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Newest Member: Taikor

New Beginnings :
Update from Southern Colorado

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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 10:41 PM on Saturday, April 29th, 2023

Sounds like you had a fabulous few days. I'm so glad your family and Teacher get along so well.

Thanks for the update! I look forward to hearing about your road trips.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3334   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8789016
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 4:51 AM on Saturday, May 6th, 2023

I may have neglected to mention that I have been substitute teaching a couple of days per week this winter and spring. A couple of weeks ago I was asked to finish out the year at a middle school. The interim principal used to be my assistant principal and she sort of strong armed me into taking on a 5 week gig.

It's been really fun. I'm at a middle school and after a career with only high schoolers, it's been neat to spend some time with the rolling awkwardness that is middle school. And I'm teaching, not just managing the herd like most middle and high school substitutes do.

Since it is May 5 or Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make tacos. I happened to find some ground bison for sale and so have a freezer full. My son and I decided that bison tacos would be awesome. Teacher agreed and she stopped and picked up a few things to enhance the meal. We had a fantastic meal and some really neat conversations, then admired the new plants and flowers I put in my front flower bed today.

Then it was off to the monthly art walk and some music and seeing some friends. We were immediately accosted by some friends and invited into a patio area for laughter and music. Since we had spent much of the early evening having dinner, we missed out on most of the galleries, but that was okay. We ended up at a nice little venue with more music that wasn't too loud and had a chance to talk some more. It was interesting that we had a whole bunch more to talk about since I spent a week with students and am back into lesson planning and grading and whatnot. It's not like our conversations suffered after I retired, but we just had more "stories" to share.

I'd forgotten how tiring teaching every day is. I'm ready to snooze. We parted with some nice little smooches and each got into our own vehicles and headed towards our homes.

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8789875
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:36 AM on Sunday, May 7th, 2023

I really enjoy your updates, CD. I'm glad you're enjoying your substitute teaching. (My niece teaches 2nd grade.) It is a lot of work, and I salute you.

Doing an art walk sounds like a good time.

FWIW, there was a taco festival in town today. Such good food. I didn't see any buffalo offerings today, but your tacos sound yummy.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3334   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8789947
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 3:24 AM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Well, nearly a month has gone by and I thought it might be time for an update.

The archaeology trip ended up being a bust. Both of us ended up getting sick due to kids sneezing on us. So we ended up not going and not seeing each other for more than just a few minutes over 2 weeks when I took her a care package of soup and tissues and cough drops and "Driving Miss Daisy" while she needed a few errands. Then one of her long time friends came into town about the time both of us were mostly recovered. I decided to stay back a bit to give her time with her friend instead of whining about not being together (we did go out to eat and dance together). I went over to Teacher's house on the last day of her friend's visit and knocked down her overgrown weeds and moved a few things for her and her friend. She made me breakfast as a thanks.

This week is the last week of school. For her, it is the last week in her current old building and preparing to move into a newly constructed school building. For me as a substitute, it is herd management and encouraging pre-teens and teens to not make bad choices in the last week. ONE MORE day. But, I was done a little early today and helped her haul things from her classroom to her home (she saved me the heavy stuff). We had a nice visit and shared a few hours of conversation and moving shit.

We are about to get serious about planning our summer trip to Yellowstone.

Guess, that's all the news!

[This message edited by countrydirt at 3:29 AM, Thursday, June 1st]

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8793329
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 4:03 AM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Sorry you were sick. I was looking forward to hearing about how you did the digging and if you found anything. Looking forward to hearing about your Yellowstone trip. Just don't make the national news by getting too close to the bison. LOL.

I'll bet you're glad there's only one more day of school. Cue Alice Cooper in the background, "School's out for summer...."

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3334   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8793333
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 6:08 AM on Tuesday, June 6th, 2023

Fun little update on a couple of fronts. The school I have been substitute teaching is asking me to come out of retirement and teach full time next year. The principal and district superintendent both contacted me and asked me to take it on. I likely will. Middle schoolers - a rambling hallway of awkward - are a fun age.

In other news, Teacher and I ran into a friend last Friday on the monthly Artwalk. He said he was hosting a new open mic at a new venue and told me to try and drop by and play a few. Welp, tonight, Teacher just happened to be out and about and dropped by my house right before I was getting ready to head over to the new place. So we sat and visited for a while and looked over some maps and websites for our upcoming trip to Yellowstone.

To make a long story longer, I mentioned that I wanted to go the open mic, so she agreed to follow me. We arrived at the place and walked in together. I saw several familiar faces and a quite a few new ones. The owner of the Inn (pretty fancy event center in a really nicely restored Victorian home on a huge lot) greeted us and showed me where to sign in. We listened to music for about an hour and danced a bit before it was my time to step up and play.

I pretty much crushed my set tonight. Despite the fact that I was looking over my reading glasses at the audience, I was able to spy Teacher recording my warbling on her phone. After I finished my set the host called several up to "jam" a while and I played right along and even sang harmony on a few numbers. It was so much fun. I wandered towards the back of the venue and snuggled up to Teacher and discovered she was sending the videos to several of her girlfriends and then engaging in texting convos with them. Later we had a conversation about the fact that both of us had been married for 3 decades and that the love we had for our ex-spouses was still a part of our lives but that life is really good for both of us right now.

As it all wrapped up, she thanked me for bringing her along. She had such a good time. Hell, I had a great time as well. I escorted her home, fed little Molly some treats and we both agreed that sleep was the wisest choice for the evening, so after some really passionate smooching, I reluctantly exited and drove home.

Sheesh gang, we're so much in love! I know I've mentioned this before, but I NEVER expected to find this again in my life.

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8794083
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 4:23 PM on Wednesday, June 7th, 2023

So great to read your stories and see you and Teacher not only doing great, but doing it at the pace you want.
What a great new beginning.

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 5919   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8794265
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 12:51 AM on Monday, June 12th, 2023

Weekend update! Summer is finally here and it has warmed up. I've been working in my yard and flower garden as has Teacher. We weren't able to spend much time together during the week, but our weekend sure made up for it. We spent time at a plant sale and both purchased more flowers for our yards. Mine is done and full. I helped her clean some of her flowerbeds and then plant some stuff before I headed to my house to plant mine.

Later Teacher called and told me she was hungry since it was nearly 5 and she hadn't eaten all day. I headed to her place and we visited a bit while she got ready to head out on the town. She bought a new TV back at Christmas but never got it out of the box, so I told her that I would help her after we ate. But, instead of going out and eating right away, we walked around our downtown for 30 or 40 minutes and we had such a nice talk and time together. The we went and ate at a local pub. Just as we got ready to leave, her doorbell camera indicated that someone was parked in front of her house. We suspected it was one of the local homeless who lives in a car and moves it around town every day or so.

When we arrived at her house, Teacher was pretty agitated and tried to talk to the van dweller, but to no avail. The police soon arrived, talked to the van dweller and apologetically told us that nothing could be done since it was a public street - which is what we expected. Anyways, Teacher was quite upset and I offered to spend the night. So, I drove quickly home and returned with my nighttime gear and we proceeded to set up her new TV and watched the final episode of Ted Lasso. After an extended bit of shenanigans, we finally went to sleep and really enjoyed waking up together. She made me breakfast and we talked about how she was angry at my XW for leaving when my youngest was at age when he was vulnerable (she's talked to my XW twice). I reminded her that I made the decision to divorce when my youngest had just turned 16 and made my XW leave. Teacher recognized that she was transferring her anger at own XH to my XW and then thanked me for the therapy session. Then I jetted home to shower and pick up some adventure gear for a quickly planned trip up the river to see some friends at their property.

During the drive to the friends' new place, we talked about how nice it felt to spend time together, to sleep beside (or in her case, pretty much on top of me) each other and how much she enjoyed making me breakfast. We visited the friends for a few hours, dipped our feet into the icy and high runoff of the Arkansas River then headed home. We took a little detour for a more scenic and less trafficked route and extended our time together by an hour or more.

We were both exhausted after not enough sleep the night before and then driving and talking, so I headed to my house and settled in for the night. I hadn't been home too long and she called and we ended up talking for 3 or 4 hours on the phone.

This morning I went over and we planted flowers and moved plants and trimmed bushes and weed whacked all around her yards. Lunch at the food trucks along with little Molly (who despite weighing maybe 10 pounds) who feels she is the toughest dog anyone has ever seen. So relaxing.

[This message edited by countrydirt at 1:27 AM, Monday, June 12th]

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8794871
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 3:43 PM on Monday, June 12th, 2023

Amazing what true peace and contentment feels like, isn't it? I love reading your updates. WTG, CountryDirt.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3334   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8794937
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 5:54 AM on Tuesday, June 20th, 2023

We're in full on panic planning for our Yellowstone get-away. Teacher has a giant supply of big sticky notes, so she is the list keeper. I'm just gathering stuff and working out the route. But, we still have time to do relaxing things. I invited her into a video call with my two oldest sons and their girls and she fit right in - her at her house, me at my house and them in California and Europe. She took me out to brunch for Father's Day and we had a wonderful laughter filled time.

Tonight we went to a nice low-key open mic and I sang some cowboy songs (while wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals. Later, I was invited up to jam with a larger group and had a great time. Music has been an interesting journey for me. I pretty much play solo or in a duet, so getting up with other guitars and bass players and even percussion has certainly stretched my musical chops.

She was cornered by one of the other musicians and he asked her if I played a lot in the house. She laughed and told him that we didn't live together so he was a little gobsmacked about that. He assumed we were married since he's only seen us together. We had a good laugh over that.

Funny stuff - she asked if I knew any two hand card games we might be able to play on our trip when we aren't hiking or looking at everything. Welp, she didn't realize that she asked that of a cribbage and gin rummy junkie! I told her about how many classes I was late for in college due to playing cards and how my mother's family always played cards whenever we would all get together. I think she might be the one! (I mean, if she wants to play cards and enjoys my company, what more could I ask for?)

That's all for now! Have a great week!!

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8796063
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 5:55 AM on Tuesday, June 20th, 2023

duplicate post

[This message edited by countrydirt at 4:57 AM, Saturday, July 1st]

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8796064
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 4:10 AM on Saturday, June 24th, 2023

Well, she gets along with your kids, she enjoys your music...and Molly enjoys your company, too. So happy for you.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3334   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8796721
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 4:46 AM on Saturday, July 1st, 2023

I've just returned home after our 7 day adventure and what a great time we had! So many wows and wouldyalookatthats around every corner. I finally saw a grizzly bear and we saw bison, foxes, elk, deer, pronghorn, eagles, lots of hot water spurting and steaming, rocks and so many amazing sights! Plus, camping and cooking together, playing cribbage, waking up slowly, spending many hours together was just out of sight! She thought I was her amazing personal barista since I brought a camping espresso maker (not that sophisticated, just really easy to use on a backpack stove) and made coffee every morning.

I think in the week we only ate 4 restaurant meals and never bought coffee. We drove over 1800 miles taking in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah and of course parts of Colorado we had not seen in years. Grand Teton and Yellowstone NPs, the Great Salt Lake, the Colorado National Monument and all parts in between. We had great conversations, listened to audio books while driving, stopped and took many pictures, got bitten by vicious blackflies, hiked in the rain and heat, held hands, smooched, played cards and danced. What a wonderful way to spend a week.

We had lunch with a long-time friend (41 years) and it was great to catch up since we hadn't seen each other in probably 15 years. And then we drove about 3 more hours home and are both exhausted and thrilled at the same time.

It's going to take me days to unpack and reorganize my stuff!

Oh, and right before we left on the trip, the new principal called me and "officially" asked me to take on the teaching position next year, so that actually gave us a whole new avenue of conversation for the ride.

[This message edited by countrydirt at 4:58 AM, Saturday, July 1st]

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8797769
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 5:36 AM on Monday, July 3rd, 2023

How did I miss this post? It sounds like you had a fantastic time. My mom loved Yellowstone Park, and I'm imagining the pictures she had as what you passed through.

You sound so happy, and you are so deserving of that happiness. Your updates are the best!

Keep us posted on whether you accept the position or decide to remain a sub. Teachers are superheroes.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3334   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8797972
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 12:00 AM on Sunday, July 9th, 2023

thank you leafields. I have accepted the position for the coming year so am already mourning how fast summer is going by. I've got about a month left.

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8798742
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 3:04 AM on Sunday, July 9th, 2023

Now I have camping/road trip envy! What a great adventure. I think traveling together is a great test of a relationship… and looks like flying colors!

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 5919   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8798758
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 3:46 AM on Sunday, July 9th, 2023

Thanks BearlyBreathing! We really are discovering that we travel well together and yes, it certainly is a test. We're both getting more relaxed about it and enjoy that extended time. We've flown to another country together, been skiing on day trips and overnight trips and this time was the longest we've been together for travel. In fact, just a day or two after we returned from Wyoming, we jetted back off for 3 days with her family, so having a solid 10 days of 24 hour time has been really neat.

Just a few more details about our camping vacation. I have a tent that fits in the bed of my pickup and a pretty decent air mattress that fits as well, so our camping wasn't that rugged. We spent 3 nights in the tent and 3 nights in a cabin, so really weren't roughing it too much. I had the idea that we might sort of "wild camp" on BLM land along the way, but there wouldn't have really been many services, so we actually used KOA and state parks, so were able to shower and even do a little laundry and one of the cabins had a nice charcoal grill so one of our meals was New York Strip steaks and vegetables.

Tomorrow is kayaking with some friends before the weekend is over. Our river is really too high to safely "float" in so we'll hit some coves and canyons at our local reservoir.

'Memories' on facebook are starting to show that we've been doing things together for about 2 years, even though it hadn't quite "gelled" until the fall about a year and half ago. We're pretty happy together.

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8798760
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 4:09 AM on Monday, July 10th, 2023

Congratulations on the new job! First day of school will be here soon.

Your trip sounds great. I have to admit, the camping I did at 25 is not what I could do now.

Rented a cabin near Mt. Rainier over the 4th. My grandsons enjoyed playing in the river and having outdoor time.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3334   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8798845
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 countrydirt (original poster member #55758) posted at 4:33 AM on Wednesday, July 12th, 2023

Quick and silly update. I've mentioned I play and sing at open mics around our little city. Teacher and I have had a standing date to one and always have a great time. The folks there are really nice. Last night I struggled a bit with a song but finished strong with some other songs and received many compliments.

Tonight I received late notice that one of the bi-weekly open mics had been moved so I ended up heading over and sent Teacher a quick text telling her I was going. She arrived just as I was getting set up and listened to me warble along. I came close to nailing it and the song I struggled with last night came together quite well (lots of syllables ala Charlie Daniels' Uneasy Rider or Johnny Cash's Boy Named Sue follow the same melody)

After I finished Teacher said, "Looks like I'm a groupie!" blush

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021
Life is Good!

posts: 527   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8799098
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:03 PM on Wednesday, July 12th, 2023

LOL! How cute!

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3334   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8799146
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