What a wonderful day. We began with a quick snack today, because we had an 11:00 tour arranged at an art gallery in Evergreen. Great day for the drive there! J commented a few times on the blue sky, I think everyone appreciated the scenery as we headed up the hill. As J pointed out, the sky stayed that blue all day. One time in the car she said, “you couldn’t ask for a better day”, and G said, “actually, you could”, which really made her laugh. He was being the jester with E too. One time during our tour at the art gallery he caught her eye and stuck her tongue out at her, and she did it right back at him! He made us laugh earlier too, when he said, on our way to Evergreen, “J’s coffee keeps jumping out of the cup.” It was true! J agreed that with each bump in the road, it was a challenge with his full cup of coffee. Ha! He seemed pleased that G noticed. L is new to our Tuesday group and is getting to know everyone. Mary said we’re in big trouble, though, because G knows L’s limericks…L can start em and G can finish em. Oh No! There once was a guy in Peru…
We learned something new about J today…he’s a Bob Seager fan! We are all enjoying the new satellite radio in our vans, which was a gift from one of our families. Lots of singing and today G and E did a little “Song Sung Blue” dancing demo for us, with hands spread wide and swaying right and left. What a crack up.
The Center for Arts at Evergreen was very welcoming to us. We had the place all to ourselves, as it worked out, and two guides! They had seats arranged for us in front of a wall of select pieces and they were well trained in art therapy for our group like ours. The exhibit was varied, from modern pop to classical and impressionistic. Everyone had a favorite and commented accordingly. Our guides explained that the theme was water media, and that it was a juried exhibition, so there was a variety of styles and a wide array of artists from all over the country. There were pieces to appeal to everyone.
J liked the dancing girl all in pink ( entitled “Exuberance” she thought it seemed “so natural”), J liked a portrait of an older man and wanted to learn more about it, so the guide stuck with him for a while, providing more details, and he also liked an abstract of a couple holding hands. L liked the attached painting of a river (he said “They’re all neat but that one really catches my eye. It leaves room for the imagination”). Jane commented once, “I’m very left brained and not artistic at all, but I like looking at art”, she pointed out the difference in proportion on a realist piece and made many interesting observations. In one painting there was a clothes line depicted, which G said reminded him of “hanging clothes with my mom”, and E said she remembered that too. She said, “it was horrible when the clothes froze.” That painting was of a home and yard in Cuba, which led A to share some stories about sailing past Cuba many years ago! And another painting was of Venice, so he let us know that you could sail a boat from Venice to England without sailing on the ocean. G even pointed out the stained glass at the front of the gallery, and the guide explained that the building is a former church. Everyone was thoroughly engaged.
We then broke for lunch at The Blackbird Tavern, which sits on the banks of Bear Creek. A, soaking up the sun shining in the large window and peering out side, said “I could just sit here and look at the creek all day.” J told Mary that he remembers being with us at this restaurant a couple of times before, “but that’s ok, it’s great!”
One subject that came up was historical events in our life times. Bruce mentioned when Elvis died. J remembered man first walking on the moon and A chimed in that he remembered when Alaska became a state. We also joked around with our usual “crick” or “creek” argument, and overall just relaxed and enjoyed our meal with the terrific views out the windows.
Our morning was definitely Fall in Colorado! Beautiful, colorful, but also damp and cloudy. But we really liked our drive up into Roxborough State Park. We saw more deer then ever before, and took a little five minute walk in the chilly air.
In the afternoon, we spent time at our “cabin”, at Happy Dog Ranch, which everyone was impressed with. B clearly remembered past events there with the group, and with the spouses. I will try to plan one of those again soon. It’s a large space with a full kitchen. Everyone helped carry our belongings from the vans into the cabin. Ice chest, sandwiches, supplies for the sack lunch making project, lots to carry! We began with lunch, a delicious one provided by Corner Bakery, then began our task. Man o man this was worthwhile. Everyone commented throughout the day on how important it is to do some community service work. G and S couldn’t wait to get started, S spreading jam, G washing and slicing strawberries. L is great in the kitchen! Cleaning dishes, wiping down the counters, super helpful. Bruce and I had J counting bags and sorting, B filling baggies with chips, etc…we took about 45 minutes and were really focused on what we were doing. We completed 30 sack lunches which, after I send this email to everyone, I’ll take across the street to “The Life Center”, where they feed at risk families on Tuesday nights. I know they’ll welcome also having lunch ready for tomorrow.
As we worked we told stories, L about his career, S about his work history, G expressed the importance he places on helping out others, J told us about raising four boys and “I’ve packed a lot of lunches in my day”. Then veryone chipped in, as we cleaned up and repacked and reloaded up the vans!
S made me giggle when I noticed two Oreos stacked on top of each other on his plate after lunch. “Two Oreos ?” He thought for a sec then said, “someone must have taken my third.”
Bruce told the group at lunch today, spontaneously he simply said, “I want to tell everyone something. I woke up feeling blah today, and now that I’ve spent the day with my friends I’m feeling so much better. ” It was a very sweet and sincere thing to say. Everyone was quiet for a moment, then G started clapping! Perfect.
This tour was super interesting today. Fort Logan has national, local, state, military and architectural history all wrapped up into one. The tours are free and open to the public every 3rd Saturday from 1:00 – 4:00, if you ever want to check it out. (I think I’ll go back!)
We learned that the house we toured was built in the 1888, not long after the Native Americans had left the area, having lived in teepees. Amazing. The military officer Logan, (who was instrumental in establishing what we now call “Memorial Day”) was a nationally recognized figure, and the military base was named in his honor. The property was a good location due to it’s proximity to water (Bear Creek) and a railroad. It was utilized in both World Wars, and between and after them so yes, lots of history. The particular house we toured was over 4,000 square feet and had 7 bedrooms. We kept the tour to 45 minutes, though everyone was comfortable lingering a bit longer.
We then headed to lunch on the patio at Homestead Golf Club, but the winds forced us to move indoors. The views from there are exceptional, so I was disappointed we had to move, and sure enough as soon as we got settled indoors, the winds stopped. Oh well, that’s how it goes sometimes.
Bruce and I each took our carpools on abbreviated “scenic drives” on the way home, since we were already at the base of the Rockies, Morrison, etc. Then home. I was telling my group that I’m often amazed how quickly our days go, and A said, “that’s because we do so much in one day!”
A few moments that stand out for me today:
S told a story during the tour today and he laughed at himself when he started out like this: “My grandfather used to drive a truck. He had – oh, I’ll never forget this.” pause. “I just forgot it”. We all chuckled, but it wasn’t long before he was able to finish his thoughts. And he sang a bit in my car today, which he doesn’t always do. Especially to “Let it Be”.
G of course sang too. A bunch. We love that about him. He told me stories of his father, “what a character”, and his granddaughter, her school, and her volleyball playing.
One minute when he had stopped singing, E told him assertively, “keep singing” G said, “only if I get paid.”
I overheard A telling the tour guide today, “I am thoroughly enjoying this. Thank you.” And I liked when he said to me towards the end of the day, as we were driving in the foothills, near wide open fields, “you’d never guess we are looking at all this, but we’re so close to town.”
J had a ball, Ms Enthusiasm. She asked me (a few times) where we were going today, and always replied along the lines of “sounds fine to me. Better then staying home doing puzzles”, or “it’s always good to go out, I don’t care where we go”..etc. Just up for an adventure. She’s an appreciative, fun person. However she also told me my nails are too short! Ha! Then she told me she remembers her mother painting her long nails red before she’d go out to play Bridge with her girlfriends. What a nice image of days goneby. I picture ladies all dressed up spending an afternoon together, and J as a child being impressed.
K and I had many laughs over the coffee house I chose today. Long story, but it was a bit of a hassle parking, paying, ordering, getting the coffees to go, getting back in the car, seatbelts…and then the coffee was extremely hot, almost impossible to drink, the cups were so full that coffee was bouncing out and some fell on S’s new shoelaces which he’d just shown us, and no one liked the taste of the coffee! Ha! He and I laughed about it all day.
Looking forward to next week’s adventure!
It was a little bit of history today for ladies day.
We started the day at Harvard Gulch Park, enjoying pastries,fruit and sparkling cider next to the children’splayground. Then off for a little walk through the park- which is next to a golf course-on our perennial search for restrooms. We decided to use the one in the Clubhouse of the Harvard Gulch Golf Course. Here is when wewe stumbled upon the history of the area.! Who would have guessed!?We learned from the golf pro that the land used to be a dairy farm as well as the Colorado State Orphanage. As many as 17,000 orphans resided inthis facility. It was stunning newsto all of us. We talked about the many reasons so many kids would have been orphaned in the early 1900s,World War 1, World War II, the Depression, the Dust Bowl, and disease. E had lots of questions about all this! The man who was telling us about this history has lived in the area for quite some time. He’s actually met and have had conversations with a few of the orphans who came back to visit as adults.
Bruce took the three other men to lunch at Arrowhead Country Club, which is nestled right into the gigantic Red Rocks.
We had a ball at Silo Park in Greenwood Village this morning. This was a large group, we met at the covered picnic tables with the multitude of snacks we had prepared – cold drinks, hot coffee, cheese, nuts, fruit, cookies etc. We were able to take quite a decent walk together after that, the temps didn’t get too hot this morning!
We then broke into smaller groups for the remainder of the day. My group and I started heading up to Morrison, to see what was happening, and take in some of the Colorado Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We drove up to the top, under the arch, and took in the view from the grand plaza. Through the haze we could see part of downtown, and could even make out the white tents of DIA out in the plains. We studied a rock that G said looked like a lion roaring, and it did. We watched folks running the stairs, T being the only one who thought it looked any sort of fun at all.
They was a video going with clips from shows, and I think J would have been happy watching those clips for a few hours. They also have a lot of dinosaurs stuff on display, and as we were examining a T-Rex jawbone, we tried imagining Dino’s out running around. I brought up The Morrison Museum, which is a great little dinosaur museum, T remembered being there, and J and G were both interested. We will have to do that one soon.
We loaded up and left the area to get lunch down in town. We had a choice of Mexican on a rooftop patio, sandwich’s along Bear Creek, or the Red Rocks Grill with all the mounted animals on the wall. Yep, the stuffed animals won out, and we sat between a mountain lion named Bobby, and a reindeer who’s name slips my mind. After lunch we loaded up, got a cup of ice cream for the drive, and headed down the hill.
The afternoon with the three guys was terrific. All three are quite close in their abilities. We had a great talk about sports at lunch, and all 3 guys were engaged and participating. Nice to see.
We had a fantastic day.
The river, hundreds of Iris, and the mountains…I don’t think we could have packed more into the day. It’s a good thing we didn’t try because everyone arrived home about 45 minutes late as it was!
We took a short drive to the Iris4U Gardens off of Federal near the old Loretto Heights campus. None of us had been there
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