It's just impossible to explain how much joy there is when a visit comes together just right. This has been one of those special times, when a guest just clicked. If we could keep Stacey here longer, we would. It's been fun, but too short, and with her leaving tomorrow, today just flew by much too quickly.
It's amazing how many memories can be shared in a few short days. There were things I hadn't thought of in nearly ten years, like the gag gift of an ugly (we're talking really pathetic) dress Tighe bought her for her graduation. Of course, he had some wonderful jewelry stashed away, but she proved how polite she could be before she ever got to see that. She opened the dress in front of her entire family (and me) at a party in her honor, and was as gracious as anyone could ever ask a person to be. More so, if you had seen the dress.
Besides laughing and eating (yes, there was plenty of that), game playing and sight seeing, we just enjoyed being together. It was a good diversion for all of us, and I hope it gave Stacey time to recharge her batteries before heading back for the job hunt. Her teaching position had been eliminated in the downsized budget in Newbury Park, CA, so she's been interviewing. That's not a lot of fun. I'm going to end up this piece with the promised photos, showing that we gave her some smiles while she was here. I hope she had enough to take some home with her.
You know the way here, now, Stacey. Don't be shy.
Some day I should make a collage of all my friends romping with this ring of children. They're all such good sports to jump into the ring and play when John asks them to. (Now, who could say no to John?) Besides, if he didn't ask, I would.
This quiet old gentleman is one of my favorites. I'm glad Tighe sat down with him. My telephoto lens was perfect for capturing him from far away, but I was unable to catch any of their conversation.
Like me, Stacey really seemed to appreciate the native sculptures. There is a majesty to some of them that goes beyond strength and beauty. I find myself going back to stare at this one every time we visit the park.
Last night's BBQ rib dinner was good, and the ribs kept falling off the bones, so we nearly didn't have our s'mores. It was pretty dark by the time the marshmallows and Hershey bars got anywhere near the graham crackers. It's a good thing my camera works so nicely after dark. (Thanks, Jeremy, for the recommendation of the Lumix!) It was the end of a fine day, even if we did eat too much.
This is the spot we picked out for our picnic at the Rocky Mountain National Park. Before we drove up here, though, we stopped at Estes Park and walked through the Scandinavian Festival. We got to watch some folk dancing and hear some music, as well as see some crafts. I always go straight for the pottery. I'm hopeless.
The streams are all full this year. We've had a good amount of rain, most of it falling in the late afternoon and evening, which is mighty convenient if you ask me. Temperatures have been in the low 80s at our home, but were about ten degrees cooler up in the park. It takes us about forty minutes to get there from home.
I know these people. It's Tighe and Stacey, posing in front of the snow. It wasn't the snowiest peak around, but it was the one they were standing in front of, so that's where I took the photo. I hate moving people around if they're smiling where they are. It seems like that's more important than the background.
I think it's time to replace that bra. I mean, that's me with Stacey. I guess I look like I'm in my 60s. At least I'm not having to color my hair yet. I'm glad you can't see the big dent in my forehead from the cupboard door I bashed into that morning. We smiled so much my cheeks hurt tonight.
This was Stacey's last sunset here, so I wanted to make sure she got a photo of it. Unfortunately, I waited a little too long, so I missed some of the color, especially in the foothills under the sky. Well, it looked much better in person. Happy trails, Stacey.