Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall Ramblings......

Bless me Father for I have sinned. It's been 3 weeks since my last blog entry. 

True confessions time, I lack focus and discipline. My blogging goes in spurts and some of that is due to my tendency to want to write longer, more complete stories. Another blogger whose writing I really admire suggested that I try to mix things up-short, medium, long. Or break entries up in parts (part 1, part 2, etc.). Or instead of writing stories, do observations or short commentaries. 

 So starting today, I'm going to attempt to follow that advice. Today's blog entry will be a catch-up version with several variations of the forms described above. Wish me luck.

Our trip to Colorado was a good one in spite of several challenges. The trip out took 2 hours  longer because of the road closings that resulted from the flooding.  And our lodging was changed because the place where we usually stay had no working toilets (Georgette said she was not going to use a port-a-potty on vacation. I can't blame her). Our new accommodations were really nice, in some ways nicer than our usual place, just no river running right outside our door.

We spent our  first full day enjoying Rocky Mountain National Park with all it's fall splendor. It was a little bit surreal as the park was nearly empty of people. With the road closings, the number of day visitors was way down, even though Estes Park was back to normal. There is nothing like having an entire National Park all to yourself. We came across a herd of Big Horned sheep at 11,500 feet up on Trail Ridge Road..that was a first for us.

And then came Tuesday and the government closed the park.  Nice. Thanks a lot all you knuckleheads out there in DC.  Actually, all was not lost. We were able to get to a lake south of Estes Park, Lily Lake,  that is part of RMNP. It sits alongside a highway and doesn't have a gate that can be closed. So we scurried over there and found a group of other travelers all trespassing on federal property since they hadn't officially blocked off the access. We went back on Wednesday and it had signs and plastic orange fencing blocking the parking hiss! And we found other things to do...miniature golf, more time relaxing in the condo, hanging around downtown Estes having an ice cream cone while sitting alongside the Riverwalk that runs through main street.

The weather was beautiful and everywhere you look there are mountains and the color of the aspen against the pines-you would have to work hard not to have good time. We were planning on staying until Friday, leaving for home at the crack of dawn, until we read the weather forecast. "Winter Storm Warning. 6-12 inches of snow possible in mountain areas." Shit. First THEY close the park. And now THEY are predicting a blizzard. Better scoot before all hell breaks loose. Actually hell did break loose which is why the roads were closed, the toilets didn't work and the park was closed. So we decided to head home a day early but before doing so rescheduled our annual dinner reservation at the Dunraven Inn from Thursday to Wednesday.

The Dunraven Inn is an old roadhouse that has been an Estes Park classic forever. We love it's charm and good Italian food. It is usually bustling when we make it back there every year  even though the tourist season is winding down. When we got there it was only half full and like everything else this year, suffering from the circumstances related to the floods and access to the area. Our meal was superb and as we clicked our glasses of ice tea in a private toast, we spoke of how we made it back here one more time..together...17 years...breaking records everyday. Is anyone getting  a little verklempt reading this yet? OK, we had a little moment there but when the salads arrived it was back to business as usual.

I suspect we will go back again same time, next year, we always do. Hopefully the park will be open, the toilets at our usual lodging will be working and the weather will be the weather. 


I spent 5 hours working in the garden yesterday, digging up canna and planting about 300 tulips. It was a gorgeous fall day to be outside. I had the football game on the radio, reminding me of my childhood back in the 60's when Dad would put the radio on in the window and we would rake and burn leaves while listening to the Iowa Hawkeye games. I can still smell the sweet, smoky fragrance of burning leaves today.

I was thinking while working yesterday, that planting tulip bulbs is a expression of optimism. Most of them won't bloom for 6 months and in between there will be the remains of fall and all of winter to endure. I'll forget where I planted some of them, what colors they were and what was going the day I planted them. But in the midst of a dark, snowy January night, I will fall to sleep thinking about the first days of spring when the tops of the tulips start to appear. I will sleep well in anticipation of spring.

Speaking of spring, nature can do some funny things sometimes. While working in the garden yesterday, I came across a lone daisy that had bloomed and a lone iris that is just about to bloom. The last iris to bloom was back in May and most of the daisies were done in July. Harbingers of spring or holdouts till the very end, it was good to see them again.


We are going to see the Book of Mormon at the Orpheum Theater tonight after having dinner at a nice restaurant in midtown. Its sort of a date night, except that our whole married life has been an extended date night so its really just a night out. If the show is as funny as it's been reported to be, we both might die laughing. Wouldn't be the worst way to go. We both love Broadway musicals and the music and dancing in this show have need described as an homage to classic Broadway theater.

The Orpheum is a classic old theater that was saved from the wrecking ball and refurbished. We are sitting up in the Loge, which is kind of like the mezzanine, but with fewer seats. At some point in time during the show, I will reach over and take Georgette's hand and we will give each other a look that says, "isn't this great and aren't we lucky to share this together."

October is a funny month for me. 23 years ago  I was nearing the end of my drinking life. I was scared, unhappy and ready to run. I had a plan in my head about how I could load the car with stuff and head off to some city, somewhere and leave all my troubles behind. I also knew that  no matter where I went, I couldn't outrun me. And so I surrendered. Tonight will be a bit of a celebration shared with the one I love. A little reward for 23 years of hard work and commitment. Tomorrow, it will be back to work again. There is no resting on your laurels, but tonight we will laugh and dine and enjoy the view for the Loge.


Linda said... was the play. I have tickets in two weeks!

Dan K said...

Linda, it was hysterical . The songs and dancing were classic Broadway. Now, if you are easily offended or can't tolerate so e contextual blasphemy, it may in be for you, but we loved it!