Tag Archives: friends

Virtual Angels

12 Jan

I’m the mom of a 19-year-old.  A 19-year-old that goes to college 5 hours away, involving a drive over two mountain passes and through metro Denver traffic.  He’s a good, cautious driver and patiently puts up with my “be safe, make good choices” talk every time he gets behind the wheel.  He texts me when he leaves, he texts when he arrives.  He never gives me reason to worry, but I just can’t help it.  He left yesterday, knowing that Vail Pass was closed due to a jack-knifed semi and chain law on both Vail and the Tunnel.  (I worry when roads are dry!)  I’m grateful for my network of Facebook friends, some of whom have college drivers of their own, who provide a positive energy, prayer and angel network when my boy is on the road.  I still worry until I get his text, but this network brings more comfort than I know how to express.

zach heads home 1-11-14

“The captain of The Enterprise”

Gee Whiz Geocaching!

1 Mar

My good friend Carol is a geocaching fanatic.  She regularly takes off, day or night, with GPS and Android phone in hand in search of tiny camoflaged capsules.  Adventure abounds and breathtaking scenery awaits on these techy Easter egg hunts. 

Lovely spring-like weather and the promise of a great hike lured DH and I out to Bangs Canyon with Carol and her DH today.  Slickrock was tread, mud and snowfields were forged, and caches were found!  The caches ranged from little pill bottle-sized containers wrapped in camo duct tape found hanging in trees to a bolt cover that looked suspiciously lichen-like drilled into a rock, to an ammo container hid under rocks in an overhang that had to be scrambled to.  Great adventure, so much fun, amazing views.

We could see pretty much the entire Grand Valley.  San Juans to the south, The Grand Mesa to the East, the Bookcliffs and Roan Plateau to the Northeast.

Tiny pinon pines grow directly out of cracks in the lichen-spotted slickrock, where snow still lingers.

What an absolutely GLORIOUS day!  We plan to go caching again, this time with the added draw of a wine and cheese picnic.  Who knows, maybe Carol will get me sucked into caching on my own; although, a big part of the fun today was sharing the hike and the views with good friends.

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A Hike with Three Women of a Certain Age

22 Feb

My friends Carol and Adele and I went for a hike today in No Thoroughfare Canyon in the Colorado National Monument.  We are so lucky to have this gem of wild canyons and beautiful plateaus just minutes from town.  It was a beautiful clear late winter day and we heard the falls were running.

And they were running–behind the ice.  The air was warm in the sun, crisp in the shadows.  We took a crooked trail up the canyon, avoiding mud and pools of water, admiring the beautiful scenery.  It was just so great to be oudoors after being cooped up all winter.  All of this made a really lovely day. 

What made it spectacular was hiking with two other intelligent women, with similar political and philosophical views to mine, and the wisdom that comes from being in the prime of our lives.  How lovely to have spirited conversations ranging from cooking to the pros and cons of The Monument becoming a National Park.  How fun to be scrambling over rocks at my age!  I had to stop and laugh at some of the paths the three of us were forced to take by the trail conditions.  Here I am with plantar fasciitis, iliotibial band issues and the lessening balance that just happens as one ages.  But you know what?  I did just fine.  In fact I feel younger as a result of the hike, the conversation, and the laughter.  And then as if the day wasn’t already just perfect….Adele made a Chocolate Cardamom Fallen Souffle earlier in the day and brought us each a piece.  Uber-Perfect.

Here.  Hike along with us.  Photos taken by me(!), channeling my inner Carol, with my Blackberry Curve!

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Once a Gator, Always a Gator

28 May

26 years of stuff gone through, packed, loaded into my truck, and now in a stack in the garage.  I left my office nearly empty of books and doo-dads and decor.  All that remains is stuff going to a friend next Tuesday,  stuff bequeathed to the new librarian, and the soon to be replaced computer. 

I feel so fortunate to have been a part of MGMS.  It’s the third middle school of my career.  I was at WMS for the first 8 years–the years before CSAP.  Then RMS–Camelot to me, “The Academy” (insert sarcasm font) to those not lucky enough to get a position there–for 13 years, and now the last 5 at MGMS–the Swamp–home of the Gators.  MGMS is a rural school, drawing mainly from a low SES population.  We struggle with test scores, but we LOVE our kids.  The staff continually searches for whatever will help our kids connect to their learning.  The building re-invented itself into a culture of reading these last few years, and continues to move forward to help our kids–they who probably have no books at all in their homes. 

It feels weird to disconnect myself from this.  I drove home in tears.  I knew this was the end of my career, thought I was ready, and now I feel teary and a bit lost.  Kind of like I felt at the end of The Book Thief.  I knew exactly what would happen–any story narrated by death just cannot end well–and then the ending I expected happened and I wasn’t prepared for it at all.  I sat on the couch, sobbing ’til my face hurt.  So here I am at the end of a story, wondering what to read next and hoping for something as fabulous as the last one.  I’m sad, but excited for the next chapter of my life. 

I said my “so longs” to the literacy staff today.  So long because we want to stay in touch.  We’re thinking book club and other get-togethers.  I’ve stayed in touch with friends from RMS, and have every intention of doing so with the Gators too.  I’m keeping my Twitter name: @gatorgoddess, because my heart belongs to MGMS.  I’m proud to be experiencing what I’ve heard said by others who have left MGMS before me:  Once a Gator, always a Gator. 

(The picture is my collection of gators, sitting on the “new books” cart in the library that was my home for the last 3 years.  The gators came home with me today.)

The Ghost of Retirement Yet To Come…

16 May

Today was everything I hope retirement will be:  sleeping in, lazy breakfast, coffee on the deck.  Then gardening–I planted most of my tomatoes and squash, while DH placed new drippers into a couple of wine barrels repurposed as planters.  All the while, the usual Sunday stuff that is laundry was going on–hanging out clothes to a mockingbird seranade.  Just a beautiful day. 

In the afternoon, we drove up the road a few miles to the Reeder Mesa Winery for the wine club pick-up party.  Doug and Kris throw THE best pick-up parties.  Not only do you get your new wine club offerings, but they provide all sorts of appetizers, wine tastings, and barrel tastings of wines yet to be bottled–my fav today: the 09 Cab Franc–beautiful dark red, lots of spice!  Hung out with lots of other wine clubbers, including a friend from work who is retiring this year too.  We lifted our glasses to each other and toasted the good fortune of retiring in a great place, with many years of parties like these yet to come. 

Now home, watching the sun set over the Uncompagre.  Last load of laundry is on the line.  11 days left, only 8 of those with kids in the building.  Then everyday can be like this day, or however I decide it should be.  It makes me smile contentedly just thinking about it.  Ahhhhhh…..