Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Day 14: My Life in 7 Years

Well, seven years from now Jay and I will have just celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.

My eldest will be in his thirties.

The horses will be teenagers (and well-broke, I hope).

While I'd love to have our own property and a house we built, I'm not sure of the reality of that. It's a good thing that L.E. loves us and we love her.

I'll probably still be stuck working at a job at which I'm good, but not at all appreciated. I'll probably still be waiting on a raise since my last one was in July, 2011 and the company is in no hurry to do anything about it.

Or, maybe I'll have won the PowerBall and I will have turned into one hell of a philanthropist. That would be okay. Set the kids up with a touch of money, travel with the hubby and the horses, volunteer, and give money to worthy charities. Pat Striker, move over!

Day 13: My Commute To/From Work

I have the best commute. I wasn't crazy about moving out of my hometown, but Jay convinced me to give it a try. His argument was that the scenery on the way into town was amazing. He was right.

It's hard to leave our little slice of paradise each morning, but knowing I get to come home to it each night makes it easier.

We live right off a dirt road, that when dry, is one of the best roads I've ever driven on. When saturated because of rain and snow, like today, is treacherous. Digger has mentioned more than once that Salome is much more of a bad ass car than most of the perfectly shiny 4x4 trucks that run around town. I tend to agree. My poor Salome will get a bath in June to get rid of the mud, and she'll stay mostly clean until September or so.

The morning drive in is spectacular, especially in the spring, when everything is fresh and blooming. The snow-capped mountains set my mind at ease about the potential for wild fires. The years when there is little to no snow visible are the years that scare me. The Rocky Mountains run in my full field of view from left to right and I consider myself blessed that I get to see them each morning.

Just off the highway, to the south, is a piece of property that I just love. I look forward to seeing it each morning, just as I descend the rolling hill by the dump. The property is lined on it's north side by trees, but there is one lone tree (Russian Olive, I think) smack dab in the middle of the property, standing sentinel over the growing crops. For some reason, I love that tree. It stands tall and proud by itself through all the seasons. On occasion, I've seen a hawk hanging out at the top of it, looking for dinner.

As I near the base of the hill and look up past that property, I can almost imagine that there are no houses beyond it. For just a second or two at 65 miles per hour, I can fantasize that urban sprawl isn't intruding. For a short period of time, all I see is the green crop, the sentinel tree, and the great snow-capped Rockies beyond. My heart gets very happy.

More and more houses appear as I get closer to the city and my heart breaks a little bit more every time I see new construction. The rural power company recently put in a huge solar farm and I was ecstatic when I realized that it was a solar farm and not another 100 houses. I'm constantly amazed at how many people city planners will cram into small spaces.

Farms that were "out in the middle of nowhere" are being surrounded by urban sprawl. The people come. They demand HOAs and covenants and rules and the next thing you know, there are no more family farms.

I'm no longer tense and angry when I cross I-25 into the city, but for the first two years I commuted back and forth, the minute I crossed into city traffic my blood pressure sky-rocketed and I became a road rager. I think the anger came mainly from seeing how much the city has changed from the small, agriculturally-based town into Boulder, North.

In fact, I was talking to a friend last night who spoke to someone who was touring "Ag" colleges and CSU was on his list. He came, took a look at CSU and immediately took it off his list - CSU is no longer an "Ag" college. It bills itself as one, but has lost its way, which breaks my heart.

The drive home calms me, soothes my soul. As much as I loved my hometown, there is next to nothing I recognize of it. It's gone and I'm beginning to come to terms with it.

I'm not a naturally poetic person, but living in our little slice of paradise is good for me. It truly does soothe my soul. Jay and I are so blessed to live where we do.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Day 12: A Phrase That Makes Me Laugh

"K, so" is a phrase I'm trying to erase from my vocabulary when I'm teaching. I find I use it a lot when trying to explain something. The thing is, it comes out sounding like "queso". You know, cheese.

I'll be lecturing along, explaining a concept and when I'm ready to move on, I just know I'm going to say, "K, so..." and I'm powerless to stop. I know that it comes out sounding like "queso", so then I think "cheese" and it completely derails my train of thought.

My students at first were confused when I'd say "K, so" and then start to giggle, but I finally let them in on my private joke and now just groan at me.

Hey, if I can't laugh at myself, I shouldn't be teaching :)

Day 11: My Current Relationship

This is a rather timely prompt, as our 7th anniversary is just a couple of days away.

I had to have some oral surgery done on the 10th, which just happened to be Jay's birthday and the dentist, hygienist, and I were talking. I mentioned it was his birthday and then mentioned that our anniversary was coming up on the 14th. They jokingly said, "seven years of wedded bliss, but how much time was not wedded bliss?"

That started me thinking - maybe five days? I mean, it's not like every day is a honeymoon, but for the most part, yeah, seven years of wedded bliss.

We just fit.

We're definitely not the have-to-fight-all-the-time-to-realize-how-much-we-love-each-other type of couple. I know there are a lot of people out there who believe that constant fighting and making up shows passion. I think that kind of "love" requires entirely too much energy to maintain and it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to full-on crazy and/or abuse.

We're also not the all-over-each-other-all-the-time couple. We love each other and support each other, but after that first kiss, we're not so much PDA-type people. We can be overly cutesy at times, but usually only at home. And, I will admit we talk in our own cutesy, short-hand way. But again, usually only at home.

We're more the we've-been-married-100-years-already kind of settled. I don't mean settled in a bad way, either. I mean, we're comfortable, content, and we each know who we are. I think that both of us being older (mid- to late-thirties) when we got married helped. I know who I am; he knows who he is and we accept each other. We don't need each other, but we damn sure  want each other and I think that counts for a whole lot.

Marrying Jay was the best decision I've made.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Day 10: A Fruit I Dislike and Why

Is cantaloupe a fruit? I'm going to call it a fruit since it shows up on so many fruit platters. Also, honeydew melon.

I don't like either of them and I can't really tell you why - they just don't appeal to me. I don't like the texture, the flavor, any of it.

I do like watermelon, if that's any consolation. In fact, at King Soopers you can buy watermelon "fillets", so I do. And then I munch on it all afternoon. It's a great snack. Yum. Now I wish I had some watermelon, darn it.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Day 9: My Feeling on Ageism

I don't know that I've ever put much thought into ageism.

Or any of this -isms, actually.

I know there's a lot of prejudice in the world, and it seems to be getting worse, but I'll be damned if I contribute to it. I'm of a mind that we need to treat people the way we want to be treated. The Golden Rule and all that jazz.

I'm also of a mind that if we spend too much time pointing out the differences between people, just so we can prove how blind we are to the -isms, that we're actually broadening the gap between people.

I don't care about anyone's age, color, gender, religion. I really don't. Whether or not they're a lazy asshole is a totally different story.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Day 8: A Book I Love and One I Don't

This prompt is really unfair for a bibliophile. Seriously, books? Love 'em. Almost all of them, anyway. I read, on average, 125 books per year, so there are a lot of books I love.

There's Robert McCammon's Swan Song, which I've so many times that I wore the binding out. I used cloth athletic tape to hold the book together until the pages started falling out. It was out of print for several years, so I couldn't even replace it. Finally, Amazon turned up a copy. Now you can find copies anywhere, but I really hate the new cover.

In the same vein, I really love Stephen King's The Stand (unabridged version). There have been accusations of one author ripping off the other, since they're both post-apocalyptic novels with good and evil battling it out. I don't see it. Yes, there are similarities, but that's pretty much the formula of the genre.

As for a book I don't love, there is one, written by a distant family member. It's a truly awful book, with poor writing, lousy editing, and even worse formatting. Under Amazon's new self-publishing rules, her book would have been pulled due to errors. If it wasn't for vanity publishing, this book would have never made it to market. I'm not knocking self-publishing, which in my mind is a totally different critter. I'm specifically talking about those publishing houses that you PAY to publish your books. I'm certain this particular distant family member probably paid at least $5,000 to get her book published.