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The Delight of You in My Life:

I talk often about how much I love you all. The GIFT I absolutely feel in having amazing people in my life. It is a gift. YOU are a delight.

We are older. The fragility of life and our time on this earth has become more relevant. A month after this photo was taken, one of our loves lost their Mama. The importance of these relationships- knowing that we love and are loved, it is a sacred gift.

Today’s Delight is brought to you by my amazing friend JoBeth: aka Jingo, Chippy, Jo-El, and all around amazing person. She is a talented writer, lover of life and someone I have loved and laughed with for 30 years.

I just celebrated her 50th. Today I got this note in the mail about our time together. I think it speaks to so many of us about our cherished relationships- and it is a delight.

Thank you note from Jingo:

My Dear, Dear Friends:

It’s hard to believe it has now been months since you all descended into the Valley of the Sun like rock stars at the start of a tour. There is a part of me that is ashamed and embarrassed at taking so long to write a thank you note, but there is another part of me that has been in denial that we are all back to the realities of our pandemic, adulting lives. Denial looks like this: It took me a week to break down the fancy dinner table that you guys made look like a 5 star restaurant. It took me two weeks to admit that the flowers in the mason jars were finally droopy and brown enough to let go. It took three weeks to take the Coronas out of the Yeti cooler on the patio (because we forgot about them). It took until Thanksgiving to find the last olive from someone’s bloody mary still intact in the deep end of the pool. And much to Eric’s chagrin, the cards you placed strategically for me to find and open are exactly where you left them- in my cupboard, in my cookbook, the the freezer with the beer glasses, and probably some other places I still haven’t discovered.

A friend’s dad used to say that life is like a roll of toilet paper- and while I’m sure there are a shit ton of reasons one could insert here as to why this is, his particular thought was that because the closer you get to the end, the faster is goes. I certainly don’t feel like 50 is the end, but I do feel, with the exception of house projects, that everything seems to be moving quicker than I feel prepared for. While four days with you probably felt like an eternity to my liver, the rest of me felt those days were more life the first seasons of Ted Lasso, over way too soon. I kinda wanna go back and replay them until our next episode begins. Alas, the spin cycle of adulting waits for no fermented air-fiddle player.

As I have finally conceded to reality and decided to scrape the freezer burn off that last card, to see all your names (and your collective nicknames for me), and to feel all the joy you brought to Arizona, I have been focused on how much that time filled me and how lucky I am, not just for the kick-ass celebration but the friendships that made it so. For a person who has hugged her way through life and who finds the greatest highs in belly laughing and just being in close proximity to my people, the prolonged social austerity of a pandemic may have made me physically plump, but spiritually, I was living on fumes. While the long weekend may have picked my innards, it also nourished and oxygenated them and the world around me.

My goddess/god/ genderless sky monkey, what a GIFT it has been to experience you love, support, HUMOR and HUMOR, and your countless gifts for literally and figuratively the better part of my life. And what a gift is was that you all trained, planed and automobiled to the desert to be in-person reminders of how fanfuckingtastic my 50 years on this earth have been. I can’t and don’t want to imagine where or who I would be without all of you. That our incredibly unique and wholly special connection continues and grows even now give me such a feeling of pride and strength. I truly love each and all of you more than I can say. I love your spirits, your talents, your insights and intelligence, again- your HUMOR, your hearts, your voices, your stories, your families, our stories and our family.

Until next time, my mountains-

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Delight Day 25: No You Cannot Go to Orange Theory

I am trying to move more.

Time of Covid, working from home shuffling 20 steps from my bedroom to my study, to sit for hours….

and hours….

Is not healthy. And I know I’m better, I’m clearer, I’m happier when I move. I KNOW that.

Recently the American Heart Association came out with a study around how MUCH time we are sitting in time of COVID….and how bad it is for our heart. Our heart, like any muscle loves some movement. The old saying, ‘let’s get our blood moving?’ Our heart loves that saying.

And you know what? I love my heart.

In the new era of Heather Needs to Move More, I signed up for the Orange Theory Transformation Challenge! 8 weeks! 6 weeks of at least three Orange Theory workouts or more. I’m on TEAM. I have a COACH. It’s everything Moving More Heather needs to get motivated.

This challenge started on Monday and then it snowed like 8 feet in Colorado and became arctic cold. Its the first week of the OTF challenge and I am falling behind already.

Today was my day to get out and redeem myself. But it snowed on the 20. Maybe not really 8 feet but a good 12-15 inches and no one comes to plow the road to our house. This evening I put on my workout gear and started the car only to realize that I’m not going anywhere. Maybe into a ditch….but not anywhere else.

And so I stomped inside only to complain that we live in the boonies and I need to go to Orange Theory because if I don’t, not only will I loose the OTF challenge but my heart will be very sad.

Hubs suggested a walk. I may have flipped him the bird as I put my puffy coat and snowboots on and headed out the door.

I was gone for an hour. I listened to classical music and a couple short podcasts. I returned rosy cheeked and somewhat numb.

And okay yes, fine….I was delighted.

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Delights Day 24: My Pal Cal has a Birthday!

Mitochondrial disease is a horrible diagnosis- it is progressive, heartbreaking and all around just awful.

But in the midst of the awfulness, some amazing people come into your life.

One of these amazing Humans is my friend Calvin. I have known Cal for 15 years. Tomorrow this amazing human turns 17.

If you know Calvin, you know his piercing blue eyes. You know how he holds your hand tight and gazes right at you. You know his brilliant smile and the way he engages with you. You never want to leave his side.

Please help me celebrate Cal’s birthday tomorrow- send him a note or post a note here, I’ll make sure he receives it.

Cal is a delight.

Cal, so many wishes for the very best day and the very best year. To your health and that amazing smile. Keep fighting the good fight my friend.

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Delights Day 23- An Evening Stroll with Junior

This really isn’t Junior and I.

But maybe it’s our alter egos. Junior out on the prairie, we’re riding along having just rescued a calf separated from his mother……The sun setting between his cute little horsey ears.

Today I volunteered my Therapeutic Riding Center as a horse lead. Junior is my very patient horse. We’ve worked together a couple times and I feel like maybe (?) we’re bonding. No matter. I find Junior a delight.

Tonight it was cold. I kept checking the website thinking class might be cancelled. I sighed as I donned my long underwear….it would be nice to just stay inside.

No Heather! Get out of your fleecy pajama bottoms that no one on Zoom ever sees. Put your jeans on and the Carhartt jacket you had to have for ‘the barn’. And get yourself out in elements.

Covid has made me soft.

So, I wrangled myself up, drove in the snow and with much help, saddled up Junior for our class.

As a horse lead, my job is simple…. lead the horse. But Junior’s student today was a spunky four-year-old whose pink cowboy boots barely fit in the stirrups. Her giggle was infectious.

I felt incredibly responsible for them both.

And then the lights went out.

No seriously. The ice caused a driver to spin out of control into a power line. There was a flicker and a pop. The arena went dark. There we were in the evening light; Junior, our pink booted student and me.

The dusky, snowy, reflection from outside provided enough light to play a couple games before it just got too dark. We walked Junior outside and untacked as the final light disappeared. My pink booted student carried off a saddle twice her size.

Snow continued to fall as we blanketed Junior and tucked him in with a bucket of oats.

“Good night Junior. You’re a good boy. Stay warm.”

Tonight, I am back in my fleecy pjs- warm and toasty. I’ve washed my hands several times, but I still smell just a tad……..horsey.

Delightful.

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Delights Day 22- The Story of Grandma B

This is Young Heather with my Hottie Mama, my Gran and my Great Grandma Burbank (aka Grandma B).

Four generations of women who have lead amazingly different lives. I am so proud of these strong women before me who helped pave a path for my own journey. In preserving that sacred journey, I pass Day 22 of Delights onto my Hottie Mama- aka, Mama Judi:

Grandma B’s Journal’s

I spent a very delightful week this month with my brother Rod and ‘Sister’ Jeanine, in Rosharon, Tx.  Rod is transcribing my Grandma B.’s. daily journals.  I went down for a week to help him convert pages of cursive into Word documents.  There are years’ worth of work reflected in the above suitcase.  It is truly a labor of love.  Each month takes 2-4 hours to transcribe.  It was closer to 2 hours with both of us working (Rod reading and me typing.).

Grandma B kept a journal every day of her life until 2 days before she passed in 1983.  We finally have her journals from 1938 to 1983 (except for a few years that burned when their house burned down.)

These are such an incredible, delightful treasure for our family.  Many days show the struggle of farm life in the 1930’s and 1940’s.   No going to the grocery store for most things.  Growing, canning, preserving, hunting or fishing for most of their food.  No electricity, central heating or indoor plumbing. Neighbors and family helping each other and visiting with each other on a regular basis.

For many years, she used a 1-year journal to record 5 years of her life (thus saving paper).  The writing is so tiny that my brother uses an electronic enlarger to read it.  Even then, some days are very difficult to read.

In many instances, she wrote in pencil and the pencil has faded so much that it is almost unreadable but so far Rod has been able to figure it out.

As he finishes each year, he is sharing the Word document with family members so we can all experience the world through my Grandma’s eyes.  She was a pretty amazing person and we learn so much about her life by reading her journals. It is truly a delightful experience and an honor to my Grandma.

Thanks Rod!!!  We love you!!