So, Shamus' fam damily has been here for the last couple of days and we haven't seen them since last summer. It's a whirlwind when they are here because our quiet house is transformed into a rockin' good time for two little girls. Having no kids and still both being on the fence as to whether children are in our future, seeing and hearing the things little girls chat about and do is sort of alien to me at least (probably sound a bit old). i.e. how cute Justin Bieber? is and what a great singer Taylor Swift is, seeing the littlest girl eat Rice Krispies and having it cascading out of the sides of her mouth like a waterfall, etc. Between now and then a horrible event occurred in which the father of Shea's 9 and 10 year old cousins shot himself and their mother in front of the girls. These girls absolutely amazed me. No person should ever have to see something such as this let alone a child, but they have more strength than I ever could have imagined. Their grandparents now take care of them and on a side note I have no idea how they can keep up, but they love those girls to bits and it is apparent in everything that they do. They all decided that therapy would be a must and all go. I'm sure that this is something that maybe a need through most of the rest of their lives because of the things that they have seen. What I was most amazed by though is speaking to them and seeing them interact, they talk about their mother regularly and never in the past tense always in the present. Especially, giggling about her likes and dislikes and stories of times together. Even in regards to what happened they speak freely about it. Most of what they speak about their dad is negative, but that unfortunately is all of what they saw of him with addiction problems and domestic violence on a daily basis. I don't know what I expected truly when I saw them, but to anyone who doesn't know the burden that they carry they are just normal 9 and 10 year old little girls. That talk about Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, wrestle with our dogs, love to play games and giggle. I just know that my own mother, even though she's far away, is my best friend in the entire world and can't imagine her not being a part of my life. I guess that is where I had to stop myself though and realize that their mom is still a huge part of their life in that they carry her and all of the memories so close to their hearts. They don't have the luxury of taking her for granted like some of us do from time to time. I hope that the good memories stay with them always and that their lives can grow out of the sadness and become the brilliant women that I see in their little faces.
Sorry to be a downer, but just had to say this and how important it is that if you or someone that you know is in an abusive relationship to get help to get out of the situation. http://www.ndvh.org/
So, I finally saw my first bear while running yesterday and I am still stoked. I have seen bears before outside of various places we have lived when they were cruising through, but never out in the open. I was running up the final hill on Ohio Creek Pass and saw something move up ahead. There it was, I say it because I didn't ask or get close enough to see under it's tail, magnificent! I just stood there watching it in awe and it stood there watching me for about a minute or so. It was a gorgeous deep auburn color and was probably 350-400 pounds. I'd always imagined the first time seeing a bear out like this that I would have the sock scared out of me, but I was absolutely and utterly calm and just felt so lucky to be there right at that moment to see such a beautiful animal. Then off it lumbered into the woods and off I went again to finish my run. What a wonderful run and an exciting moment for me!
"He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature." ~ Socrates
Well, I applied for a job and got the ding email yesterday, BOO! I've decided though to look at the positives for now in the job that I am lucky enough to have right now. So, today I laughed and thought that I should give props to Louis the office dog. Some people talk about their work wives or husbands, while I don't have one of these, Louis is totally my office dog. On a side note, it is pretty stellar to work in a town where it is pretty much across the board okay to bring a dog to work or into the bank. Any who, back to Louis, he is my bosses' dog and is an 8, almost 9, year old yellow lab with quite a personality. He loves to roll in all things stinky (i.e. dead fish, rotting cow poop, etc.) which promptly gets him removed from the office to the back of the truck until a bath can be arranged. Louis also has some major gastrointestinal issues and is known for his room-clearing farts. It is not uncommon for it to be -10 degrees and for us to have the window open because of his escapades in eating who knows what. His final quirk is that he LOVES apples, like nothing I have ever seen. He hears me take the first bite of my apple and is right behind my chair drooling until I give him the core. He has stolen apples from my desk and just last week out of a subcontractor's pocket, which really burns me up some days, but at the moment it just tickles me. So, these are his quirks, but he is just one of the happiest, snuggliest dogs that you will ever meet. He keeps me company every day that the boss doesn't ride a motorcycle to work and is an excellent excuse to get out of the office and go for a bathroom break walk. There can't be a replacement for my pups, who I might add are wicked jealous every night when I come home about who I've been loving on, but Louis, the office dog, has a huge place in my heart!
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to run with some of the elites of Crested Butte. The Crested Butte Mountain Runners put on the run with an 11 or 19 mile course. The 11 mile started at the Canal Trail on Brush Creek Road. The 19 mile started at Camp for Coffee in Crested Butte and ran out to Tony's Trail. Then, up to the Upper Upper, which nearly brought me to tears not because of pain, too early in the run, but because of the shear beauty of the morning. We had received a fair bit of rain the night before and the woods just smelled of damp pine and grass. Everything was glistening in the sunlight streaming down through the trees and the colors have exploded because of this recent moisture. My heart was just overflowing! We finished the Upper Upper down to Brush Creek Road, which to me was maybe the most demoralizing part of the run because of being on the road and the flatness...although later this will be a welcome sight. Was greeted by the hubby on the road with smiles and asking what I needed, at this point I was doing fine though. Then a quick stop at the water stop and picked up Cynther and said howdy to WB. Onto the Canal Trail, lovely trail through low lying scrub and saw two snakes along the way. Then a hard right about a mile up onto Strand Bonus...all I can say is DING DANG it was a kick in the pants. Now at least I have done it, but not knowing what to expect it was a bit of "rolling" hills. From there a quick run on the connector trail and a right onto the 409. I really didn't know it, but none of the uphills counted until I started on this trail which seriously kicked my butt. I've done all of these trails except Strand Bonus before, but I had spaced out some of the killer parts. Cynther was right there with me the whole way, what a blessing, those hills would have seemed like mountains without here there. Up switchbacks, crossing creeks/marshy areas and through flower covered meadows for 3 miles to the Doubletop Trail. The hill prior to and post coming to this trail were brutal and the thought of running almost made me laugh because it was just impossible at that point for me. We say Shamus' pops was up there though and it was a wonderful sight to see a smiling face which helped push at least me on my way. On up the last substantial hill to the ridge, to which I could have jumped for joy, but if I would have I might have crumpled over into a pile of stinky, Hammer gel covered running attire. Then, I knew I could make it because these are trails that I know like the back of my hand. Down the hill for a quick swig of water at the Walrod Cutoff/Caves intersection and down we went again. I thought that all of this downhill would be a welcome sight after all of the m-effing uphill, but it just hurt. We hit Walrod Road and tried our best to speed through it because of the technical nature and pain in the rear that it was. We made it then took a right on the single track that follows Cement Creek Road. Then, onto the road for the home stretch. There were still people that waited there to give a hoorah and it was so sweet of them for a pokey turtle like me, but I did it and earned this dang coffee mug! I feel honored to be able to run in such a beautiful place with such talented people, how many sports can you do this.
Then later when we ran across WB and Shamus, they said they had seen two of the fast pants guys walking the same course backwards to town just because...and I felt like I accomplished something. There are always more miles to go, more books to read and more songs to hear! The excitement of it!!!