Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sept 28

Today is cool and damp.  The air is calm.  Milo and I had a great walk. Bob had a treat for Milo as he drove by in the School Bus.

The craft fair at the school house went very well.  There were shoppers there on both Saturday and Sunday.  There was pottery, paintings, blown glass, jewelry, Fresh Honey, Christmas decorations and much, much more.  This year vendors even set up outside the school house.

Our neighbor, Paul, is the Director of the American HomeBrewers Association ( ).  Pauls organization puts on the Beer Fest every year.  It is a national event, with beers from all over the country.  This year 380 breweries and 1,669 beers will be there.  Many Sunshine residents will be attending the annual Beer Fest at the Denver Convention Center.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Morning Walk Sept 22

Have you ever gone camping in the forest or walked through the woods after it rained?  It rained last night and my walk had that “clean and alive” smell.  Half way through the walk the school bus passed.  Bob threw Milo a biscuit and all the kids waved.  The sky was clear blue and the waning moon shown brightly overhead.


Gold was found in Sunshine in 1873.  In 1876 there were 1,200 residents and the population of Sunshine was greater than Boulder (a statistic that did not last long).  By the beginning of the First World War, the mining had played out and most of the residents of Sunshine had moved on.  Although most of the people were gone the mine tunnels and shafts were still here.  At that time there were no requirements that the land be reclaimed.

When I first visited my wife’s family in Sunshine, Janice’s father wanted to show me around.  Harry took Janice, David Bashford, his dog, Benny and I on a tour.  We come upon one of the open mine holes above the house.  It looked to be about 50 feet deep.  We were all standing around talking about the dangers of the mine holes when Benny came running up the hill.  He didn’t see the hole in time and took a leap into the air.  I’ll never forget the look on his face. It was the “Oh Sh--, what have I done” look.  He made a 180 degree turn and started pawing as he slid down the edge of the hole.  Fortunately there was a ledge about 20 feet down and he stopped there.  Harry ran down to the house and grabbed a long rope.  He repelled down the side and brought Benny back up to safety.  Since that day, we have called that the “Dog Hole”.

The Bureau of Mines has started a program of capping all of the old mine shafts.  Most of the holes and shafts in Sunshine have been capped (including the "Dog Hole").  We are still careful of anything that looks like a prospect hole, especially if it is covered with wood.  It’s a bad idea to walk across one.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Morning Walk Sept 19

I'm afraid the warm morning walks over until next summer.  There is no school today so the walk was rather quiet.  The only thing of interest was the fog on the plains.  Looking down on it, the fog looks like a blanket of cotton is lying on top of the plains.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

September 18

Yesterday afternoon we held our annual Community Fest at the fire department.  It is an annual fund raising event to help the fire department.  Our fire department is an all volunteer department.  I served on the committee for three years.  In that time, we purchased a new fire engine and started to build a new firehouse.  We kind of put the horse in front of the cart.  We purchased the engine before we had a place to put it.  The existing firehouse is way too small for the existing three trucks, let along a new engine.  Any way, that is another story.........back to the community fest.  I don't have the exact figures, but I would say around 150 people attended.  the event started at 2PM and ended around 6.  There was a pot luck dinner with three different types of chili.  There was iced tea supplied by Steve, Beer supplied by Danny, soda pop and water.  There were several new families in attendance.  It is a great opportunity to meet the neighbors.  Janice, Dee and Beth headed up the auction.  The auction raised around $8200 dollars, far short of last years record.  There was a record bid of $1000 for one of Hildegards pies!

Next week is the annual craft show at the Sunshine School House.  Many of the artisans in the Sunshine community participate.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

September 13

WOW, chilly this morning. 44 degrees when Milo and I returned from our walk.  This Saturday, Sept 17, The Sunshine Fire Protection District will be holding its annual Community Fest.  This is an annual fund raising project the community stages for the fire department.  Community members donate merchandise and baked goods that are auctioned off or given as door prizes.  The cost has been $20 per family.  There is a pot luck meal and plenty of drink to go around.  The fun part is the auction.  People actually bid $200 - $300 for a pie!  It is a tax-deductable donation and the money goes to support activites that benefit the entire community.

The 9-11 flag ceremony went well.  Linda and Tony supplied the coffee, tea, juice and snacks.  We rang the bell at 6:46 (I'm sure a segment of the neighborhood wondered why) and again at 7:02.  I raised the flag shortly ofter the first bell ringing.  We sang the National Anthem and said the Pledge of Allegiance.

Audie and her husband, Harry, are off for Nebraska to visit her sister.   She will probably start Kemo when she returns.


Friday, September 9, 2005

Morning walk Sept 9

What a beautiful morning in Sunshine!  64 degrees, wind calm, scattered clouds in an otherwise clear blue sky! What a joy to be alive!  Milo, my wonder dog, and I started our walk just after 7am.  Once more, we raised the flag at the school house to full staff, then half staff.  I did not realize how many of the neighbors watched the flag daily.  I received several calls last night as to why the flag was at half staff.  As I folded the flag last night I was thinking.....I need to teach wonder dog how to hold one end of the flag while I fold it.

Just past the old fire house, Milo stopped in the middle of the road and refused to move.  Just in front of me about 50 Black-Billed Magpies took flight.  I watched for something to move, always being vigilant of bears.  Nothing moved except me.  We continued to the fork in the road and paused for a doggie treat.  I looked east toward the horizon.  There were two hot air ballons high above Boulder.  This has to be one of the few places you can look down to see balloons in flight.  On the return trip, Bob had a treat for Milo.

We have a fun neighborhood.  Every friday, someplace, it always changes, someone hosts a Friday Afternoon Club (FAC). At least, that is what I call it.   Some just call it Friday Happy Hour. Last week it was at Steve and Lisa's house.  Tonight Madoka and David are hosting.  The whole neighborhood is invited and the turnout is usually very good.

I guess I should explain that Sunshine is a mountain community, about 16 square miles with around 230 houses.  We have multimillion dollar houses and old miner shacks. We sit high above the city of Boulder, Colorado.  Almost every night you can see the Milky Way.

Audie stayed out late last night.  The Sunshine Babes played bunko until around 10PM.  The theme was 60's - 70's hippies.  I would like to have seen that, but they won't let the men anywhere near.  Audie is feeling well this morning.

Did you ever wonder why, if you fly 1st class, your luggage is not unloaded 1st?

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Sept 8 morning walk

Milo (My mixed breed mutt) and I started our morning walk around 7AM.  The morning sky was still pink, following a spectular sunrise. After waving good-bye to the wife and son, we walked down the long driveway onto the main road.  We stop at the Sunshine school house every morning and raise the American flag.  The School house was built in 1900 and is no longer used as a school, but as a community gathering place.  This morning the flag went up to full staff and then down to half-staff in memory of Chief Justice William Rehnquist.  This will continue until Sunset, Tuesday, Sept 13th.  Milo was rewarded with a doggy bisquit and we marched on.  We passed the spot where we were greeted by a black bear a few weeks before and walked to the fork.  On the way back, the school bus passed us.  Bob, the driver, usually has a treat for Milo, but not this morning.  He just waved and kept going.  Milo usually sits when he hears the school bus coming. He knows there is going to be a treat.  This morning, I gave him one out of my own pocket.

My mother and father in-law live with us in the summer.  They are "snow-birds" and move to Arizona in the late fall, and return in May.  My mother-in-law, Audie, was just diognosed with Cancer.  She is in good spirits.

Sunday morning the community is gathering at the school house at 6:30 AM.  We will ring the bell and raise the flag, all in rememberance of 9-11.  The bell will ring once at 6:45 and then again at 7:03, the times the planes hit the world trade center.