Friday, December 01, 2017

He Made Me Chicken Soup

It's been six years since Denver heard the sad news of Noel's passing.  And the sting of his loss is still felt by literally thousands of people.  I felt I should post this again, after checking in on his wife Tammy's Facebook page, where so many have left their love for her, and Noel still.........

From all over the city, from all over the state, we gathered.  We filled a large cathedral.  Every seat taken, and many of us filled the aisles, down the middle, down the sides and in the foyer.  Each straining to hear, most not able to even see.  We stood for nearly three hours.

As I looked around me, I saw the mighty.  Senators and Mayors and Governors.  Business Leaders and Socialites.  But also like me, the common people.  The everyday people touched by a man who also inspired us that we could do great things, because he did. 

And all around me, the look of the grief stricken.  Still stunned, still struggling to make sense of things that make no sense.

Our former Governor gave the Eulogy.  One of the best I have ever heard given, and I've been to more than my fair share of funerals.  We all laughed, with tears glistening in our eyes, as we thought of the man whose life we gathered to celebrate.  And then I wept, along with men and women all around me.  I'm so happy that the Denver Post published the eulogy in its' entirety.  Take a few moments and read it.  Noel's Eulogy

Anyone reading this................please say a prayer for his lovely wife Tammy, and the rest of the family.

As our Governor mentioned, everyone there today has a Noel story...............and so do I.

I met Noel when I was asked to come to his restaurant and talk with him about a large charitable event he was putting on.  I, like most, was drawn in, and ended up working with him on the event.  The event was complicated and difficult to pull off, two days of set up prior to a Sunday event, outdoors.  By the time the day of the event came, I was run down physically and though I didn't really feel too bad, I had lost my voice.  All day long at the event, Noel kept asking what he could do for me, how I was feeling.  He wouldn't stop enquiring.  He insisted I come along back to the restaurant after the long day, where many from the committee gathered, and he fed us all at a big table on the patio.  He insisted that nothing on the menu was good enough for The Husband, so he disappeared into the kitchen and cooked a steak for him.

Early the next morning, my cell phone rang.  It was Noel.  He asked how I was feeling and told me it was very important that I come down to the restaurant.  I asked what was wrong, he wouldn't answer, just insisted I come down.  Thinking something had gone wrong, I arrived just before 11, and asked for him at the hostess stand.  The hostess came back and told me to have a seat at the bar, Noel would be right with me.  I nervously sat, thinking somehow I had let down this man I had already come to love.  Around the corner he came, blue eyes twinkling with a large bowl in his hands. "Here's your lunch.".  He sat in front of me the best bowl of chicken soup I've ever had, because it was made by him, with love.  He kissed my cheek, and ran back into the restaurant.  I'll never forget the bartender, saying.............."You're the one.  He was here early this morning, chopping vegetables.  He made it himself."  And when I left, he sent the "leftovers" home with me.  Enough to feed me for days.

I was hooked.  And never told him no when he called.

MY FRIEND Noel was that kind of man.  And thousands have a story just like that.

Friday, September 29, 2017

What Are Men to Rocks and Mountains?

"What are men to rocks and mountains?" - Jane Austen

The Gunnison  River Valley, which in past years has been my least favorite part of the trip to Ouray, seemed different today.  Time of year or maybe the clouds or the light?  Not sure but it seemed each direction we turned there were shades of blue, and light bouncing off the arid landscape.

After many years of driving past, and not taking the short detour, today we went north off Highway 50, and climbed up the switchbacks to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  My last visit was as a preteen.  Many summers I spent exploring the back roads of Colorado with my Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Al.  They have certainly improved the accessibility to the park, which made for some easy walks to breath taking overlooks into the canyon.

And then back through Montrose, where we found a great Brewpub for lunch.  Then the short trip south, where you can see the San Juans long before you arrive.

And now after strolling up and down Main Street a few times, we're safely tucked away in the Captain's Quarters of the China Clipper Inn.  Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name.................okay not everyone, but enough people to make you feel like you're in a second home.

You know the only thing that's hard?  Leaving our Tucker behind.

But he's being spoiled by our neighbor and his namesake (middle name) my stepson.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

From Whence Commeth My Help

Doesn't take long, as we head southwest out of town, for me to feel a change come over me.  This year I wondered if the mountains would have the same effect, because it's been such a tough year.  But by the time we passed the summit of Kenosha Pass (were the aspen leaves are already gone), I could feel the familiar sense of quiet.  The sense of serenity that being in the "high places" always brings.

It's been cloudy and wet for several days at Casa Rancho.  And that's okay, because it's fall.  We passed through light drizzle, and saw where the snow fell overnight.  Low hanging clouds here and there, still some great color.

But the roads were clear, and we made good time.  Lunch in Buena Vista, where I got no shot of the Collegiate Peaks, because they were engulfed in clouds.  And we'll overnight in Gunnison, where a rainbow was waiting

I'll sleep soundly tonight, knowing tomorrow I'll be in my favorite place on earth.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Still Here

So sometimes it seems that it’s been so long since you’ve done some “thing”, that it seems impossible to get started.  And posting here is one of those “things”.

2017 seemed like just the beginning of another year, but it only stayed that way for a few days.  Then everything changed, and though it sounds like an overstatement……………It’s not.

Everything changed.

Big changes often start with a phone call.  I remember when a dear friend died unexpectedly, a Pastor preached a sermon at his funeral called, “An Unexpected Call”.  And I’ve received many, many of those phone calls, and maybe that’s why I hate the sound of a phone ringing.  I really do.  It’s irrational to think that every phone call is bad news………..but there you go. 

Most all of my regular readers here are long gone.  Because I’ve become one of those frustrating bloggers who annoy you because you check their site all the time and nothing new is posted.  But I need to stretch my writing muscles and get back to it.

This is a start.


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