My Galapagos. The Hotel Bar.

   I normally don't "get" neo-noir films like Mulholland Dr.  When I do find the time to watch a movie, I want instant gratification.  But Lost in Translation really struck a chord with me- travelers lonely and lost.  "Sometimes you have to go halfway around the world to come full circle."
   If you stay too long in a foreign land, you may slip into a no-man's land, the purgatory of paradise, the hotel bar. That is never the intention.  
   You get an idea, plan a trip, anticipate and plan your little heart away.  Then you set off on a journey.  The moment the door opens and you take your first step into a postcard, all your expectations and excitement erupt and permeate the ground beneath you.  Only minutes after your arrival, you have already completely detached from your humdrum familiarities.  Your eyes are shut, you pull in a deep breath, and dive in.  The exotic flavors, bizarre foliage, and native tongue are intoxicating.  You drink it all in...and want more.  You don't want to go back.  In a trance, you drift into the nearest real estate office and hatch your nest egg.  The risks and the possibilies are brilliantly frightening, yet divine.  There's no turning back.

    But after a few months of saltwater hair and banana rum, the corners of your postcard life are worn and bent.  No longer at a resort on the sand but now trying to survive at a condo inland, reality sought you out and found you.  Far from your family and friends, you crave an escape.  So, you go back to the place that first gave you comfort- the hotel bar. 

   Vacationers and honeymooners pour into the lobby.  The slamming of doors, the belly laughs in the hallways, and the fluttering resortwear fill your ears like a symphony.  A new bride, bubbling over with enough bliss she might as well still be wearing her veil, wanders in and strikes up a conversation.  Her glazed-over, starry eyed expression stumbles when she hears you're a local.  "You live here?"  She gives an adoring smile, her eyes widen, and she gasps.  You know that now she must have a million questions for you about the best restaurants, the not-to-miss scenery and hot-spots.  You think you've just made a new friend.  But her expression quickly changes and with one scrunch of her forehead you can read the questions all over her face, "How can you live here, in the most beautiful of places, and can't find anywhere better to hang out than the bar at my hotel?" 

   As your eyes shift from all the stirrings to the mirror behind the bar, you catch a glimpse of your reflection.  "Wait a second," you say to yourself, "How did I end up here?  I'm supposed to be on a spiritual journey, enlivening my spirit!  I've come so far, but now I'm back at square one.  What happened?"


photo source
   And that's where I am...back chain-smoking and sifting through the confusion at the hotel bar.  The energy dissipated and I'm back at square one.  I'm stuck in an "in between"- in between momentum and movement.

   Ever since I set out to explore My Galapagos, I thought I would just add this new venture to my life and move forward.  After I stacked another brick on my life, it looked sturdy and hopeful.  But a couple unforeseen blocks later and the cringe-worthy quivering began.  My tower tipped.

   While working on the source of, and reason for, The "L" Word (more on that soon) and re-organizing my home after My Galapagos. The Spacebar., life started to get in the way of my plans.  Everyone has problems.  These have been my hurdles lately.

  • end of summer and back to school planning and events filled the calendar
  • Baby Girl was growing up too quickly (big girl bed, potty training)
  • a week long trip to Disney World was fast approaching
  • my husband's surprise 40th birthday party was planned for as soon as we returned from Disney World
  • and then...the unthinkable...our family was dealt with a blow.  My brother found out, after experiencing discomfort in his shoulder for a couple years, that he had a cancerous tumor in his shoulder.

   Luckily, the entire process from diagnosis to testing to a successful surgery was a matter of weeks.  However, it was the most distressing and exhausting period we've endured survived in many years.  The stage of the tumor was discovered and a plan of attack came to fruition within days. There wasn't much time to research or explore the best way to handle it as his family.  I hope we talked about it enough, yet not too much.  At least now that it is hopefully all over (the surgery to remove the tumor from the outside of his non-writing hand's shoulder included removing and replacing bone and detaching then reattaching all ligaments etc., then he submitted to completely limited movement for well over a month while it healed, and has just recently been cleared to start driving again), I know he felt and absorbed the outpour of unconditional love and support.

   However, a health scare of one of my siblings brought on another...issue.  As soon as my mom gave me the news and shared the little information we had at that point, I hung up the phone to digest it all.  I called her back within seconds and said, "You know he is going to come down here."  Him being my biological father.  (The explanation and complications can be found in Tornadoes and Trifecta.  I don't feel like re-hashing it right now.)  I hadn't seen him in twelve years.  He had never met my husband, nor my daughters/his biological grandchildren.  An open invitation I loosely offered last year to come stay with us (because we were in the process of building our new home and would have a guest room upon completion after three years without one) was accepted via voicemail within hours of the news.

   Needless to say, August and September were the busiest of busy months for me.  So this is my apology to you, my few but foremost readers.  I'm so sorry to anyone who was checking that I went off the map for a while.  On a more positive note, I was somehow able to make some great memories amidst the muck.



Red Rocks Amphitheatre.  Morrison, Colorado.

The digital age.

    It's amazing what a few days away from my sweet, little family to visit my best friend in Denver did for my soul.  I am still so grateful for the opportunity to get some quality time with my preggers and for the chance to recharge my batteries.  Little did I know how much I would need all that energy in the coming weeks.

End of Summer.  Dallas Museum of Art and The Nasher.

Little Girl is loving being back at school!
Reunited with the "OGs". 

Headed into the Magic Kingdom for breakfast with the princesses!

   I am so glad to be back on track!  I look forward to sharing more with you!

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