past has left in its wake, a plethora of ghosts that are said to roam its historic streets and buildings.”
Friday night was scheduled with the “moms” for dinner at a trendy spot in Denver close to where we had reserved tickets for a haunted walking tour of that old Denver neighborhood.
The restaurant was a little too trendy as they didn’t have our table ready at the reservation time. We ordered and ate quickly, but were still a bit late getting to the meeting spot for the haunted tour.
When we gathered back together, no one was there to meet us. We waited for a bit and then decided to take ourselves for a stroll.
We passed The Molly Brown house. Several of us had toured it at one time or another.
Molly Brown House Museum – This three-story Victorian house, built in 1894, was once home to Margaret Brown, who became known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” when she survived the Titanic’s sinking. Today, her home is said to be haunted by her husband J.J. Brown. Never allowed to smoke in the house during his lifetime, he seemingly rebels today as pipe smoke is often smelled lingering in the attic and basement. In the dining room, chairs are often known to move on their own accord and a ghostly woman in Victorian garb as been seen. The specter of Molly’s adored cat has also said to lurk about the building. Near the first floor staircase, some have reportedly seen an angry looking butler peering at himself in the mirror. Other phenomena includes cold spots felt throughout the house, doors that open and close of their own accord, the sounds of footsteps in the upstairs ballroom, and misty apparitions are spied in various places.
I think our laughter kept the spirits at bay. We enjoyed viewing the exterior of the home, but nothing abnormal was noticed.
As we walked several blocks, we would see the name on an apartment complex and create a story of what or who was haunting it.
There was the lady with the cat, the guy with the dog, the building with block glass in the upper floors where it was told a person of note jumped through the previous glass to their emanate death resulting in the glass being replaced with the impenetrable blocks.
We passed The Denver Woman’s Press Club – a smallish old structure situated alone in the midst of parking lots and high rise new buildings. We said that the structure had been slated for destruction when the rest of the surrounding structures had been removed.
But each time someone would so much as touch a brick with the intent of razing the structure, the equipment would break, or accidents would befall the person in charge. This happened enough that it did not take long for the word to spread and no one would take on the project of destruction. Thus the lone structure sits untouched. (that’s our story anyway)
We didn’t make it down to the Croke Patterson Mansion, but the story there is eerily similar.
Built in 1890 by Thomas B. Croke, this sandstone residence was one of the country’s most elegant homes. Now serving as an office building, it is also said to be one of the most haunted.
According to the legend Thomas B. Croke, only entered the palatial mansion one time and was so emotionally shaken by “whatever” was there, that he never returned. Just two years later it was sold to Thomas M. Patterson, who’s family kept the home for several decades. Over the next several years, the building served many purposes, including a dance studio, a radio station, and a boarding house before it was converted to an office building. During the renovation to office space in the 1970’s, construction crews began to experience a number of strange occurrences.
After a long days work, they would often return the next day to find that the tasks they had completed the day before had been “undone.” After this had occurred several times, guard dogs were left to protect the property from what the workmen thought might be intruders. However, the next day they found the two Doberman Pinschers dead on the sidewalk after having apparently jumped from a third-story window. Once the renovation to office building was complete, employees almost immediately began to notice equipment, such as typewriters, copy machines, and telephone that mysteriously began to operate by themselves.
When a séance was held to determine who was haunting the building, they found it to be the spirit of a little girl whose body was supposedly entombed in the cellar. However, when the basement was excavated, they found a hidden chamber was found, filled with sea sand, but no remains of a little girl.
A ghostly image has often been sighted gliding up and down the main floor stairway and otherworldly voices have been heard here as well. Thomas Patterson, former owner of the home, is said to have been spied numerous times in the courtyard between the mansion and the carriage house.
When the building still served as an apartment building, occupants on the lower levels were known to complain about wild parties taking place on the third level. But, when these parties were investigated, they would be met with only silent emptiness.
We were having so much fun and sending so much laughter into the air that someone actually stopped us to see what tour we were on. We admitted that we had meant to be on an actual tour, but had missed it and created our own. He seemed jealous of our fun.
I am still smiling at the stories, fun and hilarity that we had.
I only worked in the office three days this week, but it wasn’t an easy three days.
The company I am working for is steadily changing focus and cutting staff. Five folks had been let go in the last month and we were told two more had to go this week. Discussions ensued on who it should be.
Our customer service team seemed safe for a bit, but twists and turns later, we had to choose one of our own to go. The other was from a different department.
It was heart breaking, as this is a young man with a great heart.
So, driving into work yesterday with sadness still joining me, I heard a clip of Tennessee Ernie Ford on the radio.
I sometimes put on my headphones and pull up one of the music streaming sites and play tunes. Yesterday I put the search in to play a station built around music of and similar to Tennessee Ernie Ford. I was rewarded with great songs of folk, hymns and honky tonk style.
It was exactly what I needed. Just the fact that I was listening to someone with the name Tennessee helped to remind me to not lose all of the incredible good energy I came home with from the trip there earlier in the week.
The songs were of struggle, love, devotion, praise. All that I was feeling and good reminders to focus on the better things in life.
On my last day in TN, the five of us -newly married couple, inlaws and me – all piled into their car and headed out to Greeter Falls to get in a bit of a hike and see the scenery.
It was another gorgeous day where a light jacket – or no coat at all for me – was needed.
The leaves were changing, falling, crunching under our feet, and giving off that sweet aroma of them giving up their last breath in decay.
The first falls we reached was Boardtree falls and being fall and drier, it was but a trickle.
Still very beautiful though with the bits of leaves in the cascade with the water.
The path led us past many rock outcroppings that had me thinking of my younger rock climbing years and looking at routes I might take if I were to climb now.
No climbing was done on this unpredictable shale.
Then we made it to Greeter Falls and from the perch before the decent to the bottom of the falls, it looked as if you might be able to traverse around and behind the falls.
Heading up the group as the younger couple was hanging back to make sure the parents were using sure and steady steps, I decided to hurry down and see if I could get back behind the falls before someone would say it wasn’t a good idea to try.
Yep, I made it back there and got to enjoy the cleansing mist of the falls from behind them. I wouldn’t have recommended that everyone try it, but it was grand for me.
And so I was afforded the opportunity to catch the view from all angles below.
We left and went directly to the airport for my flight. We spent probably twice as much time in the car than we did at the hike but all was time well spent for me.
A great last day to an unbelievably uplifting and joyous trip.
Yesterday, we hugged our friends who had hosted us so very well goodbye and we headed to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga. I was still in the company of the bride and groom and his parents.
We got to experience the worlds steepest incline railway
. At 72.7 degrees of incline at the most vertical section, it is a dramatic ride.
We had chosen to park at the base and take the rail up.
Once at the top we walked over to the Signal Point Park and meandered our way around the Point learning of the battles and importance of the location.
The area was beautiful and while the placards we would read portrayed the history of the spot, it was the stories that were recounted while we traped around that I loved.
As this was my first weekend of spending time with the groom’s folks, I especially enjoyed the casual absorption of family information and bits of stories that are garnered from the staccato pace of touring that kind of spot.
A quick ride back down the mountain and we were back into our cars for the drive back to Nashville.
Two car had been driven down to accommodate all the luggage and extra little things for the wedding the day prior. It was the groom and his parents in one and me riding with the bride.
TWo hours sped by in our vehicle as we chatted and laughed our way back.
AT dinner, I had some great food, but it was the narrative of the history of my newly acquired friends that fed my soul.
After dinner, we headed to one of the Honky Tonk bars that Nashville is famed for.
The band was the Western Swingers. The fiddler is 87 years young and played and sang without ever looking like he needed a rest or break at all. Maybe I’ll have that kind of energy when I grow up.
Yesterday, I had the honor of attending a very special wedding ceremony. It was held outdoors in the Prentice Cooper wilderness area at a spot named Snoopers Rock.
The grooms parents had flown in from Cleveland, Oh and I had come from CO.
The friends that had hosted J and I on my previous trip in May, officiated, sang and drummed.
There were the photographers and another friend to handle the smudge bucket and a few random hikers coming by for the view.
Intimate in terms of attendance, but expansive and beyond measure of beauty in the surroundings, ceremony, and bride and groom.
I’ll let the photos convey the day as there are so many threads of how this day wove together and touches my heart that I can’t yet find the words to convey my sentiments. Overwhelmed to feel so blessed to have been there.
Afterwards, we took a riverboat cruise through the gorge on the river we were high above earlier.
Simply awesome! Congratulations to the newly married couple. (Oh, there is another ceremony to be attended by more family and friends in Tulum, Mexico in January. Stay tuned to hear about that one)