We began our day in Silo Park with plans to only make that a quick coffee and snack break, but extended it because we were enjoying it so much. It’s a great little place, with a community vegetable garden (B: “well my vegetables garden is Safeway”) and ponds and signage to explain what we were seeing – (R read every word, soaking it all in) the types of plants, the purpose of wetlands, pointing out the bat and bird houses…The group walked about a mile with many conversations going on. Our snacks included pumpkin bagels and apple juice and apple cider donuts – keeping with an autumn theme. And P was on fire with his puns and one-liners. There was grape jelly for the bagels which P said tasted “grape”, and the area with mushrooms filled with “fungi”. J pointed out a bird house built by an eagle scout troup and told Jennifer, “that’s twice”. Oh yea! She and J were ahead of schedule earlier this morning and actually took a walk in another park, and there were bird houses built by Eagles Scouts there too!
Lunch today was at PF Chang‘s. J had no trouble ordering, immediately saying he wanted the Mongolian Potstickers. This ended up being a good choice for today, the restaurant was quiet and everyone seemed to enjoy their meals. Conversation included weddings. P told us about being at one where the groom’s shoes had “help me” written on the soles. Ha! Jennifer asked the guys where their weddings had been and heard Kansas City, Nebraska and Oklahoma. D also told us details about his grand daughter’s wedding. And when Jennifer told the waitress, “I want spicy food so that my nose runs!“ P said, “no thank you please, it only makes me sneeze“ . He really was quick witted today! And smoking, not sure how that subject came up but B teased, “I smoked, sure, in 4th grade.”
In the later afternoon we attended an Active Minds talk about haunted locales in Colorado, like Stanley Hotel, Oxford Hotel and Cheeseman Park. Then for an ice cream at Liks. We’re big fans of that Chocolate Chip Rasberry! Fun, beautiful fall day today, complete with ghost stories!
Great day for a walk, and thank you to Urban Egg for another wonderful meal and exceptional service!
Couple of quick stories, we made a poster today to decorate our office walls. As we glued photos of past outings we tried coming up with single words to describe what happens on our outings. “Joy” “Fun” “Togetherness”, all quite appropriate. Then funny guy P said, “Stupendous”, which made everyone laugh. “Too much?’ he asked? Probably.
and how about when G asked me if I remembered the Slhameel Shlamile (sp?) song, wrapped her arm over my shoulders and got us doing the Laverne and Shirley thing?
Well we learned at least one thing today . When we came across some wild turkeys D described how they turn blue in mating season!
Gorgeous day in the mountains!! The pace of the day and temps were perfect.
We all met at the office for coffee, fruit and pastries. We needed to fuel up for our morning walk (which would include a small horse). After chatting and munching and discussing the upcoming Halloween season, we loaded up in the van.
Our drive up Turkey Creek Canyon was breathtaking today. We took a little detour and drove past Tiny Towns Railroad, the original pass before Highway 285 ( Lindbergh Road ), a steep and skinny dirt road and did some exploring. We enjoyed some early signs of aspens turning, and we thoroughly soaked up the scenery.
We dropped by my home and were immediately greeted by the horses when we pulled up, got out, stretched, and said hello. I introduced everyone and put a bridle with a lead rope on our smallest horse, named “Little Bit”. E and J both took turns walking him, as we strolled in the beautiful sunlight and chatted about the surroundings for a good bit of time. There was also a puppy involved, named “Goose” and he greeted everyone once we arrived back at the house. It was a wonderful walk and we all enjoyed it.
From there we drove to Brooks Place Tavern in Conifer. They had a wonderful menu, and the service was excellent. Some of us could see the mountains from where we were sitting, and they stayed in our conversation off and on. Lunch was delicious and everyone cleaned their plate, except Jerry, he left his pickle on a pristine and perfectly clean porcelain plate.
There was a baby in the restaurant and J remarked “how cute and compliant they are when they’re young! They grow up and get opinionated! “. D talked about how much he loves hatch green chili, and Jennifer described how far a bushel of them can go after roasting. I could almost smell them! We also talked about bobbing for apples, making caramel apples, and the differences between trick-or-treating today and “back then“.
It was fun to discuss Halloween costumes, about favorite drinks, and how some states (i.e. Oklahoma ) were dry states- we talked about prohibition and how things have changed in our laws over the years. Lunch was thoroughly enjoyable, and then we headed back down the curvy canyon into the city.
This morning in the car with J, he and I played “name that show” while listening to theme songs from well-known shows back in the day. Get Smart, Lassie, Bewitched, I dream of Jeannie, Twilight Zone, just to name a few.
Well J has a new name, The Ketchup Lady. Boy she poured it on at lunch, fun to watch her enjoying herself! She also, as always, was so drawn to flowers we saw. Bruce had J and Pand E with him and a bit of extra time this morning, so took his group for a walk in J’s neighborhood. They tried remembering names of flowers and were all surprised to see a pear tree.
Some quick cold drinks and off they went to meet Jennifer and the rest of the group.
We had an early lunch today on Colfax at Annie’s Café. They have many nostalgic items on the walls and some old black and white movies playing on their T.V.s, so lots to see and talk about. A told us about living in Mississippi. Someone asked her if there was a military base near there and she surprised us with a “yes indeed” sort of response, then had everyone laughing as she recounted being with a friend and meeting two “boys in uniform”, asking them to meet them later at a movie and assuming they wouldn’t show up. “But they did!”
How Lawrence Welk’s name came up I’m not sure but around the table most everyone had some strong opinions about him, hilarious. All except our E that is. I think she must be quite a fan. D told us about his grandmother (Gertude?) and her cooking, and another story about being able to watch his brother play football at Westpoint.
We weren’t rushed at lunch, then made our way down Colfax another couple of blocks to the Tattered Cover, to attend their 12:30 talk on Hillbilly Music. D was seated next to a lady and struck up a conversation with her after the talk and told her how much he liked it. Good thing, because it turned out that was the speaker’s daughter!
Later in the day, a couple of hours later actually – A gave a good description of the speaker and how “she played some music and talked about it. She told us it’s history, it was interesting. I like to learn things. But it has too much of a twang. It’s too twangy. I like country music better”. P really liked the talk and focused on the dates and chronology of American music. J had a couple of fun things to say afterwards, one is “that music made me want to get up and dance”, and she also put on a hillbilly type accent and said, “that there’s the kind a talk they talk there”. Wow!
Tattered Cover has a nice little snack shop which we visited after the talk. We had with us a box of cookies from France, in a tin decorated with maps of France. D was able to point out places to us that he’s visited. We ordered cold and hot drinks and this is where J amazed us. I hope it’s ok that he had a cup of coffee this late in the day, and it doesn’t keep him awake, but my goodness how it affected him. Jennifer told me, “I was thinking, who is this guy?!” the way he was animated and talking and talking! He was so suddenly energized and had lots of stories to tell, he was in a wonderful mood. Jennifer joked with him about the fact her husband is growing a beard and she hopes it turns out well like J’s. “Do you trim your own beard?” He just thought that was a riot, and sort of said, “duh”, and laughed about “that’s still something I can do for myself”, and so good naturedly.
Torrey and I laughed all day with our bunch, everyone got along really well, which is the norm but still, it’s such a nice way to spend a day.
We started with goodies and drinks at Stella’s on Pearl Street. E grabbed napkins and dried off the tables and chairs for us, which had been hit with last night’s rain. It was very comfortable sitting on their patio. We had deliberately parked many blocks away to add that bit of walking. Sweet to see G and T walking side by side at a slow pace (this was before coffee!) like old buddies, meandering down the road.
Things picked up afterwards, as we were walking back towards the car. We watched a house getting a new roof and T said he remembered doing ‘a little of that, at the farm” in his youth. He doesn’t remember liking it much however! Torrey and J walked arm in arm, the sidewalks in this older neighborhood are pretty uneven, and she was appreciating his assistance. We passed the house of a friend of mine, which reminded me that last fall Jennifer and I brought a group there, to rake and bag her leaves. It was one of those exceptional activities, where everyone jumped in eager to help; it was so meaningful. I asked G if by chance he remembered it and he said, “yes, but we hadn’t exactly volunteered for that activity!” teasing me that I forced him to help out my friend.Funny G. He was a trickster all day, great smile on his face.
Nobody liked the coffee much, which is unusual for us. I asked E about it, “how does it taste”, and she answered, “it’s different”. Ha! I said, “I guess that means you don’t like it”, “well, it doesn’t taste much like coffee to be honest”. She cracks us up. She was a little chilly. Though the day eventually heated up, I had chosen a seat for her on the patio that was in a wind tunnel, and she’s sensitive to cold anyway. So I grabbed a sweater out of the back of my van, which we were calling the “holy sweater” because of the way it was knitted. That made her feel holy, and she literally started chanting, just to entertain us.
We arrived a 1/2 hour early to croquet after our first morning walk, so walked some more! E and T powering it ahead, T carrying the heavy water jug the entire way, thank you Tim. Then an hour at the croquet course, where James makes us feel SO welcome. Later on in the day, as we were driving home, I reminded the group that we’d been to croquet earlier, and said “James is such a good guy”. I was pleased to hear T say, “Yes. He is”. Sometimes I wonder if anyone is listening to me, ha! You might know the feeling, so it’s great to get a sincere response like that. And Torrey, as we were approaching the croquet course this morning, asked G, “it’s good to see James on a Monday”. Gary said, “it’s good to see him any day”.
E played quite well, T didn’t have his best game but he gave it some good effort and enjoyed himself. The course is flat and the grass is trimmed short. This is SUCH a good combination of factors for our J who gets a pep in her step on that even terrain. Her pace increases, her arms spread out wide and guess what? On her own she broke into a trot of sorts, basically a jog! I loved that and joined her, then later on asked her to join me again and she willingly did so.
Speaking of willing to do so, Torrey wanted to leave a birthday message on his brother’s voicemail and asked Eleanor to sing for him. She sang by herself the entire happy birthday song, that’s more then I’ve heard her sing in the 8 years I’ve known her.
Lunch was at Village Inn, we were amazed at our waitress who memorized every detail of our complicated order. The food there is so satisfying, and we liked our big, round table.
We talked about T.V. shows and when the food arrived and things were getting quiet around the table, J started singing the Brady Bunch theme, hilarious. Torrey mentioned Hogans Heroes and T said, “I know Nothing!” . E laughed and pointed out a sign as we were leaving the restaurant, I attached a picture of it here. Struck a funny bone for all of us.
More talking, whistling, singing and knee slapping when we talked about T.V. shows and movies in the car when heading home. Sound of Music, Gilligans Island, Paradise Island, Mary Tyler Moore, Flying Nun, Partridge Family…
In the Visitors Center at Eldorado State Park there are photos of rock climbers through the years. J and I decided, “no way!”. He pointed to the ground and said, “I’m fine. Right here”. But he and I also talked about the fact that he’s climbed many 14ers, and B told us about climbing in Yosemite at Half Dome!
Over our coffee and fruit and pastries this morning we had some fun conversations, including our middle names and why we have them. J’s middle name starts with a B, so I asked him periodically throughout the day if I could start calling him JB. Nope, he was going to allow me to do that! Talking about our initials arose from Torrey getting us on the subject of three letter acronyms. R took that and ran with it, so did everyone but it stuck with Ray. We brought up things like RBI, MIA, POW, DIA, all that..and then when I announced it was time to hit the road, R said, “HTR?”
J and I have a great back and forth going these days, teasing. He is quick! As we were going to “HTR”, I asked him if he was collecting our trash. He was, but when I handed him mine he said, “not anymore”. Hay!
On our drive to the Boulder area every person in the car made observations, R: “there’s NCAR”, B, “those Flatirons are so beautiful”. We talked about our college or hometown mascots, cars, and music.
While walking in the state park we discovered a young dad fly fishing in the creek with his baby girl strapped on his back. He was swaying as he fished, to help her sleep, it was so sweet to watch. He later came up to chat with us and show us the fish he’d caught. B told me that reminded him of a fly fishing trip as a teenager to Wyoming, and also a recent trip to Breckenridge with his grandchildren.
We walked for about 40 minutes, not at a quick pace, but fairly steady. But we had to stop along the way and examin how the bridge was structured, the different colors in the rocks, the steps leading up to a picnic area, and chat with our fisherman friend.
Later, over lunch at Southside Walnut Café in Boulder, we talked about schools, and teachers, and R told us a story about being in kindergarten! He remembers getting gum stuck in his hair during naptime, what a funny memory. L told us travel stories, going with a buddy up the west coast, across Canada and down through the East Coast. B asks such great conversation starter type questions, like at lunch he asked which states we’d all like to visit, and L’s answer was a sincere, “I’d like to visit all of them again”. B told us about a sister who lives in Alaska, and what it was like growing up with sisters. “Not bad at all”, he said, and told us how they played musical instruments together. L said he and his sibs and cousins “were the entire choir” in their home town!
R has met Mr Gates, B has met Mr Anchutz, interesting stories there, plus these men have lots of overlaps in terms of their upbringing, the parts of the country they lived in and so on. Really nice spending the day with them, looking forward to next week.
Art Therapy is so fascinating. Studying pieces of art with a wonderful guide, like we did today, gets each of us to focus, relax, contemplate, and share our observations. In the large piece made out of recyclable wine bottles, our guide asked us – if we could, would we want to take it home? Jennifer said, “yes, but it looks like a blanket to me, and I don’t have a bed big enough for it. ” “Ah”, said J, “you just want a bigger bed”! Lots of friendly banter as thoughts were verbalized. In another art piece everyone’s first impression was along the lines of ick! too violent, don’t like it, but as they paused and looked more closely, that man wasn’t a devil, he was actually saving people, and wait, who was he saving? and what were they all looking at in the distance? and where are they?…
We get such a kick out of J in particular, because when she started with us quite a while ago, she entered art museums with disinterest, which eventually grew to curiosity, and now on days like today she’s really quite engaged and enjoying herself. She still sees things through a practical lense, “that doesn’t make sense”, but she listens, and now gives more time and attention to what we’re learning. She’s much more appreciative. And D, we’ve noticed, has a good eye for art, he makes interesting observations.
This was a cool project! At one point the artwork we saw, entitled “utopia”, instigated a discussion about what utopia ould means to each of us. Just about everybody could put words to their thoughts about this, and unknown to us, an artist was drawing pictures of what we said! So most of us were sent home from the Denver Art Museum with a card, on the back of which is an illustration of what we said. For example, A said utopia for her would be “a room full of piano players”, and D said, “silver linings and clouds”; some beautiful and imaginative ideas!
I wasn’t on the tour with the group today, but later on Jennifer told me: there was a lot of participation and input from our group, and the tour guides were “fantastic”. So thank you to the Denver Art Museum, and our guides Jeri, Chuck and the artist Joan.
After morning snacks today, the group went for about a 1/2 hour walk in O’Kane Park, then off to lunch, then to our art museum tour.
Conversations included A – what a funny little story Bruce told me. She jumped in the car in the morning all enthusiastic. Bruce complimented her on her sweet smelling perfume. When Angie couldn’t recall the name of it Bruce asked, “Bengay?” and she busted up laughing. Then she said, “I love starting the day with laughter.”
I really like how Bruce described J, he said, “she smiled a lot today”, and how Jennifer described L, “he’s quiet, he observes, he really enjoyed our walk, he listens carefully, and every once in a while he’s silly! Like hiding his face when a loud car zoomed past us, peeking out behind his arms at me, making me giggle”
In the park the subject of birds came up and J told the group how she can “call the chick-a-dees in” to feed them. She spoke so fondly of birds – and, as always – the flowers they saw.
D talked about his travels, France, Italy and Maui, where he rode a bike to a crater to see the sunrise!?
Thanks again to our volunteer tour guides at the museum, they are exceptionally good to us.
The “Rox-Ride” is a kick and our guide was wonderful! He was welcoming and kind, he was prepared for us, and ready to show us around Roxborough State Park.
The day began with snacks and drinks, then off to our 11:00 tour. It was a great day out there, not too hot. Our guide, Tony, understood that some would want to do the extras (climb those stairs up to the lookout for example) and some would not, and he just went right along with whatever. He told us stories about the geology of the area, which J particularly liked hearing about. J told us how she had to come out to this area while working at the EPA, and was happy to be here again today. And when Tony told us how old the rock formations are, E said, “makes me feel young!”
Lots of time outdoors today, not only this visit to Roxborough, but also Bruce and L and P walked around Clement Lake for a 1/2 hour, and Jennifer with G, J and E had their morning picnic outdoors!
Lunch was at “Toast”, where they had a table ready for us in their quieter back room and we had great service. We have been there dozens and dozens of times over the years and have never been dissapointed in the service or the food. J was so pleased with her lemon, blueberry pancakes with gingersnap crumbles! Conversations included National Parks, Mt Rushmore and J saying , “when I first saw the Grand Canyon my mouth dropped open!” E told L stories of her younger years, growing up outside of Boston, and travelling alone to Phoenix. L was curious how she got there, train? bus? what route? He thinks it might have been along route 66, and so P sang a line from the song of the same name!
On the drive home today, Jennifer took her carpool through the neighborhood she grew up in, and wouldn’t you know it, she saw her mom standing in her front yard. Jennifer told the group as they were driving past, but L insisted she stop and turn around so he’d have the chance to meet her! L jumped out of the car and took Jennifer’s mom’s hand, so sweet, then P waved and waved out the window as they drove away.
The pictures tell a thousand words today, the group standing around the Rox-Ride cart, the beautiful scenery, and everyone comfortably hanging out together.
My day began with laughter, as G entertained me in the car with his disco dancing, done as well as someone strapped into a car can do it! He and Jane continue to bring joy to our days as they lose inhibition and dance and sing in the car, it’s so fun to watch. Jane today singing to Home, Home on the Range and the Barnie theme song among others, ha!
We had lots of goodies along with our coffee and hot chocolate at Tomari’s which is quite near Tiny Town. They are ALWAYS gracious to us, such an inviting place. I said the name is a combination of the owner’s, Tom and Mari, then P said something about “well we can come here tumarre”, then Jane sang a line from “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya..” I asked P to pose in front of the Tomari sign with Torrey and they did a silly pose for the camera.
Back in the car for a beautiful drive on Parmalee Gulch. We sang and also talked about songs. The name Wendy came up then I asked if anyone knew a song about that name. P was the one to set us all straight and sang a couple lines from the song “Windy”, “not Wendy” . He was right on! He amazes us sometimes with what he remembers.
Torrey was driving at this point, and took us to O’Fallen Park where we had about 1/2 an hour to explore. This was one of the funniest moments of the day for sure, as we were walking there. It was a wide, even dirt path. As we were walking, I said to Jane, “I bet you like this path, there’s nothing in your way, all clear” “Yes!” she said, then swung her arms wide with a big smile on her face. BUT! she wacked her buddy E across the face accidentally. Oh my gosh, E’s reaction–at first sort of angry of course, to get suddenly slapped like that, but then when we told her what happened, she and Jane laughed and laughed. Then Torrey explained that Jane spread her arms wide like bird’s wings, so Jane had the nickname of “JaneBird” pretty much the rest of the day, the famous, beautiful JaneBird.
Torrey and Eleanor talked about old movies. She remembers seeing Snow White in the theatre, and Shirley Temple. Then Gary and Torrey couldn’t help themselves with a “don’t call me Shirley” routine.
Jane told us about her first concert, going with her godmother to see James Taylor. E told us about the 1924 Ford she had, “that must be sitting in a garage somewhere”. We asked how a car of that vintage would get it’s engine started, and P answered quite confidently it would be a crank start. He was sharp today.
Lunch was at Urban Egg, and we had the kind of server who totally engages with us, she’s helped us in previous visits. Josie. She remembers our names, “here ya go, Jane”, stuff like that, which is so dear. Some sass too, which can be important! At lunch – I don’t know exactly the subject matter, but Torrey and Bruce told me later that Jane was quick to explain her feelings on a certain subject. They described what she said and I recognized it as an Eleanor Roosevelt quote. If I’m correct, this is what Jane said : “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So true.
Jane also talked about Philly and an upcoming trip there to see family. SO looking forward to seeing her mother, being in her home, and in her hometown, and eating some of the local foods.
After lunch, another walk in the park before heading home. Fun, fun day.
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