My love is currently hiking the Warner section of the Pacific Crest Trail. Me? I had plans with my mum to hike a route previously done with him to show her a mine hole. Yeah, okay, probably a better word for it, but that’s what I’m calling it.
I woke up to his photo of where they slept last night.
Yeah, OK hearty hiker and Naked and Afraid contender. I do NOT want to dig a hole to um, ‘do my business’ and what the heck would be crawling off that rock in the night? I’m just jealous lol. But, also kinda serious. Would love to camp anywhere if there was at least the amenities of a toilet and running water. Whimp right? I don’t need much. But, splashing water on my face, brushing my teeth and hair with a mirror is the last of the vanity things I care about.
SO! Mum and I were going hiking. I wanted to show her an easy hike that culminated in a mine shaft. (AKA: Mine hole. lol)
I forgot that my tiny car was a tiny car and once we got to the turn off I was a little worried about making it to the spot to park. Guess how I knew we were there?
The C+A I left behind when I went last. Can’t believe it was still there! Had to park carefully, a lot of soft sand. (Whole other story, but first time I came out to my guys house, had to have them tow me due to THEIR soft sand.)
Parked and ready to go! I totally knew where to start.
What I didn’t factor in was that when hiking with my gold mining guy, a hike takes 10 times longer due to “See that?” “Do you see this vein?” And constant and adorable samples taken.
As for my mum and I? We just hiked. So … got thrown a little off course.
Oh! And I now have a new rule! If you aren’t seeing Burro shit on your hike, you have no business going that route! (IE: the fucking mountain we went up last hike.)
So, clearly on the right path here. LOL.
We got to a point when we could circle back, but, didn’t seem right. I mean, when my honey and I went, it was hours … so we kept going. (I was not factoring in the geological stops and lessons and samples.)
We kept going to the point we found ourselves in what we labeled a ‘residential area’. Very over grown, and lots of nooks and crannies, we went back.
My mum has now multiple times asked me, “Do you know where you’re going?” Yes, I knew. But, wasn’t entirely sure how lol. I was looking for that ‘mine hole’. We tracked back – we took other routes – because, I was CERTAIN the first time my guy and I went out, we walked FOREVER. We had not.
We eventually found a place I thought was my original grotto, and was certain we were on the right path.
Um, Was NOT original grotto. Spoiler alert – we found that later.
We were having too much fun to care. Just being out there – together.
We tracked back a bit and decided that we should mount a mountain to get to the trail we were looking for.
Found it. BUT! unfortunately, passed the mine hole in doing so.
This happened instead.
First time my guy and I did this route, there was ONLY the boat. My mum said, “There’s a car?”
Sure was – and apparently an old police car.
The closer we got, I dug into my backpack for my knife and pepper spray. The car was tagged with graffiti on the hood and I have NO clue how it got there in such a short time since my last hike there. This became more of a concern when we passed it and it had clothes inside. (My mums words, “Hope there isn’t a body in there” didn’t go unnoticed. I was more concerned with a walking talking one.)
Wanted to take a pic of the inside of the car, but honestly had that ‘gut feeling’ we needed to keep moving on. Someone was obviously living in that car. We had my mum’s steel toed hiking boots and my knife and pepper spray.
Wind was blowing so I would have been like, “Keep kicking mum! Keep kicking! I’ll slice him and when the wind dies down spray him.” Dramarama imagination.
We pass the car and keep going … all the way home.
And, for a joke, here is me finding THE golden nugget!
Sent that to my guy lol! The golden nugget of today was actually getting to spend one on one time with my mum and that exceeded the hike. So great to go out. So great to be with her. So great, ANY day to wake up and get to do anything.
Was discussing something I’d misplaced with my boyfriend and suggested it might still be in his car the other night. He replied with one of the funniest sentences of the weekend. “Yeah, well, you did jump up and run into the house.”
Blatant lie. I turned to him with a very straight face as I pointed out to him, (like a seasoned defense attorney having trapped the witness with solid evidence), #1, I do NOT jump. And #2, I do not ‘run’. Pfffft. I rest my case your honor.
But, I DO hike.
It’s become a ‘thing’. A thing I never used to do yet, after Christmas revealed, a thing I’m evidently going to be doing a lot more of. Hiking boots, backpack, headlamp etc. came in cheery holiday packages. Ho! Ho! Ho! Mer-ry Walkin’!
Have to say though, that I truly do enjoy being out there. Especially like it because it pleases my guy to no end. I love seeing him smile. Treasure watching him find a vein or possible ore on the ground and love it when he excitedly shows it to me or teaches me some geological ‘thing’.
And we ‘meander’. It’s not like we’re marching at some wild pace. We take in the surroundings and sometimes I’ll pass him up and vice-versa. We do stay out for hours though, so a lot of ground gets covered.
Our latest hike started out like that:
Then … took a turn. Or, rather, an INCLINE.
Him: “I really want to check out that rock – I see it from the road and pretty sure something is up there.”
Me: “I don’t think I can climb that …”
Him: “There’s a fence, see?”
Me: (Hallucinating a fence for the hell of it and putting my complete trust in him that it exists) “O.K.”
He’s navigating this mountain like a champ. Me? I’m praying each rock I grab is in fact anchored in some fashion and I’m repeating a mantra in my head that went a little something like this: “Please don’t let me fall off of this mountain.”
Got to that point where I was half way up and screwed. Because as much trouble as I was having going UP, I knew down would be worse. My guy had assured me there was a way to cut around once we’d reached the top and circle back around to the car. Much like that fence fable, I believed him. There was no fence. The fence that had been my deciding factor in even attempting to scale this beast, because once reached, I was going to cling to it as I went higher.
Might be a good time to mention I’m afraid of heights, so, there’s that.
A couple of times he turned around to lend a hand. A couple of times he turned around to see me in the oh so flattering position of crawling on my hands and knees with brow knotted in fear.
Not entirely sure how, because there were a few times I was literally frozen in fear and couldn’t move without his encouragement, BUT, we made it. (“We” made it, like there were any doubt he was going to.)
This was the view – and I ASSURE you, the pictures do not do the height or the fear justice. It’s like trying to take a photo of a full moon on a phone.
Well, you be the judge. This is the view from the top.
Oh, see that board? That’s a ‘don’t step over me’ board. Note next pic.
Right after this happened, I heard, “I KNEW it!”
He had found the mine he suspected was up there.
I found the nerve (after an extended visit with the sturdiest rock I could find) to get up and peek at what he spied. Um, to the left of him in that picture, guess what’s there? Go ahead. Guess.
NOTHING!!! A sheer freaking drop.
This was the mine entrance … (would have been a better picture, only, I didn’t want to die).
I sat back down while he collected soil samples and picked at various rocks. While I sat I wondered a) How we were going to get down because that sheer drop sure as hell wasn’t an option. b) how much a helivac might cost and would I have to be injured or would they just collect me? c) If I prayed really hard, would my friend put in a good word for me in case there IS an afterlife.
I eventually was able to stand and don my backpack again. And, wouldn’t you know it? There was a way to descend in a criss-crossy manner down the same flipping mountain that was 75 times less scary than the ascension. Where was this route going up? Seriously?? Cheese and Rice!
I did feel very happy once we were on semi-flat earth again. Had that adrenaline rush of accomplishment and near-death.
Back to non-life threatening hiking.
We made it to the car and decided to check out an area further down that had mines to explore.
Now, THESE I am not afraid of. I get to wear my head lamp and barbed wire be damned, plunge into the unknown. Only thing that’s a little disconcerting is the fact that there’s usually bedding for a 4 legged variety resident. We’ve yet to meet up with any occupants though.
The best part (other than being outside with nature and my guy) is the delicious exhaustion once back in civilization.
I always feel like I could keep going forever once I’m out there, but we were both nodding off on the couch once home. Time well spent.
And – AND! I didn’t fall off of a mountain. Halle-flipping-lujah!
I haven’t mused from the laundromat for a while – and that’s been odd. My weekends have been filled, to my delight.
When I DO go, I do try to be there when my laundry lady is there also. She told me I was missed.
I believe her, because I miss her too. The routine – the ‘regulars’. But I wouldn’t trade another Sunday there for what I have now.
I’ll start with this, I’ve been so happy lately that even my son, (who has moved again across country and who I haven’t seen since January 6th of this year) has commented on it.
Keep in mind, our chats have been minimal and our communications brief. So, it’s a pretty big deal that he sees a change in me.
My heart is more peaceful, my anxiety lessened. I smile more – I treasure moments no matter how fleeting. I’ve been exploring, forcing myself out of my comfort zone. Doing things to make someone else happy and in making the effort, found myself happier too.
Life has taken a turn and whether it’s for a reason, a season or a lifetime – I’m just very glad it happened.
And yet, I still find myself waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’.
As if I’m not worthy of a happy ending. Or, just so used to not expecting one that the possibility is absurd.
I think the more I let go and the more I trust that I can pinch myself and not wake up, the less I’ll be waiting for things to go wrong.
I’m still also painfully aware at how brief and unpredictable life can be.
I’ll be participating in a 3K walk to benefit my sweet friend with stage 4 cancer on Saturday. There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not think of her.
Every visit is cherished.
I find myself wanting to curl up next to her and just … be. Of course, it hurts her too much to move or be bumped or even to hug. So, her toes are mine. I gently rub her feet in some attempt to offer comfort where I know I can’t.
I think I’ve been living for her lately too.
Pushing myself with the ever-present thought, ‘She would LOVE to be able to do this!’ I’m not just talking about adventures. It’s the little things like, getting out of bed, standing in the shower, dressing myself. Standing in line at a store! (I WILL give you the lecture if I hear you complain you know – “You realize there are some people who would give ANYTHING to be in this line?!”)
I especially thought of her when it was finally cool enough to join the man who has my heart in the desert. She would have given anything to sit where I sat after navigating a climb. She would have been in just as much awe of the view as I was and welcoming the sweet sleepiness that was sure to follow that night.
So there it is.
My life at the moment.
Filled with hope and also with impending sadness.
Certainty and uncertainty.
Immense joy knowing that I am capable of such love now and willing to offer it with no expectations.
To them both.
Knowing that losing either of them is going to break my heart. And yet, knowing them for however long I have makes it most definitely worth it.
I’ve been on a sabbatical of sorts from my site – for various reasons. One of the least interesting being, my usual writing routine was disrupted due to no WIFI at the laundromat.
Some other reasons include: Lack of interest, health issues, life changes, procrastinating purchasing batteries for my wireless keyboard …
Some writer I am.
Poe didn’t just lay around staring at his quill and just thinking about penning more cousin pining perversion or tooth obsession. He got on with it.
Then again, he did have a metaphorical raven egging him on.
If I’m going to be truly honest though – (ironic considering what I’m trying to say) I can no longer not edit myself here.
Recent events I want to share with you involve others and I don’t have the license or lack of conscience to tell their story.
Even if I was cryptic they would know who they were – and I don’t want to hurt anybody.
I seriously considered taking Debauchery Soup down completely.
I’d rather not write at all than not write honestly.
But, there have been some past pieces that I’m quite proud of over the years. In addition, pieces I know have helped others (I do read the private emails and comments I receive from the side bar) so, Soup remains.
I’ll tell you some good news though.
I conquered agoraphobia!
My anxiety has decreased significantly.
I’ve been not only leaving the house – but, ‘peopling’.
I’ve acquired a social life. Yes, me. OK, so it’s still heart pounding to begin with – but I find myself settling in no time.
I honestly can’t remember the last time the house was cleaned from top to bottom, I haven’t been cooking. I’m enjoying life home alone because I’ve finally accepted that things don’t constantly NEED to be done – I can take time for myself even if there is a dish in the sink or dog hair on the carpet.
Which does now remind me of a story I can share.
Comfy? Ready? Here we go:
I was in a clothing store early in the week perusing the racks of dresses when a petite older lady approached me.
“Did you ever find something that fit so perfectly and was so lovely that you just HAD to have it?”
(These encounters happen often for me – strangers coming up to me and chatting)
I saw the top she was holding up. It was teal, flowing, layered and sparkly.
“I have. That’s beautiful!”
“Oh,” she said, “It is – but, I don’t have anywhere to wear it.”
“Why not wear it at home and have a glass of wine?”
“I don’t drink.” She answered.
“Ok, well, the holidays will be here before you know it!”
“Then it will be too cool to wear this.”
At this point, I’m invested in this woman getting the top for herself. But she continued with,
“Besides, it’s a younger girl’s style. I’m 80.”
“More the reason to get it then! No time like the present!”
“I think it’s too dressy for church too …”
I’m torn at this point between smiling and exiting the conversation while internally yelling ‘don’t get the fucking top then!’ Or doing everything in my power to make sure she left the store with it – whether that meant I purchased it for her or took her hostage to the cashier and forced her to treat herself.
“Certainly they have functions though?”
“No, not my church.”
I was striking out – and long past looking for anything for myself. I wanted this little lady to have something that she had loved on her – something that had made her feel beautiful and wistful.
She suddenly remembered she had a similar, less splashy top in her other gnarled hand.
“OH! Well – I should probably try THIS one on.”
I smiled and we parted.
I left hoping that other top fit just as well – but also sad that she didn’t get the one she obviously adored.
She was being practical I know. But sometimes we have to treat ourselves to something fanciful.
And that’s how I’m living life lately.
Doing things that make me happy and not questioning a thing.
My life right now IS that lady’s sparkly layered top.
It’s been weeks since ‘the flood’ and weeks since I’ve written.
Today I’m rushing laundry as a handyman is to meet me at my disheveled home @ 9 a.m.
Of course, the laundromat did not open early today as Murphy’s law would have it.
‘Handyman’ is going to ‘look’ at the damage and other repairs that I’ve requested so many times.
If one more person looks and does not DO – I’m going to have to put my foot down.
I say that, but I’m not confrontational.
I did however, stand up for Muslims and others while stuck outside listening to Glaucoma man rant and rave.
A rare photo of him – he’s the one in the Hawaiian shirt.
The other gentleman was also a source of anger for Glaucoma man as he was let in before us.
I don’t care, but jeez did HE take it personally. I told him to calm down as Laundry Lady came to unlock the front door. She didn’t need any of his venom.
Other than laundry and handymen and my interactions here – life has been … Different lately.
Work is changing – two of the original owners are leaving to enjoy their lives together and travel. They will be missed.
I turned 48 and decided that I, too, needed to make some changes.
That’s been difficult. Whenever there are others involved it’s a painful process.
But as I think of my friend in the hospital and I hear news of people my age suddenly passing of late – it’s very clear to me that none of us are promised tomorrow and it’s time to start soaking up each day.
I’m seeking peace for myself. And while I feel selfish doing so, no one else is going to find that for me.
Clearly no handyman – they’ll just keep coming around and ‘looking’ at damage and making appointments to return some day.