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Denver, Colorado, United States

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Life Imagined

"If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."  --- Henry David Thoreau

For almost 2 weeks now I have been reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau.  I know, I know...it shouldn't take that long to read a book...let's just say..."I've been busy and I'm savoring it!"  It has been a little hard to read (the old timey language is difficult to follow sometimes) but I've found myself marking pages that hold particular meaning for me.  I feel like Thoreau and I are kindred spirits.  Both of us long for a quite place to call our own and to observe the world around us.  The chapter titles even excite me a little and set my mind wandering.  Where I Lived, and What I Lived For, Sounds, Solitude, House Warming and Higher Laws.  He wouldn't have even needed to write anything in those chapters, and I would have known exactly what was meant to be there. 

I think this book has inspired me to move ahead with the plan for my Walden.  I've started to look for small cabins and garden sheds that can be turned into a very modest home.  One day, I may have my dream home there but, for now, I can't wait for one day to come.  Each day that I wait, is a day that I'm sacrificing my happiness for someone else's.  I also find that I really enjoy a challenge...and want to prove all those that say
"it's not possible or wise" wrong.  A little bit of that pioneer spirit is coming out in me again.  Plus, if nothing else, it will make for wildly entertaining blog posts!

"Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live."  --- Henry David Thoreau

"Our life is frittered away by detail ... simplify, simplify." --- Henry David Thoreau

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."  -- Henry David Thoreau

"Live the life you've dreamed." --- Henry David Thoreau

"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way." --- Henry David Thoreau

LAST ONE, I PROMISE.

"You know about a person who deeply interests you more than you can be told. A look, a gesture, an act, which to everybody else is insignificant tells you more about that one than words can." --- Henry David Thoreau

LOVE THAT ONE!                                     

HOPE you all find at least one that speaks to you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Simple Life

"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring" ----- John Burroughs

I've noticed something these past few days...my writing has been more prolific, my creativity more fertile, and my dreams more focused.  Best of all, I know why.  The past four days, for me, have been a return to the simple life. 

I took a mini vacation this past week and the timing could not have been better.  Even though the time off was planned more than a month ago, I didn't realize the need until it actually got here.  It started out as many of my vacations do, with a transitional day.  I have a hard time winding down and usually spend that day cleaning house, doing laundry, and grocery shopping followed by a little self pampering.  The added bonus...I enjoy my time off even more when I come home to a clean house, stocked pantry, and can crawl into bed with fresh clean sheets.

Friday was my "official" first day of vacation.  I woke up a little later than usual (5:00am) and after polishing off a few cups of coffee, taking a hot shower, and throwing on my favorite clothes (jeans, tshirt and cowboy boots) I took my beloved furry companions out for a walk.  It was still cool out, the grass was damp, the birds were singing and most everyone else was still asleep.  The best time of day as far as I'm concerned!  After kissing my dogs goodbye (on the forehead to avoid Patch's tongue) I headed up to Cheyenne. 

I always take "the slow way" up there....Highway 85.  It's mostly two lane and inhabited only by a few small towns (that resemble Mayberry), corn fields, pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs and oil field trucks.  To me, this area is beautiful. Nothing on this road looks like it has changed in 50 years, it's almost like stepping back in time.  I think that's why it makes me laugh when I read the writing on the Nunn, Co. water tower as I drive past that says "Watch Nunn Grow". 

When I arrive in Cheyenne I head straight for my weekends main attraction, Cheyenne Frontier Days.  I spent the day wandering around the exhibits surrounded by "my peeps"...nice people, similarly dressed and with common interests.  By the end of the day my body was exhausted from the heat but my mind was refreshed and ready for day two.  Saturday started out much like Friday but even more relaxed.  I spent much of the day at home, finished blog posts, returned emails and took a nap before heading back up Highway 85 to see Eric Church and Toby Keith perform an amazing concert.  I was a little apprehensive at first (I went alone because of a last minute invite and cancellation) but was soon at ease.  It's hard to be nervous when you've just knocked back a couple of cold ones and are singing along to "Get Out Of Your Clothes or Get Out Of My Car" with your new concert "row buddies"!

Yesterday was the perfect "simple life" day.  Again, up before dawn, coffee, hot shower, dog walk and drive up Highway 85 but this time taking a right when I got to Cheyenne and heading to Santa Sara Ranch.  I like to head out there every few weeks to be sure it's still there, wave to my neighbors, and soak up some peace and quite.  I did all of that plus picked wildflowers, took photos for the blog, sat and watched my neighbor plow their field, and wondered "what will they be planting".   Last stop for my weekend was Pine Ranch for a riding lesson and some good conversation.  It had been almost six weeks since my last lesson and I had a lot of catching up to do, both in riding and in gossip...I'm happy to say "mission accomplished" to both.

The drive home was a little sad, as it usually is.  The simple life is coming to a close.  My hope is that, one day, all there will be is the simple life...but for now...It's back to work with fond memories and a  farmers tan to remember it by!