Observation Mode

This, by far, has been the longest I’ve ever gone without posting a blog since my first Vox post in 2008.  Blogging is an activity I usually am chomping at the bit to get to but lately I’ve had a hard time making myself sit and do it.  I’ve figured out that I am in observation mode right now.  Here’s what’s been up:

Little Girl Grown Up

In early June I visited my sister and her family in Ohio for a long weekend.  My niece was graduating from high school.  Both my parents showed which was one of the first times they had actually been in the same room together and had a decent conversation.  The trip proved to be bittersweet.  While happy for my niece, it seem sad for the rest of us who had watched her grow up.  She is the first niece/granddaughter in our family and we definitely had a hard time letting go and accepting the fact that she is now a young woman.  So here is this young woman who I used to hold and comfort when she was hurt and now she is holding the hand of her boyfriend.  He seem to be a decent sort.  The first night there she had him painting her nails.  Wonder what his buddies would think of that scene?  The day my family was scheduled to leave and return to their parts of the country, niece’s boyfriend hugged us all.  “Be good to her,” I told him.

Or I will find you, is what I was thinking.

   That evening after dark, we all went out into the front yard.  My niece lit a lantern and we stood by and watched as it lifted into the night sky, where it competed with the light of the full moon.  My brother-in-law’s eyes filled with tears.  There was something so symbolic about watching this beautiful light slowly lift and gently move across the sky.  In all honesty I was a bit concerned about this thing landing on someone’s roof eventually and catching on fire, however, we had no indication that this happened, thank goodness.






The Abby Chronicles

Abby and I seem to be on better terms lately.  The changes that have come about the past couple of months have been hard on both of us.  I realized that most of my attention was being bestowed upon the weasel because that is how it had always been.  Abby belonged to the ex.  Smokey belongs to me.  The Cesar Milan magazine did arrive.  In fact I have received two issues so far and have only flipped through one.  It’s ok.  Lots of pics of celebrities with their dogs, etc…  a bit of advice but nothing so far that would be fitting to the situation.  I’d like to say Abby and I have called a truce and have become actual friends.  It seems the more I give her the more she gives back.  Her anxiety seems to have lessened and I am grateful.  She really is a good dog.

Observing Singles in Their Natural Habitat

Athletica and I have joined a hiking group that meets every so often.  We either brave the heat here in Phoenix or we head up to the mountains where it is a bit cooler (which is a relative term).  I’ve done so much watching of people lately and observing their actions.  Most in the hiking group are single and in their 40s or early 50s.  What I get from various conversations I’ve had with people is that they are pretty much all divorced.  No one is looking for anything but simplicity right now.  It’s been interesting.  Athletica received an email through the group’s website from one of the guys.  “I think he just wants to be friends,” she says.  “No,” I tell her. “A man usually doesn’t reach out to a woman because he wants to be her friend.  Call me crazy but I don’t think it works that way.”  Its been a while for me though.  Maybe the rules have changed in the past decade?

After a hike in Sedona a few weeks back, a gentleman walking behind me proudly announced that he had taken a picture of my butt and would be posting it on the group website.  Not sure if he was kidding or not but it was one hell of a pick up line.  Needless to say I won’t be contacting him any time soon.  Lucky for him no such picture ended up on said website.  Interesting times.

Saying Goodbye to a Trainer and a Friend

 I joined this gym back in February.  In that timeframe I never sweated, hurt or pushed myself so hard as I ever did in my entire life than at this gym.  The alarm would be set for 3:45am so that I could make it there by 5am.  B. was one of those people who motivated others to push themselves just a bit harder each time.  There were days I would puke and there were days when the work outs were so tough I wanted to  literally cry out.  Friday, July 6th was the last time I worked out with B.  On the following Monday he went missing.  Tuesday night I received a text from Athletica that read, B. is dead.   While I won’t get into it here, I will say it was very tragic.  I watched his dream come to life at their grand opening back in October.  His goals were written on a white board in his office.  Many were checked off but there were so many more to be achieved.  There is a celebration of his life this weekend and then the gym doors will be closed forever.  Rest in peace, B!

Life In Motion

Athletica brought a friend along to a hike we did a few weeks ago who I had met several times before.  Matteo is someone who had been interested in her for a really long time but I’ve known that feeling hadn’t been reciprocated.  After the hike the three of us went out for coffee and chatted for a while.  I had invited the both of them to come a barbecue of a friend on the 4th of July.  Athletica had plans already but Matteo didn’t.  He brought his two grandchildren who I immediately adored.  He had children young and so did his son so he is a very young grandfather.  It was an enjoyable day but the kids were getting bored.  They left before the fireworks started.  Later in the evening I received a text from him thanking me for a nice time and wanting to know if I’d be up for a motorcycle ride over the weekend.  Matteo rides a Harley.  So how do I describe how this felt?  Let’s see: scared, adventurous, wtf?, thrilled, and ‘what the hell am I doing???’.  I wasn’t sure.  First we were supposed to go Friday and I canceled.  (What a chicken, right?)  So Saturday I gave in.  Afterall, I’m usually the first in line for every puke-inducing thrill ride at an amusement part.  How hard could it be to ride on the bike of a motorcycle.  And a Harley no less!

So Saturday evening he arrived at my house.  I could hear that bike coming from two miles away.  Dang, those things are loud!  I had been instructed to wear jeans and boots (yes, perfect for 100+ degree weather).  I threw my hair up in a pony tail and listened to instructions on how to ride on this thing without tipping it over (or falling off), and then we were off.  We drove up Central Ave., which is a street I’ve traveled on millions of times, and everything looked so different from this view.  The buildings seem pasted to the skyline.  Everything seem to sparkle.  We went to a blues club and I laughed so hard at just various things.  It felt like hearing your favorite song from your teenage years or something.  I felt that happy.  Later we took a ride through the desert which was so much cooler than driving through the concrete behemoths of Phoenix.  We drove by Camelback Mountain, which was beautiful at night.  I took a million snapshots in my mind and have relived them during the week while I’m working.


Well, the observation of this strange and new life of mine continues. . .