Michelle Ray Cox's Blog

Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.
Grape Creek

Grape Creek

Every day we have a choice. We can use our hours on this earth in a positive and fully engaged way, or we can exist. I don’t want to have regrets when my time comes.

That’s not to say that every day is full of butterflies and rainbows. If I expect that, I’m naive and sure to be disappointed. There is drudgery…packing up the house in preparation for the renovation was not my idea of how to spend a happy week. There is stress, worry, frustrations big and small. There is deep, heart wrenching sorrow when friends or family members are sick or die.

But the more positive and happy times that I hold, touch and savor, the easier it is to pull back from the shade of negativity.

Steve loves to fly his plane. It is his passion and joy. He starts getting antsy if he can’t fly. I love watching him focused and doing what he loves. I have fun when he plays around with steep turns, I laugh when my butt leaves the seat when we hit an updraft. But I don’t enjoy flying the plane at all. Flying is Steve’s passion, not mine. Flying is important to Steve, Steve’s happiness is important to me, so I want him to fly as much as he wants.

Now horses…horses are my passion and they have been from the time I could walk and talk.
I’ve had my Paso Fino Maestro for several years. I’d ride every once in a while, but didn’t have any friends that were really into horses to ride with.

Then I met Lilly, the teenage daughter of one of Steve’s coworkers. She reminds me so much of myself at that age. Totally horse crazy. Lilly started riding Patches, our pony/horse. Then we met Ann my neighbor across the street and the three of us started riding together.

Through Ann I met Heath Marshall, a mustang trainer here in Penrose. That is when things really changed. There are a lot of people that come to Heath’s to hang out, and take his clinics. That is how I met Monte and Tanya Zimmerman and boy do they know a lot of people, and they ride A LOT. More importantly, they are friendly and welcome others to ride with them.

So suddenly I had the opportunity to ride more often. Which was fine durning the week when Steve was working. But if I rode with my friends on weekends I left Steve home, and obviously we weren’t spending as much time together.

Steve didn’t get to fly for months. I had hip replacement in September and couldn’t get into the plane. Then we went to California for Christmas. We we got back, Steve was sick for the rest of his Christmas break. For the next few weekends we had winds gusting to 60mph which is not good flying weather. Next, I got bucked off a friends horse and had a concussion and three broken ribs.

After not flying for a few months Steve was getting down and a little cranky which is not like him at all. Since the wind here in Penrose was always going to be a problem, I suggested he get a horse so that we could ride together. We talked it over for hours. Riding will never replace his love of flying, but it would allow us to each share our passion with the other.

That discussion was on a Friday. Saturday I drove to Denver to try out a horse for Steve while he did some work from home. I rode the horse on icy roads one week after the ribs were broken and as confident as I am I knew that really wasn’t a good idea. It was a short ride. The horse was a 20 year old Paso, just like mine, and very energetic. I told Steve he really needed to ride him himself. Some people do not like forward and energetic horses to trail ride. I do, but I wasn’t sure what Steve would like.

We drove back up to Denver on Sunday. Steve rode the horse, and fell in love. A check was written. The gelding was named “Pepper” which wasn’t going to work because we already have a dog with that name. Steve took a couple of days to think about it and came up with the name “Rio”.

On Monday we traded our wrangler for a Ram 1500. On Wednesday Rio came to his new home. On Friday we bought a used two horse trailer.

To say our life has changed is an understatement.

We are having SO MUCH FUN! Steve loves his Rio and loves to ride. He rode when he was a kid, is a confident rider and has no fear. We ride out just the two of us, we go on awesome rides with friends. On Friday we rode for seven hours following a narrow trail that criss crossed Grape Creek with a group of 12 other riders. We had a blast and made even more new friends. Driving back Steve said “you know, today was one of those days you could only dream of”. We are already discussing where to go horse camping with friends this summer. How cool is that?

The next day we took the plane to Moab for the weekend. Gorgeous scenery and we got to play on rocks and drive down a hairy scary trail on the side of a cliff. And Steve got to indulge in his passion.

Life is so darn good. And I know how incredibly blessed I am.

What is your passion? Are you balancing the drudgery and stress of life with fun? Whatever your passion, whatever feeds your soul, I urge you to give yourself permission to experience joy.


Grape Creek Ride March 2014

We met up with Tina Heffner and Linda Clark at the Kwik Stop at Highway 50 and 115 in Penrose. From there it was about a twenty minute drive to Grape Creek. We headed west on Hwy 50 to Canon City. Took a left (south) at the prison on First Street. Then a right (west) on County Road 3, which is also Temple Canyon Road.
There is a big dirt parking lot with plenty of room to park several horse trailers and still share the lot with the unfortunate people that hike rather than ride a horse.

Maestro is still a little nervous in our relatively small two horse strait load trailer. It’s a little tight for him, which causes a slight freak out but nothing bad. We opened the gate and he just stood there, refused to back out. So we opened up Rio’s side, told him to back up and he did just that. It’s like magic to me when they do that.

Maestro saw that his buddy Rio was leaving the trailer and he decided to bail pretty quickly. Reverse psychology works with kids as well as horses.

There was a lot of looking around, sniffing and snorting and then he settled down. Got the saddle on as well as his new jaquima and bit hanger. I thought he looked very handsome with the snazzy red and yellow accents.

Linda was the only one that had ridden this area before so she took the lead. I wish I could tell you where we went but I was so busy looking around that I didn’t pay that much attention to how we got to where we went!

I realized afterwards that this was the first time we had ever ridden in a gaited only group. Linda was on Gabby her 11 year old Missouri Fox Trotter gelding. Tina was riding Sophie, a MFT mare who is 12. Steve and I were our 20 year old Paso Finos Rio and Maestro. I have to say, it was very liberating riding with a group that all had gaited horses. Maestro kept his temper and we did not stop and wait for the group or circle around to kill time once. That might be why he didn’t have any stomping hissy fits that day?

Steve did his typical thing of looking for high ground to climb or interesting things to ride over. Maestro and I joined him on a couple of narrow ridge rides that that had some spectacular views. Next time I’ll take more pics.

Not a lot of rock on these trails, so we did some loping and a lot of gaiting. When we went off the dirt trails there were rocks a quite a bit of cactus. Apparently both of our guys have tangled with cactus before because we learned to hang on if they decided to play dodge the cactus as we were loping off trail. We went around a ridge line and down to the creek. What a gorgeous area. Linda said you could ride down the creek quite a ways when the weather is warmer and the water not as cold. A good excuse to go back. We let the horses splash around a while in the creek. Had to laugh at Rio who looks like he is trying to drown his fool self when he puts his head almost up to his eyeballs in the water.

Grape Creek, CO
After criss crossing the creek a few times we headed back.

The ride took a couple of hours. Lots of trails that went unexplored that we were taking note of for next time.

Great ride, great area, awesome company.


Adults Can Be Bullies Too
March 21, 2014, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Relationships | Tags: , , ,

Grown ass women can be just as mean as teenage girls. We may think that bullying is restricted to school age kids, but let me tell you bullying is alive and well in the grown up world.
This will come as no surprise to many women.
Clique as defined by Wikipedia:
In the social sciences, a clique (CanE, UK /ˈkliːk/ or US /ˈklɪk/) is a group of “persons who interact with each other more regularly and intensely than others in the same setting.” Interacting with cliques is part of normative social development regardless of gender, ethnicity, or popularity. Although cliques are most commonly studied during adolescence and middle childhood, they exist in all age groups
So dealing with cliques is a normal part of being a human being is society.
I experienced this in the martial arts. There was the “School Owner Clique”, “High Ranking Black Belt Clique” and the “I Am A Black Belt And You Are Not Clique”. But for the most part, my Taekwondo friends were polite and inclusive. Of course, we did a lot of talk about respect and self control, and ugly behavior for the most part was not tolerated. And there was something to be said for knowing that if you mouthed off at someone the next time you sparred you could get your ass kicked. You knew you would be seeing this same group of people at tournaments and camps. So I think we all tried very hard to at least be polite and courteous, even if we couldn’t stand the person.
Women that are involved in martial arts are a little different. We have to learn that it is ok to hit and be hit. It is not acceptable to get your nose out of joint because another woman whacked you in the head with her foot. If you do get pissy about it and you are one of my students, I’m going to tell you to “suck it up and you should have blocked it”. If you are one of the relatively few women that make it to black belt, you have learned how to fit into a male dominated culture. Some of my best friends in the whole world are fellow black belt women. We admire each other not for how we look, but how tough we are. How many boards we can break, how fierce we are when we spar, how fast and strong we are when we hit the mitts. I respect women that come back from injuries still swinging.
I saw some of the “I Am A Black Belt And You Are Not” exclusion routine at tournaments, and even in my own school. As a school owner it drove me nuts. I had several women come to me and tell me how they were talked about behind their backs, openly not included in social activities, made fun of.
Really? Adult, professional women treating each other this way? Sounds like middle school doesn’t it?
The point is, I know that bullying, exclusion, or just being mean exists in the adult world. At least in my school I could attempt to control it.
Then I moved to Penrose, Colorado. And I got involved in the horse culture here.
For the most part, the people here have been awesome. Welcoming, inclusive and helpful to this newbie.
But there are cliques. The clique I am choosing to be a part of is fun, accepting and welcoming. They laugh with me, help me, and reach out to me. What a great group of people, and I feel so fortunate be part of their group.
I’ve recently made the choice to unfriend (GASP!) someone on Facebook because I simply can’t stand to watch her behavior anymore. I talk to my 11 year old daughter about choosing friends that encourage her and make her feel better about herself. I tell her not to be around people that are mean, or talk about her behind her back. So I decided to take my own advice and remove someone that simply isn’t the kind of person I want to be around.
I’m not going to bash this person. I’m not going to tell my friends that I won’t be friends with them if they are friends with her. I don’t think she is a bad person, I don’t want to hurt her. I know that she has had some difficulties and I really have no idea of what she is going through that causes her to act the way she does. She has her own journey and history, and I know she has a lot of good things going for her. I think she can be a lot of fun, and can be a good friend. It’s just that we were not going to be friends and I don’t want to read her stuff. And I can’t fix her.
She has burned some bridges with my group of friends. At first, I was going to try to stay friends with her, believing that there are always to sides to a story. After hearing some of the stuff she has said about me and my friends, I’ve had to rethink that decision. After seeing her blast a friend on Facebook for disagreeing with her I know I made the right decision.
When you own a business, sometimes you have to do business with people that you might prefer to not be around. I can’t tell you the times I’ve had to grit my teeth during the forty years or so that I was a business owner, first in surety bonds, and then in martial arts.
Now, I get to choose who I spend time with. And I get to choose who I walk away from. There is no reason to associate with people that are hurtful and uncaring. Hopefully I can help Keely learn this a lot earlier than I did.

March 14, 2014, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Mom | Tags: , , , ,



It’s been a year. A year without your voice, a year without your laugh.

Those last months when your body was still with us but your mind was flitting between here and somewhere else were hard. The trip we made to Little Rock to see you was bittersweet. I’ll never forget the smile on your face when you saw Steve and me walk into your room. You instantly recognized us, which was such a relief. Then you started talking and I couldn’t follow. The next day you didn’t remember I had been there. In a way that was a relief, because I knew it was not causing you pain that I wasn’t there to see you every day. I still felt guilty, but not as much.
There were no more phone calls. You couldn’t figure out how to use the phone. If Michael or Tracey put the phone to your ear, all you were doing was parroting words. You couldn’t hear or understand me. That was so sad, but it prepared me for this year.

You may not physically be on this earth, but you are still with me.
Every time, and I mean every time, Steve and I walk through the house watching the sunset we talk of you. We remember your joy in the vibrant colors and huge scope of our Colorado sunsets. I remember you sitting on the couch in the sun room, watching the birds, nodding off to sleep in the sun.

We drove to Cripple Creek a few weeks ago. We remembered you looking out the window, riveted by the colors of the aspens in the fall. We laughed about your gambling “addiction” and how adamant you were that you needed to try out the casinos in Cripple Creek. I regret not taking you more often.

I sit in the living room and remember us painting it together. I was on the ladder, you were doing the lower part of the walls. I never told you about going behind you to get the parts that you missed. Remember all the houses we have painted together?

I’m not as directionally challenged as you were. Frankly I don’t think it’s possible to be worse than you were and still operate in society. But when I get turned around and a little lost, you are there with me giggling. And the first thing out of Steve’s mouth is “you are just like your mother”

I’ll always take that as a compliment.

We had friends over last night. They were sitting on your side of the counter while I cooked. We poured some wine for them and the memories flooded me yet again. I could see you sitting there, wine glass in hand, keeping me company while I cooked. I remember the laughter, the jokes, and the giggles. How fortunate I am to have had such a wacky mom.
So more people have heard about you Mom. More of your stories have been told. They don’t mean much to the people that hear them, I know that. But the telling is important to me. To Steve. To Keely. It’s the way that we continue to include you in our lives.

It hurt that you were not able to be with us when Steve and I got married. I know how important that was to you. But we felt your presence that day. We felt your joy and approval. I know that is just the first of many occasions that we will miss you.

I think I talk to you more now than I did that last year you were alive. On those long drives in the car going to Colorado Springs I tell you about what is going on in my life. I know you already know, but it helps to tell you. And of course I can carry on your part of the conversation because I know you so well. I can hear your voice “Well, Michelle….”

When I am alone in the house that is when I feel you close. I put on “your” music, Enya or Yanni, and as it floods through the air you are there. I cry. I miss my Mom. I want to hold your hand, hug you one more time.
I had the gift of time with you for many months while you stayed with us in Colorado. What a very precious gift that was. Steve got to know you and love you. Keely got to spend a lot of time with her beloved Grandma.

You knew that I loved you. I knew that you loved me. In the end, that was really all that mattered.

So Mom, this is your birthday. It is one year and a few days since you left us. So listen to me as I sing Happy Birthday to you, and know that I love you very much.

4th2009 001

A Skinny Kid Taught Me A Lot About Life
February 28, 2014, 12:44 am
Filed under: Courage | Tags: , , , ,

 I reconnected with some old friends today on Facebook.  While I had not talked to them in years, I’ve talked about them many many times. Many of the people that have gone through my Taekwondo school will remember the story, if not the names.  I’ve cried a lot because of Lee and Becky Coon and their son Michael.  I’ve cried every time I’ve told their story to a school gym filled with kids.  I’ve cried when I told the story to Steve, to Keely and her friends.  I’ve cried buckets of tears today as I wrote this blog.

 There are some people that make a huge impact on your life.  A skinny teenage boy with big ears changed my life forever. 

Michael Coon was very quiet, very polite.  He got that from his dad Lee and his mom Becky.  Well, Lee was pretty quiet, Becky kind of balanced the quiet with the gift of gab.  They all were students at my taekwondo school when I bought it.  Michael was in our instructor program for a while, and then he hit those teenage years when time gets so precious.  He was involved in activities at school and church, and the drive from Redfield to Little Rock in the evenings became too much.  But his dad Lee still worked out with us when he could during the day, and the family would stop by and say hi when they were in the area.  A great family.

I’m going to tell you the story, but I’ll tell you up front I’m kind of fuzzy on some of the details. 

It’s been ten years, and I can’t remember who called me.  I’m pretty sure it was Lee.  He told me that Michael had been shot and was on the way to the hospital.  Becky was on the way.  They got there, and he was gone. 

He was fourteen. 

Michael and a couple of friends were going to go hunting.  Somehow, Michael was shot.  By one of his friends. 

I can’t imagine the shock to Lee and Becky.  They left for work that morning, a normal routine.   That evening when they came home their world had been turned upside down.  This story is one of the reasons that my kids always hear me tell them “I love you” before we go in our different directions.  Every single time.

Lee asked that Charles and I come to the house.  It was overflowing with people, there to support Becky and Lee.

Lee pulled us aside, and told us that the police had arrested Michael’s friend, the one who shot him.  This was a boy that had grown up with their son, someone that they loved and had welcomed into their family.  Lee was heartbroken. 

He took us into Michael’s room and showed us something very special.  Michael was one of the youth leaders at their church, and he had been keeping a journal.  One of the last things he had written was:

“If Christ died for my sins, who am I to not forgive others?”

He told us that he and Becky felt that Michael was telling them a very important truth. 

During the grieving process of losing their son, Lee and Becky comforted the other boys’ family.  They visited him in jail and told him that they loved him.  They stood by him.  No hate.  No anger.  Just love and forgiveness. 

I went to the memorial service for Michael.  His black belt certificate was next to the casket.  The church was overflowing, full of teenagers that had gone to school with Michael, full of adults that had been touched by the Coon family.

The pastor invited people to talk about their memories of Michael.

In a sea of white faces, an African American young man stood in line to speak:

“I moved here from New Orleans after Katrina.  I don’t know if you guys noticed, but there are not a lot of black faces around here.  I was really scared about starting a new school.  Really scared.  I had heard a lot of stories.

The first day I walked up to the school, there was a group of guys standing around.  One of them saw me and started heading over.   I thought to myself, I’m going to get beat up right now.   Well, that is not what happened.  Michael Coon reached out his hand to me, introduced himself, and took me over to meet his friends.  He invited me to sit with him at his table at lunch.  He invited me into his home.  Mr. Lee and Mrs. Becky invited me into their family.  

I’ll never forget him.”

The young man broke down and went to his seat.  I don’t think there was a dry eye in that church.  I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much.

We hear a lot of talk about leadership.   Martial Arts schools have programs saying that they teach it.   Corporations bring in consultants to teach it. 

But that skinny fourteen year old boy could teach a lot of people about leadership. 

I’ve told Michael’s story to thousands of people.  I’ve been in schools where the teachers couldn’t get the students to calm down, and after I’ve told Michaels story there was a hushed gym full of teenagers.  I’ve talked to my students during class, and cried for the loss of this very special boy.  I’ve given out the Michael Coon Leadership Award to some very special people at our annual awards ceremony. 

Michael Coon touched a lot of people in the short time he was here.  His legacy is one of friendship, inclusion, leadership and love. 

I know that Lee and Becky think of Michael every day. But I wanted them to know that they, and their son, forever changed me. I hope they are proud of his legacy, and the impact that he, and they, have had on so many people.  


Happy Birthday David Ray
November 20, 2013, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Relationships | Tags: , , , , , ,

David and Kyle

David and Kyle

Thirty five years ago, my son was born. I wasn’t there, in fact I didn’t meet him for another two years.

David is the son of my heart. For the years I was married to his dad, he was legally my step-son. After his dad and I split up, he called to tell me that he loved me, and I was still his mom. He is still my son.

I met him when he was two. White blond hair, extremely verbal, very precocious. He started to call me Mom, which bothered his mom Laurel. I don’t blame her a bit. David handled it by calling me Mom when he was with me, but if both of his moms were together he would call me Michelle when talking to Laurel, and use Laurel’s name when talking to me. Like I said, he was a smart kid.

He loved Star Wars. He had a problem pronouncing “L” and “Y” for a while. He was always “Uke” Skywalker and he wanted to wear the “Ellow” shirt. I still pronounce “Luke” and “Yellow” that way sometimes.

My mom told David that he was her “Number One Grandchild”. David started crying. “I don’t want to be Number One!”
Mom said, “but David, you are my oldest grandchild, that makes you Number One.”
“I don’t want to be Number One, I want to be Number Zero because Zero comes before One!”
Henceforth, mom always referred to him as “Ole Number Zero”.

There was a picnic table on the beach at Destin, Florida that David ran into every year. The story of that table and David’s affinity for it comes up every time we get together.

Destin is where a momentous occasion occurred.
It was our first visit as a family, David was two and a half. We went to a restaurant on the wharf, and to put it bluntly, he was being a holy terror. We put up with it for a while, and then finally Charles got up, took him by the hand and marched him outside.

A while later, David came down the aisle with his dad behind him. I could tell they had both been crying.
David climbed into his booster seat beside me, looked at me and said “Boy, Mom, wait until you have your first spanking!”
Charles had taken him out, spanked him, and then cried with him afterwards.
I reminisced with David just this week about that story.

We have had our ups and downs, David and I. He came to live with us when he was 13. Anyone with any experience with kids will tell you that the teenage years are not anything fun to go through, for the kid, or the parents.

There were battles over getting up in the morning. The solution of several alarm clocks around his room didn’t work because he would just put his pillow over his head and go back to sleep. Drove us nuts.

I had to bang on the bathroom door in the mornings because he would go to sleep in the bathtub.

It was a battle of wits and will. I remember telling him he had five chores to do because he could go out. He only got three done. And he said I didn’t tell him about the other three. Now I was pretty sure I had said five, but there was some doubt. So I let him go out with his friends.
Next weekend, I gave him a list. And I made him sign and date it.

And then there are all of the Christmas stories. Maybe they are so real because of all the pictures we have.

David and Kat would start checking the packages at Christmas, so they pretty much had all their gifts figured out by Christmas morning. I fixed that by putting numbers instead of names on the packages. And I wouldn’t tell them who had which number until they came downstairs Christmas morning.

Another Christmas I rustled everyone out of bed to open gifts. We noticed after the gifts were open that it was still dark. Which is when I realized the clock had read 3:30am instead of 5:30am. They all stumbled back to bed while I enjoyed the quiet of a Christmas morning and read the newspaper.

David’s little brother Joe spent Christmas with us one year.

David, Kat and Joe Christmas morning

David, Kat and Joe Christmas morning

David moved back to California when he was 17. We kept in touch by phone, with a few visits tossed in.

Christmas of 1999 David called to ask if he and some friends could stop over for Christmas on their way to Florida for the for the New Year’s 2000 Phish concert. Several young adult boys piled into a van in Oregon, with virtually no money, and made the cross country trek. What a cool adventure. We fed them well, packed a lot of left overs for the trip and sent them on their way in an epic ice storm.
He spent Christmas with us our first year in Colorado. Charles was here too, so Keely was in heaven. It was the first time any of us had seen David in four or five years. It was a good week. David and I went on some walks, talked about life and tried to solve all the problems of the world.
Christmas 2010
So many great Christmas memories.

David now is a dad. Kyle is two, and looks so much like David that it is spooky. And he is verbal and precocious just like his dad was at that age. So when David calls and tells me Kyle stories, I find myself remembering that little white blond boy. And telling those David stories to David.

David and Kyle

David and Kyle

So there is this full circle kind of thing going on. This Christmas, Steve, Keely and I are going to be joining Krista, David, Toby, Jake and Kyle for Christmas.
My little boy is now a man. A responsible adult, who goes to work and takes care of his boys. He calls me on my birthday and on Mother’s Day.

That little boy that insisted on calling me mom is someone I am proud to call my son.
Happy Birthday David. I love you.


The Longest Quickie Marriage
October 10, 2013, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Life | Tags: , , ,

We hoped to get married before we left Little Rock , but realized after the first mediation and divorce hearing that Steve’s divorce was not going to be a reasonable negotiation between reasonable adults.

Steve was in Alabama for yet another hearing when out of blue I got this text:
“The divorce is done, start planning a wedding!”

Well it was done, but not done. It had been read into the record. But the attorneys had to get paperwork done, language had to be agreed to, and then the judge had to sign it. I had not been impressed with the efficiency of the court system in Alabama, and I sure didn’t think it was going to improve just because we had an agreement.

Steve and I would have been happy going to a justice of the peace. But being part of our wedding was a big deal to Keely. And once she told her friends, it became a big deal to my “other kids”. So we decided to do a small ceremony at our house, followed by a casual party. The only problem was, Keely was booked on a flight for Little Rock on June 8. So we needed to plan the wedding for the weekend before, or reschedule her flight. While it was possible the paperwork could get done in time for June 1, that would mean that the attorneys and judge would have to be quick and efficient. I had no expectation of that happening.

Once I found out that Colorado allows a couple to officiate at their own wedding, the decision was easy. We would do our own ceremony and party on Saturday June 1. If the divorce wasn’t final, no big deal. We would do the legal paperwork whenever it came in.

June 1 we had our ceremony and party.

Tuesday June 4 the divorce papers were signed in Alabama.

Now this is where it gets funny.

You have to understand that when Steve gets his mind set on something, he gets tunnel vision. And his mind was set that we were going to get married ASAP after the divorce decree was signed.

So he called me on Tuesday, June 4 and said:

“I’ve got the divorce decree, and I’m printing it out. I’ll come by the house at 4PM, you and Keely be ready, and we will go into Canon City to get the marriage license done. They close at 5PM”

Now of course this was not going to be easy and straightforward. Of course the State of Alabama was going to throw a wrench in the works. Alabama is one of the few states in the country that thinks that adults can’t make up their minds about getting a divorce without a little extra help from the State. The decree said that “neither party could remarry for a period of 60 days” I gotta tell you, I almost had a heart attack when I saw that language in the draft decree. But we did some online research, and talked to an attorney here in Colorado. Basically that only applies to the parties that are living in Alabama. Since Steve could prove he had lived in Colorado for three years, we should be home free. But of course we could run into a problem at the county courthouse. So Steve made a copy of all the online legal opinions and had them with him when we went to the courthouse.

We walked in, and the nice lady said “how can I help you?”
“We need to get a marriage license.”
“Great! Just come over here to this computer and fill some stuff out, then I’ll ask you some questions and we will get you taken care of.”

We filled in the stuff on the computer. Name, address, social security number kind of stuff.

Then the clerk came over to finish up the process.

To me:
“Have you been married before?”
“What is the date of your divorce?”
“several years ago, here is the date, judge and court in Little Rock, AR”
So she wrote all that information down.

To Steve:
“Have you been married before?”
“Date of divorce?”
“Yep, today. As of about two hours ago. And here is a copy of the decree.”

You can imagine the dumbfounded look on her face.

She turned and looked at this older lady sitting at the desk behind her.
“He just got divorced today. Can we do that?”

The older lady didn’t even look up.

So she took the copy of the decree to the copy machine. Steve and I looked at each other, wondering if she would notice item number 2 “neither party shall remarry for a period of 60 days”

I could tell when she saw it. She stopped and read it. Looked at us. Read it again.

Walked over to the older lady
“This says he can’t remarry for 60 days”

I spoke up
“That is in Alabama. Here are legal opinions that basically say that Colorado doesn’t give a damn about what Alabama says”.

She looked at the older lady
“We don’t care”

Big grin on Steve’s face.

We didn’t even have to give her the legal opinion paperwork.

So she brought the certificate over to us.

I told her we were going to be the officiants. She instructed us on where to put what name. I asked her if we could just sign everything there so that we didn’t have to come back into town.

“You can’t sign it here at the counter but you can go to that table out there, sign it, and bring it back here”

Which we did

We were married.

The next morning I picked up our marriage license and started the process of changing my name.

So that’s the story of the longest quickie marriage. It took three and a half years for Steve to get a divorce. And two hours for us to get married after the divorce paperwork was done.

And yet another thing I love about Colorado. They make it really easy to get married.


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