Happiness is . . .

Happiness is . . .

Beating a hard level in Candy Crush Saga
in a relatively short amount of time.

Candy Crush level 1446
King.com Ltd

~J

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Perfect Day

One cannot plan or manufacture a perfect day. Perfect Days just happen. And, perfect days don’t come along very often. But, how do they happen? Is there a formula? How do the weather, company, food, health, and attitudes mix to develop a perfect day?

My husband’s sister and her husband and daughter stayed with us for a couple of days last week. They were making a touring circuit from Chicago and Colorado was included. After presenting a few local touring options, the final decision to visit Pikes Peak was made. With a picnic loaded, cameras at the ready, and designating the car for the “boys” and the van for the “girls,” our two-vehicle caravan made its way toward the Fourteener. The youngest grandkids were equipped with walkie-talkies, with the girls’ vehicle designated as ‘Eagle’ and the boys’ vehicle as ‘Falcon.’ (Our Miss M tended switch them around.) Frequent unintelligible chatter ensued. The predicted low temperatures and cloudy conditions proved to be in error. The sun shined brightly and there were just enough fluffy clouds to add interest to our photography.

Colorado has some of the bluest skies anywhere and this day did not disappoint. I removed my sunglasses occasionally to fully appreciate the blueness. We stopped at Crystal Lake Reservoir to enjoy the views from below the peak. A few families were fishing along lake shores. Crystal Lake is one of the reservoirs that provides water to Colorado Springs. The water table is good this year, thank goodness!

A bike race was in progress as we wound our way along the switch-backs up the mountain. The few remaining bikers making the ascent appeared to be struggling, yet still moving. (Mental note: never sign up for a bike race up Pikes Peak. Never. Ever.) The road leading us to our destination wound through the montane terrain filled with pine and aspen trees and then to treeless tundra. Large rocks covered the ground as we approached the peak. The walkie-talkie chatter became a little more excited.

The temperatures atop Pikes Peak were in the 40’s and 50’s F., made worse by the wind. We donned our sweatshirts and jackets and trekked to the Pikes Peak Summit sign to take the obligatory photos. (I’ve been up there so many times that I didn’t bother with a photo of  Hubby and I [yep, I forgot I’m a blogger] I did manage a quick photo of the grandkids so I could post it to my daughter’s Facebook page. She did not make the trip–afraid of heights.)  The view from the summit is always breathtaking (except when it’s cloudy, of course) and it can take one’s breath away (or that could be the wind). The kids were excited to watch the Cog Railway train approach on what our Mr. D called “weird train tracks.”

Our Miss M watching the Cog Railway train approach the summit.
Our Miss M watching the Cog Railway train approach the summit.

The views were magnificent from all around the peak and we all took our time taking in the scenes from every angle. Eventually, however, the cold air forced the littles inside the crowded Summit House to warm up. A couple of souvenir purchases later, we made our way back to the two-car caravan. Our Chicago relatives were feeling the altitude a bit, so the water and granola bars waiting in the van were much appreciated.

The views on our trip down the mountain were even more stunning than they were on the way up. Our descent was halted to enjoy our picnic at the Halfway Picnic Grounds, where the food was greatly appreciated. The kids (and some of us adults–okay just me) enjoyed climbing on the rocks. In the years past, we took photos of the kids in a tree near the picnic table, so we found another good tree to repeat the tradition. Our Miss M wasn’t really sure she wanted to do this when she saw how high she was sitting in the tree. But she smiled bravely for the photos and was the first to be removed from the tree. After a short hike around the picnic ground, we finished the descent, saying “So Long” to Pikes Peak.

Our two-car caravan took a short trek through Garden of the Gods park, including a stop to climb around Balancing Rock. Ending the day with a barbecue at home, including some yard games and the obligatory football toss, completed the exhausting, but satisfying day.

Not a particularly exciting day. Not a particularly life-changing day. Not a particularly eventful day. But definitely . . .

A Perfect Day

~J

Forever

BFF—Best Friend Forever. ‘BFF’ means something—not to be taken lightly. Forever. For Life. All the way to wheelchairs and zimmer frames.

The one person I always enjoy spending time with—another person in my life who understands and doesn’t demand; understands when I drive in a different direction rather than wait at a traffic light because we are still moving; laughing at roadside signs re-interpretations until our sides hurt; never a question to investigate ‘something shiny’; singing on road trips; ridiculous text messages; sharing good news. A friendship that holds great influence on our lives.

Friendships are a reflection of who you are. Together, We were confident and fabulous.

In When Friendship Hurts, author Jan Yager writes:
“Friendship has to be a shared commitment. It takes two to develop and maintain a friendship, but only one to end it.”

Was it me? Was it her? Did we merely need a friendship sabbatical? Was there an unhealthy attachment? Is letting go the best thing for both of us?

Can “forever” arrive early?

~J

Writing New Chapters

Ah, it has been a long time, Blogland. I’ve missed you!

In my last post, One Year Blogaversary, (Oh, my gosh! Two months ago!) I wrote that I needed to take a step back for a few weeks to regroup my thoughts. While I was able to get online occasionally to read blogging friends’ posts, it became increasingly difficult to comment and ‘like’ them regularly. However, the ones that I have sent to me via e-mail were a pleasure to read when I got the chance. I truly planned to get back to the blog sooner, but . . .

Life Happened.

Funny that. Things happen when you least expect it, even when you expect it. It’s inevitable. Like a pimple on picture day. Things may get a little worse along the way, but eventually it gets better. And we move on. Close the old chapters and write new ones. Hold onto family support and laugh at the little things. Shrug your shoulders and turn your back on the devil.

I am writing this early Sunday morning as the house is quiet. My youngest granddaughter spent the night with us and is still sleeping upstairs. My husband and I are each in our offices catching up on whatever it is we catch up on. (Is that a proper sentence? Does anyone really care that I play Candy Crush Saga at 6:00 a.m.?) Soon, we will go out for breakfast together and look forward to enjoying the day, whatever it brings.

Writing New Chapters

~J