Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Once Upon a Camping Time

The crickets serenade us as the sun sets more quickly and lets the fire be the final source of light. A belly full of hot dogs and s'mores and the smell of campfire lining the nostrils and every pore, now this is camping folks!

One of the many beauties of living a summer in colorful Colorado is the ease and accessibility of escaping civilization. One moment, I'm watching the final minutes of a World Cup championship game and celebrating a Spanish victory with a Sangria.. or two.. maybe three. Well let's just say my presumptions had matched those of Paul the Octopus, I had this 6th sense that Spain would win, so I began 'celebrating' with Sangria in the pregame. There I sat wondering what it'd be like to be in Madrid celebrating a victory as I sipped this, my fifth actually, Sangria.

Approx 37 minutes later..

Here we are in Reed's truck taking on the 4 wheel drive experience on Boss Lake Road just a half mile before our camping destination. One mission in mind, get away from any worries by passing the evening with good friends under the stars over a campfire. Wow, those Sangrias sure kicked my butt and made me appreciate being a passenger on this journey. The fresh air wifts through the the trees and the Aspen leaves are alive on this day. As we arrive to our friend's cabin, camping mentality sets in. All of the sudden I crave hot dogs, potato salad and s'mores to soak up this fruity wine in my belly. The cabin is perfect for camping; no electricity, no running water, a real rustic feel and an old fire place. Just down the hill from the cabin was the fire place and another thirty feet away was a horseshoe pit. Another fifty steps and you are greeted by a beautiful creek to drown the sounds all around.

What makes this experience so great is that nobody can get ahold of you from outside of your campsite, almost a primative feeling in this technologically connected world. I ponder what can be much better than camping in the mountains, then the mosquitos begin to bite. "Ouch! Somebody get me the bug spray quick!" Now we all smell of camping perfume, bug spray and campfire. Yummy, makes me want another s'more. As we all gaze at the stars and spot certain constellations and shooting stars. The song "It's times like these" by the Foo Fighters starts running through my head to complement the crickets' music. "... It's times like these, you learn to live again..." cricket, cricket.. and over again.

Sleepiness begins to set in, not sure if its all of the World Cup beverages or the peaceful setting as the fire slowly dissipates. Perhaps, the combination of the two. Ahhh... sleeping in the outdoors.

"Guys, there's a bear outside, somebody wake up and come out there with me.. all I have is a flashlight... crap!" our buddy Reed says emphatically as he lobbies for the rest of us to awake. What would camping be without the prospect of fighting off a bear? Unfortunately for big 6'7" Reed, he had to go pee solo with the thought of a bear awaiting him... nope, no bear. So we think at least. As the sun rises the next day, we all tell our account of Reed's bear cries. Cooking breakfast over another campfire, the birds' song has replaced that of the crickets'. Oh, the smell of campfire and bug spray has grown on me and the stream down the hill calls me again for more quality time... "It's times like these.."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Daily Gratitude

I awoke another day to the birds chirping, the sun shining and the air so fresh from an overnight rain storm. Wow, it sure feels like paradise and I know Colorado in the summer months is as beautiful as any other place on this globe. I can't help but feel my gratitude pouring out with each morning yawn. A good friend once told me the best favor we can do for ourselves is focus our energy on what we're thankful for. "That which we think about and thank about, we bring about," my friend exclaims when my energy has apparently shifted towards unnecessary worries.

So with that in mind, today, I am grateful for:

The sun shining
The rolling clouds
Afternoon rain showers
Friends & Family who bring out the best in me
Having multiple jobs
Having goals and aspirations
The money in my wallet (even if not that much :))
The roof over my head
The food in my kitchen
The books that line my bedroom
The bed I sleep on
The Honda Civic that gives me problems but ultimately serves its purpose
Music, music and more good music
Spanish language
The mountain view I have every breakfast
and today I'm most grateful for having today to be alive!

Hopefully you'll take a few minutes every morning to consider what you're thankful for, try it... it might just be your new best habit.