What's that... I can't quite hear you... I've got a terrible case of swimmer's ear so everything just sounds muffled. Unfortunately my vision isn't much better, not with my current eye infection. And my back and feet.... so stiff and sore.... and now this.... my shoulder.... sure it's always been a bit tender, but I don't think constant clicking is normal.... and the pain is almost unbearable..... is this what happens with age? In my desperation I'd made trips to the drug store, the ophthalmologist, the chiropractor, even the town medicine woman. And after I'd been advised, prescribed, twisted, cracked, and treated I was on my way. I really was in no shape for travel, but the tickets had already been bought, and plans already made, so I packed my bag with my dozens of remedies, and attempted to be nervously optimistic on how I would perform on my planned swimming trip to Colorado.
Sure there was a change in plans, but things have a way of working themselves out. My only real scheduled agenda was to swim, which I did.... a lot. But I also happily visited with family, met a new addition, slept with the lights on, ate late, hit some early morning garage sales, and indulged on a $2 apple. I even managed to smile when the sweet girl at the front desk of my hotel asked for the name of my perfume.... What was it she was smelling? It certainately wasn't the garlic oil drops that I was using in my ears, it must have been the balm treatment on my shoulder, a special blend of camphor, menthol, and cayenne pepper, mixed especially for me by my witch doctor, it was her antidote for a sore shoulder (I think it did the trick, it was either that, or the 800 mg of ibuprofen I was taking on a regular basis).... Yes, I smiled and told her I couldn't remember the name.
Did I mention there was tornado warnings every afternoon I was in Colorado? Even on the day I'd chosen to compete in an open water race. I stood at the starting line looking out at some dark clouds and some big lake waves and hoped for the best. I doubt there was even one swimmer that stayed on course, we all struggled through the rough waters. Right about the halfway mark the sun made a brief appearance through the dark clouds, I was lucky enough to see it, it was my favorite moment, even better than my second place finish.
And guess who showed up, making it all the better.....
My family.... even my big brother and his wife. Their presence transformed my 'Solo Swimming Excursion', into a family road trip.
Within hours my days of independence were left behind and I was back into my old familiar groove of finding lost shoes, rinsing underwear in the sink of public restrooms, and profusely apologizing to two lovely ladies for their unfortunate placement during one boy's failed attempt to leap across one muddy puddle (I knew that one would end badly.... what is it about puddles and kids?).
It was a full car ride back to Utah, but made for some great memories. Jo got to see a real mining town,
Sol got to assist a Boulder street performer,
Abe got to test out the bow I found at a garage sale earlier that week,
and we even slipped in a visit to a beautiful botanical garden in Steamboat.
What a great adventure.... full of discoveries and realizations.... and I can still say that after a stinky, sweaty, emotionally charged, 14 hour car ride home..... but oh my back.... and that clicking.... and now my ear is buzzing.... still..... it feels great to be home.