Tuesday, May 8, 2012

it is well with my soul (my picture perfect weekend)

And so...it was that time again. Time to go a little North & then a little East. It was time to take a roadtrip. A long and overdue one to the mountains, where the air is cleaner, the trees are taller, the friends are more like family, and I can just be me. Clumsy, carefree, passionate, confused, heartbroken, happy, sad, hungry, tired, beautifully messily me. Few places in this world exist where that can happen. I treasure the places where that exists.
 Into the car I went...riding gear, snacks, CDs, a few changes of clothes, a good book, a head that needed some clearing and the sunroof back was just the way to get rid of all those thoughts that haunt me and do me no good. I always do my best thinking in the car. It is my refuge. It is one of those safe places that I cherish. It's just mine, I decide where we go together, it has always kept me safe, & it keeps my secrets too.
(He's not cheap, but he's dependable, and worth every dollar..& arm & leg! ouch!)
(the gear I packed: how dirty girls get it done)
(I arrived just in time for dinner and to make some of my new favorite Vegan Blueberry Lemon Chia Seed muffins for breakfast for the next few days)
(and then after a long drive and some dinner, the brightest full moon of the year wished us all a good night)
When we awoke, Sunday had come upon us......75* of sunny Sunday blissfulness. Waffles on the back porch turned into beers on the back porch before the crack of noon. We had a goal. Drink, talk, tan, do nothing else.
.....Shock Top (well the bottom of my bottle that is.  Which simply did not do...it was quickly replaced)
.....THE lawn.  I love this lawn.  The end.  You will soon know why.
.....the Couple I <3. I think this picture says it all. Gary & Patti met in wildland fire academy 20+ years ago. Much to the disdain of her nerves, he likes to clean up the property on the weekends. Her inner firefighter cannot be contained. He came up from the burn and grabbed an extinguisher, she followed (in flip flops) with a hose. I grabbed my phone/camera, cause calling for resources and documentation is what I do. I love this new picture of them. It about sums it up. I love their relationship. It gives me hope.
You can only drink so much before you get hungry, and there was pesto to be made. Two drunk women, one incorrigible food processor, and handful of ingredients = perfection. Recipes? Naw. Not this girl. Here's the cooking rule: find good ingredients that stand on their own, match them with ones that you like equally as much, put them together and see what happens. You can't go too horribly wrong. Oh, also...never trust a woman who cannot cook. You'll thank me for this later in life sometime. Trust me. Also trust me when I tell you that this roasted garlic pesto cheese bread can and will some day make for world peace. It.is.that.GOOD!!!
After we soaked up some booze with some bread, it was time for a ride. The dirty girl gear didn't make it in the back of the car for nothing!
I am merely a guest on the trails, which leaves me behind following and eating dust. I'll do it any day. I love to ride, I forget and then I always remember once I get back on my bike.
I risk loosing my phone/camera on rides for pictures like these alone. It was every bit as peaceful as it looks.

No trip is complete without a ride out to Martin's Greenhouse. Cheap, organic, vast, rows and rows and rows of plants of all varieties.
In the Valley, there's always a chance to STOP and appreciate the view around you.
Also in the Valley, there is never a direct route home. These horses called my name and I obliged. They were docile and friendly, came right up to the gate and said hello. I stand in awe of these creatures. I simply love them. If and when I win the lottery, have my dreams come true, or simply become the country girl that I was supposed to be, there will be horses involved.
Sunday's credo became Monday's credo and I was introduced to a new friend Black Cherry Jim Beam and his gal Cherry Coca-Cola. I had a feeling they were going to be one ruckus pair. This picture was taken at approximately 1454 hours:
This ensued at approximately 1620 hours:
I knew that Cherry Couple was gonna be trouble.
But still...I would not part with the mason jar I had so stealthily guarded with my life while tumbling end over end, showing my white panties, and chucking my phone 20 feet down that lawn that I had called for my entire weekend.
& if you can believe such a thing, these girls stayed safely tucked into their bandeau dress even as I went end over end down the lawn and landed the dismount on my knees! (can we say professional!)
This beautiful girl not only held her laughter in, she just sat there looking like her mama, sweet as can be.
As the Sun started to set and we headed inside, I noticed this sign from the universe reinforcing what I already know. But the light, it was so right...
This light made everything look nice. Tattoos, sunburns, slightly injured drunken ladies of the lawn, sun-setting light is the sweetest of the day.
When Wild Women go crazy on the lawn for the second day in a row, it is up to the man to make dinner. Apron and all (old nomex fire shirt makes it OK in the man's world), it was a feast!
As good as it was for my soul, it had to come to an end. The visit, not the photo-ops. As seen in my friends garden as I left the house, I took note of this. It has so much meaning in my life right now. Uprooted, need a new life, ready to spread my wings and fly, feel like there's somewhere else to call "home" that's whispering at my name.
Susan Valley (as seen through my sunroof)
I left my favorite couple, the sweet girl, my favorite lawn, and my fabulous weekend behind and trudged on for the long ride home.
The Chimney, as seen from the side of I-36. Never knew it's story until this time that I stopped and read about it. Something comes to mind...something about weathering the storm, being built tough, standing your ground. You read it as you see fit. It's worth a stop and a thought. It's a great chimney.
I love this road. I love these trees. I love that the amount of bugs splattered on my windshield is my gauge for how fabulous the weekend was and how far away from "home" I landed, even if for a few days. These trees, as they hugged the road home, they heard my thoughts. They always do.
(above)  = AWAY.....(below) = HOME  questions?  I thought not.
4.5 hours, 5 counties, a gazillion songs, a frappucino, a diet coke, and only one potty stop later, I rolled into town where the land was flat, the clouds were wispy, and the Commodores sang this welcome-home song to me on the eve of my graveyard shift rotation.  Graveyard, we meet again.  But that is for another blog and another night...

This weekend was just what I needed. Exactly what I needed. Time with my friends, time with myself, time with my thoughts, time to think about where I want to be, where I want to go, and who I want to share my life with. This weekend was good for my soul. Amen and Amen.

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