Monday, September 28, 2009

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

We wish all the best to Kim and Craig as they take over ownership of our 20 year old pop-up trailer. We have long been thinking that using it once ever two years no longer justifies the fact that it takes up a parking stall in our garage. We could use that room happily for bikes or a car, yet the emotional attachment to our camping trailer has been too strong to let it go.

Everything changed several weeks ago when we tried to take the trailer out for it's bi-annual camping trip. It no longer co-operated with us. The lights wouldn't go on as we attempted to connect them to my new car. After hours of frustration, we took out our sleeping bags, shoved them into the back of the car and went camping, spending a very uncomfortable night on the hard ground. We decided it was time to let the trailer go. Kim and Craig graciously volunteered to take it off our hands. Craig was happy to put a little work into the electrical problems, and so yesterday, they came up and picked up the trailer. We hope they don't blame us when things fall apart. We did the best we could.

We also hope they have as many good memories as we had with the trailer. To us it represents summer vacation in the mountains of Colorado with our young daughters. It is nights spent playing cards in the warmth of the trailer. It is evenings sitting under the canopy listening to the rain fall on the canvas. It is waking up in the morning sun with the pattern of pine branches on the canvas above our heads. It is being cozy, being together and having fun as a family. In recent years we've traveled as a family all over the world, leaving little time for camping in the mountains of Colorado. This has been wonderful and memorable, but it does little to dim the memory of those happy times we spent camping in our tent trailer. We love you, tent trailer! Good luck in your new home with the Chafins!

Monday, September 21, 2009

All Dressed Up...

Yesterday we saw the west side of the Grand Canyon. We had to catch a shuttle bus to see it. The line was about an hour long on Saturday, so we got started early today (8:45), and had no problem. Unfortunately, this weekend has been uncharactaristically crowded in the park. I dressed in my Sunday clothes so I wouldn't have to change before church. We got on and off the shuttle bus several times, and walked along the rim of the canyon for a total of almost 3 miles. It started out pretty cool, but soon warmed up to a nice 75 degrees. We have a LOT of pictures of the Grand Canyon. All in search of the perfect shot!

So, at 1 p.m. we went to church right in the park at the Shrine of the Ages building, but the rest of the branch didn't show up. The only other people there were 3 girls who were in the canyon on a High School field trip. Either aliens abducted the rest of the branch, or they went to Stake Conference and didn't bother to leave a note. After being stood up at church we drove to Flagstaff where we stayed the night. It was fun driving up to the Lowell Observatory and checking out Northern Arizona University. We loved the pine trees all over town.

Dad has decided he wants to retire early and become a bus driver in the Grand Canyon. He thinks he would enjoy saying, "Next stop, Pima Point!" I think he'd be a great bus driver.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's a Grand Canyon

Ed and I spent the day walking around the Grand Canyon today. We had planned to meet Ed's brother, Tom, and his wife Tina, but they got stuck in Las Vegas learning how to drive their expensive new car that has amazing assist features to help Tom keep driving for the next 10 years, despite his disability. Instead of a nice visit with Tom and Tina, we had a little honeymoon trip! The Canyon is spectacular, and the weather was perfect! We saw lots of wildlife.

As you might notice from my expression, this bull elk came a little too close for comfort. The ranger told us to not move, and everything would "probably" be just fine! His whole harem was with him, so they passed by us first on the sidewalk right behind our bench! We also saw lots of turkey vultures and SQUIRRELS! We learned all about the successful introduction of California Condors in the park, and we're hoping to see one before we leave.

At the end of the day we sat on a park bench and watched the sun set over the Canyon. It was a perfect day!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Name is Published

I was so excited yesterday to receive a copy of Abby Newton's new cello tunes book, Castles, Kirks and Caves. I'd been working with Abby for several years now. The tunes are like old friends to me. Abby game me the nicest tribute in the acknowledgements page:

“I would like to thank my Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp cello student, Judy Bush for inspiring me to put this book together. Several years ago, she asked me when I would publish my next collection of tunes and generously offered to transcribe the music into digital form. For four years she has been sending me musical copy for rhythm, bowing, and chord corrections. Without Judy’s persistence and help this would never have come together.” (I added the boldface type for emphasis!)

It was a fun project for me, and it is especially nice that I have my name in a book. I feel like I've been published!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday Crystal turned 21 years old! To celebrate, she went to the zoo with her parents, followed by dinner at Johnny Carino's. We tried to make the day special for her by hiding her presents around the house. It was sort of fun, but we had to help her a little on the really hard ones. It was like helping a 2 year old find Easter eggs! We thought about getting a golf cart to see the zoo, so it would be more like our African Safari last year, but since no golf carts were available for us (or anyone else, for that matter), we decided to see the animals the old-fashioned way, by foot. It was a cool day, and rained off and on, which made it great walking weather. We couldn't tell if the animals were enjoying the change in weather, but we certainly did! Our favorite thing at the zoo was walking with the flamingos!
We got to get up close and personal with them, as well as hear a zoo employee talk about them. Did you know female birds are all banded on the left leg at the zoo? You learn something new every day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Viper Cometh

Labor Day was truly that for Amanda and Crystal! They spent the day washing windows at our very glassy house. Amanda was down to $5 in her checking account, a fact that might have contributed to her willingness to risk her life for a little extra money. Crystal, who also washed windows, became the ladder holder when Amanda did the second story windows. It made Ed and I a little nervous to see them swinging that ladder around all the glass, but the day ended with no major incident. I'm wondering if Amanda's legs are sore from all that ladder climbing yesterday. In the spirit of making it a real Labor day, I vacuumed, cleaned house and polished the wood on the stairs. Ed joined in working in the yard on weed control and trimming. It was a very satisfying day!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Batel Ranch Breakdown

We spent Saturday helping break down tents at the Batel Ranch in southern Wyoming. Ten LDS stakes in northern Coloado and southern Wyoming jointly own the ranch, and this was its first year in operation as the girls' camp for each of those stakes. It is a beautifully wooded area about 2 hours north of Broomfield. It's just across the border into Wyoming if you take highway 287 (the Laramie cut-off). This is in accordance with our long-held belief that Wyoming is beautiful if you stick to the places where it closely borders other states. Everything in the middle is a barren wasteland. We went up Friday night with a few families in our ward. We had to leave the tent-trailer home, much to our chagrin, as the lights didn't work. So, we slept on the cold, hard ground in platform tents. It was one very LONG night. I split it in two by spending the second (and more comfortable half) in the front seat of the car. We picked up Amanda on the way so Crystal would have a friend to play with. The most fun was singing by the campfire Friday night. The Bush girls are truly masters at campfire singing!