Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to my sweetheart

August '83

I have been married to my beautiful wife for almost 25 years.  She knows me well and it's pretty hard to pull off a surprise.  Her birthday is coming up in a couple of days.  It's a milestone and she doesn't want to make a big deal out of it.  She knew I would want to do something.  She planned a weekend for two next weekend in Estes Park, Colorado, just a few miles to the north of Sunshine, assuring that I would not throw a surprise Birthday party.  We will be enjoying a quiet weekend together, away from friends and family.

I knew her friends and family would want to share their best wishes so I went ahead and planned something anyway.  Several weeks ago I started planning a surprise party.  Our Sunshine neighbors, Steve and Dee offered their house as a location for the event.  We set the date for last night, January 26th, 7PM. (You understand I couldn't have shared this until today or it wouldn't be a surprise.)  I sent out e-mail invitations and started making the arrangements.  Several neighbors volunteered to help.  We had to work very hard to keep it quiet for I knew if Jan found out about it she would not attend (She's really not a party pooper).

I casually mentioned that the band was going to have a drinks and a meeting on Saturday night, then dropped the subject.  On Tuesday Dee called and invited Jan to join and to bring a Veggie plate.  "Be there at 6:30 sharp" Dee told her.  We figured it would be better if the guests arrived after we were settled in with a drink or two.  All went as planned.  We were all sitting around chatting when several neighbors showed up at 7:05.  Our neighbor, Mary came in the front door and wished Jan a "Happy Birthday".  Jan looked as surprised as I have ever seen her.  Within a half an hour over 30 guests arrived.  Wane and Hildegard were out of town so Hildegard baked one of her famous cakes (White cake with a fruit filling, covered in chocolate and dressed with strawberries).  Mary baked a cheesecake and a carrot cake.  Almost everyone brought a snack tray to share.  Our two son's, Mike and Nathan joined us. There was plenty of wine, beer, soda pop and iced tea to go around.  We sang "Happy Birthday" and engaged in friendly conversation.  Before long 3 hours had passed and we all tired.  It was a wonderful evening in Sunshine.

Remember as my old friend Texas Bix Bender said "If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around." 



Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hunting for Christmas trees

Rob's new Colorado Blue Spruce trees planted among his older Ponderosa Pine.

My neighbor, Rob, has a beautiful house just off Sunshine Canyon Drive.  The view from his house is breathtaking.  To the east you see Denver and the cities along the front range.  At night, it is a sight to behold with the city lights stretching from north to south.  To the west is the continental divide including the Sawtooth range and the Indian Peaks Wilderness area.  The snow capped mountains are worth a photo opportunity any time of the year.

The only drawback is that his house is just yards off of the main road.  Rob has tried to minimize the noise and light pollution by planting a couple of lines of evergreen trees.  These trees have given him privacy from the noisy vehicles as they pass by.  They have worked very well.

Last fall, Rob planted a new row of 5' to 6' Colorado Blue Spruce trees at the entrance of his driveway.  I admire them every time I pass by his house.  Two weeks before Christmas, I noticed one tree missing. 

I saw Rob in the post office last week. I asked him about the missing tree.  I thought someone had run into it, being it was so close to the road.  Rob told me that some one had cut it down, thinking it might make a very nice Christmas tree.  It must have been a new comer from California.

"Always take a good look at what you're about to eat.  It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was."