July 4, 2007: STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO - A.K.A. "Ski Town USA" Population: a tad over 10,000. Elevation: also a tad over 10,000 (ft.) at Mt. Werner summit (ski mountain and main attraction); 6,600 ft. in town. Today is the day my mother passed away - Independence Day - seven years ago. She was 57. I indeed like to think of it as the day my mother truly became "independent" - a free spirit - free from the pain and debilitation of cancer and free from the earthly struggles we all endure. So my decision to stay here in Colorado and spend some time with my sister is that much more meaningful today! Never quite sure where I'm going to be tomorrow...but I am thankful for a loving house, sister, and brother-in-law who are taking me in today. And what a beautiful place to be this summer! Take a look...

Drive from Denver, Route 70 West into the Rockies...WOW!

Pass by Rabbit Ears Pass

Then I see Steamboat Springs - the town of, and the ski mountain...

Shannon, Aunt Barb and I and the four dogs take a hike up to Spring Creek in town. It's Shannon's lunch break!

We leave town afterwards and drive to my sister's in Oak Creek, I take in the vistas...

and SMILE!

On July 4th, we hike up behind Shannon and Greg's house (yes, it's that little white building in the bottom right corner of the first photo). The big mass of green behind their house is actually a defunct ski mountain called Stagecoach. The views from up top are gorgeous!

How about these Colorado wildflowers? The first two are (1) the state flower, the Columbine and (2) the beautiful Poppy. The others? Well, I'm still learning.

And aside from the occasional bossiness and older sister unsolicited advice, I think my sister is happy I'm here (?). Wel, I'm very thankful for her love and loyalty and generosity, that's for sure.

Winni is so very happy with her cousin, Violet. We go on long morning walks. They look like deer, leaping through the tall grass, stopping every now and then to sniff and switch directions. The mountains are green and stoic above us. The sky is most often bright blue.

Bikers, hikers, campers, extreme outdoorsmen and women dot the parks and trails. I say dot because everything is so BIG out here. Last night we went to the natural hot springs in Strawberry Park where there are no lights - except the stars - either eternally flickering or steadily radiating. But that's sometimes how it is, I s'pose. We don't know where we are being led...the lights guiding us are not bright, but they are there - with their old and perfect wisdom. Sometimes we just have to wait for the light to reach us. We have to be patient and thankful that they are always there - whether we can see them or not - and just keep looking up, admiring, thanking, and laughing at our short, odd, wonderful, and God-graced lives.

Many, many blessings and adventures to you all.

Peace dear friends,

Bridget and Winni