Ouray, CO: #nopermitneeded2015

"Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:1-2

#nopermitneeded: (n) 1. someone who is accepted; welcomed; approved...loved.

#nopermitneeded: (v) 1. to welcome; to invite; to embrace...to never turn away.

#nopermitneeded: (adj) 1. generally believed to be part of "what's going on."
This fun hash tag is an inside joke poking fun at a couple of climbing guides we ran into last Summer while staying in Estes Park, CO. We were going up to a local crag with our "big" group when the guides asked if we had a "permit" to climb. What? A freakin' permit to climb? A joke right? They went on to explain that a permit was needed to guide a group or climb in a large party. Of course we explained that we weren't a group...just a bunch of families looking for fun. They weren't pleased...You see, they had their own plans that day. They had a group showing up and they wanted the walls to themselves. I don't know if they were trying to scare us off...or discourage us from climbing there...who knows. Either way, it was evident we weren't welcomed and they preferred we stay away. Outside of a few special places, you don't need a permit to climb stupid rocks...you don't need a permit to be outside...and you don't need a permit to simply hang out and have fun.

So welcome to #nopermitneeded! All is welcomed! If you want in...we want you in. I would like to think that our attitude is the opposite of those guides. So for those interested...please join us. We are a varied bunch...with different backgrounds...and different outlooks. If you happen to know any of us...and you thought to yourself, "Man, that may look like fun..." You are invited. We want you to join in on the fun. If you happen to see any of us in the gym, or in the community, or you want to send me a PM online...don't hesitate, we are an open bunch and love our growing network of PEACE, LOVE, and HIPPINESS (see what I did there).
#nopermitneeded also resonated in my heart on a different level. I really started to reflect on it on the way home, and discussed with Sarah that this silly little hash tag has bigger implications for our lives. I asked myself, "how often am I closed off to others?" I conducted a quick inventory of my interactions with people...some strangers, some acquaintances, some closer than others...and reviewed my actions. What is my body language saying? How's my tone? Am I ignoring folks? Am I keeping things to myself? Do I want to turn others away so I have the "wall" to myself per se?

mmm...Yeah...maybe...sometimes. Maybe more than I like to admit. How many people have I turned away...both intentionally or not? I'm afraid to know...especially since so many people have welcomed me in their lives. I am not deserving of the people who love me...they are a blessing to me...they don't even know how much so. I don't even think I know how much so...

But I do know this...when I'm with my people, I feel great. I feel loved. Everything is in place...there is no question that I am accepted, approved, and better yet...wanted. That's a pretty dang good feelin'. And it all started with an invitation at some point...With some it started back in high school, with others out of college, and others even more recently. But at some point, we were all strangers...with a choice to make. Do I entertain this stranger? Will I let this person in my life? Will this person let me be a part of theirs? There's a lot to consider. But looking back...the people I have today are all products of having a #nopermitneeded heart. There are no rules or regulations governing our "walls"...just acceptance and approval. There's nothing I do to "earn" their relationship...they simply have never turned me away. They are there...and they want me to be a part of "what's going on!" We have continued loving each other...and that how it works. #nopermitneeded
Who: Gilbert Girls, Happy Hendrix's, Lost and Confused Reyes-Ortiz's, Hellish Hardins, Pasquels, with appearances from the Bradley's, Lauren and Joe.
What: Annual Family Vacation Outdoors
Where: Ouray/Ridgway Colorado
When: July 1-July 6
On the trip, we climbed...we hiked...we ate...we drank...we napped...we laughed...we ate some more...and climbed some more...and laughed...and swam...and rested...and enjoyed views...and napped... and 4th of July'ed...and drank...and you get the point...I'll let the pics tell the rest of the story:

If your reading this...and this looks like something you want for you or your family. You are welcomed. We have a place for you. For the #nopermitneeded group, I thank you friends for making more memorable moments for the Pasquels. I know my girls will remember these days forever. And Sarah and I will grow old with these beautiful memories...I smile and my heart is warm. Thank you and I love you all.
p.s. I would like to forget Jeremy's awful moments on the side of the mountain...Its not the mountain that almost killed me that day. Terrible...just terrible.


  1. You are lucky! What I wouldn't give to have a group of friends like this. :)


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