Monthly Archives: September 2014

There are changes in the Rockies….me, too!

It feels as if the air in the Rockies is signaling change. Thunder, lightning, then the rain falls. The sun comes up and dries everything. The air is clean and clear.

We’re heading into fall and I’m looking forward to the changing of colors. Green becomes gold, auburn, red, brown, orange and rust. I become in love again with Colorado. I few renewed in the fall.

I’m also changing in the Rockies. I’m thriving on three meals a day, staying in an awesome house, helping out whenever my friend Marilyn, whenever I can.

But, not only am I thriving, I have a good start on the book of my one year journey that began in April, 2012 and ended in April, 2013. I have printed out everyday that I published on my blog, and that means nearly every day. Not many days were missed. Now, the work begins. I need a title for the book and I’m open to ideas.

The next change comes when the YouTube is finished of my one month in Cambodia,with a side trip to Viet Nam. My grandson, Michael is producing it for me and I know it will be great. I went over all of my photos and sent them off to him. He’s a talented and creative guy, and I look forward to see what he creates.

 

Silas Soule – courageous ancestor

I just finished reading “Silas Soule”, a short, eventful life of moral courage, by Tom Bensing.

The name originates in France, pronounced Soulé, however, Silas’ branch of the family came from Great Britain, so the origin of the French family isn’t known, yet.

Silas Stillane Soulé (my accent placed here) was born in 1836 and died in 1865 by a gun shot by a known ruffian, who had been a soldier with a questionable past.

Silas is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Denver.

When the young man died he was a hero of the Sand Creek massacre, the massacres that exterminated Indian men, women and children in the most barbarous ways. Silas refused to lead his men into the surprise attack near Denver because Indian Chiefs had been proposing peaceful solutions.

The book speaks a lot of the man, who had humor, wit, charm and moral courage, all of which he demonstrated in his life. He was described as having sandy colored hair and stood with good posture.

He was killed only three weeks after he had been married.

I am related to Silas Soule, but I haven’t learned just how, as of yet. My grandmother was a Soule and her brother, Walter Soule, ran an Indian  trading post on a reservation. I do remember my mother telling me about a relative who refused to take his men into the surprise Sand Creek attack, but I’ve just recently learned about him.

The book explains a lot, but I still want to get deeper into the family history. It surprises me that all this took place less than 100 years before I was born. American history of the white man is still young.

 

My son’s birthday marks half a century

He is 50 years old today: My son Ron will mark a half century tomorrow, Sept. 7th.

When Ron was a tiny tot, he was a cute curly headed boy  born with determination. He had a machine gun laugh, and a creative mind from his earliest years.

He could get excited about something and wouldn’t stop until he got what he was after. I saw him save all his money for a bike and then, as a school aged boy, ride in a long bike ride into territory he’d never been in before; by himself. He researched the bike ride and I took him where the ride began the night before, miles away from home. He slept on the city’s library grounds until it was time to wake up and ride.

Ron also wanted to play the drums, and when it came time for the purchase of a drum set, at age nine, he researched the kind he wanted and we somehow, found the money for it.  He took his high hat down the train tracks to a hotel where he jammed with the adult musicians. He was a pre-teen at this time.

The point is, Ron has had tenacity from his early years and it has never stopped.

He often surprises me, but then I realize, that’s just him. He inspires me and makes me want to find the same determination to do the activities that are important to me.

He needs all of our love and attention. I love you Ronald Revere Crocker. You make me proud.

Real mountain folks don’t leave

There are still a few cowboys in these parts, but it’s changing by the years. It has become more of a  summer tourist destination than when I lived in Vallecito.

Many folks who live here year round leave when the first snow starts to fall, but the real, down-to-earth mountain folks don’t leave.

I went into the Mountain store this morning and had coffee and a muffin and egg. It’s a store/restaurant/gas station/fire wood and just about anything you could want to purchase. A rustic place with down-home folks.

When I walked in, I told the cashier that I hadn’t been in that store for a long time and last week was the first time.

“Oh, you must be the lady who’s visiting Marilyn. Hi, I’m Rosemary.”

Guess when you’re in a small community, just putting two and two together and you got your answer.

I’m doing a bit better with the 4 wheel drive, but it still makes me kind of nervous being responsible for someone else’s car. But Marilyn is an easy person to please, so I’m getting the hang of it.

A peaceful path – in the Weminuche Wilderness

Since I left the Vallecito area in 1998, there have been some changes. One of those is the long pathway near the Vallecito Lake, meadows and trees.

The Vallecito Service spearheaded the handicapped accessible outdoor venue, and my friend Marilyn acted as the contractor throughout the completion of the project. This included writing grant proposals and using the funds to create a path that can be used by the community and overseeing the complete construction of the path, the mandated handicapped benches and tables.

Marilyn had included the Southern Ute Indian people, the Bureau of Land Management, the Gates Foundation grantee, La Plata County, Pine River Irrigation District, and the community in the decision making.

The pathway is on part of the 499,881- acre Weminuche Wilderness. This wilderness is the largest in Colorado. Congress designated it in 19975 with additions in 1993. It was named in honor of the Weminuche band of the Ute Indians who historically lived throughout southwest Colorado and Utah.

The Southern Ute Indians played a part in opening the park after its completion. Marilyn and I walked on the path yesterday, and while we were there, we met a young man, Mike, who was there with his dog.

He was thrilled with the walking path, the park, the ambience of the area: the lake, water, pine and aspen trees and the history of the park being the old Indian hunting grounds.

“This is a well kept secret,” Mike said of the park. “I come here everyday and just love it here.” He added.

He is on vacation and has spent a few past years in the area, and always goes walking on the path. Marilyn told him all about the project, the history, the flowers and plants that make their home along the pathway, and he even volunteered to pull weeds that have intruded on the path.

The sun was out, white flouncy clouds in the sky, smells of the outdoors, all created a quiet peaceful place to walk.

“I just want to thank you for all the work you did here,” Mike told Marilyn.

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Cooking awful, but liking the mountains.

I don’t have an exact date for when my cooking skills went out the window, but I am not up to par.

Marilyn returned last evening, with her friend and neighbor, who picked her up at the airport. I promised to cook dinner and I worried about that all day long, so I tried extra hard to make it good.

I burned the rice.

I think my cooking skills have been altered so much that I’m confused. First, I learned to cook from my mother and when my kids were growing up, I did okay, but it was always simple, American food.

Then I became a partial vegetarian who had to cook for myself and then a husband came along who needed meat and three meals a day. I sort of gave up on becoming a vegetarian, and my husband made my life so cozy, that I got fat from the evening cake, and the mid-morning snacks and the afternoon snacks, oh, and the snack time before bed. It’s all so very Dutch.

AFter he passed away, I went back to no red meat in my diet, and then I was back to not knowing how to cook for one person who doesn’t eat meat.

Enough about my cooking.  I’m having a good time in the mountains in Marilyn’s lovely home. We visited her friend this afternoon, and I marveled at her wonderful, creative landscaping. There is a pond that comes from creek water, lots of stone structures, gorgeous flowers – including a bright red begonia in a basket.

The grass is thick and just begs me to lie down and watch the clouds.

Marilyn will soon have her hand operation, and then I’ll have much more to do. I hope to be able to help her out to partially pay for my wonderful time here in the mountain mansion.