It’s fun to stay at the YMCA of the Rockies!  At first the days stretched out endlessly, but now there’s only a small number left to live here.  Where did the Summer go?  I’m on the countdown to returning home.

Funny…only no home to go to… a new adventure to start!  Thankfully, friends have offered a place to stay until I find something.  The sale of the house finally happened.  I’ve been paying bills off and smiling.  The weight of removing that stress from my life has eased my mind.  Living debt free from now on is my goal.  I call it doing the “Ramsey.” I’ve learned some life lessons that I don’t want to repeat.

I’ve missed Zoey and Pippin more than I thought I would.  I can’t wait to throw a ball and snuggle a cat.  I’m afraid that Zoey is being loved on so much that she might not want to come home.  She’s had a Summer vacation herself; meeting new people and camping in a RV.  Pippin has had a constant companion with his feline roommate.  Not only will he have to coexist with Zoey again, but get used to a new place.  

When I return, it will be time to report to work.  I’ve been ‘’ ideas for my class and subject matter.  Looking forward to seeing school friends and excited to meet new students.  The beginning of the year reminds me of renewal; time to start fresh and make connections and develop relationships.  

I’m ready to laugh with friends, get hugs, and see family.  It’s unusual to not see my friends every week.  Goodness, I’ve missed them!  I want to spend time with my friend, Arlene, to hug her neck and cry with her.  I want coffee with Sally.  I want to gather with my care group and listen to the teasing and love that goes along with that wonderful group of couples.  I want to sit on Katie’s back porch, listen to her stories and laugh loudly.  Heck, I even miss the sarcastic wit of my small group at church.  I’m ready for a family get together with all the noise.  

Working at the YMCA isn’t the same experience as vacationing here.  I’ve observed that by watching people come and go each week.  There have been large conferences, family reunions (large and small), individual families, and school groups.  They spend a few days to a week here and then go on with their normal routine.  The sidewalk is full, but their faces change each week.  The name tags, shirt colors of the groups, and the number that line up outside the dining hall varies.  I’ve visited with people from many different places, and heard a few interesting stories.  However, working here, we are the constant until our volunteer time is over. 

Familiar faces are found at the library, dining hall, the administration building, and on the trails around the Y.  It’s interesting to meet people from different states.  There are international students that serve here and I’ve met some of them because they’re counselors for the day campers.  People are known by first name and states, but knowing last names are rare.  Personalities vary from quiet, intellectual, boisterous, and sometimes pompous.  There are friends here that I would like to stay in contact with and others that I will remember fondly.  

So, in the ten days that I have left, I’m trying to fill my time with memorable activities.  The only ‘big’ activity that I have is white water rafting on Sunday, and I’m excited to try it. However, It’s the small ones that I’m trying to get in.  

My bear

Early morning walks listening to the sounds of the river; the tinkling over the rocks and the thundering rapids.  Watching the animals roam the Y and at the park.  I’ve been on the lookout for a bear and a moose with antlers.  My first bear sighting happened last Sunday! He ran across the road in front of me and made his way behind cabins, walking toward the park.  I’ve seen five moose, but no males with antlers.  This morning,  A buck grazed outside my bathroom window.  Two doe and one fawn joined him on the path toward the river.  Probably the same one that surprised me at the river during my early morning walk yesterday.  

Hiking Friends

Star gazing, concerts, hiking, and ice cream…(heck, any dessert)… these are the things I’m enjoying with friends.  I’d like to get in as many of these fun times as possible.  On Monday, a group of myself and seven ladies hiked the Ute trail.  It was four miles from the tundra to the forest.  Identifying flowers as we hiked and enjoying the views as we walked down to Milner’s Pass was a peaceful experience.  

One of my favorite things we did recently was star gazing in Upper Beaver Meadows.  Four of us spread our blankets out, laid back, covered up, and waited for the stars to appear.  The amount of giggling that came out of us still makes me smile.  We surrendered and packed up when our noses started feeling like Rudolph’s.  There’s a s’more fireside planned in a few days and there’s still plenty of time for ‘chair side’ visiting, but soon it’ll just be memories and pictures of a wonderful time and place.

So for now, 240 hours left to make memories here….then 24 hours home….and a new beginning….blessings abounding!