Gratitude, Garden of the Gods

Earlier this week, right before Craig started his new job, we visited Garden of the Gods. It was absolutely breathtaking. Because of my bad foot I was not able to do the hiking trails and so we mostly had to stick to photographing what we could see from the road. But there were some beautiful sights. The rocks are very imposing and dramatic. And so orange and brown. I’m so used to living in a green landscape but it’s really not very green out here. The conifers add some green, a very dark green, but beyond that it’s mostly shades of brown and tan with a little bit of beige thrown in.

Not being able to hike kind of depressed me. I’m not an athletic sort of person and I don’t desire to be, but when I’m visiting a place and I realize I can’t even see 3/4 of it because I can’t walk that far that is kind of frustrating. I was tempted to try to walk that far and just see what happens, but then I remembered just how bad my foot and my leg hurt when I push them and that I could end up part way through a trail and be in so much pain that I can’t get myself through the rest of the way. What would I do? I would be stuck, possibly for hours, while the pain subsided. And then I would have to trek back the way I came and end up in pain all over again.

I need to go back to the doctor to find out what’s wrong with my foot but I don’t even know what kind of doctor to go to. I’ve been to an orthopedic surgeon, a physical therapist, a general practitioner, a neurologist, and multiple podiatrists no. They did find something wrong with my foot. In fact they found two things wrong. A bone lesion and a bone growth. But having surgery to fix these things has not fixed the pain. I have pain in my back too. Maybe I will go back to an orthopedic surgeon and just see what they have to say.

But I’m not going to let that get me down. I have multiple things to be grateful for this week. Here are a few.

1. My husband has gone so out of his way to make this house a home for me. He knows I miss my family and he knows I miss our little yellow cottage. He has been doing everything he possibly can to make this place a new home for me, a comfortable nest. From buying all sorts of area rugs, to buy patio furniture, to buying a swinging chair, to cleaning and organizing, to buying pretty string lights for the back patio and pillows for the swinging chair that I absolutely love, he is truly spending a ton of time, energy, and resources to make this a home that I love and feel comfortable in. It’s working too. I love how we have everything set up and I love the new additions to our home. Everything is cozy and beautiful. And today Craig has been putting up the artwork and special things that we brought with us from North Carolina. Between the old and the new we are creating wonderful home.

2. The back patio and backyard are absolutely amazing here. This is partly because it’s so much smaller than where we’re coming from so there will be so much less to mow. But it’s also because of the wonderful swinging bench that Craig bought for us and the Beautiful matching red dining set. I’ve never really had outdoor space to call my own and really use. When we first got married we lived in the condo Craig bought when he was really young. It didn’t have a balcony even so we had no outdoor space. Then in Moyock we had a small back patio but it wasn’t covered or anything and I never got around to buying one of those big tent covers for it and I just never had any desire to sit out under the blazing sun surrounded by bugs. So even though we had a nice big backyard I was seldom outside. But here it’s homey and intimate and we have a spacious covered back porch, and I’m going to be spending a lot of time outside. I already am.

3. It’s really dry here. I suppose that could be a negative too because it dries your skin out, but it’s really nice that I’ve been here about 3 weeks and it’s only rained once for less than 15 minutes.

4. I have found a babysitter and housekeeper. I am so grateful to have found people. The babysitter is young and in school so I hope that she continues to be able to work and doesn’t have to quit in a future semester because of her school schedule. But so far she has done a good job with Angelica and has been reliable and on-time. Angelica and I both really miss Linda, her babysitter back in North Carolina. The new babysitter definitely does not compare. But she’s a nice girl and I’m glad we have found someone, especially with Craig starting back to work last Thursday. The houscleaning lady is amazing. She cleans thoroughly and organizes beautifully.

5. Driving here is overall less stressful than driving in Hampton Roads. There are certain sections of downtown that are kind of stressful and involve a lot of parallel parking that I am definitely not going to be doing, but most of town is pretty wide open and the traffic is not that bad. I still get a little nervous just because I don’t do here, but overall it could be much worse.

6. The neighborhood playgrounds. I finally have a place in my neighborhood where I can take my baby girl to go meet friends and interact with other kids. To see the joy radiating from her face when she sees another kid coming up to play with her is priceless.

7. We got the best spot in the whole neighborhood. We are on the highest point on base or close to it. At the very least were at the highest point in housing, and the view of the mountains that we have is absolutely gorgeous. There are so many houses in the neighborhood that don’t face the mountain, or don’t face the mountain or the Prairie and just face other houses. But we have a beautiful view. I am a total sucker for stunning vistas. They melt me.

8. I am grateful for my mental health being manageable. This move has been such a dramatic change for me and change is difficult for anybody, but especially for people with mood disorders and anxiety. My anxiety has definitely been worse since we left North Carolina, but I’ve still been able to get out of bed in the morning and do something. I am sad about the move (which is totally different than having a bipolar mood swing), but functional. I am only mildly depressed. In spite of my anxiety I am still able to drive and take showers. So all-in-all I have a lot to be grateful for.

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