Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Seeing Friends

The last two days, we have had good meals and great visits with couples we have know for nearly 50 years. Both had attended our 50th anniversary party, but we didn't have enough time to really talk to anyone that day.>
Monday, we met Dave and Kathy for lunch at P.F.Chang's.

Kathy and I both had the lobster tacos. The menu said the tacos had lobster and jicama. I'm not sure if the small white taco shells were cooked jicama or if it was cut up and served with the lobster in the shell. Whatever, they were spicy and good.

John had a chicken salad. I didn't get a picture of Dave's hot chicken dish. John said his was good and it was certainly more filling than my tacos.

Today, we met Larry and Betty at Ophelia's Mexican Restaurant in Olde Town Arvada for a late breakfast. The location was chosen purely because we all like Mexican food and it was halfway between our campground in Aurora and their home in Longmont. It was an excellent choice, even if it was made purely for convenience.

Everybody else had the breakfast burrito.

I had the green chili omelet.

Both days, we talked until we were embarrassed to keep the table occupied for any longer. We had a great time with both couples.

Since we arrived in the Denver area, we have spent time with our son Eric and his family who live here; we spent 5 days with our son Doug and his daughters who we haven't seen for 4 years; we have celebrated our anniversary with over 40 family and friends; visited with some of those family members at John's sister Cindy's 30th anniversary; and met two couples for a meal.

For two people who spend most of their time alone together, rarely saying much more than a brief "howdy do" to the people we encounter, this has been a fun and intense time. We look forward to quiet time alone, time to regroup--and maybe time to eat a little less. We are grateful for all our family and friends. We also are grateful for the relationship we have shared for 50+ years and having time to pay attention to that again.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Talk About Celebrations

Not only have we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary during our time here in Colorado, we had two more celebrations this past week. Our grandson John had his 10th birthday Saturday. Since we couldn't be with him that day, I brought dinner to their house on Thursday and we celebrated with him and his family. And no, he wasn't drinking what you see in that bottle or glass. They belong to his mom.

After dinner, we had chocolate cake. Since he was going to have another cake two days later, we didn't have 10 candles, only one on his piece of cake. Somehow, it was very difficult to blow out that one candle.

We had a really fun evening with our family. It will probably be the last time we see them this trip.

Saturday, John's sister Cindy and her husband John celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and we were able to be with them. My husband John (as you can see, we have lots of John's in our family) gave a blessing to the couple.

Cindy and John were both single parents at the time of their marriage. They have successfully blended their two families--Cindy's four children and John's two--and everyone was together for the celebration.

I was also able to get a photo of Cindy with her sister and brothers. Here are John, Kendal, Cindy and Tim.

This month has provided wonderful opportunities to spend time with family and friends that we rarely see since beginning to travel full time six and a half years ago.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Anniversary Party

A big focus of our visit to Colorado this month was the party our son Eric organized to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. The anniversary was on June 5, but we decided to hold it later in the month so our son Doug and his daughters could be here too. The party was held in the club house in their neighborhood. They prepared all the food for the 40+ people who came and it was so delicious!

We enjoyed the champagne host, followed by a delicious white and chocolate cake.

There is no way I can include photos of all the family and friends who came to celebrate with us, which included one friend John has known all his life, a college friend who we spent a lot of time with when our children were young, and a friend John worked with on the Boulder Police Department years ago.

I did select photos of our sons, our grandchildren and John's sisters and brother.

Eric talking to Larry, the friend from the police department.

Doug with his cousins Craig and Jennifer.

John's sister Kendal is second from the left. His brother Tim is in the center. Also in the photo, John Abbott, Diane Andrews and niece Megan Konty.

John's sister Cindy (left)  with her daughter Tina, husband John and our son Doug.

Our three granddaughters together.  Kylie is the life guard, with Rachal and Samantha next to her.

The young people were invited to play in the swimming pool next to the club house.  Here are most our our nieces and nephews.

Kylie is the lifeguard, grandson John is in the center, and granddaughters Samantha and Rachal are with our great niece Tara.

Thanks, Eric and Liz for all you did to make this possible; thanks Doug for coming and bringing your daughters to be with us; thanks family and friends for helping us celebrate this milestone.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Whooo Whooo Beep Beep

Those are really not sounds you want to hear. And when you are in the Denver, Colorado, area, they are very unusual. But this afternoon, about 4:45, first we heard the tornado sirens. It wasn't long until our phone sounded the weather alert. We hustled to the Cherry Creek State Park campground restroom building, just down the road. We weren't alone.

People also brought their pets. There was some barking, but overall the animals were well-behaved.

This is what the radar looked like. Some people were taking it seriously, especially those from the mid-West.

I don't know if you can see it in the photo, but it rained very hard for a while.

When the tornado warning expired, we braved the rain to return to our RV and dinner, which I was just about to serve when we heard the sirens. Thankfully, we still had electricity and I could warm up our chicken nuggets (left over from when our grandchildren visited last week) and vegetables. And we could get back to our wine, which we had been sipping when we left.

We have only had to take shelter from a tornado warning once before, in Denton, Texas. That time, we drove to a car wash and waited out the worst of the storm. Although there were 30 to 40 people sheltering in the restroom today, obviously most of the 250-300 campers here ignored the weather warnings. Maybe they have never seen what a tornado can do. We preferred warmed-over chicken nuggets to being blown around in an overturned RV.

There is still a flash-flood warning for our area, but we are nowhere near the lake or Cherry Creek. We saw this good news in the sky a little while ago.

All is right in God's world, at least right here, right now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Looking Up

Our son Doug grew up in Colorado and really loves the mountains. He has spent most of his adult life on Marine Corps bases in deserts, Okinawa and Iraq. He wanted to take his girls to the mountains he misses. We took a drive west to Evergreen. First, we looked for the herd of bison (aka buffalo) that can sometimes be seen in that area. All we found were empty pastures behind strong, high fences.

So we drove to Evergreen Lake. There we had a special treat--a group of cow elk with a couple of calves hanging out in the water!

I was concerned that the cows might get aggressive to keep us away from their young, but we didn't seem to cause them a problem. We did see on Facebook that the day before a man had passed them with his dogs, which really barked at the elk. One cow came out of the water and chased the man and his dogs down the path. Glad that didn't happen to us.

John, Doug and Sami walked on along the lake shore. Rachal wanted to go wading, so I stayed with her. As a child, that is what I wanted to do every time we went to the mountains and found a stream. The water at the edge was very shallow and she liked watching how it flowed over and around her feet. She left distinct footprints in the sand.

The others returned to our location.

Then we were off to High Country Pizza in Evergreen. They make great food.

Mountains, family and good pizza. Could it get any better?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Busy, Busy Week

I haven't blogged for over a week because we have been so busy. Our New Hampshire grandchildren and their dad arrived Monday for a nearly week-long visit and the time was capped off by a celebration with family and friends of our 50th wedding anniversary. Now, I am beginning to catch up with the blog. It will take a while.

A week ago, our older son Doug and his daughters, Rachal and Samantha, arrived at Denver International Airport.

After lunch at Pizza Hut, we drove them back to Chatfield State Park. They were staying in the Coleman pop-up camper we bought in 1988.

They could have stayed with our son Eric, but this gave us a chance to see a lot more of them each day. It's kind of amazing they were able to stay in the tent camper. After we used it for 5 years, we sold it to friends. Several years ago, they bought a new RV and sold the Coleman to Eric. It is in pretty good shape for being in use 17 years.

It certainly wasn't difficult to entertain the family. Rachal really enjoys drawing, as well as playing with her phone and other electronics.

Sami and Doug also enjoy their electronics. John, too, at times.

Both girls also enjoyed our Laz-E-Boy chairs.

The visit was a good chance for our four grandchildren to get better acquainted with their cousins.

Tuesday, we had dinner at Eric and Liz's house. It was good to see all our grandchildren together.

Wednesday, they were together in our campsite.

They all had fun on the swings in a nearby play area.

Sami taught Eric a hand trick that will serve him well in his middle school classroom during the school year.

More of the week's activities to come.