Sitting here at Starbuck’s in Englewood passing the time until lunch and thinking about how far I’ve come since that fateful day last March. I am amazed at how many things had fallen into disrepair and neglect from the battle we were forced to fight against Tricia’s cancer. Almost three months have gone by and I am now starting to see some semblance of order taking shape. Both my vehicles are maintained and in working order again, most of the move and cleanup are behind me, physical strength returning to these old muscles and my stock photography work is proceeding full steam ahead with almost 500 images added this spring.
A new normal is emerging as I build a life for myself that doesn’t include space for a spouse. I have noticed a subtle change in the way I think of her as I go about my new daily routine. At first everything I did that reminded me of her just hurt but now I don’t think of her all the time while I am doing my new things. Now I actually like to take some time out and go somewhere or do something we used to do together just because it makes me feel close to her again. Close without the pain. Kind of a peaceful reconciliation I guess I would call it.
Kayaker competing in FIBark 2015
I have somehow found the strength to start doing some of the things that I have been meaning to do for many years, like photograph the Garden of the Gods 10M race and go to FIBark in Salida. I am starting to feel less like an unemployed nurse and more like a photographer again. And today, up here in Denver, I am just enjoying being in a place that I called home for over 30 years. Lunch with Dennis today will be at one of our old favorite places on Santa Fe, the Platte River Grille. Haven’t been there in probably 10 years and am looking forward to having a burger on the patio under the amazing blue Colorado sky on this beautiful summer day.
Back to the Future
These trips to Denver are really messing with my head. Up until now, my life has been neatly divided into distinct periods of time mostly based on jobs or accomplishments. Thus was my move to the mountains and the start of my nature stock photography endeavor. Tricia’s passing has of course blurred the lines and I have had to make numerous trips to Denver to tie up loose ends.
Well of course my old friends are still there, including Dennis whom I worked with for many years at the computer mainframe company I was employed by for most of my software career. When we first got together for lunch after at least six years it was like we had lunch together yesterday. Nothing has really changed, nothing forgotten, six years gone by like it was nothing.
At first it felt strange going back there because all I could think of was my memories with Tricia, but now that time has put some distance between me and those memories I find myself getting back in touch with the place. Today as I stood out front of the restaurant it felt like it had been just a week since we met there and shot the breeze waiting for the doors to open at 11:00. The place has not changed at all, everything is exactly as it was six years ago, including the bartender and all the waitresses, who all look exactly the same.
Lunch was great and soon we were headed for home, me barreling down five lanes of I25 in bumper to bumper traffic just like a pro race car driver, except of course that there is no point in passing anyone as there is nowhere to go but behind someone else. The city looks pretty much the same, the same buildings, same exits, same names on the buildings. As I passed through the south end of town I started looking for my exit, Lincoln Avenue… until of course I remembered that wasn’t my exit anymore. Then I started thinking how much I felt like I was in an episode of Back to the Future. Am I the guy who lives like a hermit in the mountains, or the guy cruising I25 and hitting the cool restaurants in the big city? Weird.
Then it occurred to me… God and destiny didn’t build those partitions around my life, I did. Tricia’s cancer has shrunk my world over the last few years but now we are both free of that terrible scourge. She is dancing in Heaven and I am free to be whoever I want to be. Today I was the city guy, tomorrow I will put on my backpack and climb Bald Mountain where I will not encounter another person for hours. It’s all good.
Looks like I’m getting a bit behind with my writing. Summer brings so many opportunities for activities that it is difficult to keep up with the writing about them! As the snow melts, there are new trails to explore, festivals to attend, sporting events to cover, not to mention daily activities made so much more enjoyable by the glow of the early summer sun.
A couple of years ago I purchased a new book on hiking the lost creek wilderness with the intent of exploring a new part of Colorado that I had never seen before. It took two years to get to it, but last weekend I finally got to try out one of the trails. It was a long trail to an elevation I have not seen in a long time, the Bison Peak Trail in the Tarryall Mountains. I have to say, it was a tough slog for me, but I did manage to get up and back down and take in some new vistas that I had never seen. I have even managed to put out an article on the Examiner so others can follow in my steps and enjoy this wonderful place as well.
It has been a busy month already, with a trip out to Buena Vista for the whitewater festival there along with hikes into the local woods in an attempt to document springtime in the Rockies with images of the changing mountains and wildlife entering their active springtime routines.
It is going to be a busy month for S.W. Krull Imaging with a Sierra Club hike, the Fibark whitewater festival in Salida, the Garden of the Gods Ten Miler and a trip to visit the wolves at the rescue center. Stay tuned, it is going to be a great summer!