There is a friend who reads my stuff, often before I share it with others. She’s an engineer and mom, with everything that goes along with that. (Note: Her husband is a great guy and… More
Today, I woke early – about 4:45. It was a slow waking from a dream that bled into my awareness as the RAS allowed morning to creep in. The design of my book cover came to me during that time.
Also, a marvelous excitement for embracing the future washed over me in the dark. Possibilities materialized from the mist of my subconscious. This was prompted by a mind-mapping session last evening.
As I sat at dinner, munching a Lamb Gyro and the incredible fries at Silverheels in Frisco, I broke myself down into marketable bits. If the imperative is to provide for the present and the future, and to travel at the same time, I have to know what I’m offering. Yeh?
Climbing out my door at about 5:30, the difference between waking up in the dark and stepping out into morning gray is pronounced. Although I enjoy stars overhead, and sometimes blue moonlight on snow in winter, it’s another feeling to see the beautiful mountain scene around me.
A positive energy flows into me as I relax into a new day. Gratitude defines me in that moment.
At the top of this page are three Vagabond Rules – Don’t worry. Be Grateful. Be a Blessing. These are the precepts that I live by.
Enjoy the Life you’re living.
On Friday, I went to a conference of the National Organization of Trusted Advisors. It was a good day of learning and meeting new people, but in the midst of it, I had a moment of acceptance, of resignation.
Between sessions, I found myself talking to a young woman who was taking photos for the organization. As often happens, she was soon talking to me as though we were old friends. In the midst of it, she said,”I dont know why I’m opening up to you like this. You must have a thing.”
All my life, people have told me that I’m special or amazing, and it only irritated me. Think of sitting in a restaurant, reading a book. or talking with a friend, and having a stranger walk up to interrupt. In a minute, they’re pouring out their life’s story , which has no relation to anything in your own life, then they walk away.
That’s my thing. I let people release their thoughts, without judgement or advice. I just listen. How they know that I’m that person is something that escapes me, but they do, and they come.
Dont get me wrong. It isnt that I listen apathetically. I naturally participate in the conversation, but until now, I’ve always wondered why this happens.
A couple of weeks ago, talking with my coach, I asked that question. “You have a vibe that they can feel”, she said, “You’re in Paonia and I’m hundreds of miles away, and I can feel it just talking to you.”
So, that’s my thing, and I’m embracing it. Where that leads is anybody’s guess, but there it is.
On Sunday morning, I woke up to find that my ancient old phone had finally given up and wouldnt turn on. Google offered some things to try, but nothing worked. It was just dead. So, I ordered a new one online. Now I wait……………
There are several sides to this phoneless thing. The surprising one is that it really doesnt affect the amount of time I have for other activities. In this time, I’ve discovered that I use my phone for about five things – GPS, google, text, talk, and photos.
Of those, the one I miss most is the camera. Although I have a couple of pro level cameras, the vast majority of my shooting is done impromptu, with my phone.
As an example, this morning I woke to a magical world. Overnight, clouds had settled themselves into low places between the mountains, and from my elevated viewpoint at the top of Ute Pass, I was able to gaze across the valley. It was splendid, but I didnt have time to dig out one of the big cameras. Ugh!
On Saturday, I presented a talk to a small group on the subject You Are Enough. It’s about the ways that Self-Image affects our lives and how we can change it.
Our whole lives are built around the way that we see ourselves. Good or bad, we believe what we tell ourselves.
If we believe that we’re marvelous, we’ll act in marvelous ways and life will respond in kind. Contrariwise, if we believe that we’re useless, worthless creatures, that’s the way we will act and probably the way our lives will be.
We can change our self-image, though. By developing a mental image of your happiest self, you can literally change the way you see yourself. When you do, you’ll act differently and your life will reflect that.
Thanks for following. Enjoy the Life you’re living.
I’ve been distracted for a while. There’s lots of new stuff to post, and I also intend to make VagabondStew more personal, again.
Saturday morning with no itinerary, I lay on the bed listening to the sounds around me. I was in the attic bedroom of a house where my friend was house-sitting. The air was warm and the bed cozy, so I was in no hurry. Gradually, the urge to get up came over me, so I dressed, made the bed, and went downstairs.
The house seems to be a renovated farmhouse, but it’s difficult to say for certain. A thing that I enjoyed on this morning was a large sunroom with windows all around that went from floor to ceiling.
It was early and light on the snow was blue. Trees and fence posts were gray and faded into the distance. A layer of clouds still covered the mountains.
There were books everywhere in the house. Shelves and tables held hundreds of volumes, which made me think that I might like these people. Also, there was a pour over coffee setup, which I made use of.
My friend rose later, maybe seven-thirty or eight o’clock, and we started talking over coffee. The conversation ranged from common friends to the journals that she makes and on to a ton of other things. All the while, I watched the light grow and clouds break up to reveal the fabulous mountains that surround Paonia. Finally, about one o’clock, we decided that we should really get something to eat, and I should get things ready to go back to Denver.
After we each had showered and I had gathered my things, we jumped into her car and she drove me around the outlying area. She said that the North Fork Valley is called the Banana Belt of Colorado, due to its moderate temperatures. This, I could readily observe, if I could look past the blanket of snow.
For lunch, we went to a little place called The Living Farm Cafe. It’s owned by a farming family in the valley, and much of the food served there comes directly from that farm. I had Lamb Enchiladas, which were excellent, paired with a splendid syrah from local Stone Cottage Cellars.
After lunch, we drove back to the house and I climbed into Grace’s driver’s seat, a bit sad for the leaving, but I know I’ll be back soon.
In the meanwhile…Enjoy the Life you’re living.
Paeonia mascula – The common peony is reportedly the inspiration for the name of Colorado’s town of Paonia. When the town was founded, in the late 1800s, a man named Samuel Wade suggested the name “Paeonia”, but the postal service wouldnt allow the extra vowel. So, the name was shortened, and that was that.
Today, Paonia sits in the middle of Colorado’s wine country. Resting just southwest of Azura Cellars, Black Bridge Winery, and Stone Cottage Cellars, its restaurants gladly serve local wines beside other, more well known brands.
An early adopter of the Farm to Table movement, Paonia enjoys its food. According to 2016 numbers, the town has a population of 1,425. Surprisingly, there are no less than fifteen eateries. This doesnt include the two food trucks, one serving Thai cuisine and another dishing up tacos.
The week before I arrived there, the town had been without water, due to some kind of health concern. The day that I pulled in was also the day that water access was reopened. That evening, my friend and I had dinner at Louie’s Pizza, and it was a bit of a party. There were lots of locals, along with a live band, pizza and beer.
Before I left Denver, I promised myself to be off grid, so I turned off my phone before I stepped out of the vehicle in Paonia. Adhering to that decision meant that I wasnt able to get photos of Louie, his place or his wonderful pizza. It also meant that I had an uninterrupted visit with a good friend. (Sorry. Not Sorry.)
Louie’s is a two-story brick arrangement with large windows looking onto the street. Narrow, but deep and tall, it provides plenty of room for tables, a kitchen, an upstairs bar, and a small stage for live performers. The trio playing that Friday night had space for the guitarist/singer, a standup bass, and a small drum kit.
Louie, himself, is an interesting man. Someone told me that he was also a luthier, so that gave us something to talk about. While my friend was in the restroom, I struck up a conversation about how he manages to do both. The story is that it’s difficult to make a full time living building guitars in Paonia, Colorado, so he opened a pizza place. Now it takes up most of his time, but he still has time to build a couple of nice instruments a year. Not a bad life, I’d say.
NOTE: Before we went to Louie’s, we spent some time at a local microbrew that I cant remember the name of. (Definitely sorry. I’ll have it in another post.) I had a nice, very dark brew that’s aged in old whisky barrels.
More about this trip next time. Until then…Enjoy the Life you’re living.
Sometimes, the haunting beauty of this place can bring me almost to tears. It amazes me that I get to live here. I’ll be a little sad when it’s time to leave.
Just after I took this photo, I pulled onto Colorado State Highway 9, where it was raining lightly. After all the cold and snow, rain seemed kind of alien.