• August 13, 2013

    twenty-six

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    26 was ushered in without much pomp and circumstance. in fact, I was traveling for work, so it was ushered in without any pomp and circumstance at all. don’t get me wrong – I was celebrated mightily on the days before 26 and the day of 26 found me overwhelmed by cards hidden in suitcases and so much technological love my phone almost died taking it all in. (including a photo montage of an almost 2-year-old signing me “happy birthday” which was, obviously, the best.) but that 31st day of july was spent on a lot of traveling and not a lot of talking to real, live human beings except to say things like, well, I suppose you may pat me down because the security screening thought my shirt buttons were a bomb. and the closest I came to actually being wished a happy birthday in person was when the man selling me wine had to look at my ID. he didn’t notice though…apparently, they don’t card too carefully out there in colorado. but to be honest, I was okay with that. for an introvert who misses clean mountain air like its my job, driving through the rockies with bon iver on the stereo was kind of a present in itself.

    what did happen on the days that 26 became a reality was this:

    1. plane rides with 6-year-old boys who started out as strangers but bonded over shared gummy bears and talk of favorite superheroes. my heart melted into a little puddle right there on my tray-table.

    2. almost car accidents with bear watchers. stopped in the middle of the road. on a blind curve. tahoe or estes park – tourists are always just the same.

    3. free bouquets of sunflowers from the sweet gentleman of a florist at safeway because he “needed the room.” if that’s not the best unintentional birthday present ever, I don’t know what is.

    4. eating dinner alone in a restaurant for the first time. a real restaurant. you know, the kind where you sit and order and try not to look too, “I will one day be an old maid with lots of cats” while sandwiched between couples reaching over candle light and families laughing boisterously. turns out, it’s not nearly as awkward as I thought. although don’t expect me to get into the habit of it anytime soon.

    5. a lovely little lake named lilly and the beetle bugs that are (nature at its worst!) eating all the trees around it.

    6. night that is NIGHT (no city lights to dim the darkness here, thank you very much). the milky way. shooting bits of fire a million miles away. stars for miles and miles. stars that remind me of abraham and promises and futures greater than the reality of life as we know it.

    7. stories of strength and dignity in africa that remind me why I’m here. the passion of others rubbing off on me. the honoring of those who have made the story so much of what it is. the reminder couldn’t have come at a better time. the reminder was needed more than ever.

    8. sunrise coffee and reading on the back deck to gain a little perspective before chaos ensues. the bit of calm before somehow always gets me through the storm.

    9. curvy, cliffy roads that feel more natural to me than highways and byways. when you learn how to drive in mountaintop blizzards, you feel a lot more confident on cliffs than you do in traffic.

    10. mountain wildflowers. for days and days and days.

    11. sunset from the highest road in north america. above the tree-line. inside the clouds. atop arctic tundra. amidst big-horned sheep and massive elk and even a porcupine to boot.

    12. a miniature donkey named stella.

    colorado I love you. mountains I love you. humidity back in nashville…well, you are just killing me.

     

    Filed Under: ADVENTURES BIG AND SMALL, I AM A LIST MAKER, travel

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    5 Responses

    1. Alyssa says:

      Stella!!! So cute :) Wish I could’ve celebrated with you!!

    2. Stacey says:

      Amen to that last line… want to move to Colorado with me? :)

    3. Taylor says:

      #12…the perfect ending
      I love you and your words Carrie Horton!

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