Posts Tagged With: Travel Adventure

Colorado… land of dreams…

It was the back to school dance of 1980. I (Lynda) was starting my sophomore year: Erick was starting his Junior year at Goddard High School in Roswell, NM. That was when it all started.  Erick had seen me during the school year but I was going steady (remember that term) with a friend of his named Frank. Frank and I broke up over the summer and I was a single girl… until that Back to School dance. Erick wasted no time. He immediately asked me to dance and we danced all night together. Yes, he asked for my phone number and with much excitement I gave it to him.

When he called the next week (he was genius) he said that he was taking his younger sister to the circus in town and would I like to go. How could mom say no to that? He was such a gentleman. He, of course, met my parents and promised to have me home right after the circus. He opened my door and did all the things that a young man is supposed to do. Oh, and he cleaned up so nice. I was so proud to take his arm and hold his hand and walk next to him. Little did I know that 22 years later when I took that hand again it would take our breath away. More on that later…

As we began to get more and more serious in our dating he gave me a Promise Ring. It had our names down each side and a tiny diamond at the top. We talked about where we would go after we graduated high school. I had moved to Roswell in the summer of 1979 between ninth and tenth grade. My freshman year, 1978, was spent in Colorado Springs; CO. Colorado was greener than anything I had ever seen at the time.

My parents moved there from Oceanside, CA where I went to seventh and eights grade.  Oceanside was ok but it was a rough time for me and I was thrilled to leave. Colorado was different. I had always lived in the desert, never where the scent of pines filled the air and there was snow.  And yes, I had to walk a quarter mile in the snow to wait for the school bus. We had 3 acres just outside of Colorado Springs and we could look out over the city lights at night and see the tram lights as they went up the side of Pikes Peak. Under a full moon the snow on the mountains would glisten and reflect the moonlight. Twinkling stars were everywhere.

We decided after graduation we would move to Colorado and buy an A-frame house and grow old together. We talked about living in Colorado; what it would be like and what we would do.

Well, he had difficulty with a certain vice-principle in school. It was clear that Mr. Lair was going to do everything he could to see that Erick didn’t graduate. Erick knew he couldn’t support me without an education so he went to speak to the recruiters. He would have liked to join the Air Force but poor vision and glasses deleted that option so instead he enlisted in the Marines. He knew I would talk him out of it so he didn’t tell me until right before he left for boot camp. I was angry. No, I was Livid! But there was nothing I could do but let him go and promise to be here when he came home.

He came home after graduation from boot camp. OMG did he looked good. He walked taller and straighter than I had ever seen anyone walk. He was no longer a high school kid, he had become not just a man; he had become a Marine. He was home for about 15 days and then he was gone again. He had become a Marine, but I was still just a high school girl whose worth is measured by whether she had a date to the prom. Long story short, I lasted through boot camp but I didn’t have what it took to wait for him to come home again. So our romance ended with a letter.

It was 10 years ago; November seventh, 2003 when I got the email that said, “Is this the same Lynda Smith?” When he later asked, “What are you doing?” my response was “leaving a bad job and a bad relationship” He said, “Why don’t you come up to Alaska?” and I did. We knew that we had unfinished business. He met me in the airport with twenty-two red and pink roses (one for each year we had been apart) and a fur coat – it was winter in Alaska.

When we saw each other we both started running. he was trying to video me but dropped the camera to his side as the microphone of the still rolling camera recorded “oh my God.” We embraced, in the middle of the isle until security asked us to move. We gathered our things, I donned the fur and we walked – or should I say floated – outside to the parking area. Just like in high school he opened my door, helped me in and as I shook off the cool night air, he appeared in the driver’s seat of the Land Cruiser.

As if there had never been a day missed, our hands met on the console and our fingers interlaced. The moment our fingers found each other, we both gasped for air. The feeling of our hands together took both our breath away. Apparently every handhold for 22 years was unconsciously compared to that handhold. It was as though our hands found home. Once we found our breath, we kissed again. It was a long, hard, welcome-home kiss.

Now thirty-two years later as I type this we are traveling in Koko (our home on wheels) to set up in Breckenridge, Colorado for the ski season. He just asked me “how do you like our A-Frame” my response… “I think I‘ll adjust.” No, Koko isn’t exactly an A-Frame, I think maybe she is better.

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

We will spend the majority of the winter here in Breckenridge with our Epic Ski Pass. The Epic gives us access to several ski resorts in Colorado but also 2 in California and four in Europe – should we choose to go there. The month of December we will fly down to Belize where we will SCUBA dive the Blue Hole, tour the Mayan ruins in Guatemala, go hiking, cave tubing, zip lining, you name it.

And then? In January back here to finish out the ski season before meandering our way to the Florida Keys for more SCUBA diving.  We couldn’t do that sort of thing if we had a traditional A-Frame. So yes, I think I will adjust to our “A-Frame”

This dream took 33 years to bring to fruition. Let’s create another one that is 32 years in the making. But this time, lets enjoy all those years together. I love you, Babe.

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Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Drop off the map.. and go where the winds of the heart blow

Well, 56 days, and we launch into our new lives. This new adventure is approaching fast, and as life does, it throws a curve just to get your attention. As you may remember, Lynda underwent surgery for her intestinal stricture. The doctor gave her a thumbs up, and a warning… “There will be ups and downs”. and off we went, full tilt boogie, back to her “normal diet” which includes some damn strange dishes… But fun all the same.

At least until the night before last. Her stomach locked up, and we were just about freaked. She was in considerable discomfort, and we pulled out all the stops as we had done before. Better living through pharmeceuticals, hot bath, and finally, a Vicodine.

Well, she slept through the night, and woke the next morning and all was well. But it spooked the hell out of both of us. She called the nurse at the surgeons office, who was a bit taken aback by Lynda’s rather brash and fowardness. But she passed the info on to the surgeon who doesn’t usually return calls. He returned this one.

Remember those “ups and downs” I warned you about? “Yes, this was one of those”.. We felt a bit foolish, and much relieved, and Lynda is back to going and blowing… Our plans are still on track for the road trip for a lifetime. and we are moving with purpose…

We have made some minor adjustments to our plans, as we are picking up my nephew, Garrett Taylor July 12 at the Salt Lake City airport and will have him join us for a month or so out on the road. We will meander through Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming before bringing him back to Salt Lake City so that he can return to Oklahoma City where he can get back to school and his friends. (This is an OLD picture of him, but what I have)

Kauai

During that time with us, we have some plans of hiking trails, maybe some rafting, will see how it spins out… and Garrett gets to pick some spots we will visit, as this is a collaborative adventure… hehe.

After we are through wearing his butt out, we are going back to the Wind River area in Wyoming for a NOLS backpacking trip. 6 days in the backcountry for an executive leadership course, followed up by going across the US to the east coast and down with the leaves. At that point, the idea is to setup in Colorado for the ski season, then return to San Diego for some work I have to do for Websense Inc.. (who just ROCKS) and return to Colorado when done.. My boss, Cathy Young, is working with me to set dates for the return work… Once complete, back to Colorado, ski our butts off, then head to Florida for some diving… after that?

Pick up my sister Daonne, my nephew (again provided he even wants to come along) and maybe my other sister Ellen for a week or so,  and go to Alaska via the west coast….. Stay tuned… Adventures are on the horizon, and coming up fast!

Ellen and Daonne

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Love, Reconnection, RV Travel, Scuba | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Websense Just Rocks

Well, my boss, Cathy Young, took my request up the chain of command here at Websense, Inc. and the CFO, Mike Newman agreed with my proposal of working remotely. I will be working 20 hours a week, allowed to keep my benefits, and work remotely. I will have to come back to San Diego to work on site with the external auditors, Ernst and Young  sometime in Oct/Nov until we have the SOx audit wrapped up. Usually runs about 3 weeks. I am still trying to digest this…

YAHOOOOOOO comes to mind. Then trying to figure out how to thank Cathy and Mike for this gift….

Lynda and I are leaving San Diego on the 28th of June. Our Road Trip FOR a Lifetime commences. In the meantime, life just got busier. We have so much we have to wrap up that it is just crazy.. Next weekend we head to Yuma for a solar panel install Starlite Solar has had some good reviews.. This will allow us to boondock without running the generator all day and night.

We also have to get our vehicles registered in Florida, as well as move our bank stuff to Navy Federal Credit Union. (Had that account since 1983). Knew it would come in handy… Move our car insurance from Allstate to USAA. Hate to lose Mark Silverstone’s support, he is an AWESOME insurance guy.. We CANNOT say enough about his support, his help and being just a nice guy… plus he likes good beer. and motorcycles. and has a hot wife.. anyhow… Thank Mark, for all you did for us.

The list goes on and on and the head is reeling, but the wife, being the logical woman that she is, we have a list, in priority, setup, shared, and ready to rumble…

The countdown has begun… our route? so far is listed here. look at the icons and it gives you an idea of where we are going this year.

From San Diego to Colorado, to Wyoming to the East Coast, back to Colorado/Tahoe for the ski season, then down to Key Largo for some diving… Then? Florida to Alaska via New Mexico and Oklahoma to pick up my nephew and sister for some bucket list backpack trips and some time in Alaska… again.

Map of our Trip

This is gonna be.. wait.. wait……
Already IS great.

IMG_2038

Fuckin A!

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Love, Reconnection, RV Travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

And launch date is moved up a tad…

For those following this rather lengthy blog and insanity that we call our world, WELCOME… Lynda and I have been living in our RV for about 6 months trying to get everything lined up for taking off on our road trip for a lifetime.. And with that, had to come up with a way to earn a living while traveling, and to get health insurance as well.

These were our last two items and we suspected it would take until 2015 to pull that off.. Hmmm as Gomer Pyle used to put it..

Surprise

Turns out that her friend Trish Claussen has a connection with a firm that just happened to be interested in Lynda’s services as a business coach. And our friend and financial advisor, Barry Todd (shameless advertising for his firm, BDT and Associates) needed her services as well. So the way things are looking, she may have her 10 clients by June. No later than October. And I am looking into health insurance coverage for us both, out of Florida. And that is going very well..

Now, tie in the process getting our vehicles registered in Florida, and it is looking pretty damn good to be on the road a year earlier than we expected. We still have a few bumps to get over, but all in all, it is looking VERY good for the home team. And with that, when the time comes, I will put forth a proposal to my current employer that I would be thrilled to work for them remotely at a much reduced rate, lower than what contractors normally charge, and less than what a fulltime employee would make.. An offer that I hope will be hard to refuse. If not, I will give my boss, Cathy Young, all the advanced notice I can, as she has been incredible to work for.

So the energy is ramping up, and the Carpenters are preparing to launch… and we are SOOooooooo ready.

Stay tuned, this is gonna be a RIDE!

IMG_2073

Categories: Love, Reconnection, RV Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Our story.. via my wife, Lynda as written by her

Reconnection:

 A few years ago I reconnected with my high school sweet heart. Let me back up a few years (30 to be more precise.) This is the guy whose promise ring (remember promise rings?) I wore in high school. We started all the high school dances and my year book has notes all though it saying “good luck with Erick.” We were an item no one doubted that we would marry once I turned 18.

 We dated for close to two years before he joined the Marines. Knowing that I would talk him out of enlisting, he didn’t tell me until it was done – frankly, I am not sure he had given much forethought about becoming a Marine. Erick accompanied a friend to the recruiters office, the friend enlisted, the recruiter was pretty good sales guy and, well, before he (or I) knew it, Erick was on his way to becoming a US Marine.

Us in 1981

 I was furious but there was nothing I could do, the papers were signed. For a few months I sent letters every day, then they dwindled to weekly and then he eventually got that letter that no military man ever wants to receive…

 Twenty-two years later I received an email. It began “Is this the same Lynda Smith…” It was the same Lynda Smith. He had stumbled across my name on Classmates.com. We had unfinished business and we both knew it. He asked what I was doing and it all boiled down to I was leaving a bad job and a bad relationship. He asked “Why don’t you come up to Alaska?” So I did.

 He met me at the Anchorage International Airport at 9:20pm with 22 read and pink roses) one for each year we had been apart) and a fur coat. He had a video camera to film my arrival but as soon as he saw me he dropped his arm and got a great shot of the people behind him upside down and the only thing heard beyond the hustle and bustle of people arriving and departing and greeting their loved ones was Erick saying “Oh my God.”

 We embraced in the center of the isle. We kissed our first kiss in 22 years. The airport melted away, the people melted away, a lifetime melted away. All the relationships between then and now melted away. We might as well have been in high school again. When we came to the security/TSA officer was asking us to step out of the isle, we were blocking traffic or causing a scene or something. I am not sure what he said but it meant “move.” we stepped to the side and held each other and the fire of 22 years rekindled and in an instant burned as wildly as it had in our teens.

 I learned that after 6 years he was medically discharged from the Marines with a bad hip. His brother had been sending him photos of Alaska and he moved there once discharged. He had been in Alaska for 13 years. He had married Connie Calhoun, a glorious woman whose smile would light a room and a contagious laugh that captured his heart.

ccarpenterrv

 They shared 13 years together and she was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was 163 days from diagnosis to death. I never got to meet Connie and it was probably best. But I will say that I knew him before her and after and I approve. I am convinced she was a great lady and am glad he got the time he did with her.

 It was early December and though it was not that cold by Alaska standards (probably 10-15 degrees), but based on my thin-blood San Diego standards, it was quite chilly. I was happy to have the fur as the light weight leather jacket that I brought was not going to be adequate. We walked arm in arm to his Land Rover. Using a remote starter, unbeknownst to me, he had already started the truck. It was already running and warm.

 He opened the door for me and I got in. He walked around and got in the truck and then it happened. My left hand lay waiting on the tan leather padded console between the leather captain’s chairs, he reached over as we had done at least a thousand times in high school and took my hand. This time the whole world stopped. It was as though every hand I had ever held had been compared to that hand and finally, my hand had found where it belonged. He too felt it. It literally took both of our breath away. We gasped. Several moments later together we exhaled and smiled and kissed and asked each other – “did you feel that?” Yes, through labored breath, we confirmed we both felt it.

 Magic. 

 And so began our reconnection, and our road trip in 2004, from Anchorage Alaska to San Diego, via Key West.

Categories: Love, Reconnection, RV Travel | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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