Category Archives: Colorado

Free Fallin’

I am awake early in Telluride, Colorado, watching the sun illuminate the golden aspens in total silence. I cannot bear to watch any more of the horrific footage of what happened in Las Vegas, so the television will remain mute. Perhaps there are new details this morning, but none of them will explain how a human being could commit such an atrocity. There will be more angry voices demanding changes in our ridiculous gun laws, but since the innocents at Sandy Hook were unable to make that happen, I have serious doubts about anything being done on that front. So for now I will honor the victims by sitting in silence and being thankful for another day of life, and for this beautiful fall morning.

Fall is always sooooo slow to arrive in central Texas. It seems as though the rest of the world is already knee deep in pumpkin baking and falling leaves and nubby sweaters before we even turn off our air conditioners. So it’s a special treat for me to be in Telluride this week, where the aspen trees are still clinging to their glowing leaves and the air is crisp enough for a light jacket and a fire in my fireplace (even if I do have the windows ajar).

I took a long walk on my first morning, to shake off the travel stiffness and acclimate to the altitude.

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First I enjoyed this amazing ride down the mountain to the town. I don’t think I had ever seen it so lovely.

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Follow the yellow brick road!

This trail goes right into a forest and up to a waterfall. It was early and I met very few other walkers, although on my way down I passed several crazies jogging up this rocky path. I wondered what terrible thing they had done to deserve such a punishment.

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Yesterday brought a change in the weather. The clouds gathered and sat atop the mountain village like a wooly cap.

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Finally the clouds began to drop a light mix of snow and sleet, and continued to do so for several hours. This Texas girl was beyond delighted.

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I stayed inside most of the day, captivated by the unexpected drama outside my window, and horrified by the inconceivable drama on the television screen.  I also finished reading M.F.K. Fisher’s , The Gastronomical Me. Fisher is perhaps the most famous food writer ever, is frequently referenced by current writers, and I had never read any of her work. I was happily surprised that these essays, written about her life from the 1920’s to 1941, were about so much more than the food she ate. They were about the people she shared food with and how she felt during those meals, and how we all hunger for so much more than what is on our plates.

The bitter topping on yesterday’s tragic news story was the death of Tom Petty.  I will never forget the night my college roommate and I took the bus from Reading to London to hear Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Wembly Stadium. We were horrified to realize that we didn’t have enough money to pay for our tube ride back to the center of London, where we were to catch the last bus back home. There was nothing to do but to get on the tube and throw ourselves on the mercy of the ticket attendant as we exited the underground. Turned out that attendant had no mercy for us AT ALL, and was probably about to throw us in the dungeon when a very nice man came to our rescue and paid for our freedom. Thank you, kind English gentleman, wherever you are. And rest in peace, Tom Petty.

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Colorado in December

The arrival of February reminded me that I had never written about our December trip to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Mark, Wonder Chien, and I drove back to our friends’ mountain house so that Mark could help them finish up some construction on their barn/workshop/overflow guest space.

We like to drive to Santa Fe the first day, spend the night, and then drive the last few hours to Pagosa the next day after enjoying the beauty of Santa Fe for a bit.

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Sawyer thought he needed a turquoise and sterling collar.

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We have never stayed at the St. Francis, but I love its front porch.

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and its logo

I was thrilled to be returning to Martha and Leigh’s mountain house, a place that brings me much joy. As in previous stays, I was mesmerized by the changing colors and shadows outside the windows.

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Mark and Leigh worked tirelessly in the barn and got much accomplished. Martha and I, meanwhile, cooked and talked and tried our skills at cross-country skiing. Sawyer had the best time of any of us, totally untethered and free to test out the snow, chase rabbits, and dig for burrowing critters.

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dirty and happy

img_8374This is the barn where the men were working day and night. It was full of manly stuff.

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Martha and I, being delicate flowers, preferred the gentler arts.

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Remember this gorgeous piece that Leigh made for the kitchen?

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Yes that is a zinc counter. Love.

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It was a great week for all of us, and we got home just in time to put the finishing touches on Christmas and wait for the kids to come home. I highly recommend going to the mountains in mid-December. It was much better than stressing about how many more things I could get done for the holiday, and no one seemed to miss anything that did not get done. I need to remember that.

Happy February, mes amis. Let’s share the love, shall we?

 

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