Okay, I know I've been REALLY slack on my outhiking blog - I think I need to set an Outlook reminder once a week to write something new - note to self - set reminder on Monday AM...
Here it is almost summer in Colorado and to say it's been a busy 2008 would be an understatement! Between traveling for work in April and May, teaching Denver classes in June, and attempting to start the 14er season with all the snow STILL in the mountains, I decided I would write this update to share with you someone who is very important in my life these days, my girlfriend Karen.
I first met Karen in 1998 as part of a Colorado Athletic Club "How to Climb a 14er" group that a mutual friend had formed. Basically it was 10-12 folks from the club who were interested in hiking easy 14ers and we "trained" over 4-6 weeks with progressively higher mountains culminating with my first 14er on Mt. Bierstadt. During the "class", my former spouse and I got to know Karen and her former spouse. Over the next 3-4 years we double dated with them - catching a flick sometimes, watching the Nutcracker Suite at Christmas and dinners out in Denver or Fort Collins.
About 4 years ago, Karen and her then husband moved to Albuquerque, NM for a business opportunity and as sometimes happens, we lost touch with them. Fast forward May 2007, an ESRI business trip takes me to ABQ to teach classes. Remembering they lived there, I emailed the only email address I had (Karen's) to meet for dinner and catch up on news/life. Well, life had changed f0r Karen as I came to find out during my visit. We had a wonderful meal, I met her son Ethan, and we caught up on 4 years of news. My connection with Karen had always been platonic but now the connection felt different for some reason. Towards the end of my week in ABQ, I posed a hypothetical email question "If I asked you out to dinner, what would your answer be?" Creatively, I received a hypothetical "Yes." I was nervously excited and interested to see where this could lead. I had no expectations - heck, I was in the midst of my divorce as was Karen. But for the first time in a long time, I felt like I could open myself up to another person again.
Fast forward June 2008, Karen and I have been dating for a year. We have a wonderful relationship (even if it is long distance for now) and our connection with each other is strong. We see each other at least once a month - twice a month if work takes me there. We have similar interests in some things and others are individual pursuits (i.e. my climbing "addictions" for example). I am a friend to her son and we sometimes plan my visits to coincide when he's there too. It's a kick, Ethan is totally into Star Wars, as am I, so we run around the house sometimes with light saber battles and shooting down Imperial Star Destroyers!
We all see each again end of June for a music festival - Karen, Ethan, and me - I'm looking forward to it!!!