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Crazy Thoughts From the Middle of Nothern CO

So this post might be a little far reaching for some. I hesitated on posting it but these thoughts have been sticking with me through dinner and a thorough kitchen cleaning. It is time for me to purge…bear with me.

I walked a labyrinth today. I have never walked a labyrinth but I have to say, it’s quite a meditative, thoughtful event. My friend Quinn took our writer’s group through the process.

We waited at the entrance of the maze. Quinn gave us a meditation, something to ponder as we made our way through.

“Imagine you are entering the Universe of the Great Mother. You can envision her as the Great Goddess, Mother Earth, the Virgin Mary, the Buddha Tara, the Chinese Kwan Yin or any other feminine manifestation of Divine Energy.”

Got it. I rung the bell at the entrance and started my walk. As I walked, I thought of the Virgin Mary. This surprised me. I am usually a Mother Earth or Buddha type of girl but today, I thought of Mary.

Why Mary?
I thought. I looked around. The prairie landscape reminded me of my trip through the Ilhara Valley in Turkey. Historians say that Mary settled Ilhara after Jesus was crucified. Perhaps that’s why I’m relating to her, it’s the landscape. I continued to walk and thought about my trip to Turkey many, many years ago. Years before I was a mom, years before my life changed so profoundly.

Maybe it’s because her life changed profoundly too, maybe because she was told what her life was going to be, maybe because before she was Saint Mary, the Virgin Mary, one of the most significant female figures in civilization, she was a mother. I thought.

Oh.

Well.

That could be it. Today Mary might be easier to relate to than Kali, the Hindu goddess who is known to lie in a bed of snakes.

I don’t like snakes.

So I walked the rest of the labyrinth thinking of Mary. Thinking of her strength, compassion and her role as a mother. She became more relate able to me than in any church service, any Sunday school or Western religion class and I was really happy to have her join me.

Funny thing is that I’m not really the religious sort but I was filled with peace and acceptance during my walk. Amazing what (and who) you can find in the middle of Northern CO.

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Saints, Asses and Tomtaoes

Saints

Our life continues to be blessed with people who love Samantha and are not intimidated by her medical needs. This makes life doable, bearable, pleasurable and enjoyable. The latest addition to Team Samantha is Kelly; the daughter of our next-door neighbor, nursing student and fan of our little peanut.

Perfect!

Kelly shows up at the door with her keyboard so she can play for Samantha. She sings, reads and cuddles.

Mama goes out for a ride because it is, after all, only 2 1/2 months until the Courage Classic. Mama rides stress free knowing that another Samantha Saint is watching over little Princess.

Asses

Speaking of Mama….I must confess that there are times when yes, I can be, an Ass. Sometimes I don’t realize it until I’m in throws of my behavior and then it hits me….”oops….I’m being an ass”

The other day the car in front of me can to a stop and looked like he was trying to merge in the turn lane. Lanes on either side of us were moving quickly and it looked like he had stopped traffic so he could get in the turn lane (or at least this is what it seemed like to me).

“Oh come on.” I said.

No movement.

I honked my horn.

I tried to go around him.

I honked again.

And then I realized that the REASON he had stopped and was trying to change lanes was because the car in front of him had stalled. Ooops…nevermind.

THEN to make matters worse, he pulled into the other lane and made room for me to get by. I was so embarassed I rolled down the window and apologized.

“I’m sorry I honked at you. I didn’t realized what was going on.”

He waved, smiled and continued to eat his banana.

I was embarassed; me and my road rage. I then, on top of it all, he was nice!

I then I realized what he did. I had been an ass, he had let it pass.

I got an Ass Pass.

The other day I was out on my bike and got cut off by a car. We both stopped at the red light. Instead of giving him a lecture on sharing the road or at the very least a good glaring, I decided to give him a pass….ass pass.

Maybe it would be a better place if we didn’t assume that wrong doings are a personal assult but merely a person distracted or having a bad day. Maybe they just need a pass.

Tomatos

My garden is planted and I am growing baby yum yums that will burst into lovely veggies in a month or two. I love this! I love eating food I have planted, watered and cared for.

We have a rouge bunny that keeps showing up with a napkin, knife and fork. Not sure if I’m generous enough to give HIM a pass.

Happy Spring my friends

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Mama takes me golfing

Mother’s Day was rainy, grey and a bit chilly. Did that stop my Mama from taking me out? Nah

We went golfing, as a family. It really was quite fun. I developed quite a knack for driving the golf cart!

Here’s Pops….where did his ball go?

Daddy takes a shot.

Mama’s happy to be out!

Nonnie, Mama and Me bundled up in the cart.

Crazy Pops!

My favorite place to be

I am too young to comment on this picture.

Now looking at this picture, golf just seems silly.

It was such a nice day and so much fun to do something as a family. Mama, by the way, golfed her best game ever! Good day.

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The deeper side of Mother’s Day

I have to preface this by saying I had a great Mother’s Day. Samantha joined us for a fun round of golf (she felt it necessary to help drive the cart), had a lovely dinner and most importantly, Samantha had a good day. Let’s face it, when Samantha has a good day, everyone has a good day!

I had so much fun I forgot to take pictures. Fortunately Nonnie stepped in so footage will be posted soon.

As I was getting ready this morning I thought about how happy I was that we were not in Children’s for Mother’s Day…..these are the crazy things that go through my mind when plucking my eyebrows.

Well, what about those families who are in Children’s today? I thought. Would they still find joy in the day? Open Mother’s Day cards while sitting on that little pull-out bed? Have brunch in the hospital cafeteria? Can you celebrate while being worried and sad for your child?

My thoughts went back to Mother’s Day three years ago. It was the first Mother’s Day after we lost Jack….

again, I think I should just stop plucking the eyebrows if these are the thoughts that go through my head during this procedure.

How did you get through that? That had to be a sad day. Funny thing, I don’t remember being sad. Introspective perhaps, but not sad. Why was I not sad? Did I block some memory out? Did I repress some bad Mother’s Day juju three years ago?

And then I remembered that three years ago I was quite pregnant with Samantha.

And then there, in front of the mirror, with tweezers in hand, I felt so very grateful for my little girl. My grooming session was also over because I was all weapy.

She had given me hope that Mother’s Day; my dream, my faith, my tiny wish. I hadn’t even met this little peanut but she had allowed me to look into the future with a new sense of optimism.

What a good daughter. Hope, that was her gift and it continues to be her gift; every single day. That’s better than any Hallmark card, even if it does play music.

Thank you Samantha.

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Gonna Ride like the Wind

Ahhh..whatever happened to Air Supply? Good tunes, good tunes.

So since people are donating to our Courage Classic team, I decided I should get out and start training.

Ouch.

I am not a fan of the wind. My favorite memory of a windy night was with my friend Jessica. We were taking an overnight ferry from Italy to Greece. Our sleeping choices included inside a fumey, hot, natsy lounge area or outside; under the stars, in the fresh air, with a lovely view of the ocean.

We chose outside; which at 10:00 in the evening, under the protective blanket of the Italian coast seemed like a perfectly reasonable choice. We couldn’t believe more people were joining us. Then it turned midnight and our little steamer turned into the open sea, and the wind started blowing. We toughed it out in the gale force winds until 2:00 in the morning.

“Jess,” I said, “Jess we have to go inside, this is nuts.” I couldn’t find Jessica. She had buried herself in the confines of her sleeping bag. She poked her head out and the wind immediately caught hold of her bright red hair.

“THE WIND!” She yelled. “THE WIND IS A BASTARD!” She was howling. The wind was howling. She looked like a crazy red-headed mermaid, wiggling in her sleeping bag. We drug our belongings into the hot, nasty lounge and settled in for a sleepless night.

The wind is a bastard…..the wind is a bastard. I used this quote many times on my ride. Headwinds are nasty, unfriendly and even worse when your traveling your out-of-shape hiney uphill. I passed by Windy Glades Ranch, sounds poetic doesn’t it? Hmmmmm…..

And then I changed directions and the wind went away. Funny how that happens. I could relax and recall with a smile Jessica’s red, red hair whipping around that night.

I made it two hours and only inhaled one bug. Not bad for a starter training ride.

Vail Pass here I come.

Wanna donate to my ride? Check out http://www.couragetours.com/2009/hschichtel

Muchas Gracias 🙂

The Samantha Years

Shameless!

So, I am soliciting donations…yet again.

“But Heather”, you say “I just gave to the Sammer Hammer Walk for Epilepsy in April. In February, I gave to the Children’s Miracle Network. What more can you ask for?”

And to that I say that I cannot, in good conscience, ask for another penny from you.

So, I am asking you in bad conscience.

In July I will be riding 157 miles through the Colorado mountains in order to raise money for The Children’s Hospital. The race is called the Courage Classic and I am captaining a team called Summits for Samantha. If you have a nickel (or more) left for a Samantha cause you can donate at: http://www.couragetours.com/2009/hschichtel. Or just visit the page to check out why we choose to ride for Children’s. It’s good coffee break reading. Do to technical difficulties, I have also posted a direct link in the nav bar of our blog.

Because lets face it, Samantha has more causes than a Berkley hippie…

on a Greenpeace boat…

with Al Gore…..

We can rally behind many causes….so we do…and yes, we take you with us…you lucky, lucky people!

A big hurray goes to Aunt Tracy and Uncle Scott who are the first donors. Thank you, thank you for starting us off. Tracy also makes the amazing brownies when we are in the hospital….mmmmmmm…brownies.

Love you all….thanks for being on the boat with us