I’ve had a mental list of things that I’d like to do before I leave the Y.  Things to see that I’ve put off thinking I’d have plenty of time to get to them and going back to see things that I enjoyed the first time.  

Besides sightseeing, I’ve been spending time with new friends before distance stands between us.  Along with friends and activities, there’s been the final dinners for the staff, volunteers, and seniors.  I’ve eaten pretty well this week with two special dinners and a wonderful breakfast.

Me, Caryn, and Edie

So the last ten days has been filled with activity when not at work.  I’ve crammed white water rafting, walks, dinners, concerts, s’mores party, and simply visiting into my free time.  Summer people are leaving and new volunteers are coming in and we’re intersecting with one another.  Meeting people that if time overlapped for us longer, new friendships would form.

I’ve worked with some special people and lived in a ‘circle’ with sweet ladies.  I loving refer to us as ‘the old ladies,’ but I’ve found a few kindred spirits who enjoy the same type of adventure as I do.  Thanks… Edie, Spike, Caryn, Margaret, and the Pamster for your special friendships.  My life has been enriched for knowing you.  If I go to Tennessee, Arizona, and Iowa, I have friends to stay with and if I come back to Colorado, a place here too.

Some of the friends from ‘the circle’

This Summer has been a time to reflect, grow, and de-stress.  I wish I could bottle up the view from the Admin porch and take it home.  Just watching the activity that goes on in front of that building and the magnificent views, makes me sigh.  I’ve spent many hours across the Summer sitting and taking it in and having a few brief encounters with the guests.

Caryn and Steve doing porch time

I’ve laughed a lot on the museum porch sitting on that swing and visiting.  “Porch Time” was definitely one of my favorite activities.  It was almost as good as my ‘hammock time’ at home.  From that porch too, we could watch activity and maybe knowing we were being still while the world moved on around us, is part of what makes it so appealing.  Resting and fellowship…two of my favorite things.  

Quiet time….I’ve done that these last two mornings.  I’ve gotten up before sunrise and drove to the park to watch the sun make its debut over mountains and lakes.  I’ve walked and listened to rivers roar and tinkle, stopping along the way to listen to birds and appreciate the colorful flowers.  

Sunrise over Sprague Lake

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to see a Christmas tree and not think of Colorado.  All the different types of pines must look magical in the snow because they are magnificent in the Summer with the different shades of green and blue.  Did you know that Ponderosa Pines have a smell if you get close to the bark and sniff them?  The fallen trees fascinate me with their twisted trunks.  If I could put a twisted tree in my car, I’d bring one home!  I’ve picked up a stick and a rock on almost every one of my hikes; my souvenirs.  

Wildlife here abounds!  I never thought about being so close to wild animals before, but now seeing deer, elk, bunnies, chipmunks, and ground squirrels are so common that I don’t give them a second thought.  I remember the first day here, I saw an elk across from the putt putt course and was astounded that no one seemed to be paying any attention to it.  I was gawking and taking pictures.  I wanted to shout, “Don’t you know an elk is right here by the road!”  Now unless it has a large rack, I too just pass it without gawking.  

My last elk

Moose and bear, however, makes me stop in my tracks.  I’ve seen five moose (all without antlers) and two bears.  I teasingly say when I go for a walk, “I’m on a bear and moose hunt.”  I’ve obviously been vocal about the moose with the antlers enough that everyone knows I want to see one.  

Last night about bed time, four of my friends got together and made me a ‘moose with antlers.’  I hear Edie call out, “Becky, come quick there’s a moose out here!”  (She’s cracking up laughing)… “Look out your window!”  It’s dark and all I see is a huge antler and a shape out my window.  Yep!  The girls used their creativity to create me a “MOOSE with ANTLERS” and I’m leaving out the details where they got their ‘resources!’  I almost peed my pants laughing so hard.  Thanks, Edie, Betty, Merry, and Sharon.  I have now seen my moose!

The Y has been a great place for a working vacation.  The scenery is to die for, but it’s the people that I’ll remember.  Thank you for wonderful memories!  Thank you, Lord, for directing me here.

The view of the YMCA of the Rockies from a hike above

Bittersweet saying goodbye….looking forward to being home and starting fresh.