July & August

I’m pretty sure no one but me is really invested in my attempt to try “new things each month,” but I feel obligated to report just the same. Prepare to be wowed, or maybe the descriptive word that means the exact opposite of “wowed.” Prepare to be… ehh… you do you. You may not need much preparation.

July involved me trying new foods at new restaurants. At least that’s what it became once I realized I was a good deal into the month, and had no other “new” plans, so new foods it was!

I tried a paella. I had no idea what that was, but saw it on the menu. I immediately recognized it as a word I knew meant “food” and it was a word I could pronounce correctly, and so I declared, “this is what I want!” It was a mix of things I’d never had before combined with things I had, and it was delightful. Also, I feel once shrimp reach a certain size, they get a little creepy looking.

About a week later, I had a chalupa for the first time. Yes, I know – a native Texan more than half a century old, and I hadn’t had one before. Weird. Well, not really. In my defense, there are tacos in this world. These perfectly shaped shells that contain all the taco goodness. Chalupas indiscreetly display all their food bits on the outside and you’re expected to be somewhat civilized while attempting to eat the thing. Too much pressure! With tacos there’s less worry involved. Sure, some of the delicious bits will still spill out, but it will be an appropriate and manageable amount – not a dramatic lettuce landslide desperately trying to escape your face. There’s really just no way to be graceful while eating a chalupa – best just to unceremoniously up-end the thing, declare the dish a salad, and the crunchy shell a “chip garnish.” Still, it was also delicious, and again made me thankful for tacos.

That was kind of it for July.

In August I went out of town to Colorado, and stayed in the mountains. The elevation was approximately 8500 feet where we stayed, and the weather was perfect. For the record, 8500 feet is really no joke when you’re trying to do things like “moving” combined with “breathing.” Leaving a gorgeous place where the mornings were in the upper 40’s was challenging, especially when faced with mornings in the upper 70’s. I now desperately yearn for Fall.

Overall, it’s not a trip I feel entirely comfortable discussing in an open forum. The trip was both beautiful and sad – filled with moments of great laughter and sudden, heart-wrenching tears. My last night I stood looking up at the star-filled sky and silently screamed.

There are things in this world I hope you never have to endure – things I hope I never have to endure, and there are places where you begin to heal. Where raw beauty and nature allow a momentary and much-needed respite.

A huge thanks to our hosts who gave us such an amazing gift by letting us stay at their Air B&B. I wish I could live in that town nestled in a valley in the Rockies. Of course, I’m told it can get really cold in the winters and that there’s this stuff called snow. That might do in this Texas gal.

Garden of the Gods – Pike’s Peak (One of the Fourteeners) in the Background

A tiny pox on OnStar for deciding the best route from Amarillo, TX to Austin, TX was through Oklahoma City. However, I suppose I can now say I’ve successfully driven a land yacht in the form of a Chevy Tahoe through Ft. Worth during rush hour – an experience of which my Google Maps would have deprived me. I’m eyeballing you, OnStar. But hey, I guess that’s also a new thing I got to do.

A heads-up as we head into September

September is Suicide Prevention Month, and we’ll be two months away from our Out of Darkness Walk. Expect a few posts talking about the great work the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention does and ways you can help support this cause. One of those ways involves you grabbing a burger and some ice cream. Who doesn’t enjoy supporting a worthy cause with ice cream?

Balanced Rock – Garden of the Gods

Ok, off I go to tilt at windmills and fight with a stranger over jazz – like one does on a Sunday evening.

5 thoughts on “July & August

  1. julie4hardy says:

    NEW Zealand. New, it’s right there in the name. Just saying… =)

  2. ” once shrimp reach a certain size, they get a little creepy looking.” HaHA. Sooo true. Destroys the “you’re just a little shrimp” insult, right.
    Food exploration was a good idea that panned out well.
    There’s something about mountains. Not being a desert/plains person, no place else soothes as well…maybe not heals completely but there’s some salve that makes surviving smoother – altitude? that unexpected puff of cool wind whispering through tree. OR closer to stars? I don’t know, but glad you went …despite Oklahoma? Trust not in car computers…who seem to have so evil intentions. HaHA

    • Beth says:

      I actually had to show someone a picture of the shrimp and question, “are you SURE this is a shrimp???” It was like the Godzilla of shrimp. Only smaller, and really not on the move. No cities were in peril. But other than those small, insignificant details, EXACTLY like Godzilla.

      I remember the first time I spent time in New Mexico I learned two things. 1) It’s absolutely lovely and breathtaking, and 2) I really love a good tree – preferably in large groups. Even better if those groups happen to be on a mountain. I think it’s why I perk up when I hit the Piney Woods on the way to see my Dad – I go from hill country to *POOF* TREES!!!! Tall glorious trees! And even in East Texas, you can’t beat a night in the cool air (late Fall), in the middle of nowhere, staring up at the stars.

      The OnStar was truly wicked and I swear, since we did talk to an actual person, that they too shared in its wicked sense of humor. I so had my heart set on going by the Buddy Holly museum in Lubbock. Now it looks like I’m just going to have to head back to Colorado. I mean, what’s a girl to do?

      Hope you all are doing great and staying cool!!! Let Molly know I’ve seen Fall, and it’s just around the corner (though you may have to drive a bit).

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