If We Were Having Coffee // Soaking It Up While I Can

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I’m up a bit early this morning and rushing through my normal Sunday routine because in just a few short hours we are going to a much-anticipated Beetlejuice movie party with a few of our couple friends. Before we go though I’ve got to whip this mess of a house back into shape, find time for a short nap, and make sure there is plenty of time for catching up here with you.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. I’ve got the windows open and plenty of cold brew coffee ready, or I can make a cup of Chai or Earl Grey tea if that’s more your speed. Let’s talk about last week!

“She sips her coffee, sets it down, stretches her arms. This is one of the most singular experiences, waking on what feels like a good day, preparing to work but not yet actually embarked. At this moment there are infinite possibilities, whole hours ahead.”

— Michael Cunningham, The Hours

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my week away from regular work was just as wonderful as I hoped it would be. Working for a school district means I got a much-needed break from the kids, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have work to do.

When I’m not riding the bus with the kids I also work as a trainer helping new employees learn how to work with these special kids. My training team is being moved to a new office across the parking lot so I spent the week moving not just our workstations, but all the equipment we use and even the large cabinets we use for storage.

It was hard work and I’m proud we were able to get so much of it done. Unfortunately, we got news that the new building we just moved into would be closed for 10 days in November, so we halted the move and put half of the equipment back into the old space to move moved again once the roof is done.

To be honest, I’m not looking forward to going back tomorrow. I miss my kids, but having a quiet office was really nice. Between our routes, the lounge can get awfully crowded and loud and there’s really no place to rest your mind and recharge and there isn’t always tie to go home.

On warm days I can stay on my bus. I can write, or read, or listen to podcasts. I can even take a nap if I want but I scheduled a lot of work for myself this in an effort to get it all done before winter so there won’t be a lot of time when I can get away. It’s going to be another hard week for sure.

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If we were having coffee, I would take a moment to remind my American readers how important voting is and how especially important voting is in this year’s midterm election. I’m lucky to live in a state that makes voting easy. Here in Colorado, it’s super easy to vote by mail and there are tons of 24-hour drop off location across my city. I know it’s different in every state though, and for some voting is really inconvenient, but I urge you to please, please, please, try to make a plan and to please, please, please, drag along a friend or family member too.

I won’t assume your political leanings but I know all my readers are at least people of good intention and I am a believer that while the details may differ between us, a lot of the political strife we are going through is due to not enough “good-intentioned” people voting,—not to mention a severe lack of “good-intentioned” people running for office—and too many self-centered and hate-filled people voting—and running for office.

So, please vote. I don’t care where you live or who or what you are voting for, just get out there and vote!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you while last week winter seemed in full swing, this week we’re firmly back in fall with temperatures climbing upwards of the low 70s. We feared that there would be no autumn for us at all this year and that summer would give way right into winter, but it turns out it was just a momentary confusion that has since cleared up. This past week we’ve seen steadily increasing temperatures and quite a bit of sunshine. I’m soaking it up while I can before the long cold settles in.

Yesterday my girlfriend and I spent the whole afternoon out of the house. We had tickets to “Repticon“, a yearly expo for reptile and exotic pet lovers. My girlfriend fell in love with about 10 chameleons and I say plenty of beautiful snakes I’d love to add to my little collection, those beautiful animals—and their prices!—I realized I’m not quite ready to take on another 20 to 40-year commitment. The ones I have already demand a lot of time and command lot of space in the house. We’ll need more room, and a lot more free time and energy before we can take on another pet.

After Repticon, we did a little shopping at a nearby outdoor mall to stretch our legs and do some shopping. When our stomachs started growling we walked over to a favorite burger place of mine and gorged ourselves on food we knew we’d regret eating later.

We tried a delicious hard cider and after lunch, we made it our mission to hit up every liquor store on the way home in search of a few cans to take home. It only took two stops and, since we were feeling lucky we decided to pick up a few more Mega Millions lotto tickets to try our luck a second time now that the prize has climbed over a billion dollars!

By then the sun was beginning to set and a cool breeze began to blow reminding us that while the days may be warmer the nights are getting colder all the time. We went home to settle on the couch with our pumpkin cider and a few good movies: The Fly and Starship Troopers.

It was a good day.

***

If we were having coffee, I would (reluctantly) tell you that I failed at every single one of my goals for Fall Break. I did not manage my time on Facebook, I actually think I got worse and I am considering deleting the app entirely from my phone. I did not write anywhere near as much as I hoped to. I may have figured out what my problem is and I may have even figured out the solution too. I’ll explain more when I have the courage to. I didn’t make my pocket notebook, but I did at least get my measurements down and I found some paper to use. I didn’t read at all either.

I have no excuses, and I offer no apologies, to anyone or myself. I had a good break and that’s what matters. I’ll try again this week. I have a plan and my editorial calendar is back in front of me. I’m clearing out a second area of my “creativity room” to use as an analog desk so that it won’t be such a pain in the ass to move from writing to “making”. My books are back in my backpack and I have recommitted to my midday and before bed reading time too.

Productivity will resume with renewed enthusiasm this week, I promise.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my stomach is starting to grumble which means it’s lunchtime, which means I have only a few short hours now to eat, finish my chores, squeeze in a power nap, and get ready for the movie.

Thank you for stopping by to chat with me. I hope you had a good week and that you found time for you—to get outside, to do something fun, to make something, or to accomplish that thing you set out to do. I hope you are well and I hope you let me know either way in the comments below.

Until next time.

***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a virtual cup of coffee.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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Floating, Falling

My lungs have dried to crisp and crunch.
My heart has chilled. My bones have browned.
I’m floating, I’m falling, I’m trampled to dust.

***

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Written in response to Ink in Thirds’ Three Line Thursday Prompt: Fall

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If We Were Having Coffee // Star Wars Tickets and a Quiet Fall Break

Hello friends! Thank you for meeting me for coffee this morning. I had a late night last night so I will be taking my coffee strong and I’ll ask you to excuse my tired look. I promise I am happy to see you. I love our little coffee chats and this week I have only good things to share.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am so happy I don’t have to work tomorrow. I don’t have to work because tomorrow is the first day of fall break. Working for a school district means I get built in vacations four times a year. I don’t get paid for them but if I need it I do have the option of going in, finding random work to do, and making a little money. I just don’t want to this week.

I’ve worked this job for about 9 years and just about every year I work through all of our breaks, finding extra work wherever I can, but this year is different. This year I am trying to get serious about writing and I think taking a week to shut myself in and really brainstorm some ideas, work on an outline, maybe make some art, or write a piece for a submission call, all sounds much better than going into my day job.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that yesterday I spent the afternoon at a friends bridal shower. I went into it thinking I would be bored and irritated through the whole thing but I ended up having a ton of fun. I didn’t really know anyone there but they all tried hard not to make me feel left out. That and the amount of margaritas and jello shot being passed around made for a very fun afternoon.

When we left I told my girlfriend that I really wanted to get serious about our wedding. We’ve been engaged for about 2 years now. We had planned on being married by now but so much has happened since I proposed to her that we never could focus on planning the damn thing. Things are beginning to settle down now and I think it’s time we make this happen. Watching friends get married before us is making me anxious.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that the highlight of my week was getting my Star Wars: The Force Awakens tickets for opening day, December 18th. I know, I know, this sounds incredibly nerdy but let me tell you, it wasn’t easy getting the tickets. Many major movie ticket sellers sites were down due to it being the biggest surge in ticket sales in history. Hell, even the trailer broke viewing records.

So last Monday night I sat up refreshing both Fandango’s site and the Alamo Drafthouse’s site, both of which had been down for hours. Then I checked Facebook and realized people were heading to the theaters to buy tickets in person. I freaked! Tickets were selling out and I couldn’t even get on the sites to buy! So I called the theater and my girlfriend was sweet enough to sit on hold for 30 minutes to make sure I could be there on opening day. I’m glad she supports my geeky interests.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am working hard to start a journaling habit again. I bought a bright red Shinola brand notebook over the summer but it was so pretty that I could never write in it. I finally got over that and every afternoon I write a summary of my feelings that day and on the opposite page I write a list of five good things that happened. Below that I also add a short sentence or two about my hopes or fears for the next day.

I forget sometimes but it’s getting better. I carry the notebook with me wherever I go and this week I’m going to set a reminder in my phone. I hope that it will get to be just as strong a habit as blogging has become. I want it to be something I look forward to every day and I want to feel a little “off” if I don’t get it done. I think it’s important that I supplement my writing here with something analog. It keeps the brain healthy you know.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that, sadly, my coffee is gone, and I have work to do, so I had better go. I would love to stay longer and trust me I could use another cup but my house is a mess and the dog is demanding attention and exercise so I have to run.

I really hope you had a wonderful week, but either way, let me know how you are and what you’ve been up to in the comments :)

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Lola bun :)

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Colorado In The Fall and How I Am Learning to Cope with Help From My Readers

This past Sunday I received quite a few comments on my weekly coffee sharing post regarding my hatred for autumn and how much or how little that had to do with the fact that I live in Colorado. There were a lot of comments but most were in favor of fall and many thought I was looking at this all wrong. Some had even been to Colorado and thought that it wasn’t that bad, or that Colorado was just beautiful and I just wasn’t seeing it.

When it was all said and done I think my mind was changed a little. Maybe I really have been just seeing autumn the wrong way. The way I see it now, fall just looks like everything around me is sad and dying. The leaves changing isn’t beautiful, it’s a daily reminder that pretty soon all the pretty green stuff is going to be gone and it is going to be cold and snowing. That cool breeze that means you can finally start wearing all you favorite sweaters just means that soon there will be no more fun things to do.

All the amusement parks and pools will be closed. All the patios at the bars will be for the hard core smokers only. There will be no more movie event, or festivals or ‘fests. The pretty green parks will be bare and empty of human laughter. Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit but mostly all of this is true.

My favorite comment on the subject, and the one that inspired this post, came from Sarah:

Fall has always been my favorite season with winter a close second.
Fall here in Florida is a continuation of summer and I hate summers here,
I love fall in the rest of the country.

Watching the leaves change from green to all the colors of the rainbow. Or if you happen to live in Colorado they change to a bright golden /red color. Simply beautiful.

I love how the air is fresher. I can open my windows and spell the fresh air.
My steps become alive again and I start walking. I am rejuvenated.
The animals gives birth and we watch them walk through the yard here.
Winter is warmer here and you would enjoy that. For me I long for the winters out West. The cold is warmed by the bright sun. It fresh and clear and sunny.

My reply to such a beautiful comment:

Oh my gosh, what a wonderful comment. The way you describe your love of autumn almost makes me change my mind, then I remember that here fall means cold, and wind, and snow. I do happen to live in Colorado and the leaves are turning very yellow right now. Sounds like I should be living somewhere like Florida, where fall is just summer 2.0.

I’ve often told people that I should move further south, and I would, except for the extreme conservatism everywhere. I have thought about southern California as well but the cost of living is high. So I am staying here for the forseeable future, which is okay because I really do love this state, I just hate the winter.

Sarah reblogged my post and I got another comment from one of her readers:

Ahhh it makes sense, your in Colorado, I understand completely….We drove through your beautiful state….I was mesmerized….I fell in love with Manitou Springs, we spent a week there, Cortez National Park, amazing…and we went over Lizard Pass…wow I thought I was in the Alp’s…..love it….glad to have coffee with you anytime..akthy

I will say that we have some of the best scenery that you can get in this country. Routine drives to work and home give you spectacular views of the mountains and amazing displays of color in every sunrise and sunset. The mountains are often purple or orange tinged and this time of year, the fall I hate so much, means the beginning of them getting their pristine white tips back. I do love the way the mountains look with snow on them and I admit that in the summer they seem a little drab.

The air here also does become much clearer and fresher. Most summers the sky gets pretty hazy due to California’s continual forest fires. Sometimes it’s so bad we can’t see the mountains at all. We can smell it coming in and the haze gives everyone the worst allergies. In the fall the fires die down and the sky becomes clearer. We get a better view of the mountains too.

We are also lucky that even though it gets very cold, the sun is usually shining. I read once that Colorado gets an average of 300 sunny days a year. In other parts of the country people go long stretches of time with clouds hovering and rain and snow coming down constantly. We get a good amount of snow, and we do get it in the fall, but it’s not that bad and we do have the sun to cheer us, even of the temperatures stay below freezing for a few months..

Speaking of the snow and the mountains we do have quite the booming winter tourist season. I do not partake, in fact I am one of the few Denver natives here who have never gone, and probably never will go skiing. I do like all the money this brings to the state and I do take pride in this fact. People come from all over the world to ski our slopes!….Maybe I ought to give it a try, everyone else can’t be wrong about this.

Then I remember that I still hate it and it’s basically a useless season anyway.

I’m starting to wonder if maybe it’s because Colorado’s fall is so short and uneventful that I feel this way. Here the weather goes from warm to cold quickly, there isn’t much transition. I joke that fall lasts about 2 weeks, same for spring, so the two seasons do feel pretty useless to me.

So yeah there are some good things about fall and maybe I am beginning to see things in a different light, but even so, I think most people like fall because it is a real fall. Here the seasons seem to change rather abruptly. I don’t feel like I have enough time to adjust or emotionally prepare and I spend the rest of winter being mad that there was no warning and I didn’t get to end the summer the way I wanted.

I sound like a brat I know. At least one person, Sonya, kinda-sorta agreed with me:

And I’m sort of with you on autumn. We had lovely warm weather here last week, and I liked that the wind had a bit of a sting to it. But it’s 8:30pm and pitch black outside, and soon the days will be shorter than the nights and I just hate that.

So having said all that, and having read all that my readers had to say, I think I should try a bit harder to enjoy autumn in Colorado. For one, it could be worse, people who live further north would think me a wuss complaining about what they would consider to be very fine weather, and two, there’s actually some good to it too. I just hadn’t really looked for it and instead moped around like a kid who is forced to go back to school.

I don’t want to be that way, and I don’t want to miss out on what might be a beautiful time of the year just because I wish another wouldn’t end. I want to see the good in it instead.

I will still miss the summer though. I feel the loss of it deeply and I feel it every year, and no amount of soft sweaters or pumpkin spice lattes is going to change that. I will enjoy them none the less though, because it is the least the universe could offer for putting me through that cold hell of winter.

Fall is about warmth, and cider, and colors, and pumpkin spice, and.. and…

wccunningham

In response to Daily Post’s Blogging U. course, Writing 101 assignment: Expand a comment

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