New Family Dynamics

It has been a busy few days, I feel like I’ve hardly been home … wherever that is.

Oh that’s right, it’s where these guys are (and Micah)

I got back from my trip to Durango in time to spend the night with the boys and see them off the next morning to go camping with Lonny, his sister (Karen) and her husband (Sparrel), and another family. He invited me to come along and for that I was grateful. I love his family and they have been nothing but kind to me over the years. When my first marriage ended I never saw my in-laws again. It was made clear that I wasn’t welcome in any capacity, not even to get closure. I really didn’t want that to happen with Lonny’s family.

I decided to join them for the second night at Vedauwoo Rocks, just a couple hours from Boulder and an hour plus change from BF’s house. Since I was going to see him on Friday, it was easy to camp Thursday night at Vedauwoo and then go back to his the next day. For once my plans didn’t involve extra driving.

We’d been to Vedauwoo about three or four years ago, we also met Karen and Sparrel there. I loved it then and I love it even more now.

Along with Karen and Sparrel, there was one of Micah’s friends from Scouts and his family. They’ve been joining us lately on campouts and we’ve created somewhat of a “pod” with them. I love being around lots of kids in the outdoors. Seeing them run and play and pull out the cards or the board game makes me feel like I’m doing right by them.

It is such a lovely place and so easy to get to. Even now, during the busiest season and the height of COVID inspired camping, Lonny was able to find a couple campsites for us.

They were spacious with fire pits – shockingly legal despite the high fire risk – and a grill, set among the large rocks for shade and privacy.

I was happy to be there. I showed up with dinner and ice and went about visiting with folks like nothing had changed. Of course things have, but this is how I want my new reality to look.

These people are important to me

I want my family to feel intact, and that includes Lonny. There is simply no reason for animosity or weirdness. It was part of the process, but I’m over it, hopefully for good.

Chief was on dish duty

I took a walk with Karen where I caught her up on my life, including my new relationship, and then we got down to talking about what we really love … crafting.

I slept in the van and we all packed up after breakfast and a hike the next morning. I noticed I had a hard time breathing that night, my lungs felt dry and it hurt to breathe. It turns out that another fire started, this time near Fort Collins up the Poudre Canyon. The light was an odd shade of orange and smoke settled in the meadow behind BF’s house.

We celebrated his mother’s belated birthday, having been away for her actual day because we were in Durango last week.

I made a salad out of beets and carrots I harvested from his garden

We wanted to go for a hike or a mountain bike ride the next day but the smoke was too crazy. At the last minute his friend invited us to join him on Horsetooth Reservoir for a day on the water.

I usually don’t enjoy water sports, but I was tired enough and relaxed enough that I was happy to be driven around the lake and feel the wind in my hair. Unfortunately Chief wasn’t so happy, the choppy water gave him motion sickness but BF held him in his arms the entire time to calm him.

At one point BF said, “Look at his big smile!” I said, “That’s his barf smile. He’s about to hurl.” And he did. Poor thing.

There was a jet ski, which I declined to try, but BF rocked it on his first try.

Now I’m back in Boulder and I spent my Sunday like I always do … cooking for the upcoming week. I think I’ll watch Clueless with Micah.

7 thoughts on “New Family Dynamics

    • Thanks Ken! Yes, it is a popular climbing spot but I find it to be great for just hanging out. I hope you are well. How’s the epic poem coming along?

      • Yes, great place to just hang out. I love it! Poem keeps evolving into other creatures. It’s essentially still there in form but changes in meaning all the time. From that I’ve also drifted into a couple of other shorter tales. But mostly I’ve stalled out. Reading other works to learn more.

  1. What a beautiful place. A good friend of mine, Eve, got divorced around 20yrs ago. Her “outlaws” which she calls them, teehee flat out said just because their brother/son ended the marriage didn’t mean their relationship was ending. They had no intention of losing her in the deal. It makes it so much easier for everyone, especially living in such a small town. Eve has had various nieces/nephews all from his side, live with her. One niece for 3 yrs, others for a few months or more. She is very loving, kind, and safe, which was very important for the kids at the time.

    • Kids need as many trusted and interested adults in their lives as possible and one can build a lasting relationship that is as strong as family. I always tell that to people who can’t have their own children or choose not to. I certainly benefitted from relationships like that myself. I met Marcia when I was 13 and I have considered her my heart’s mother for the last 35 years and she’s told me that I’m the best daughter anyone could ask for. So yeah, don’t give up on “peripheral” relationships, ever. I’ve been close to Karen’s girls since they were 4 and 5, now they are college graduates and have careers. I couldn’t love them more.

  2. Basil and I are really tight with most of our nieces and nephews. We have a good friend Ryan that we became friends with when he was 13 yrs old. He has gone with us to my sister’s mt. cabin and met many of my family members. It is hard to believe he is 33 yrs old now. When I lived with Lee(from Boulder)and Todd while I was looking to buy a house, the kids called me “Auntie JJ”. I was just another adult in the house who loved and cared for them. You can never have too many people in your life that love you.

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