Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cool and Crispy!

Last weekend after my yard sale, my friend Paul and I loaded my two kayaks on the car and drove to the nearest open swamp area. The beavers have dammed it up by the road and the whole area is flooded and open. We paddled for 3 hours.

Entering the swamp by the road
It was a perfect day, warm, sunny, breezy and beautiful.  I looked up at the sky and it was a huge round dome over the pond. The water was like glass and we followed two blue herons around the whole time. Once we got away from the road, it was so peaceful! I have to go again soon. I think I need more nature time and more fun time, like I had in Colorado.

Blurry, but blue heron!
September 25 and it's definitely a fall day-in the 60's and breezy. The maples across the street are tending toward yellow and the cherry tree is shaking loose a few red leaves already. I stocked up on chrysanthemums to pep up my entry, harvested my basil and made pesto, took the last tomatoes off the vines and ate them, hung the cayenne peppers up to dry. I keep smelling woodsmoke, reminding me of cool fall camping in the Rockies.

Yes, I used to live in Colorado and had a VW camper van named Vinnie Van-Go. And Go we did! I kept him stocked with sleeping bags, lanterns, food and water and took off every weekend or two. Other friends also had them, and canoes too. We had some favorite mountain lakes and some great times!

Lilies of the pond
But I think the best camping trips were somewhere around 10,000 feet in the Rockies near Leadville, Colorado. We-(my cousin and her husband, my friends Virginia and Karen (and even a couple of my brothers one time)-planned on going to Leadville's Boom Days every August.

Friend Paul, of the Glendale Falls Slideshow on right
Leadville is a small town in the mountains, whose residents rely on the tourist trade and Climax Molybdenum Mine. When the EPA would close down the mine, which must have been a regular thing, they'd be out of work. There were a lot of bars there and people were always ready for a party. Boom days had a pancake breakfast, a burro race, a waitress race, a parade, lots of food and crafts and things to buy. But the best part was the mining competitions. Those miners were usually young and built and if it was hot, their shirts would come off while they pushed giant hydraulic drills into a marked off boulder or shoveled rocks into a mine cart and pushed it down the tracks, or hammered huge spikes into railroad ties. My cousin and I would hoot and holler, while her husband acted embarrassed by us. We had a blast. Then we took off to the campsite we had picked by the mountain stream and slept like the dead.

One of many beaver huts
I sure miss those days! In spite of my corporate job in the city, I was able to spend lots of time in the mountains, and I loved every minute of it. My life in New England is a lot different. Though I live in the country, I'm only 30 minutes from cities. Our little towns have rush hours and the traffic on Fridays and Saturdays is heavy.

Me and my boat
Sadly, I left Vinnie Van-Go in Colorado. I never managed to get another one, nor would I have the money to do the annual upkeep on my retirement pay. I drive a small Subaru now and do little jobs all over the place. I have a 15-hour a week job at the Senior Center, I do pet and house sitting, I work in a community garden, coordinate a Senior home care program in my town. I do consulting work for my old office and I now design and publish newsletters for 3 other places besides my own Senior Center.

A perfect day!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...I have lived in an apartment in my brother's "house" for 14 years and now plan to move in with Mom, two towns away. I'm looking forward to the move, but there is much to do first! I've been selling things, on Craig's List and yard sales. But there is still sooo much!

Joe Pye weed at the Graves Farm barn
I recently bought a pair of walking poles and am practicing walking with them. After foot and knee surgeries, my walking has gotten bad. My back is out of whack and I walk crooked. I could use some physical therapy, but mostly I need exercise. What a difference the poles make! I can stand up straight and not lose my balance. I am looking forward to sightseeing with a Colorado friend who is coming out to visit. She wants to see about 25 waterfalls around here, and many require a hike. Not to mention that I NEED a vacation

Out my window
Well off to lay out another newsletter! And as I keep reminding myself, 
Laughter is the best medicine!

For a laugh, check out this video...