Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Summer of Reunions

Sunday we had another reunion with old friends. When John was ordained in 1987, we moved to Granby, Colorado, where he served two small congregations: Trinity in Kremmling and St. John's in Granby. Al and Betty, the couple that were serving as wardens of St. John's when John was called there, are moving to Idaho to be closer to family. They have been mainstays of the congregation for 25 years and they will be missed. The congregation held a reception for them after worship Sunday.

We left our campsite at 6 am, picked up our son Eric, who knew Al and Betty well, and drove over 11,307 ft. Berthoud Pass to Granby. You couldn't beat the scenery. I took these photos from the back seat of the truck, so the quality isn't great. But look at these mountains!

We saw a hot air balloon as we drove through the Fraser Valley.

And cattle grazing in a field.

John wasn't the only former priest who came to wish Al and Betty well and thank them for all their service to the church. Al and Betty are in the front; the widow of the priest who was there when Al and Betty came to Granby is in the center; and the other three priests and their wives (including us) are shown in the photo.

During the years we lived in Granby, a barbershop singing group, the Grand Chorale, formed. Since them, they have held their practices at St. John's. Al is a member of the group and they sang several songs during the reception.

Here is John with another Betty, the 90-year-old widow of an early priest at St. John's. We have kept in touch with her at Christmas since we moved away and it was good to see her again. She hasn't changed a bit in the 20 years since we left.

Diane was the warden at the time we left St. John's. We hadn't seen her in all those years, so it was good to catch up with each others' lives.

John married Joe and Monica 22 years ago and baptized their daughter a year later. Sunday Monica shared her memories of Al and Betty during the brunch. She also was the main organizer of the event. We enjoyed seeing and talking to all three of them. They are special to us.

We saw and connected with a lot of other old friends. It is amazing to see young people who are in college or already graduated that were young during our years there. We haven't grown older, have we? How could they?

About the time we moved down to the Denver area from Granby, the Department of Wildlife re-introduced moose into northern Colorado. We encountered a moose jam as we started back up Berthoud Pass on our way home. This cow was feeding next to the road. Her baby was further down the hill. I couldn't get any picture of it. But this was sure a thrill.

I guess when we are in our 60s and older, it is the time we look back and realize we don't want to loose the friendships we had in the past. And we have the time to reconnect, even if it is for just an hour or so. This has been our third reunion this summer. Last year we attended the 40th anniversary of the founding of St. Gabriel's, the church John served after leaving Granby. And eight years ago we attended a Boulder Police Department reunion. It is good to remember the past and see old friends, just like it is good to follow new dreams and find new challenges.

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