Tag Archives: mountains


My thoughts the past few days have been consumed with memories. Colorado. Mmmm, it has been a long time since I have sat down and been totally overwhelmed with thoughts, especially of my favorite things, people and places. Sort of like a noun…a noun can be people, places, things or an idea. There is also proper nouns. Colorado. It sort of fits in all those categories! That is a pretty good noun!!!! 🙂

Blue skies, no humidity, snow peaks, sunsets, friends, family, and my favorite city in the world: Denver.

I love Denver. I loved the neighborhood I lived in…it put me ten minutes from the mountains and less than ten minutes from Downtown. People would ask where I was from. “Denver,” I replied. It sounded so cool. Denver is home of my favorite sports teams, coffee shops, and parks. I also thought the art museum was amazing, bonus free admission on the first Saturday of the month. Denver on the map makes sense. The streets are numbered horizontally and most streets going vertically go from farthest north to farthest south. Sometimes I would just get in my car and drive around the city. By the time I left, I was a city driver! I could even parallel park Downtown!

There is so much about Denver that I love. Most of my thoughts this week were of Denver. Of my “family” I left behind. Thoughts just came at different moments during the day…the fun memories, the bad memories, the places I visited often or drove past daily. College memories. Post-grad life. My old roommates and the times we had together. Walking across the street to my best friend’s apartment to hang out. My first paintings. Going to work in the morning with the sun rising in my rear view mirror…while I was looking towards the purple mountains and blue sky out of my front windshield. Hanging out with my downtown ministry on Thursdays…there is not a day that goes by where I do not think of those kids.

It is hard to believe that a whole year has come and gone. It was last year during this week that I was saying my goodbyes. The year has been a crazy one! Far more than I ever dreamed of, but still…Denver holds that title…”Home.” I think it will just always have that title.

But there is so much more of Colorado to see past the cities. Although I must say Colorado Springs was another favorite place!! You get past the cities to the small towns in the mountains (or at least surrounded by mountains). The ranches, cattle, crops, rodeos!!! My sister and I shared a room that faced the crops across the road. There was nothing like falling asleep to the sound and smells of fresh-cut barely to the hums of the combines. Then the cows in the pasture out back would take on the encore…not so beautiful. LOL.

Looking back, the town I grew up in was perfect. Growing up I did not think that way…it actually took moving to Denver for me to realize that fact. 🙂

Our hometown was like the song of Cheers…

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.

Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go,

Where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.

You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same;

You wanna be where everybody knows Your name.

There are things of a small town that I love. For one, we knew everyone at school in all grades. Yes, that is possible…and we were not that small of a school but small enough. I still regularly chat with my close girlfriends from those days. Others will send me emails to ask how I am doing. I think that is special. Which brings me to the main point of small towns…everyone knows everything about everyone else. In other words, word travels fast. 🙂

There are so many fun things to do in the surrounding mountains. Every summer we would take a camping trip. Camping…in a tent and most of the time where there were no outhouses. Yeah, nature’s luxury at best. Hiking, canoeing, and my not so favorite of fishing. There is an old mining town about an hour away…that is my favorite mountain town!! In the summer, they set of 4th of July fireworks from the mountains above town. Sitting on a hill on the other side was always cold but had the greatest view. There were a bunch of tourist shops…best coffee and fudge around!

I am sure by now you might be wondering about all this random chat about Colorado. First, I think it is because I realize that God has his own unique way of answering my prayers. I wanted to move closer to family but did not realize at the time how hard adjusting would be after spending my whole life (minus the first 6 years) in Colorado. But looking back over the one year here, I have seen so much family! I love my family. And now part of my family is back in Colorado…talk about vacations!!! Whoo hoo!

Speaking of which, I should be packing. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE TIME HAS COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 As of a few hours, I will be IN COLORADO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My thoughts have been so consumed with this all weekend!!! I could not focus last night…so I sat down and read Psalm 139. It really is an amazing Psalm about God knowing us from even before we are born…he knows the plans he has for us (Jeremiah 29:11). I wanted to read this Psalm mostly because I wanted to control my anxious thoughts. Verse 23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”

So there I sat. I just started talking to God about all these things in my head…I was trying to plan out what I could see in my short time there…but my anxious thoughts were becoming overwhelming. It was almost like driving in the mountains but you spend the whole time reading a book (which I will refrain from doing. I am only taking it for the plane rides and for if we go fishing. 🙂 ) But do you see what I mean? I finally realized the best way to go to Colorado is to let go of my past memories and take in new ones. I can stop planning because I don’t have to see everything…there is not enough time anyway. But I can enjoy what I do see and the people I see it with. My anxious thoughts are calm, but I still can say, “I can’t wait!!!” 😀

P.S. I do hope to see one of these. 😀

We liked this song growing up:







Filed under Books and Movies, Family Times, Paintings, Random, Uncategorized


Usually my blog posts have a theme. I think of different things and put them together in a blog, blending nicely into each other through transition verbs and sentence. In itself, that sort of represents my train of thought, which I have mentioned before, and how I go about being productive in a day. Today’s productivity was running errands after work and scheduling upcoming appointments. I go from schedule to schedule…everything in a timely manner and train of thought. Not tonight. I decided tonight I am not going to have any plans. No train of thoughts. No historical evidence or fun facts (well, I shall refrain). Just me. Unscripted.

The past few months, I have been struggling with finding my passion again. In Denver, I was so involved. I was dedicated to work and surrounded by college friends and roommates, volunteered every week to a street church downtown with kids–which was pretty much my joy of living life each week–and when I was in need of some adventure or time alone, I would go to the mountains just ten minutes down the road. You get to the top of the first hill and see out like a 360 view of the city. I spent a lot of time doing that, especially the last full summer I was there. In the moments of chaos during those months…just seeing the view from on top a mountain made me forget the valleys and shadows of life beneath. Not that here is not beautiful, but there are no mountain tops to see around. Maybe that is sort of significant to my passion. I left it on the mountain top as I started into the valleys. See my problem does not lie with the health related issues being the “valleys and shadows”. They are my mountain tops. How frustrating it is for me to know this! It is so backwards, but in the backwards of the thought…it makes sense. When I have health related things come up…the biggies like chemo, surgery or the blood clot…I have nothing to depend upon but God’s timing, provisions and strength. When I become stable, I find that my focus shifts…I find my own strength to depend on, “I can do it”, like proving I can on my own; getting back to work, I find my own provisions; and I take over my schedule of “things to get done”. It is a habit. It is a bad habit. Why should my life be at the mountain top only in my physical sufferings? Why can’t I remain at the mountain top…or at least the upward climb towards that place even on the normal days? I believe that is why God has convicted my heart to get more in the Word and prayer as of late, because I am entering my valleys again. I should be praising God even on my boring, normal days just like I do when I am in pain. Such different advice apart from the other endless bestsellers on these subjects saying it the other way around. But that is me. Unscripted.

Summit Venture

You know what was great about today though? Blue sky! It is most often a rare sight to see here. Blue skies, green grass. My favorite part is walking or driving through the “tunnels” of trees. They clump together and shade over so it feels like a green tunnel. I think it is so beautiful! Reminds me of a song by Rich Mullins called “The Color Green.” I just have to give you this link of his music video. I watch it when I feel like I am living in black and white. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88Lx1D0gbTo.

Color is: Laughter, being creative, reading in a coffee shop while slowly sipping my cup of tea or chatting with a friend, walking with my mom in the evenings, playing Quicksand with my older sister and brother-in-law or chess with my little sister. Family nights watching “Shaun the Sheep”. Blending paints on a white canvas and coming up with a masterpiece in the end. Petting Muffy when he sits in my lap, brushing my teeth, writing my grandparents, creating new outfits out of old ones, suprise dinners with Dad, looking at old pictures, or seeing new places. Better yet, finding old postcards of places we have been to over the years. 🙂 Today I smiled when I waved to an old man crossing the road, seeing a friend at work, watching the ladies in front of me at the line in Michael’s chat with each other, mailing letters, getting a text from my sister about Lord of the Rings and eating marshmallows for dessert. Today I found myself being thankful for butterfly wings. They are so pretty. I saw a bunch of butterflies yesterday when my mom, sister and I were at a conservatory for plants and butterflies, birds and a mouse. Yes, a cute little mouse. 🙂

And that is me at the moment. Unscripted–in the beauty of stillness, a blend of colorful thoughts, and surrounded with love. Like this new butterfly…ready to spread my wings and fly.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is  the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Paintings, Random, Uncategorized

Friday, the 13th.

I must be brief: 1 pm approaches!! Good thing I am not superstitious. I am not awaiting doom. I have already crossed paths with a black cat. Muffy is not bad luck…except for when he shows off his dinner on the back patio or the time he pranced in the house with a mouse head and dropped it on the kitchen floor. My parents were gone on a date and I knew Dad would be so upset if he found out. I put Muffy outside and cleaned the floor, topping it off with Lysol–much like a child putting on their own Reddi Wip on angel food cake. 🙂 Mom came home and asked if I had been cleaning…well, yes!–the kitchen floor at least. 🙂

Back to 1 pm. Momentous. My artwork goes up for display/sale at a coffee shop in town! 🙂 There are two coffee shops in town: one is real art focused with live music on the weekends and some tables are made of checker boards. The other one is their neighbor, but it is more a style where I would go to discuss philosophy or study history. It is very patriotic themed with old American paintings and documents aligned on the walls. It has a historic feeling to it. The outside patio is right on the river. A wonderful place to contemplate or enjoy a fresh breeze and shade in the heat of summer. My paintings are going in the first coffee shop.

I am both nervous and excited. All this week–after returning from my grandparents house over the Easter weekend, getting back to work, and last week of physical therapy–the focus has been painting and getting ready for today. Lesson learned: painters do not procrastinate. Not that I painted in a hurry–I am proud of my work and this has been a good experience. Usually my paintings are painted with a specific person in mind–a friend or a family member. Now I am painting for a broad/unknown audience. I used most of the same styles of brushstrokes, but really saw an expansion of something new…presenting a display that covers a variety of themes and colors. Some are a serious tone (an 18×24 mountain scene titled, Summit Venture) and some are an upbeat tone (an 8×10 bright-colored, five poppy flower scene titled, Polka dot Poppies).

My uncle is here helping my dad fix the back patio. Aside being an excellent carpenter, he is also excellent with art and music. He has given me great ideas and tips to make my paintings better. Biggest tip: bigger is better. 🙂 I look forward to painting bigger pieces this summer! Last night he was viewing my canvases and asked what my 11×14 was supposed to represent. I had aimed with fireworks in mind (but they are pastel colors…almost like the fading of the fireworks). I had glued three buttons on the bottom to match the colors and give it a bit more spark. The conversation:

Me: “This is fireworks.”

Uncle: “What is this?” (pointing to the buttons)

Me: “Um, people watching the fireworks??” 🙂

The fireworks painting also gave my mom and I a great laugh. She was helping me finalize the titles. We set up the study room like an art gallery then sat down and experimented with different words and titles. We were a bit stuck on the fireworks painting. It could almost be a touch of patriotic theme: The 4th of July. But again, too pastel. I finally blurted out, “Evening Fireworks.” I turned to my mom and she had that look: fireworks ARE in the evening! We laughed so hard I was crying!!! Truly a classic Mel moment! 🙂 We finally took my dad’s advice and named it, Celebration.

I must be off! Time is approaching quickly! More to come…


Filed under Funny Stories, Muffy, Paintings