Jeff and I are in Estes Park, Colorado this week. We flew to Denver on Monday, and drove up the curving road to a place we love to visit. We lived and worked here the first two summers after we were married. Jeff had already spent two summers here while in college playing guitar and singing baritone at the Lazy B Ranch, a chuck wagon dinner and western stage show ranch. His family visited Estes when he was a child and working there was something he always wanted to do. The first summer we both had three jobs. I had one more year of school and Jeff thought since we were married it was his responsibility to pay for my tuition. My dad fought him on it but lost! I waited tables at the Holiday Inn during the breakfast and lunch shift, and worked in a gift shop on the ranch in the evenings. Jeff worked at Ripley's Believe It of Not Museum along with his duties of serving brisket to the folks before the show began. We both sang for tips and a free meal at an outside cafe called The Mustard Seed downtown Estes in between our other daytime jobs! We were so rich!! We lived on our tis and saved the rest for tuition. We didn't work all the time. We played tennis, hiked in the Rocky Mtn National Park, we to the late movie after work, and watched Star Trek every afternoon along with other activities before going to the chuck wagon seven nights a week! We had to have some rest and relaxation! Did I mention we had lots of company? That's what happens when you live at the base of a national park! What a great adventure we were having! As we drove outside the city of Denver and the landscape began to change, I watched for so many landmark places that I had memorized the many trips we made together on the drive from Denver. I know there are certain rock clusters I recognize! Can you imagine how many times we have said, " do you remember " ... I bet at least 50 times and our trip isn't over yet! It doesn't matter how many times I visit this place, I am amazed at the majesty of these mountains, evergreens, wildlife and the bluest skies ever! The lack of humidity isn't bad either! It isn't unusual to see an occasional dead tree or even a patch of trees that have been attacked by beetles. But I have never seen so many as I looked along the countryside and even more in the national park this evening at dusk when we went to check out the elk. As I considered the rows of dry, brown trees and the different appearance it presents, I still had the same feeling of amazement at the creation of such beauty. My mind tends to have application moments and tonight was no different. I thought
about the differences Jeff and I have experienced since we were young adults living a dream summer 33 years ago. We are still pretty cute, but we have made some changes just like the view I saw as I looked at the mountains! ALS aside, we have a few weathered scars and broken branches. But just like the mountains, we are still standing tall and ready to face winter. That's what they do and that's what we have done in our life together! We haven't questioned if we could face changes rather how we would face them. I wondered as well, how will
all those trees get replaced, there are so many, how would that actually happen? There is no way to have all the answers to life's challenges, but somehow it all comes together one answer at a time!