Thursday, May 18, 2006


What a grand time we had in Colorado. Hannah's graduation was highlighted by an after-party at a pan Asian restaurant, where the most gorgeous and abundant platters of sushi came pouring forth! Maybe it was the color, but I will see those platters in my mind's eye forever more.

jb and I had our first "vacation" with Jess and Mike--traveling and gallavanting from Friday to Monday, through and over the Rockies. We four had total fun--easy going plans and pleasures, which probably surprised all of us. Mike calls us his mothers-in-laws, which is an accurate plural take on what is normally a singular distinction.

Cripple Creek was quite an experience. We stayed at the Imperial Hotel, opened in 1896, complete with a documented ghost and original oak furniture in all its glory. I should have known from the room rate of $ 60/night that it has not been upgraded since 1896. Truly--we could just as well have checked in a hundred years ago. It was dingy and past the peeling walls and lumpy bed, delightfully authentic.

jb and played the slots--to which I am squealingly addicted--it's a good thing I only go a couple of times a year--plus I stopped winning anything over a year ago and haven't found my lucky footing since. My exurburance in anticipating those jackpots that never came prevented us from joining jess and mike at the blackjack table, which also looked like a group of cowhands in 1896.

Cripple Creek has a population of 1500 people. Most of the homes are run down small victorians or arts and crafts bungalows. The partially toothless receptionist at the hotel told us with some disgust that housing prices have become out of sight, "You could buy a house for $ 3000 or $4000 but now it's $ 60,000." As I always do, I thought about what it would be like to live there--vast breathtaking land and mountains--I mean vast--and little else besides 25 or 30 little casinos and one grocery store. Folks told me the ride through the mountain to Colorado Springs is only one hour and 15 minutes--"no problem there".

jb had a half day's work in Boulder, so after the kids left for home, we drove there. Boulder is a planned community and home of the University of Colorado. It was pretty cool. I hung out at Starbucks, looked at upscale home furnishings, and as always migrated to the bookstores for the 3 hours jb worked. I made two notable purchases: I bought and read Natalie Goldberg's book on writing, Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life, which I highly recommend; and I stumbled onto a CD by folksingerPhil Ochs. In the 60's, though I was younger than most of his fans, I loved this guy. I knew the words to all his songs and belted them out in my little bedroom with the belief that I could indeed contribute to saving the world. Forty years later, with new definations on torture and phone taps and righteous zealots and a stupid stupid president misleading the country, I wonder deeply if the idealism of the 60's dormantly lives still? Including myself, we all seem concerned but quite passive about the state of the state.

So I am going to listen to Phil Ochs again--this time in the privacy of my car--to see what's still real and true for me.

I am now back home, marveling at the depth and volume of green trees and delighted to sit at my writing desk. I love to travel, I love to come home. It works out pretty well.


  1. sounds like a fantabulous time! good to have you back, kj.

    the green of spring is overwhelming at this point! my scrawny twigs of vines that criss cross my window at work have burst forth in the last week and a half and now block my view of the dining hall below.

  2. KJ,

    I have finally signed up so that I can comment, but I wanted to tell you that I have so enjoyed your blog and getting to be (passively) in touch. Looking forward to being more actively in touch now that I have joined the blogging world.