birds of a feather

I have joined a new group on Facebook and I was excited when a member said ‘we wanna start hiking together!’ I love hikes and have several amazing ones just out my back door …literally. So it took me a minute to put together an invite for a week away. Although I didn’t have any takers from that platform I did end up on 2 of the most adventurous hikes I’ve been on in 20 years!

The first with a lone local 22 yr old young man named John. I offhandedly mentioned a hike and he was thrilled and off we went. He lives up in the canyon – home-less. He is not on Facebook nor part of my intended target audience. His story originates from Indianapolis. The streets thereof. His mom was a drug addict and he had meth, heroin, etc in his blood when born. We’ve been acquaintances since I first arrived in town as most frequent Good Karma Cafe for free wifi and yes coffee. Back then I had noticed his wrapped finger and I suggested he soak it in warm salt water – often. He’d dropped a rock on it and it looked painful …still does now months later.

Chica has begun to run and jump when she sees John was happy he was there when the inevitable headwall would cross her path on our hike. He kept saying ‘I can go into 4 wheel drive!’ and plowed ahead scrambling up across over the alpine terrain, I suggested he pace himself instead. When he had asked every group of hikers ‘Hey do you need pot brownies I have them for sale!!’ and received only raised eyebrows and no takers I suggested he save his products for another crowd. He quit after the next group ignored his sales pitch altogether.

We had a blast on the hike. Made it to the Williams Canyon Waterfalls. So beautiful. We ventured way above the falls looking for crystals as the locals vaguely point this to be a good area. John found prettier rocks than I did! He even learned to keep the volume down in the canyon by saying ‘I’ll show you this if you don’t scream.’ I tend to get excited about life’s simple pleasures, it can be a bit much at times I’ll admit even for me. But I have noted the younger crowds are much more forgiving and we tend to balance out in some fashion.

On Sunday I decided to hike alone. A comedy of errors ended up a day full of adventure with me, Sky, and Sarah. The two 17 year old girls had  seen me way up above the canyon trail and thought I knew where I was going. Sky works at the local chocolate shop and hadn’t been back here since the massive Manitou Springs flood wiped familiar away. They’d caught up with me and we hit it off immediately.  Actually it was after I’d put them to the Pam test and they actually took it gracefully that things began to flow and I accepted I was not going on a solo hike. Later when I apologized Sarah laughed and said ‘no we would have said the same thing!’ We’d found ourselves terribly off trail and loving every minute as we fueled each other at the exact right moment.  Yet, I’m an old rock climber so if I sense a hint of danger I’m safety focused and we had some of those moments. It was too much fun and I must’ve time warped to being 12 again. Scrambling up these cliffs and caves therein, seeing the waterfalls from WAY far away, not knowing which way to go and switching leads. Magnificent views.  We didn’t take pictures as it couldn’t be captured. We couldn’t turn back as down climbing was not an option. We somehow ended up at the base of Williams Canyon Waterfalls after seeing it from so far away never believing we’d end up at it’s base and the familiar way out. There we shared the hand sized blueberry pie I’d brought along for this exact spot.

Birds of a feather ….. it’s fun to be together. We’re gonna do the Incline next. Sarah hasn’t done it and we know we’ll all enjoy each others company. Chica isn’t invited as she ends up in my backpack too much. When I told John about the girls he was interested in their adventurous style and ‘I’d like to have a girlfriend.’ In the meanwhile, he’s gonna meet me at the laundry mat as we both need to do some cleaning up.

I love Manitou Springs 🙂

 

 

Dear Verizon

Dear Verizon,

Your employee is misrepresenting your product.

I’m a nurse and I take pride and joy in my job. I care for people and can tell you it matters not their name, class, color of skin, political stance (please keep one that to yourself), opinion of women, past karmic mishaps, or if they even pay their bill. I’ve taken care of your neighbor, your mother, your child, your first grade teacher who held your hand and you never forgot as well as all of your employees. I answer your call bell when you can’t muster the energy to call on even the closest person to your heart. When I say I’ll come back as soon as I can you can believe me and you do because you were in pain and we remember times as these. You remember the time I kept the lights off when the orders said to check your vital signs every hour and that’s the only added comfort and customer service I could offer. Actually I brought in a cool wash cloth because your temperature was out the roof. Oh and I went all over the hospital to find that tiny white styrofoam cup of chocolate ice cream cause you said it was all you could eat. That’s right I also called your daughter on the west coast because nobody would call and update her as to how you were doing.

When I asked your ‘GoVerizon’customer service representative to help me because I knew I was about to lose my job (not my fault but not this topic either) soon and finances needed to be within strong boundaries and emphasized my complete lack of knowledge or desire to understand the cell service choices and could she help me she said she sure could. Not a soul was in the store and I believed my request to be clear. No money soon. Ms Piddle set me up with the one thing that would certainly bring me pain and anguish once the bill tripled and the stress on my organs took hold. I know the importance of keeping these little guys happy and you’ve upset my apple cart in this situation and I’m asking for your reply to one question:

I’m doing my job, are you?

Love,

Nurse Pam

Sleeping Bag

listen to your heart

The homeless travelers in Colorado Springs stand on the highway exit corners collecting an undisclosed plethora of coins, paper money, uneaten fast food lunch I didn’t want after all, 2 large unsweetened tea cause I asked for sweet tea I’m a Southerner now in the West, cans of sardines, to name a few. Last week the wind was blowing crazy like it only does around the plains and yep it was cold and snowy. I’m in my toasty warm lovable Kia Sportage and there he stands shivering with his cardboard reused sign ‘Need Help’ so I gave him my sleeping bag. Chica doesn’t know yet as I’d used it for her to stay warm when she takes her copilot seat. The traffic light remained red for some time as the grey and orange bag whipped around the disheveled fellow as he stood waiting patiently for the next flow of onlookers. I rolled my window down again and gave him one of my many cloth bags cause I’m a silent bag lady too. He scurried back with a grin saying ‘thanks man.’

Yesterday as I was walking around the adorable welcoming snowy town of Manitou Springs I spotted a fellow curled up under the bushes in a sleeping bag with the morning sun resting on his quiet form. He looked rather comfortable but I know better.

Try telling a mother and business woman facing retirement she should get pregnant because after all it brought her such joy and purpose. She would not need to answer and could inwardly chuckle as she continued to plan her future freedom life out from under all the shady business situations she’d faced working in the system as well as all the critiques she’d swallowed during her parenting years as she attempted to do the best for the fruits of her loins.

Ok so I’m not facing retirement but I relate to her. As a rock climber would turn and walk away from some strangers encouragement to jump on a climbing route without ‘good beta’ from a trusted source. I’m at a spot where I neither want to get pregnant nor jump on any rock requiring vertical ascent. Substitute the suggestions of what should a nurse do? ICU, ER, private duty, hospice liaison, cardiac unit step down, travel nurse (hard!), inpatient rehab RN, camp nurse, Health Director, occupational health nurse at a lumber plant, and most recently school nurse. I’ve done it all. Loved it and can list why I will not do each again.

As my own employment grim choices are laid out in front of me I can’t help but think I might need another sleeping bag.

“Is this blog personal or professional?”, he asked.

.blue sky white cloudsI had a comment from a fellow blogger asking if my site was professional or personal. It caught my attention. Should I connect all this to Facebook, Linkedin? Instagram seems fine as all I post are really cool photos but most are from the traveling I’ve done as a direct result of being a nurse. Being a nurse I kindof feel it’s one and the same for what I do and have done with perfect strangers. Past and present. Is it too personal that I take care of your body and don’t know (momentarily forgot) your name? It’s probably not professional that I forget names so I’ll take that strike. Being a nurse is personal and professional. Bringing it back around to life at camp. I patch up scraped knees, wash out the sand/chlorine from little eyes, nurture the homesick, take care of the fevers, climb on the top bunk in the middle of the night for the tiny girl w sickle cell anemia who played too hard in the pool and woke her counselors with her weeping she hurt so badly and I stay w her so if she wakes crying I’ll be there to rub her back or give a little Ibuprofen till the sun comes up as there was little else to do because moving her would hurt more and having sickle cell anemia is rough when you want to be a little girl at camp ……………….. hummm is this professional or personal? Good question.