Category Archives: Short Stories

Short stories of my childhood and just my thoughts on life.

Coal Creek

Allison and Brooke came up to Coal Creek Canyon last February to spend a couple of days skiing and snowmobiling. This is a pic of us on the back deck of the cabin we leased for 6 months. My brother, Drew, came up and spent time with us as well.

A new town, new friends…

Have you ever tried to put a polarized plug into a receptacle backwards? It doesn’t fit does it; try as you may, you just have to turn the plug around so that it will finally fit. That’s kind of how I was feeling back in VA for the past 10 years. I don’t know if it is due to the large military population in Tidewater, but the people we would meet would slowly move out of the area, many times due to being transferred or moving due to work. Going through a divorce didn’t help things. A normal byproduct of going through a divorce is losing relationships. It’s a hard reality I have had to deal with. Now that the kids are on their own, Brooke is at High Point University, Eric married, Allison living on her own and Steve doing his thing, well, there wasn’t a whole lot holding us in VA anymore. For the past 3-4 years, we have traveled to CO, trying to find a town that would meet most of our wish list. We finally settled on Estes Park, CO. That choice has been confirmed since we moved here September 1st. Estes Park is a small community. Everyone knows everyone. Nobody is really from here. Everyone is from somewhere else in the U.S; because of this, people seem to be more open. There are so many organizations that you can join. We are going to a new group on Thursday called Estes Park Newcomers Club. It’s a way for people to get to meet one another. There are all kinds of personal interest groups within the club. There are many retired people in our town, which reminds me of the Outer Banks. We are not retired, but hey, we are not too far from that time in our lives. That takes some getting used to, slowly realizing that I am closer to retirement than closer to raising a young family. You just can’t fight the reality of your age. That doesn’t mean that you give up and coast, it just means you realize where you are in life, what you want to accomplish and then, using your past experiences with a dose of reality, go for it! For those of you back east, we miss you, but we are loving our new surroundings and the new friends we are meeting. A new town, new friends…

Familiarity

There is a certain comfort level in familiarity, but there is also the saying that “familiarity breeds contempt”. Being in a new place is exciting, but there is also the lack of familiarity that is a little unsettling. It’s never 100% just one way, with new surroundings come discoveries and new adventures, but with new surroundings come getting out of your comfort zone on a daily basis. We moved from Elizabeth City, NC to Estes Park, CO. This has been a great move. I can’t say I miss Elizabeth City, NC, except for a few people that had become my friends. I miss my friends at Muddy’s Coffee shop and the 2 or 3 neighbors around where we lived. I miss my 6 bay garage and our house that we had renovated, but I do love Colorado, the beauty and majesty of the Rocky Mountains, and the friendly people who have moved here from all over the US. We have a new coffee shop here in Estes, they just don’t allow us to bring in our dog. I miss being able to see my family whenever I want as well as interacting with my employees, but I knew this before I moved. I always like a new adventure, a new mountain to climb. There are plenty of those to climb around here. As the snow starts to arrive, it is time to reflect, write and settle down to find new relationships and activities in my new surroundings. Here is to the new adventure!

Databases

I’m learning, a little late about databases. Running an e-commerce business, you would think I would know a thing or two about db’s. Well, there is a saying in the bible, “you have not, because you ask not..”. I am learning this the hard way; because I didn’t know I could have something done a much quicker way, I was doing something manually, one line at a time, taking weeks. I had a db guy look over what I was trying to get done. I gave him a task that I had predicted would take me 125 hrs to do, he completed it in 1.5 hrs. Ugh! How much more work am I doing and have done that could have been completed in a nano-second if I had only asked. “You have not, because you ask not.”

So, why Colorado…

Before Laurie and I moved to Colorado, people would ask, “Why Colorado?”. Why not Colorado? Ever since my parents took me to the Shenandoah mountains when I was 13, I fell in love with the mountains. The view from the top of a summit is awesome. To me, I can see the beauty of God’s handiwork. I used to read books on rock climbing.  I loved the outdoors. I spent many weekends on scouting trips and camping. I knew I was really hooked was in 1973 when my parents took my brother and I on a road trip to Alaska where my mom was raised. Mountains took on a whole new meaning with the shear size of them rising from the ocean. Even though my mom is from Alaska, she loves to go to the beach. The outer banks of NC were her idea of God’s beauty. To me, it was just sand, sand and more sand; let’s don’t forget the intense heat and humidity to go with it. The mountains were in my blood. I love to ski, even though I’m nothing to write home about. We went snowshoeing last winter for the first time. I found the forest to be so quiet, especially when there is snow to absorb the sound. Another way to enjoy the outside is camping. It is a great way to get away from it all. Hiking during the day, then coming back to camp to enjoy a great dinner by the fire with only the stars as your only light.  The air is dry here, so there is very little humidity. You can go outside during July, take a hike and barely perspire. Here in Estes Park, you never run out of things to do. We are at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. Downtown Estes has some sort of festival most weekends until around November. Boulder is only about 1 hr away. In Estes Park, everyone is from somewhere else, so you don’t end up with attitudes about you being new. It’s sort of like a melting pot. We have found the people to be extremely friendly throughout the state. Leaving family back east has been hard; fortunately, our parents will be flying out for Thanksgiving to spend time with us. My youngest, Brooke, just left for college, so she is busy with her new surroundings. Our other children are in their mid 20’s to 30’s so they are very busy with their lives. We do miss seeing them, but hopefully we will fly them out here for Christmas. Eric, my youngest son of 27 years will hopefully move out here in spring with his new bride to work for me at our company. We hope he will send this very contagious bug back east and who knows, we might see a few others follow him here. So, why not Colorado!

Photos

First snow in Estes Park October 8,2011
Our first snow in Estes Park

Awoke to this light snow falling October 8, 2011. I commented to my neighbor that on Wednesday it was 70 degrees. His comment was, “Get used to this weather, you are now living in Estes Park, CO.”

Coal Creek Feb 2011
Coal Creek Feb 2011
Allison and Brooke came out in Feb. 2011 to spend a few days skiing and snowmobiling with Laurie and I. This pic was taken on the back of the deck of the cabin we rented for 6 months in Coal Creek Canyon near Golden CO. My brother Drew showed up and went with us.
Allison, Drew and Brooke
...and the snow kept falling