Saturday, August 24, 2013

My birthday weekend in Colorado Springs

For my birthday I decided to do a mini vacation by myself to Colorado Springs, Colorado, a city in central Colorado that is about an hour from Denver and full of beautiful things to see and fun things to do. I arrived on Thursday afternoon and had reservations to take a cog railway train ride to the top of Pikes Peak--elevation 14,115'.

This is what greeted us while we were waiting for the train.

Here is the train pulling up to the depot. 

My seat was right next to the controls. I so badly wanted to take over! :) 

This was our engineer that day. His name is Roy.

And away we go! I got to sit at the very front of the train! (On the way up.)

Some of the scenery on the way up.

Panoramic shot.

There were some really steep inclines. 25% grade in some places. Meaning for every 100 feet we went horizontally, we went up 25 feet vertically. Also at this point we were above the tree line at about 12,000'. See? No more trees! 

At this point, those of us at the front of the train were 2 stories higher than the people at the back of the train.

Here is the summit. And yes, it was C-C-COLD!

The next day I went to the Garden of the Gods

This is where I started my walk through the park.

I think this one is called Kissing Camels.

And there are these signs around the park.

TALL TALL TALL formations.

And just plain ol' gorgeous scenery.

Hope you enjoyed the pics! :) 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bothersome dreams

It's 3:30am. I've been awake since just before 3:00, woken up by one of the most disturbing dreams I've had in a while. I'm one of those who rarely remembers her dreams, so the fact that I remember this one is something of note.

My dad, as a father, was not a very nice man. He was physically abusive, more so to my older siblings than to me, I think. I remember one horrible beating he gave one of my brothers when we were little. Other than that, it was just spanking for me. And the beating he gave my brother was just for playing in my grandparents' car. I was given some pretty bad spankings by him, and his belt hanging from a hook (nail?) in the doorway between our kitchen and living room was our deterrent when we started acting up. (In other words, being kids.) The physical abuse did stop for us after we got older, but that just meant he switched to emotional abuse. I got it the worst for whatever reason. My mom says she can't explain it either.

My dad passed away years ago, but in my dream he was alive. And although the memory of the dream is getting foggier now the longer I'm awake, I think I remember knowing my dream was a dream because he was in it and I knew he was dead. There was just me, my mom, my dad, and my niece in the dream. We were all in the house we had through my entire childhood, the house where all my siblings and I grew up. My dad, niece, and I were in the living room and my dad was berating my niece about something (very much like he had done to me a few times). In the dream, my niece isn't the age she is now. She was younger...perhaps junior high school age. I knew my mom was in the house and I went looking for her and found her in one of the bedrooms at the back of the house. I remember a whispered conversation with her about how my dad was a bully and that it wasn't fair or right what he was doing to my niece. My dad then came down the hall to go into the bathroom and my mom and I stopped the conversation while he walked past, but continued it until he came out again. We followed him into the living room and by the time we got there, he was again yelling at my niece who was curled up onto a chair in the living room, trying to shrink herself, make herself small. She turned her back to my dad which apparently really made him angry. (Interesting, I'm remembering I never once heard any words coming from my dad during the dream--but I knew what he was saying. Sort of a telepathic thing, I guess.) Anyway, he raised his arm and his telepathic thought was: "Don't you turn your back on me when I'm talking to you! Look at me!" In the dream my mom went to grab his arm and said "Don't you dare hit her!" My dad didn't even acknowledge this, and when my niece turned toward him, he hit her. Hard. I heard the strike of his open hand fall across her face. And what I remember clearly in the dream was being afraid. Afraid like I had always been of my dad, but deciding to take action anyway. I remember thinking, "Fuck this. He's not getting away with this." And in the dream I headed toward the phone, the intent being to call the police. I was furious with my dad and by God I wasn't going to have my niece suffer through what my siblings and I did as kids. Then, in a rare moment of dream clarity, I remembered thinking: You know this is a dream. So wake up and end it.

At that moment, I did wake up. The dream clung to me for a while. And as I sit here doing my crude and non-professional analyzing of it, I haven't come up with any hidden meaning really. I am really proud that in the dream I was still afraid, but did something anyway. And while it's just a dream, it's a bit of a metaphor for my waking life. For years and years I had been living a fear-based life. Doing or not doing what I did because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being hurt, fear of doing the wrong thing, fear of upsetting someone, fear of losing affection and friendship...the list could go on and on. But I'm a stronger person now than I ever have been. I've faced quite a few fears in the past year and while not all of the "risks" of trying turned out well, I'm still here. I'm standing. I'm broken, but I've gotten up and am trying to put the pieces back together. I've proven to myself that I have grown and I have changed. And maybe me waking up and realizing it was a dream was me knowing that I do have power, even when it feels like I might not.