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Buena Vista, Colorado.

This was last weekend up at Cottonwood Hot Springs, where MKL and I spent a blissful three nights, with a lovely mix of sun, stars, and snow.

Here, we’ve had the hype of a Snowpocalypse, with everyone rushing to the grocery store, cleaning the shelves out of bread and milk, and creating checkout lines from the front of the store to the back. I suspect Colorado is having an inferiority complex because of all the snow in Boston and surrounding areas, so we are talking up this weekend’s storm as if it were the first one we’ve ever had. As it is, it’s snowing, yes, a good respectable snow, but nothing fancy. “They” say that we’re getting three storms from three different directions in the course of the next 24 hours, but I have my doubts.

I’ve been so quiet because I’ve been working too much (and had zero connectivity during our three nights at Cottonwood Hot Springs). I realize that this is a pattern that has been in place since I first started working. Looking through my recently unearthed high school yearbook, I saw that several of my classmates said something along the lines of “Don’t work too hard!” It was the first time I had realized that I had maintained this kind of pace for almost 40 years, with only a few exceptions: when I took a year off when my baby girl was two, and when I got down to a half-time job for about seven months in 2010, as I was thinking my life was going to take on a certain shape. Fortunately, it took on a different shape than I had expected, but I picked up the work pace just as I had in the past. It makes me wonder why.

With my income(s), I am fortunate enough to be able to take vacations, have a home, pay my alimony/child support, buy books and groceries, go out to lunch with MKL most days, and (hopefully in the extreme) send my daughter to college so she doesn’t come out with student loans. I do not have an extravagant life, but it is comfy. Cutting back on my work would make it less comfy, and would make it more likely that Kelsea starts her adult life in debt.  But I don’t think those are the reasons I work too much. even though I don’t have an answer for why I do. I think it’s important that I explore this element of who I am. At least before I work myself to death.

And on that cheery note, please be advised that today, instead of working, I am writing this post, watching the snow fall, and drinking caramel cocoa as a special treat.

Stay warm, all.

Quote of the Day: “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” —  Lewis Carroll

Daily gratitudes:
A carb day
Lithium water
Taking care of Kelsea
The Birdcage

(As an aside, I started watching “Patch Adams” this morning, which began with Robin Williams committing himself to a mental hospital because he was suicidal. That was hard enough, but then he became roommates with Philip Seymour Hoffman, and I was done. It was too hard to watch. Just felt the need to share that.)




Today’s guest poet:  Charlotte Bronte

Evening Solace

The human heart has hidden treasures,
In secret kept, in silence sealed;
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,
Whose charms were broken if revealed.
And days may pass in gay confusion,
And nights in rosy riot fly,
While, lost in Fame’s or Wealth’s illusion,
The memory of the Past may die.

But there are hours of lonely musing,
Such as in evening silence come,
When, soft as birds their pinions closing,
The heart’s best feelings gather home.
Then in our souls there seems to languish
A tender grief that is not woe;
And thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish,
Now cause but some mild tears to flow.

And feelings, once as strong as passions,
Float softly back – a faded dream;
Our own sharp griefs and wild sensations,
The tale of others’ suffering seems.
Oh! when the heart is freshly bleeding,
How longs it for that time to be,
When, through the mist of years receding,
Its woes but live in reverie!

And it can dwell on moonlight glimmer,
On evening shade and loneliness;
And, while the sky grows dim and dimmer,
Feel no untold and strange distress –
Only a deeper impulse given
By lonely hour and darkened room,
To solemn thoughts that soar to heaven,
Seeking a life and world to come.

Buena Vista, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Sometimes you have to try not to care, no matter how much you do, because sometimes you can mean nothing to someone who means so much to you. It’s not pride. It’s self-respect.”  —  Lessons Learned In Life

Daily gratitudes:
Pool tables
That the entire container of blueberries I spilled in the alley will feed to local bunnies
Eliminating paperwork
Pete the dog
Wooly-Bully in the integrated cow pasture

Have you wondered where I’ve been?

I’ll tell you.

I’ve been off in Buena Vista, pronounced as specified in this post’s title, taking the waters at Cottonwood Hot Springs with MKL. (And no, it’s not MLK, though we did very much appreciate MLK Day as a good time to get away from a lot of work.)

I was dog tired on Friday night on our way in, so he was kind enough to drive, and kinder enough not to run over two coyotes who chased each other across the road. We did have a shared “ghost car” experience, that I’ll discuss later in a new planned Paranormal blog page. Getting into B.V. around 7:30, we stopped at Casa del Sol for dinner.

The photo is from our second date, which was a seven-hour mountain drive, in which we stopped at Casa del Sol for lunch.  Strangely enough, when we walked in on Friday night, the waitress said, “You’ve been here before, haven’t you?” Well, yes, once five months ago. How odd that she would remember – it’s not as if we terrorized the place.  I wasn’t impressed with the food, for the second time in a row, so I think we’ll only make it back for guacamole and tequila in the future.

We immediately took to the pools when we arrived at Cottonwood, as I attempted to achieve my customary state of bliss. However, it was freezing and the wind was vicious, so I only became moderately blissful. As is often the case in the pools at night, overhead conversations were odd and interesting, aided by intoxicants. (Ah, the memory of Cabbage Boy, who loudly proclaimed that this much-maligned vegetable should replace lettuce in all things.)  On Friday night, we had a girl discussing a) porn, b) stars (and I’m surprised she didn’t make the leap to porn stars) and c) what her boyfriend had been saying to his friends about her on the ski lift earlier in the day.  Sigh. Pool etiquette is lost on some people.

I was blissed out enough to feel like the corridor in the lodge was endless.

I made a fairly good effort at catching up on my lost sleep, and we slept in, then hit the pools again for a while. Cold again, and slightly windy but bright.

Cottonwood is a peaceful, spiritual spot.  Cathy and Dian, the owners, make little adjustments every month, adding new artwork outside, new touches inside, but always respecting the power of the place. Three of their pools were open: a cool pool, which was about 83 degrees (brrrr…I didn’t even dip a toe in), the “head” pool, which was running about 104 degrees, and the “elbow” pool, which was around 106 degrees. We would alternate between the head and the elbow, depending on the crowds.

A nap was in order after soaking, then a bit of shopping among the racks in Cathy’s Closet. She always has an interesting and eclectic selection.

We ventured into town at sunset to look for a better pillow for me than the bed had supplied, and were struck by the sunset and star-rise as we left the Alcoa.

Dinner was at Jan’s Restaurant, which is my favorite breakfast place.  Jan’s does a better breakfast than dinner, and we watched the Broncos get off to an inauspicious start before heading back for another soaking session, complete with constellation finding and falling stars.

Sleeping in again on Sunday, we coffeed up in the Great Room downstairs.

Then back into town for breakfast – which due to our lateness was actually lunch – which was at the Evergreen Cafe, home of the world’s worst reuben sandwich …

and some really cool bar stools.

Since I had never bought anything from a pawn shop, we stopped in at the pawn shop next to the restaurant.

And buy something I did!

Don’t be silly. Of course I didn’t buy that. We bought a very cool vintage cigarette lighter, to go with our exceptionally cool vintage cigarette stand – even though neither of us smoke. But now I can cross something off my list.

We went into town, hoping to get a chance to visit the incredibly interesting store that I have never been able to get into.

Alas, he was closed on Sunday and Monday. Something for the next trip.

We admired a version of the Turquoise Torpedo.

MKL fell in love with an old, abandoned BMW. He’s a car guy, specifically a BMW guy, and it reminded him of the very first BMW that he ever saw. By the way, if any of you readers know the identity of the owner of an abandoned blue BMW 2800 CS (plates last renewed in 1997) sitting in the parking lot by the railroad tracks near The Green Parrot in Buena Vista, Colorado, please let me know via comments.

I drove him by the amazing blacksmith’s shop, with its magical doors.

On the way back to the springs, we stopped at the sad site of a completely torched house. How devastating this must have been for the owners.

Winding up our day with a room picnic, we spent a very restless night, for no discernible reason, which, sadly, made me feel my sleep deprivation all over again.  We woke late to a light snow and bitter wind, in time to grab coffee and pack up. I took a few more pictures of the lodge’s adornments. Such as the adorable ram that I covet.

And the cautionary signs on the stairs – I can’t watch my head, hands, and fingers all at the same time.

Packed up and checked out, we went back to Jan’s for lunch, where the waitress said, “Weren’t you just in here for breakfast?” Apparently, we had doppelgangers, or else our strange sense of space and time that we frequently experience at Cottonwood had edged its way into town.

Our drive home was snowy but unremarkable.

It wasn’t as relaxing as my usual experience at Cottonwood, but it was a great little getaway, and I’d encourage anyone to check it out if they are in the Buena Vista neighborhood. MKL is a fantastic travelling partner, and we laughed and talked and revelled in each other’s company, hating for the weekend to end.

So now you know where I was. Tomorrow is another work day, and I’m hoping to get our Stock Show report up for your perusal.

Photo title: One Room Schoolhouse

Buena Vista, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”  —  Joseph Campbell

Daily gratitudes:
Rustic lodges
High mountain passes

Photo title: Still Standing

Outside of Buena Vista, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.”  —  Rainer Maria Rilke

Daily gratitudes:
Hot springs
Sacred healing spaces
Thin clean air
Old drive-in movie theaters
Small town breakfasts

Photo title: Unseen

Buena Vista, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “We seek not rest but transformation. We are dancing through each other as doorways.”  —  Marge Piercy

Daily gratitudes:
Long drives
The beauty of the Colorado mountains
Being able to hug my daughter
Concord grapes

May 2022


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