The reason I have been so quiet on this blog is not because something is wrong, but because something is RIGHT. I have been feeling pretty good. I am doing at least 1-2 classes at the YMCA each day. Some are not for the faint of heart. I did a zumba class tonight that melted the waterproof mascara right off my face…true story. I rarely wear makeup but decided to splurge and wear makeup to the dentist today. I forgot I had it on until it started melting off my face along with a gallon of sweat. I have found classes that I like and I keep busy…but am whipped at night. But all of this to say that I have been busy. We went on three quick out-of-state trips all in a row, and I think it has taken me three weeks to catch up with work, home, and life in general. The first trip was a day trip to Kansas to help move Joe and Michelle into their new house in Missouri. It was a 25 minutes drive between moves, but it was easier with Rich’s big truck and trailer packed full of their furniture. We drove 3 hours down…helped for about 5 hours then drove back home…just in time for me to go to my LiveStrong class at the YMCA. It was a long day but it was really nice to help out a little bit.
Rich, Lily, and I went on a 5 day trip to Colorado in the middle of October – a couple of days after going to Kansas/Missouri. We flew into Denver and then rented a car and drove to Estes Park and then Rocky Mountain National Park to as far as the roads were open….as we hit snow almost immediately. We had done our homework looking around at places that we wanted to see and maybe have me photograph. Some we weren’t able to go to because of the weather and the roads being closed. Some we just happened upon and were magical. We got to see some very good friends on this trip. Rich and I decided that outside of Nebraska, our biggest friend base is hands-down in Colorado. We both lived and worked there for 4 years and many of our friends from other assignments have retired there. We stayed our first night in Edwards, Colorado with dear friends we knew in Norway. What a wonderful time spent with them as the snow flew outside. It was great to catch up in person. Susan and Tom McClurg…we treasure you both! We then went to Aspen to spend some time at the Maroon Bells. This is a set of three mountains that is well-known to photographers. We took photos there in January when we rode snowmobiles there. However, with so much snow, you couldn’t even see the lake at the base of the mountains. So we went to try and capture the aspens when they were yellow. We were a little late for that…but did get some wonderful photos. Rich, God bless him, got up at 6 a.m. to take me to the Bells to take sunrise photos. It was 8 degrees and dark when we arrived. I set up shop next to a man originally from Prague, Czech Republic. That’s one of the cities I have spent a few days at! We had a really nice chat trying to forget that our fingers were freezing. We wound our way around down to Manitou Springs for our last couple of days. We had dinner with my first karate family…my kempo ohaha…and it was WONDERFUL to hug these people. We had practiced martial arts together with these two families almost 20 years ago. The Maxons and the Lindsays….so, so, so good to gather for a meal with you all! During the daytime we did things like Pike’s Peak Cog ride to the top (the air is quite thin up there – and cold!), hike in Garden of the Gods, Florissant Fossil Beds, the Air Force Academy, and the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. We also got together with some military friends. We had the Bakers (BB flew with Rich at the USAFA) and then two nurses that I was on active duty with at Scott AFB as 2LT’s and one of our charge nurses (a major at the time). That was such a blast from the past to have all of us former Air Force nurses from Scott AFB Med Center together again. When we made our way back up to Denver, we had to stop and have one final meal with a really good friend, Kevin Graefe. We met in college at the University of New Mexico….then we were stationed together at Scott AFB, IL, and have always kept in touch. They were in Parker while we were in Colorado Springs years ago, so we got together often then. Again, it was like years melted away in minutes. It was a fast and furious trip to Colorado and I loved every moment of it. I have probably way too many photos from the trip and I will most likely bore you with the ones below. However, it was a really great time and I am so glad Lily is getting to meet some of the good people that we have surrounded ourselves with during our married lives. It is always nice to hear her say, “I can see why you like that person so much!”