Lunch at Bistro at Aspen Grove

It was like Christmas in February there was so much joy in the air. I had a pretty good idea it was going to be a special day when I picked up my group in the morning.  We hadn’t even had coffee or tea yet, and the mood was great! J was sitting in the front seat and at one point she leaned over to me and said, ” I hope we don’t laugh ourselves out before we meet the rest of our group”. After J mentioned that, we tried being serious for a while. During this time an ambulance came screeching up behind us with sirens blaring, passing us by pretty quickly. When I mentioned that they really seemed to be in a hurry, E had it all figured out, she said “​I bet they are going out for their coffee break.”​ That was it for the seriousness.

 We had am early lunch reservation so we drove through a coffee shop for tea and coffees, and headed to the Carson Nature Center, where we met Jennifer and her gang. ​The weather ​was wonderful. We  walked out to where the flood marker is alongside the Platte River​. It is 18 feet tall, which is how high the water was at that point in the ​19​65 flood. ​The marker​said that the flood waters went at least a half mile on either side of the banks, with 40 foot waves coming down the Platte and Plum Creek. We  spent a fair amount of time imagining what it must have been like.
As we were walking we saw our usual dogs and fishermen, and had to scratch a few ears, and hear a fish tale or two. One fisherman had just spotted a large red tail hawk, but we were never able to track him down. This Tuesday group likes their hawks. We have spent a lot of time watching those hawks surf the thermals. Jennifer told us the story of picking up V this morning, driving past him and his wife ​without seeing ​them, and then hearing a really loud whistle. ​That was our ​V getting Jennifers attention.  So ​he whistled for us on our walk, and ​i​t was loud​!​
​After our walk, lunch at Bistro Grove. ​Their dining room is all nice wood, ​with ​​painted ​murals on the walls. One half of our table was looking at a street scene in Paris. D and J especially got a kick out of that. ​D had spotted a cat painted under one of the tables.  We also had  a view of a  painting of a waterfall, which was very peaceful​. ​That feeling carried over to the lunch. T even said ​”​it’s really quiet here for as busy as it is.​” ​The food was really good, service friendly and prompt, and they got us out in time to make it to our ​Active Minds ​talk​ on ​N​ASA​,​which was about ​space exploration ​is, has been and where it is going. ​He touched on both the successes and the failures, and left us feeling a bit uncertain about what will happen going forward.
After the talk we headed across the parking lot to a Hallmark Store. The group picked out a set of valentine days cards, and we sat in a ​sunny place to fill them out.  I wish you all could have seen the concentration of everybody’s face. We helped ​them ​write a few things, but by and large, folks did most of the work themselves. There was even some tears as we discussed what to write. I was helping someone with their card and asked if they wanted me to put in some xxxx and oooo’s, and S very proudly pulled his card out, and  ​showed me the back of the envelope where he had put SWAK.

​We hadn’t ​heard that phrase in many years, so of course it opened up a conversation about passing notes in school, and going steady. V brought up dating two girls at one time and someone mentioned that he was “​a player​” ​. I think he liked that. As we were getting ready to leave I said ​”​come on Player​”​to V, and he beamed and said​ “​yep, that’s me.​”​
There was so much laughter and happiness today. So many little moments. V grabbing D’s hand to help her step off a curb, S holding the door at Tattered Cover and having a nice word for everyone who went in, D tearing up as we worked on her card, T going up to our lunch server and telling her how much he appreciated it, and J’s laugh. She laughed often today, and with gusto. The occasional snowball​ thrown around​, and oh the dogs. It was a nice way to spend a day.
This is such a great group, and we really are privileged to be able to spend time with all of them. I hope you all have a Happy Valentines.