So – I haven’t really been able to listen to “How Great Thou Art” since it was sung at Nathan’s funeral and Julia sobbed through it. I have had to grit my teeth and get through singing it as a hymn in choir many times since then, and it was difficult being up in front of people and trying to look unaffected. Recently, it was sung on the show “Duets” and the contestant’s story about his brother (in the video as well), along with the best version I have heard has allowed me to move on, I think, except when probably sung at a funeral again. I try not to post videos on my blogs, because I rarely am willing to view them when other post them on blogs or face books – but here goes – no problem if you are like me and don’t want to spend the time viewing!
On a lighter note from the last post… Last week we got to host Brady, the 15 year old daughter of Julia’s former babysitter, Tammy (who is a lot more to her than that) for a few days. We had fun doing some touristy stuff and the girls also did a lot of card playing and hanging out. On Friday afternoon, Brady and the girls went off with Tammy and Larry to spend some time with them. Luke and I headed up US24 and stopped at Bierwerks, in Woodland park for a beer outside on the patio. After that we continued on to Buena Vista and found a microbrewery ands at at the bar for dinner. Then, we checked into our hotel, got on swimsuits and headed to Cottonwood Hot Springs. It was a very relaxed, small hot springs on the way to Cottonwood Pass. There were 5 pools of varying temperatures. They were built as naturally as possible, with stone edges and shelves and ledges here and there to relax and perch on. Some of the pools were quite deep, up to my shoulders. It had been raining before we went but the sky cleared and there were very few lights and it was wonderfully relaxing. The manager even came out at one point to hush a group of people who were talking and laughing quite loudly. There is a no alcohol rule as well and a “be calm” rule. We stayed there for about 2 hours until 10:00 and went back to the hotel to sleep. We got up in the morning and headed back up the pass to a hike I had researched online. It was a fabulous hike. It started from an unmarked trailhead and hiked up to almost tree line, through a dense woods, then a field with lots of wildflowers, a stream running through the tall grasses and a small quiet lake. It descended up after that and became a bit more rocky with several small stream crossings. It ended up a steep hill with a beautiful emerald lake before us. Luke sat by the shores and I climbed up a steep hill behind where I had almost 360 degree views. We could see several peaks, the furthest which was our own Pikes Peak at home.
We didn’t stay very long and headed back down to the car. We drove into Salida and passed a local market. We parked and picked some food out of the case, all from local ingredients, and had a lovely small lunch on the patio. After that we went to a nearby storefront and waited to go zip-lining. After signing some ridiculous rights away we went off in a van with 8 other people to the course. The zip lines were over a small canyon. We did a practice line and then gradually longer/faster lines, for a total of 6 or so. It was a really fun thing to do – and a bit challenging as you controlled your own braking and steering with your left hand on the cable. It was a lot of fun. After that we drove on US50 to Canon City. There is a winery we really like there and we went to the tasting room, tasted, and bought some wine. We headed to an old-school italian restaurant for dinner and then headed home. We slept in on Sunday morning. I slept in until 8:30 which is absolutely unheard of for me…very nice. The girls were returned to us around 10:00 after having had a wonderful time themselves. All in all, a fabulous weekend.
I am just going to put this out there because surely someone out felt this way at some point. Large disclaimer…it is Late July, a bad time emotionally for me, so if I sound depressed or something, I probably am a little. At any moment I could make a list of at least 10 ways how I am letting the various people in my life down. Feeling guilty about those things on my list is my most common emotion and motivator. Here is today’s list 1. Have no dinner planned for kids (it is 6:00pm) as Luke is out of town and we have not gone to the store 2.
My bedroom is a mess I actually cleaned the bedroom today…so one thing at least but it has been bothering me for a week or two so I had to put it on there 3. The day is not over, but I have not had either of my children practice their musical instruments today. Lauren hasn’t practiced for a week. Her attitude has been bad lately and I am not emotionally fit to have that fight with her. So – guilt going to to her teacher right now. In fact, musical instrument practice, with Lauren especially since I am an active part with her, is a good daily chore that if I don’t get done I feel guilty about – so that is on my list a lot. 4. Did not leave the house today. Kids not “entertained”. Thankfully they have been outside for a few hours playing now so the guilt is easing up. Since Luke is out of town I let them get a bunch of toys out of the basement and play down there (which is usually his office and not available to them on a daily basis). So they have not minded too much, but the guilt is creeping in that I had better take them to do something fun tomorrow. 5. The dog…actually fed (not that she would eat breakfast) and medicined relatively on time today, is old and falling apart and has some maladies we perhaps should address. She has been the the vet within the last week with a festering wound. There is another cropping up and also nasty gunk in her eye, that Luke would wipe off if he were here but I can’t bring myself to do it. I feel bad for her. 6. Been unable to find things to tell Luke when he calls me at night, mostly because I am doing nothing of interest. I should try harder though – he is gone and working all day at the client site – he surely has nothing to tell me. Instead he lets me off the phone to watch something on TV. It’s all good between us, but I feel like I could do a better job cheering him up than I am able right now. 7. The kids really want to go to Illinois to see their grandparents and I am not sure if I can make that happen. It is looking more likely (Mike and Kathy – I will talk to you about it this weekend) but Luke has been traveling and working so much that it is difficult to time. He was able to spend a few days with us in Hilton Head only because he flew in and out for a weekend, spent the week at the client-site, and flew back and and them home with us. Unfortunately, his parents can not get good internet out in the country and so it is not an option for Luke to work there, making it difficult for him to go there when he needs to be working. I can go without him, and have in the past, but looking at driving there and back alone both ways for the 15 hours is daunting. As I said before, I am not in the best state of mind and it could be bad for both me and the girls if we are stuck in a van together without Luke going all that way. Flying costs an arm and a leg. Things are looking up though, it seems possible Luke could take a few days off – we’ll see. 8. There are some job/volunteering tasks I have been putting off that I really need to do. Maybe tomorrow. 9. There is a huge mess I really should clean. We had a big rainfall and the neighbor behind us had failed to clean out the important gutter in their yard. So all the rain water washed down our backyard and swept a large amount of mulch all the way into our side yard stopped only by the gate even with the front of our house. It must now all be shoveled in a wheelbarrow and hauled back up into the upper yard in the back. I really should have done it by now. 10. yeah well, you know I couldn’t save my kid from dying of cancer, and furthermore, unlike what (seems to be) every other parent this has happened to, have not started a foundation, or even held some kind of fundraising event. This really does put me in a minority. Seriously. I just don’t have it in me. I just don’t. I feel guilty and I feel judged. There – you have a list. Truthfully I feel better after writing it because it isn’t as bad as I imagined it would be. It is not 6:20 and the kids are not fed, but they are still playing outside happily.