Arriving at Cripple Creek

Road to Cripple Creek

There are casinos EVERYWHERE in this town, LOL.

Time for a dip in the cold!

Ok, let’s fire this baby up…

hot tub in the mountains

I finally got my fire going!!

A Whirly Day in Colorado

A friend once told me whenever you travel somewhere, there’s always going to be that one day during the trip where everything goes wrong.  For me, that would be yesterday.

After an uneventful flight, I went to pick up my car, fully expecting that every SUV and 4×4 will have been rented out by now because of the snow, so I could kiss any chance of getting a free upgrade goodbye.  But meh, I figured as long as I have front wheels it’s all good.

When Hertz gave me a weenie little Nissan Versa to drive though, I knew it was going to be one of those days.

Hiro says, Not a scratch on Versa
Shut up, Hiro.

Next headache was the clamp to hold my iPhone dock in place, which somehow broke when I pulled it out of the bag.  Unless I found a solution fast I was going to have to hold up my iPhone by hand to use the GPS.  Fortunately I had a backup dock using suction cups, but instead of suctioning it to the window I shoved it into a small compartment next to the steeling wheel and it managed to stay secure and in place, easily keeping my iPhone in reach.  Whew.

I had to forgo visiting Breckenridge on my way to the cabin because of the snow storms, but fortunately the roads were dry and clear from Denver to Colorado Springs, to Woodland Park and finally near Divide where my cabin was.  As soon as I walked in, the first note I read is off the fridge asking to keep my trash inside because the bear broke into the outside trash bin last week.

Wait, bear?  I was not informed that there would be any bears.  You know what else is outside?  The hot tub.  So what if I’m soaking away, minding my own business and this bear decides he’d like to help himself to some “chicken soup?”  NOT COOL.

Then I see the fridge still has more food in it then probably all of Calcutta, India.  The previous guests couldn’t be bothered throwing the leftovers out, and neither did the cleaner, apparently.  Probably because of the stupid bear.

I also checked the thermostats, but they’re of the variety where by the time things warm up, the trip is already over.  So I’d have to use the wood stove instead.  No problem, ‘ll just toss a few logs in there, light a match, and bob’s your uncle.

Yeah, the logs wouldn’t light.  So I tried newspaper, which would slowly burn, then go out, then burn, then go out, without ever setting the logs on fire.  I’m trying to figure this out for an hour, meanwhile my jeans are completely covered in soot, and I can’t feel my fingers.  I finally get in touch with the owner, who says, “Oh check outside to see if the cap for the chimney is on there, a guy was supposed to clean it before you arrived, but if it’s not there you won’t be able to use the wood stove anyway, as the open chimney is a fire hazard until he finishes the job.”

Me:  …………

And of course the cap is not there.  Well, at least there’s the silver lining in knowing if I had been able to get a fire going, I probably would have set the entire forest here ablaze by accident.  That would have been… awkward.

Ah well, at least the hot tub works and I can use that.  Provided I don’t get eaten by the bear first.

Also had to spend some time affixing heavy blankets to the windows here because there are no curtains, and I’m a light sleeper.  Of course that chore resulted in a few falls and banging my knees off every piece of furniture in the cabin.  Ugh.  Totally off my game.

Today though is starting off much better.  I made a special blend of chocolate mint blend coffee, and as soon as I took a sip, I knew the whirly day was finally behind me.  YA TAAAAA!

If I ever met the girl of my dreams and we ran away to the mountains…

This is how I imagine it would look:

Girl, blanket, coffee and mountains
Source: The Smile of Nature.

Forgetting does not equal healing

One of the habits I’ve formed over the years is to try to quickly forget whenever someone does harm to me and just move on with my life.  I’m of the sort that when a wound cuts, it cuts deeply, and I’m trying to get beyond that by learning not to take things so personally.  I thought putting it out of mind was the best way to prevent these cuts and wounds from impacting me more than they should.

I get rejected for a job.  Nothing personal.  Move on.  I get rejected for a date.  Nothing personal, move on.  No sense in nursing wounds and bearing grudges, amirite?

But then I had an epiphany one day when I looked at some of the small physical scars I had on my hands, and I couldn’t remember how I got them.  Scars from long ago, with no recollection of the injuries that caused them.  And then it occurred to me:  even though I had long since forgotten, the scars WERE STILL THERE.

I wondered then if that’s why I would sometimes be angry for no apparent reason, or wake up depressed even though the sun was out and a good day was ahead of me.  That’s when I realized, I may no longer have any memory of all the hurts that have accrued over the years, but those emotional scars were STILL there.  Forgetting wasn’t enough.  See, it had always been my rationale that you can’t get angry or bitter over a hurt if you’ve long since forgotten about it.  That’s why when a close friend suggested that my tendency to immediately expect to be rejected by people stemmed from my father abandoning me when I was a kid, I scoffed at it.  I was glad my father left and barely gave him a minute’s thought since then.  I had simply forgotten about him.

But forgetting didn’t exorcise the wound he left behind.  It colored my thinking as I grew up, to the point where I wholly expect people to generally dislike me, hate me and ultimately reject me from their lives, their social circles, or the jobs they might offer.  Rejections piled upon rejections, and when I WASN’T rejected, I would immediately get suspicious, like there was some nefarious motive behind it.  Or I would then get really stupid and purposely act in a belligerent manner that so puts people off that they have no choice but to reject me.  Rejection was like an old, comfortable shoe, and to not be rejected put me in new territory and could make me a bit paranoid.  Because it I hadn’t been rejected now, all that meant was that I was soon going to be rejected later.  And even worse, when I least expect it too.

One of my last friendships was like that.  You hit it off, you think things are going well, but then months later, without warning, you’re just… rejected.  The friendship is over, and you’re left picking up the pieces, not knowing why.  It’s one of the reasons why I keep most people at arm’s length.  Any acceptance of me I regard with suspicion, because I believe such acceptance is false and will only result in more rejection anyway.

All this, because of past hurts that I have long since FORGOTTEN about.

Clearly forgetting wasn’t enough.  If I really wanted to prevent the hurts of the past from haunting the present and future, I needed to learn how to forgive too.  Or else, I’m going to wind up like Bob Kelso:

Driving to work

How I usually drive to work:

Stuck in traffic jam

How I’d LIKE to drive to work:

Tank bulldozing on highway