June 26, 2010

The Rocky Mountains Stole My Heart With Hugs of Gold

(Photos of Denver are in a separate posting because pictures change my settings.)

A stunning sunset sliding behind snow-capped mountains greeted me as I stepped off the plane in Denver, Colorado, last Monday evening, June 21. 2010.

Photos failed to capture the golden shadows casting a glow behind the majestic mountains, and the long silver shadows that reached out to greet me as I looked around for the rental car waiting to transport me to places I'd never seen!

Just slightly short of breath at this altitude of about 5,000 feet above sea level, and feeling a slight headache, I was happily surprised to discover that the effects were not bothersome as some had suggested they would be! These symptoms quickly disappeared and did not return at all.

With a little assistance, I got on the shuttle bus and rewarded myself at Dollar Rental with a bright red "economy' car.

Slightly breathless, I headed to Highway 270 towards those sunset silhouetted mountains that beckoned in the west where I hoped to find the apartment we had decided would be our new home if we make the move to Denver in a few weeks! I turned the dome lights on and off as I followed the Mapquest map I had printed before I left home.

Nothing but delightful surprises did I see as the night quickly surrounded me, and the city night lights sparkled off to my left. A black fortress of beauty filled the sky in front of me. Then, my last exit proudly boasted our favorite of all favorites - Cracker Barrel Restaurant!

A few miles further, and I was sitting outside our soon-to-be "new" apartment. The current owner walked right past my car and into the sweet two-bedroom unit we hope to call home very soon. I took a few night pictures, and pulled out the Mapquest route to the motel that came with my Travelocity package.

The next few hours were the most horrible experience I have ever endured.

I found the place after circling road construction, a bridge out, and long detours.

"Denver's Best" was a dirty, nasty, weekly motel for cheap truckers. (If I can say that without causing distress to truckers whom I respect very much.)

If I had known where I was, or felt safe enough to even leave my room after had I locked, double locked and secured my room, I would have certainly gone to another part of town to sleep that night!

But instead, I dispensed with supper and fell into a troubled sleep after several hours frightening noises that sounded like someone trying to open my door, foorsteps padding close to the foot of my bed, lonely trucker-dogs howling all around me, semi trucks negotiating the sharp turn of the back of the motel, and heavy doors slamming every few minutes. In my room, the full-size refrigerator next to the bed sounded like a bad lawn mower, and the window air-conditioner thundered into action like a tornado. I almost jumped out of bed every time either one came on!

Then I woke up about 3 a.m. all shaky and sick with what I recognised as LOW blood sugar. (No supper. Very little food on the plane.) I knew I had to eat something or the sugar would keep going down very fast as it sometimes does.

I forced myself call down to the front desk and tell the deep-throated manager that I was sick and need something to bring my sugar up. I asked if someone could bring me a candy bar from the vending machine. (I'd die before I'd step out of my room before daylight.) Surprisingly, someone knocked on the door, and a Hershey candy bar attached to long black fingers slipped through the crack. I exchange the candy bar for a $5 bill and barricaded the room again.

Thankfully, the candy and two cups of black coffee with sugar gave me my 'land legs" again and kept me alive until I could get out of there at daylight. I cancelled the next night even though I'd get no refund from Travelocity.

I'll not go into detail on the job situation, but at the 'interview' I was met by the supervisor and given a nice tour of the facility and a history of the company.

Then learned that they had hired a nurse for the position the day before.

"We had an internal applicant that we had to accept," she explained as she handed me a cold bottled water. "You have to be sure to drink lots of water at this altitude or you'll get sick."

They didn't call to let me know the position was filled because, she said, "I'm sure you have several other interviews today. Please feel free to use my name as a recommendation."

No, I didn't have any other interviews scheduled...

But, I used to time there to make several other inquiries and got encouraging leads that I'm confident will open up into at least one good job for me, and that's all I need.

The Mapquest maps I printed prior to leaving home turned out very useful. Indeed, I didn't get lost once. Those beautiful snow-capped mountains always whispering to me, and the crispy, clean, air that surrounded me, brought a feeling of welcome and freedom.

The apartment is just as perfect as I had imagined. I'm sure we will be happy there. I'll post some pictures, but they don't do it justice.

My friend, Juanita, might be pleased to see some photos from the University of Colorado. I drove down highway 36 and ended up there. I can't wait to see what's behind those lofty, cotton-tipped mountain peaks that sit right in their back yard!

My sister and her husband already plan a vacation there next year! Oldest son has promised to visit from Portland.

So, dear friends, followers, family, co-workers, and cyber neighbors. We are going to fly away while we still can. We want to step our of our comfort zone into a path of new adventure and happy endings.

We have so much to do in the next month!!!! Already, our hallway is stacked with dozens of donated boxes. John came over today and helped bring all the storage down in the garage.

The new apartment floor plan has been dissected to determine where every piece of furniture will fit. Even the placement of the kitty box is being considered.

The best is yet to come when I start posting photos of our wanderings through the great vastness of the Rocky Mountains for all to enjoy and savor.

Or maybe the best is when YOU come to visit us someday and watch that faithful sunset reach out with a hug of gold at end of every day.

Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life,

June 25, 2010

Photos of Denver Trip, June 2010

Not the best of photos - Taken with my i-Phone while driving,
but, you get the picture... Try to click on the photo for a bigger view.

(Photos by Linda Meikle)

The sunset photo really doesn't do justice to what I really saw!

These were all taken with my iPhone, so depth isn't the best.

Our place in on the ground level.

The tree branch is covering part of the kitchen bay-window.

Take Care on the Journey,

June 19, 2010

Grandma's House

The deposit has been paid on the new place in Denver. The Penske 26-foot truck as been reserved for July 30th. Most of my clothes are already packed. Boxes are piled high in the closet.

So, why do I feel so incredibly sad when I think of moving? Why am I having these second thoughts?

Here are three good reasons…Zach, Kammi, and Collin. Today three of our 'grandkids’ came over for the afternoon.

When they left, I cried. I felt a deep, deep, sadness that was difficult to explain to my concerned, hovering, hubby.

I might never see those precious children again!!!! Really. We say that they will come to visit in Denver. We promise to fly them out in the summertime. But, our relationship is based on the fact that they call me grandma whether I am their real grandma or not!

Collin is 12-years old, and today was my first time to meet him! By legal standards, we aren’t related, but already I feel like he’s been my grandson all his life! He asked for the book I wrote (because all the other grandkids have one), and I wrote in it, “I expect GREAT THINGS from you. Love, Grandma Linda”.

Collin’s mom used to be my stepson’s girlfriend, but Collin was born before John was her boyfriend. Now, Collin’s mom and John continue to be friends, and all of her children hang out with John when they are with their mother.

Of course, John considers me more his mom than his real mom, although his real mom who adopted HIM is alive and well in the local area. She has abandoned him, and John hasn’t seen her in about 20 years!

That reminds me of the fact that my dad was legally my brother after our grandmother (his mother) adopted my sister and me. For a fact, both of my grandparents adopted us, but grandpa was her second husband and not the father of our dad, so I guess that made our step-grandfather our legal dad.

We just called them grandma and grandpa and left it at that.

My dad was still “daddy” the occasional times I went to Tampa to visit him.

After I had children of my own, no one ever mentioned the adoption. Were they his grandchildren or his nephews? My children may not even remember “Grandpa Brantley”.

Maybe that’s why the events of today have affected me so!

John and I took the three kids to ChuckE Cheese where they enjoyed cheese pizza, challenged each other at video games and collected over 800 tickets for extra trinkets and toys. Later, we took them to the pool at our complex where they splashed and played with John until the last minute before they had to leave for “home”.

It almost broke my heart when little Zach had to pack up all his toys, blankie, good shoes, and ‘church clothes’, because by the time he comes back from spending the summer with his ‘dad’ in Tennessee, we will have moved all the way to Denver, Colorado.

I can’t explain this great grief that has filled my heart and challenged me to rethink something that has been so meaningful as this move to Denver. We have been so pleased with the prospect of relocating where I am promised a good job, and we will be closer to at least ONE son. (But further from the other sons?)

We love what we have discovered about our new home and all the exciting places we have always wanted to visit.

So tonight I have decided, and ‘Grandpa Jim” agrees with me, that I will go to Denver on Monday (June 21-23) as planned. I will have my job interview and visit the new apartment. However, I will do all this with an “open mind” knowing that it’s not too late to change our mind.

If the job is what I think it is. If the pay is what I think it should be. If the apartment is as perfect as it looks. If the local community is as beautiful as they say it is, and I am entirely comfortable with the reasons we have for making this move, I will believe it is our life’s design to move on.

If not, “Grandma’s House” will remain right here in Columbus, Ohio.

Grandchildren’s laughter will return on the weekends. I can run over to Edith’s place with coupons on a moment’s notice. Bonnie may say hi for a minute as we pass in the foyer. Nikki will continue to make sure I get all those extra coupons. Buffy and I can have long talks over an early morning breakfast. My chiropractors, Dr’s Greg and Heather will be only a phone call away when my back gets bad. Our wonderful family doctor will make sure that hubby can sleep at night. The deer will find corn in the back yard. The cat can watch the birds from the window. I can plant a flower garden by the front door, and watch my Morning Glories climb to the top of the roof.

My “final decision’ will be by the end of this week (June 25) when I return from Denver. Stay tuned.

Take Care on the Journey,
Your Friend in Life,

June 17, 2010

Email Contacts, Subscribe To Linda's Blog Please

There are 10 of you who get my postings in your email every time I write on my blog at http://dustyangels.blogspot.com (Nice and easy, huh?)

That is because I have added your email address to my Blogger settings. Blogger limits me to only 10 email contacts, so I have a 'please' request.

If you want to get my postings like you do now, please go to the blogsite http://dustyangels.blogspot.com/ and sign up at the link that says, Subscribe to this blog by email (left-hand side upper corner).

It will help me a lot because I have new friends I'd like to add in my settings but can't because it's already full.

Specifically, that would be Buffy, Jim, Billy, Philip, Shelley, Marian, Tednita, Colleen, and Edith. If you don't want to do that for any reason, it's okay. But for each one who makes that change, I can add another person to my 10-limit settings. (Shelley, I just added you as one of the 10.)

(Sandy, you've already done this, so I have removed you from the blogger settings because you are already a Follower.)

If you sign up on my blog, you will be listed as a Follower. (See the list as you scroll down on the left.) And no, I won't offer any poisoned cool-aid to my 'followers'. lol

Of course, if you don't get this by email and would like to, you can also sign up anytime. Let me know if you have any problems or concerns. bestnurse@usa.com

Take Care on the Journey,
Your Friend in Life,

June 15, 2010

Geocaching Right Under My Nose!

I discovered something today that has me very interested in learning more about it. Flipping through a tabletop magazine while waiting for an appointment this afternoon, I found an article about a sport called Geocaching. (I wish someone would tell me how to pronounce that word.)

What is Geocaching? At the website I found the best answer. It's a treasure hunting game played by those equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers called geocaches. Anyone can hide a geocache, or anyone can locate them. When you find one, you are suppose to be able to open it and leave a trinket and sign your name.

Go to the website, http://www.geocaching.com enter a zip code, and see all the hidden geocaches sites in your town. There are at least five in New Albany alone. One is somewhere near the Giant Eagle grocery store, one is for sure near the old police station in town, and one is at the cemetery. I learned all that this afternoon. I actually drove to a couple of sites but didn't have time to check any closer.

I checked the zip code for my sister in Tampa, and there are over 1,000 hidden geocaches in her zip code alone. One is hidden just outside her favorite grocery store (The size of a bottle cap!)

I checked my old town of Berrien Springs, Michigan, and found information for 722 hidden geocaches there. What a goldmine!

Floyd (Clayfeet), you have 387 in your little town. Philip and Shelley, you have 711 listed in your town, but in PORTLAND there are almost 5,000 geocaches to locate!

Maybe this isn't your thing. I understand completely. But I'm unabashedly excited! Actually, this is right up my alley for fun times! Hubby might enjoy it even more than me.

I can download a GPS APP for my iPhone without having to purchase an expensive GPS device.

Well, all I can say is "happy hunting'. I'm the lady walking down the middle of the highway with my nose to the compass!

Take Care on the Journey,

June 10, 2010

We're Moving to Denver, Colorado!

We are set to move to Denver at the end of July.

I have my RN license and several job prospects - especially one that I will interview for in two weeks!!! (But, not Porter SDA)

We've also (finally) made a deposit on a beautiful place to live!!!! I don't want to post the link here on the blog, but if you're interested in knowing more, please email me and I'll send it to you.

This is why I've been a bit negligent here on the blog. I've just been swamped with getting things lined up and organized along with working at OSU with the Epic training.

This is bittersweet for me because I have so many wonderful friends here in Columbus. We love our little home. I have a good doctor, and all my contacts with couponing!!!!

But, I'm also really excited about living in Colorado; closer to oldest son and his girlfriend; finding a sweet apartment; and getting better job opportunities than I was finding here.

And hubby is finding his dream at the end of his rainbow. (That's to say he has always wanted to live "Out West".) So, we're both looking forward to the new direction in life.

I'll keep you posted and send pictures along the way.

Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life (no matter where we live)

June 8, 2010

YouTube Video by Linda Meikle "Look Who Came to Supper"

OK. Another first for me to make a video of my photos for YouTube using Microsoft Video Maker. It took me about four hours to make!

Please click HERE to watch who came to supper in our back yard last night.

Billy, please share this with Jim for me. I was on the phone with him while taking these pictures.

Take Care on the Journey,