GO WEST, YOUNG WOMEN
We have been looking forward to this trip for a long time. Six months, to be exact. Six months have passed since our last trip there.
On Thursday morning of this week, we will wake to a magnificent view of Pikes Peak.
If you recall from Something To Look Forward To (January 7th), we return from our Labor Day trip to Colorado and begin the anticipation again.
Anticipation is at least half the fun.
The other half, as I alluded to in last week’s post, is somewhat of a secret. We engage in all manner of fun, meet new people, make new friends and new memories, and, of course, we leave a mark—in a good way. We know this because people remember us with a smile when we return.
All this fun, however, takes a little work.
Planning is the first stage. Marking ourselves off the calendar at work is our first step. Suzanne hasn’t been able to join us in Colorado for two years; her new job prevented time off. We didn’t go to Colorado for Labor Day 2016 because we had just returned from Florida, as detailed in my very first post.
So this trip is long overdue for her, and right on time for Gail and me. A single day longer, and we would implode with anticipation.
Planning our wardrobes and jewelry is a prolonged labor of love for Gail and me; Suzanne throws hers together at the last minute—in a very small bag. Perhaps a bit larger than the Zip-lock bag she professes to be able to use, because we are going to a cold climate, and she may need a few extra layers than she would, say, on the beach. Several years ago, when I picked her up for the March trip, we were headed out of her driveway when I realized she got in my car without a heavy coat. Good thing I asked; her minimalism kept her from remembering to pack a heavy coat. We were, after all, going to the mountains in March, and she may need an extra layer…
Many people hear about all the fun we have, and see our Facebook posts, and apparently think they, too, could have a lot of fun with us.
They probably could, except, they can’t. No one else can. Our sisterhood is the exclusive admission to this highly anticipated, sacred, sisterly excursion.
We will maintain our tradition of singing Rocky Mountain High on our final stretch.
Just in case the satellite radio gods don’t play it at the perfect time for us like they did last time, I have already packed my John Denver CD.
Gail will make her grand entrance into Cripple Creek:
We do publicize some of our activities; we give a little hint of the fun we have. We don’t plan much of our weekend, we let the spirit move us. We have even been known to let the horses move us:
And we move ourselves too. Perhaps we will do a little nice-not-naughty North Pole dancing, maybe not. We’re not telling.
No matter what it is, it is all good, clean fun.
Gail will likely strike her Audra Barkley pose on the majestic staircase at the historic hotel we now call our Colorado home:
(The Big Valley was an integral part of our 70’s television lineup.)
We will renew our friendship with the proprietors of this magnificent and historic hotel:
The local, free-roaming donkeys will be appreciated and honored, as they should be.
Other wildlife is revered as well.
We may put ourselves in the local spotlight with our antics, both on-stage, and off:
We are there for each other to avert any possible disasters–after we get a picture:
And if something doesn’t look right with one of us, we will come to each other’s aid: we found Gail like this one morning, and the mystery of how it happened remains.
The truth is, we don’t know yet what we will do. When the occasion calls for a memory to be made, we will make it. We do know that we will do whatever we can to further the memory and mission of our parent’s lives of peace and love. It is up to us now to carry it forward, and on this ten-year anniversary, we are cranking it up a notch or two–or more. Now more than ever, our world needs their message of peace.
We hit the mother lode–and the father lode, too with our parents. This small Rocky Mountain town is still an active gold-mining town, with the mother lode struck here years ago. The idea of The Sister Lode was born here; we know that what we have with each other is gold.
Memories made in times of great fun are golden, savored; sacred.
Memories made in times of great sadness can be dark, sometimes avoided, but always sacred. Our memories of March 4th, 2008 are still very much with us. It will be ten years since that fateful, faith-full day.
We have chosen to March Forth from that dark day when we lost our parents in a car accident. We marched forth back into the light, after our private and shared struggles to find joy and hope again. It is now sweet-bitter to relish the memories of our parents, not bittersweet any longer. The bitter still stings, sometimes as sharp as a knife through the heart, but only now for a quick moment, then the pain subsides as quickly as it ambushed us.
These moments are more few and far between, and will, with continued faith and grace, continue to space themselves out in the future. We will continue to gain strength from our faith, our family and the friendship we have forged as sisters.
We have chosen to celebrate our sisterhood with our travels, and these trips have become an integral part of our yearly calendar. We carve out the time, save the money and prioritize it just as we would regular and possibly life-saving medical checkups and/or treatment, because for us, it is. It is survival and sustenance in our lives that now have a heightened sense of what is most important—those we love.
And I do love my sisters. I’m pretty sure they love me, too.
My wish for you is that you take the time to celebrate those in your family and/or circle of friends whom you love the most.
Take them on a trip, or take them to lunch, or anywhere in between. Find a good starting place, and take off from there.
Tell them you love them, and if you need to, tell them you are sorry. Forgive, if necessary.
Tell them you are glad they are a part of your life.
Tell them if they were gone tomorrow, your life would be richer for having had them in it.
And every day, treat them like they could be gone tomorrow, because sometimes, they are.
CRIPPLE CREEK, COLORADO, OUR ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH