Hello everybody! Our best-laid plans to update all the missing posts while “bored” after going stationary fell through. For those that know us, I know that is so surprising, ;0. Actually, we have been busy getting our house in order. It was bought in an “as is” condition. Not too much difficult work–just tons of little things that had to be fixed to prevent insanity –poorly painted walls, sloppy caulking, fixing doors that didn’t close as they should, removing paint that shouldn’t be where it was (on the floor), getting grass to grow, etc. At first, we were out of breath everytime we went up the stairs–we live at 7200ft, a lot higher than we spent most of our travels–but we slowly adjusted. In the end, the work is worth the beautiful views of Pikes Peak and the front range.
Sunset over the Front Range
A frosty Pikes Peak at sunrise
Turns out it’s a good thing we have our natural views at home – because we’ve been so busy since we moved in July we’ve only taken the RV out once. Fortunately, that was to the Tiger Run RV Resort, 5 minutes from Breckenridge CO. Over Thanksgiving week we skied or rode snowboards 4 days in a row until we all were too exhausted to contemplate another day. We recommend this place–it has a nice lodge with a pool, 2 hot tubs, game room, lounge, several pet areas, and laundry. This also happened to the coldest place we have stayed in the RV–temps near 0 deg F in the morning! Tiger Run also has nice chalets for rent, if you don’t want to bring your rig. The trip got a little more interesting than we planned when our refrigerator died (it was warmer in the fridge than in our RV), and we improvised by storing our food in our exterior storage bays, taking advantage of the frigid air outside slightly warmed by the heat from the interior. Luckily, we had emptied a lot of the stuff in those bays when we moved into the house.
First trip Skiing!
Mist from the snowmaking machines
Many people ask us why we settled here in Colorado, especially when they discovered that we are retired military who have NEVER been stationed in Colorado, and I mentioned our top factors in an earlier post. To get to a decision point, Suzy put together a detailed spreadsheet with all our desires and prioritized them (using numerical scores for each factor, weighting factors for the highest priorities versus nice-to-haves, and generated a final score). Colorado Springs was our winner. It’s nice though when your “research” pans out–we did really get what we were looking for: sunshine, four seasons, good schools, and accessibility to family. We have had lots of snow this year, but every snow storm is always followed with days of sunshine. The high-altitude and sunshine cause the snow to evaporate quickly, and give a mini spring thaw. Since moving here, it’s been clear that we needed to be here in Colorado to help with Andy’s family. If we had been far away or traveling we would have tried to come back to help.
In addition to Andy’s house honey-do list (with inputs from Suzy, of course), Andy still works part-time from home. For the first few months, he was also helping his stepmom get her house ready to sell and, fortunately, she was able to sell her house in October. A big part of his time now is spent with his sister. Since we moved here, his sister has been diagnosed with FTD, a form of dementia. She can no longer drive, so Andy takes her to doctor appointments and grocery shopping, etc. We are now researching new housing arrangements for her. We are blessed that we can be here to help his sister and to lift some of the burden of her care from Andy’s brother and stepmom.
The kids have adjusted to school. They also enjoy a lot more privacy than the RV as each has their own room. The boys still miss traveling (like mom and dad), but our eldest loves being in high school. She has gone to her first homecoming dance, joined the Cross Country team, and made lots of new friends. She is now planning to sign up for drivers training! Our youngest walks to school every day with Dad, our (new) dog Pepper, and, since the new year, his friend who lives a few doors away. Our middle child attends a hybrid online school. He attends school twice a week in person for “live lessons”, but most of the curriculum is online. Students can attend the live lessons virtually too (very handy when the snow only hits the northern edge of the school district where we live!). This has a been a good transition for him, we have been able to fine tune his medication for ADHD, and he plans to attend traditional high school next year with his sister. Our other babies have also adjusted from road-life: the 3 kitties LOVE being here. When its warm and not snowy, they spend the day hunting in the backyard and open space behind. Our littlest kitty has eaten so many mice & voles she has overtaken the next cat in weight! The new ‘puppy’ Pepper
Abominable snow girl!
Because walking in snow drifts is more fun than walking on shoveled sidewalks
(65lbs at 9months old) is ever the optimist and tries to get the kitties to play with her. She is a Goldendoodle and is as sweet as can be. She makes up for the cats’ lack of interest in snow and will drag you through snow drifts if you let her.
Suzy has kept busy helping with the kids schooling (as home “learning coach”), singing in the church choir, learning how to preserve pears (we have an Anjou pear tree), helping Andy with the house projects (a little bit), and doing all the things that lucky retired persons get to do–watercoloring, drawing, reading, drinking tea and binge-watching her favorite tv shows (sometimes two of those activities at the same time!). She has started to realize that she needs to do something else, and was planning to volunteer after the New Year. But during winter break she saw a nuclear engineering position being advertised. She interviewed for the job last week, and we will see how that goes.
We have tried to check out some of the neat places near here. So far we’ve visited the USAFA Chapel, the Garden of the Gods and the Florrisant Fossil Beds National Monument. There are a lot of nice hiking paths and trails, and we just don’t think to take pictures–they are just the “trail nearby”!
Petrified redwood trees at Florissant Fossil Beds NM
Hiking at Florissant Fossil Beds
Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs CO
The Three Graces formation at Garden of the Gods
Amazing original art at the USAFA Chapel’s Synagogue
Suzy will try and set aside some time each week to post our awesome pictures from last spring & summer. To tide you over, we have some nice pictures from our around our new home town.