Denver

All posts tagged Denver

We’re Going On An Adventure

Published August 29, 2014 by Malia

I should be sleeping right now, but I’m very VERY awake.  Tomorrow night after work (or rather, today after work, since as I write this it is technically tomorrow), the boy and I are headed out on an adventure.

To see the mountains.

Or possibly the smog.  (But not the Smaug…seriously, December can’t get here soon enough!)

It was pointed out to me tonight that I had forgotten how much smog there can be in Denver.  Having not been there in almost a decade, I don’t really know what to expect.

Having not lived there since I was four, finding our way around is going to be it’s own special adventure.

I’m so excited to get out of Omaha, to get out of Nebraska.

I’m also a little bit nervous.  I’m nervous about the boy meeting one of my very dearest friends.  It’s always a slightly nerve-wracking experience to have your friends meet your boyfriend.

It’ll be a quick trip, but I think it’ll be fun.  And crazy.  And awesome.

And I really need someone to reassure me that Casa Bonita is still just as much fun and just as magical now as it was when I was a kid.

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The Saddest Ramen Ever

Published February 13, 2014 by Malia

My earliest memory is from January 28, 1986.  Since I was just over a year old, I’m sure you’re wondering how I remember what day it was.  Well, to be honest, I had to look the date up;  if you look the date up, you’ll find it’s the day the Challenger exploded.  Yup, my earliest memory is watching that tragedy.  It’s just as clear in my mind today as the day it happened.  We were living in Denver so my dad could attend seminary.  The church we went to/led music in, allowed us to live in the cottage next door to the church.  There was a daycare at the church, and they invited mom to bring me over so we could watch the Challenger lift-off with the daycare kids.  Clearly, the teachers had no idea (no one did) of what was going to happen.  The explosion happened, and there was this general scramble of panicked teachers trying to get the tv turned off, before we kids were scarred anymore than we already were.

Fast forward a few months to my next earliest memory (it was shortly before I was 2).  I’m sitting at home, it’s evening, and the atmosphere at the dinner table is uncomfortable.  I remember we were all eating Ramen, and I remember being incredibly sad about it.  However, I also remember feeling that I had learned my lesson.  So, what led up to the sad Ramen eating?

Well, as I mentioned at the beginning, dad was going to school.  Even though he worked whenever he wasn’t in class, we were pretty much broke.  Mom’s the budgeting queen, and to this end, she scrimped and saved so we could do something special.  We got to go to Chick-Fil-A.  We hardly ever got to go, and it was a family favorite.

We were standing in line, and for some reason I decided to throw a temper tantrum.  I’ve always been strong-willed, and my parents gave me an opportunity to decide to behave.  They told me that I could either stop and I would be able to have my chicken nuggets, or if I didn’t stop we would go home where there would be no chicken nuggets.  I decided to test their resolve and the boundary they’d established, and the tantrum continued.

And we got out of line, went home, and ate Ramen instead of chicken nuggets.

Now, I’m sure there are people reading this that are thinking that my parents were horrible people because they did this when I was so little.  I disagree.  I think my parents were completely right in their actions.  I was an intelligent kid (even when I was really little), and looking back on it, I know I completely understood what was going on.  By following through, on what they said would happen, I learned that they would do exactly what they said.  No empty threats, no, “If you don’t stop that, I’m going to count to ten,” which would be followed up by, “C’mon, stop it.  I’m going to count to ten again.”  By following through, I learned that my parents knew I was a manipulative little brat, and I was not going to get away with things.

So, what effect did that day have?  I never misbehaved in public again (you can ask my parents if you don’t believe me).   Mom and dad were able to take me to nice places, and not worry about my behavior.  It was common for other restaurant patrons to come up and compliment and thank my parents for doing a good job with me.  Not only that, but we had people pay for our meals more than once because they were so impressed.

Growing up, my parents were my cheerleaders, my support system, but most importantly, they were my parents and not my friends.  When I grew up they remained all the above listed things, and they became my friends.

The Tail of a Cat

Published February 12, 2013 by Malia

Shortly before I turned 5, my family moved from Denver to a little town in southern Illinois.  We took a long two cats, Gracie and Marshmallow, some gerbils, and some fish.  Not long  after we settled in, the neighbor’s cat came around to visit with her kittens.  She did this everyday for a couple of days.  It was late fall, and the weather was turning cool.  Mom couldn’t stand it, and she started leaving out food.  Pretty soon, the mamma cat stopped coming, and only one little kitten remained.  Somehow mom and I convinced my dad that we needed to take the kitten in.  So, into our lives came a third cat, which in my 5 year old wisdom I named, Andrew George Mittens the Third.  Andrew came about because at the time I was convinced that “Andrew” was simply the greatest boy name in the world.  George was attached because our cat Gracie was named after Gracie Allen, so I thought it was appropriate to name the boy cat after George Burns.  Mittens was because he had little white paws that emerged from his tabby coat.   I didn’t quite comprehend the fact that “the Third” referred to line of descendants.  I just thought it fit since he was the third cat we had at the time.    Anyway, Andrew, George, and the Third rarely got mentioned, and he came to be known as Mittens.

Mittens quickly grew from being a tiny pathetic kitten, into a bit of a behemoth.  He remained this for as long as he was in my life.

The first year I was in 4-H, I decided to spend the year preparing my cat to be judged at the county fair.  Owning him was as close to owning livestock as I was gonna get.  When I took him to the fair, I had to take him up to a panel of judges which included a veterinarian.  Things didn’t exactly go smoothly.  Mittens decided it was a good time to hiss and be generally unsociable.  My mom ended up coming and holding him in place.  The vet was terrified of him.  I think the fact that I wasn’t scared of something she was, is what got me a blue ribbon.

We discovered, one day by chance, that Mittens could be called by the sound of hysterical crying.  We were watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie, and Mittens was nowhere around.  In the episode, Nellie Olson started fake hysterical crying.  Out of nowhere, Mittens lumbered in desperate to check on mom and I.  He was certain something was wrong.  He never failed to come when I was crying.

When I turned 9, I had a really bad case of pneumonia.  It actually hit a few weeks before my 9th birthday, and lasted until the middle of February.  I missed the better part of 3.5 months of 3rd grade.   The night I was at my worst, was the day we had gone to the doctor.  The doctor prescribed me meds, and told my mom that if I got worse, I had to be admitted to the hospital.  That night, mom sat on my bed and pleaded with God.  To say we were poor would be an understatement, and there was no way we could’ve afforded a hospital trip.  All that night mom prayed, and like he had from when I started getting sick, Mittens sat attentively on the foot of my bed.  I did start to slowly get better after that night, and didn’t have to go to the hospital.  Two weeks later when we went to the doctor for a check-up, he was in shock.  He told my mom that he had thoroughly anticipated that I would be in the hospital the night of my last visit.  He also told her that he had expected that I would die in the hospital.

Mittens lived with us, and saw me almost all the way through my teenage years.  He was fat, and precious, and crabby, and wonderful.

When I was a freshman in college, I was living several hundred miles away from home, and things at home took a bad turn.  My parents moved, and they couldn’t take Mittens with them.  So, he went to live with a neighbor.  He was really old at that point, and not in the greatest health.  I never got to say good-bye, but I think (or at least I hope) that he somehow knew that we loved him and didn’t leave him willingly.

I’m sure he’s gone on to kitty heaven by now, but I hope he knows how marvelous and how precious and how important he was in my life.

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