Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The Nouns: In One Decade

The decade of last...what a blur and what a blast! Let's see, what have I done since 2010?

I moved back to Amador County, California, after a couple of wonderful years in Nashville, TN. My grand-daughter, Alivia, was born. Amador Community News grew like never before (and continues, thanks to its supporting advertisers). For most of the decade, I was the Music Director at Trinity Episcopal Church of Sutter Creek. I moved back to my home state of Wyoming in October 2017...settled in, put down my roots, landed a job at Guardian Flight/EMS (now AMR). My daughter came to live with me for a spell. I took weekend trips here and there, discovered some places I had no idea even existed in Wyoming and Utah, just by taking a few of the roads less traveled. Some were planned or recommended; others were more of a spontaneous "flip a coin, heads turn left, tails turn right"-type of deal. I experienced my first Holi Festival, and had a blast! Wherever I go, I always tried to capture a sunrise or sunset, or capture a view. Many times my camera cannot do what I see as any justice, so I just tarry for a bit and soak it all into my soul and senses. I love star-gazing, and Wyoming has plenty of wide-open spaces to just lay down, stare out into space and feel as if you'll slide right off of the planet.

I've met many people along the way, good and bad...nice and not-so-nice. I've made many new friends, and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and catching up with old friends. Went through some ups and downs...a little drama here and there.  My gift of discernment (what I call my "bullsh** meter") has very much sharpened over the last decade, and I'm happy to say that haven't turned bitter, just better for it all. Faith, hope and love get me through a lot of the "crap" that the bad Nouns can dish out.

My home (which used to be my grandparents' home) has become a wonderful place of refuge after a long day at work. I know it might be cliché, but there truly is no place like home! If you saw my Netflix binge list, you'd find a variety of genres: Bollywood movies, crime, sci fi, classic and cult, mysteries, science and nature, docuseries, etc. My Pandora playlist includes classical, classic rock, metal, 80s, electronica, funk, folk, bluegrass, etc. As always, I'm more about the song and the artist's delivery of it, rather than celebrity hype.

The view from my back deck is's so relaxing and healing to sit and watch the sun set behind the mountains . I've enjoyed experimenting with my garden, thanks to the help of my Dad and Auntie Carol. I must admit, the first year was better than the last, but this year I'm determined to have an amazing one with the help of my friend, Dawn. As an avid farmer's market and thrift store shopper, I've developed a somewhat unique collection of various things that fit with my personality and tastes. Some have stories tied to them; most of them are just little things, but it's those very things that have meaning and can bring a smile to my face, or a good memory to mind.

As you've read in my past blog posts...I often say that I began my "Third Life" when I moved back home. Now, I sort of feel as if I'm towards the end of adjusting period (hey, only took a couple of years!)...and the journey has been an enlightening one. I don't really "do" New Year's resolutions, but I do have a Faith, Hope and Love list as I continue on in my Third Life and enter a new year and decade filled with "The Nouns":

I've let people several people into my life, and have either been blessed by it...or have, unfortunately, regretted it. Okay, maybe not so much regret, for I know that there is always a lesson learned. Oft times I just let out a heavy sigh and think, "Well, that was interesting!" and try to get back on the road again. But sometimes the wounds can go deep, and it's too bad that so many people in the world find it so very difficult to just be nice, not difficult to choose to be a good person, instead of a bad one.

There are several different types (and levels) of "friendship". I've made a lot of acquaintances, spent some "Facelook" time with some good folks. But I let very few into my circle of trust...those with whom I can have much deeper, meaningful conversations. They know who they are, and I love them for it!

The take-away:
To me, friendship is a relationship, and relationships take a lot of time. People can enrich and bless your life....but they can also be wolves in sheep's clothing. I always hope that someone is a good person, and it hurts when I find out differently. I try to learn from that hurt and move forward; I don't let it consume me. Actions speak louder than words...behavior speaks even more volumes. I've also learned that forgiveness is a personal choice - not a requirement - when I've been hurt, abused, taken for granted or neglected. Those who have done that also know who they are.

I'm generally a very fun-loving, giving, patient, empathetic person, but I do have limits...and you'll know it when you've crossed them. Too often have I let the drawbridge down on the mote around my heart, only to be invaded and burned way too many times to ignore. Because of this, I've also become a lot more discerning, stronger and wiser when it comes to letting people into my life. That may sometimes make me alone...but never lonely, because the great thing is that I find out - and come to know - who my friends truly are. I can live with that!

This is the year, I hope, is the year I get back to Nashville, Tennessee. I'll try to squeeze in a trip to California, but there are still so many other places I want to explore right here in Wyoming and the surrounding states. I want to visit family and friends in Colorado, Montana, South Dakota and Idaho this year.

There are a few "Someday", bucket-list places in the world I'd like to visit in the coming decade. Italy, France, the UK. I've never been to Hawaii or Alaska. Oh, the places I want to go!

The take away:
There's a whole lot you can do in a weekend, and every trip can be an adventure! It truly is not so much about the destination, but the journey. Some trips can be planned, but to tell the truth, most of my best weekenders were spur-of-the-moment, just get outta Dodge"-type trips. I've learned to look up at the sky...and capture its beauty both day and night.

Staying with and getting together/back in touch with friends and family is so very wonderful. It's great to go out and listen to/watch live, local musicians and bands...find a local hang and "people-watch" (in a non-creepy way, LOL). I do some of my best writing in a local coffeehouse. Keep those lattes coming, barista!

As said, I love to shop at farmer's markets and thrift stores. However, I'm not much fun to shop with, because...I don't really "shop". I hunt. I go into a store...scope around, aim, shoot, drag it out. If I don't see anything in a store that I like, I will...well, leave!

My big thing is shopping local. I've loved going to the Ogden Farmer's Market because it's in the historic downtown district, and there are lots of other fun, eclectic shops to browse. I love local coffee roasters, and will buy a bag of fresh-roasted beans. I love to try new, exotic foods. visit international grocery stores, and try to develop all of my senses in recreating different cuisines using different spices and herbs. It's so much more fun than a mall, or getting "Walmart (or Costco) Anxiety".

If you've ever been to my home, like I said...most everything is uniquely "me" and meaningful. So I shop for me and meaningful. There's Native American art. There are [East] Indian-style mandala wall hangings. There are vintage kitchen appliances. There are a lot of coffee mugs...LOL!

The take away:
Everything in this life is temporary, so I try to surround myself with things that I've actually taken some thought in acquiring. However, I will always believe that the best things of life are free (or cost very little), meaning...a hike along the river...or through a meadow picking wild flowers for a particular vase on my dining room table. A favorite blanket, crocheted by a dear friend. Art that speaks to my soul. Custom-made jewelry made by talented friends who know my tastes and style (which I'm still trying to figure out, LOL). Sorting through seeds for my garden with my Auntie. The smell of sagebrush on the high plains, the wind on my face, rushing through my hair. Watching birds make a nest, or spying a hawk or owl in the tall pine trees in the front yard. And, of course...nothing compares to the big Wyoming skies with their amazing cloud formations during the day, and the vast, star-studded skies at night.

Perhaps the best thing in life is time well spent...because, quite frankly, time is all we have. To me, time is more precious than all the gold in the world. Yes, a paycheck is a good thing, and there are things we must have in order to live and be connected to our tribes. But the best things in life are the best, simply because we've invested the time to do them.

I actually semi-slept through the midnight of the New Year. When one is truly (and finally) happy, believing that each day and every day is a gift and celebration...a "New Year's Day" is really just another day to be grateful for time to do the things you want to do...think about the new places you want to go...and appreciate the people who have become a part of the journey. Some of the Nouns will be better than others, but my mantra will always be: Be good, be nice, be strong. After all, it has helped me through an entire decade of being able to say:

Well, that was interesting!

Some of these are already posted on my Facebook, are some of my favorites "Nouns".
Friend me! 

Grand Tetons

Crowheart Butte

Split Rock

Wind River Canyon
Vanilla Latte at Crux Coffee, Lander WY

At my farewell party at Jose's Mexican Restaurant, Jackson CA

With Brandy LaRae

With Tory Carr
With Larry Frint and Diane Lane, AMR Fremont County

With Rhonda Berg

With my Auntie Carol

With the "Old Coots"...

Butterfly on tiger lilies in the backyard.
Coffee With Cops, Sutter Creek, CA

"Bird Cloud" between Farson and Rock Springs, WY
Bison grazing outside of Kinnear, WY

My beautiful grand-puppy, Emma!

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