Fall in Colorado is a truly spectacular time of year. The sunrises and sunsets are stunning. Because I'm regularly in the car during pre-dawn and twilight hours, I frequently see people snapping shots of the sky with their cell phones while they sit at red lights. The sky really looks that good.
Of course, all this beautiful, bright sunlight takes its toll. It makes driving risky at times - turn one corner and you find yourself in a staring contest with the sun. Doing exactly what you've been told not to do your entire life. And while your retinas are melting you frantically flip down visors, grab sunglasses off the passenger seat, and use your hand to shield your eyes as you struggle to regain your vision - often to no avail. I'll bet most Colorado drivers have had the nerve-wracking experience of driving blind. Trusting for a few precious moments that you won't hit anything if you just keep the car moving forward. It's quite a rush. The sun also can give us really chapped lips. And chapped lips can make you desperate.
A couple days ago I was driving somewhere and my lips were feeling really dry. I ran the back of my hand across them to casually gauge the level of dryness and discovered my lips could actually leave scratch marks on skin. I began a desperate one-handed hunt for Chap-Stick in my purse. Unfortunately, while I did come up with 17 pens and an actual rock, there was no lip balm to be found. I caught a glance of myself in the rear view mirror and was horrified. I looked like one of those apple head dolls we all tried to make in the 1970s. I had to move to plan B.
At the next stop light I threw the car in 'Park' and dove down to search under the passenger seat - a place I consciously try to avoid. I saw straws, an orange, hair bands and one flip flop, but no Chap-Stick. Then I spotted a tube of off-brand lip balm, covered in gravel and hair, that must have come in a golf tournament swag bag years ago. I didn't care how gross it looked - I was desperate. I ripped the cap off and saw it had almost completely melted leaving only that plastic stick in the tube, but a little of the moisturizing product had ended up in the lid. I scooped it out with my pinky and slathered it over my lips. It felt like heaven even though I did have to pick a hair and what appeared to be a french fry crumb off my lips afterward.
Now I buy one or two tubes of Chap-Stick every time I go to the store, but somehow they still seem to disappear. They must go to the mysterious place that holds socks lost in the dryer and the 10,000 mechanical pencils we buy the kids during the school year. Sometimes though, I get lucky and find one of them in a jacket pocket with a forgotten $10 bill. Those are good days indeed.
I'm wearing this.
My need for new skinny jeans is intense. As intense as my love of a statement necklace. That's really saying something.
gratitude: realistic scheduling, learning curves, oatmeal cookies, Chap-Stick
thanks and love.