Choosing to see the extraordinary of "ordinary"

Monthly Archives: August 2014

This past Saturday, Caleb had an awards ceremony  for work.  It turned out to be a bigger gathering than I anticipated.  There were a good number of firefighters being commended, all their family and fans, the mayor, the news anchor, the big wig chiefs.  (…Fire chiefs, not Indian.  Though Indian would have been cool too.)

Anyway, Caleb and his co-workers “thought it was dumb to get an award to do what you’re paid to do.”  And he was miffed that he had to skip their “hearty man” breakfast that morning at work to go sit and listen to people talk.

I thought it was great.  Especially since my hero man was one of the ones being recognized.


Commendation #1:

“Fire crews responded to the report of a house fire.  A man informed firefighters there was a woman in the back bedroom.  When the crew entered, they encountered heavy smoke.  They quickly located the victim and removed her from the structure.  After a short time of CPR, the patient regained a pulse and respirations.  The effort of the companies at this house fire resulted in three vital functions being completed by a single unit.”

Don't they look thrilled.  I think they're thinking of the breakfast they were missing.

Don’t they look thrilled. I think they’re thinking of the breakfast they were missing.

Commendation #2:

“Wichita firefighters were dispatched to an apartment fire.  Crews encountered heavy smoke and flames from the roof area of the third floor and attic area of a three story apartment building.  (My hero man was one of the ones that broke down a door and pulled down ceiling with those pointy stick things to get to the fire.)  After an extended battle due to high wind conditions, the fire was brought under control.  Damage was limited to two apartments and the roof area of the middle section of the building.”

Eh, just another day at the office.  (That is, when they’re not busy eating “hearty man” breakfasts and getting awards.)


Final part of our five day journey to Colorado and back…


…we went to Mesa Verde National Park on our last day.  It was very interesting (and hot) place.  Drove and toured around.




That evening we just drove around the town of Mancos and the area outside of it.  It was such an authentic small town.  All the towns around – Silverton, Durange, etc – are great and all, but the smallness has been overshadowed by the touristyness.  So, an authentic small town where there were, for a fact, absolutely NO chain restaurants, stores and such was very refreshing and real.

We saw so many deer that evening.  You would have thought we’d never seen them before.


Then the next day we started the long journey home where I read magazines, crocheted and we listened to Agatha Christie mysteries.


It was a fun journey, and it was fun to come home.

Then End.

So, after going to sleep while staring at the multitude of stars, I woke up staring at the mountains.



Unfortunately, My Man had not slept well at all.  He finally fell asleep as I was getting up.  So, I stoked the fire, made some coffee (out of a drip coffee thing – pretty handy when you have no electricity) and some oatmeal, wrote in my journal, read my Bible.


And then went on a hike.  Because when you’re at a cabin in the middle of the mountains, a husband who has not slept well is NOT going to keep me from exploring.



 I followed a trail obviously made by wildlife down the hill to a creek.  I KNEW I should have woken up earlier to see the animals, but sleep was more of a priority, I guess, and I had to settle for just seeing the cutest chipmunks ever.


Anyways, by the time I got back, My Man was up and refreshed.  We hung around a little, cleaned the cabin and then headed for our next adventure.




Our next adventure was NOT really what I had expected.



You know, when Coloradans say something is “four wheel drive,” they don’t mean your typical four wheel drive.  They mean something between a walking path and a four wheeler path up the side of a 12,000 foot mountain, a mountain that is covered, not with dirt and gravel, but with man-size boulders and rocks.  Pictures do not adequately show what our four hour adventure consisted of, especially since I was gripping the door handle and not thinking about a camera during the scariest parts, but these may help.



The online description of “you will be following the path used by the miners in the 1800’s” should have alerted me.  Because these “paths” had, indeed, been made by the miners (who used mules and maybe wagons), over one hundred years ago and never improved since.

This was the calm, pleasant part.

This was the calm, pleasant part.

I ate some of these wild raspberries - they were delicious and, thankfully, not poisonous.

I ate some of these wild raspberries – they were delicious and, thankfully, not poisonous.

One comfort was that there were actually quite a few adventurous crazies like us making the trek.  Except that not longer became as much of a comfort when I saw the Jeep in front of us tilt at a 45 degree angle over some boulders, a fact made scarier since the wheels were, no joke, about six inches from the precipice.  Screams came from that vehicle…SCREAMS.

IMG_8611 IMG_8643

But I had the most amazing driver ever.  I honestly don’t know how he made it, but made it My Man did, most expertly.


We did enjoy it, especially when we reached the ghost town.  And after that, we took the dirt road out, which looked so beautiful that I asked Caleb if it were paved.  It just was so beautiful and smooth!





(Oh, and Carrie, please tell Jeremy that pointy rocks were the very LEAST of our worries.)

Anyway, with that adventure over, we explored the cute little mountain town of Ouray and ate elk and buffalo burgers at a restaurant.  The town was great…the burgers, eh, not so much.  We have a knack for picking sort of lousy restaurants on vacations.


Then we drove to our hotel near Mesa Verde.  No, it wasn’t a cabin in the mountains, but it did have a shower!  (I kind of liked that part.)


Yes, ’twas time for a mini vacation.  Despite the fact that more than one family member said, “You’re going somewhere AGAIN?” we thought that it had been far too long since our last trip.

For this mini vacation, we decided upon the grand state of Colorado.  A.) because it’s not that far away, and b.) because it’s Colorado.  COLORADO.  Like the place where you have to wear a jacket when the sun goes down, even in August.


*sigh* I have so many wonderful memories of Colorado.  ‘Tis a mightily wonderful place.

Day 1:  We drove.  ‘Cause it takes a long time to get across western Kansas (and eastern Colorado).  And, no, I’m not a Kansas or western Kansas hater.  This state is beautiful in it’s own ugly duckling way.

In the afternoon, we settled into our hotel and then went to see a castle near Garden of the Gods.  It used to be a private residence but then was bought as a Christian retreat center.  Someday we shall come back and rent one of the rooms, such a peaceful place it was.



And then, AND THEN!!!…we visited my dear friend Carrie.  I love my dear friend Carrie.  They moved to THE most AMAZING house in Colorado ever.  Caleb and I both agreed that we were slightly jealous and also completely happy for them.  And their kids are just the cutest things.  I carried home a picture one of them drew just for me.


And then we went back to the hotel and rested for the next day…which I’ll go ahead and talk about.

Day 2:  Got up slightly early and left for Pike’s Peak.  So glad we went early because there was a major running event, and some people were not allowed to drive to the top.  (And, seriously, who runs to the top of Pike’s Peak?!)



Oh, and we saw the Big Foot beware sign and thought it quite funny.


And then a drive to Royal Gorge.  They’re reopening this month I guess from last year’s fire.  Couldn’t go on the bridge but saw it from a’far.


And then drove and drove and drove…


…and saw beautiful scenery and cute little towns…


…and finally got to the best part of the vacation – our cabin in the mountains just north of Silverton.


…I mean, would you look at that place?!  It took four wheel drive to get to, had solar powered lights but no electricity, no running water and complete isolated stillness.



We went for a hike right away before the sun went down and saw an elk.



And then came back and grilled hot dogs and had hot chocolate.  ‘Twere the best hotdogs and hot chocolate I’ve had.


And then went out and watched the stars.  I will never get tired of watching stars away from the city lights.  They twinkle out there in the boonies.


Yes, ’twas the best part.

I am scatterbrained today…so for today’s blessing, I will just list ten random thoughts and stuff going on in my life.

#1 – This morning I got my very first text from The Man in nearly two years.  It made my heart a-flutter and got me to thinking that maybe I missed this texting thing more than I thought.

#2 – Friends.  They are the greatest.  In the past couple days, I’ve texted, emailed, Facebooked and talked in person to friends.  *sigh*  Friends are wonderful.

#3 – WHO needs or wants to be tracked by a thing called Google Now in order to see if there are traffic jams on the way to work?!?!  My phone asked me if I would accept this.  Ummm, no.

#4 – I really like my mother-in-law.  Really, really.  Hearing all the MIL jokes out there, I’m guessing some MILs aren’t good?  Glad I got a good one.  (Oh, and she saved and gave me her farm raised chicken bones for broth – with just a little eye brow raising.)

#5 – I’m starting on the porch reno.  Hope to have it done and decorated by fall.

#6 – Our family room is STILL “in progress.”  Life’s not perfect or quick.  I’m am trying to rest and believe this quote by Ann Voskamp’s blog: “There are no winners in the race to get it all done. Because the reality is that after those things are done, there is still more.”

#7 – My mother, she is the most giving-est person I know.  She made us chocolate chip banana muffins.

#8 – My mom’s chocolate chip banana muffins are the best in the world.

#9 – I’ve mentioned this before, but spending $50 on six textbooks that were given a used value of $360 will ALWAYS make me happy.

#10 – I’m happy.  I have tons of errands, a house to clean and a porch to paint tonight, but I’m happy.  If you think this is a small matter…it is not.