Category Archives: The Road Home

Looking Back and Looking Forward

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been enjoying the notifications on my phone of photos from past years. Yesterday, the 27th of March, popped up with photos of our first day in France 2014, during our year as nomads, like this shot in Paris of an unexpectedly open door. Seems practically a metaphor for the whole amazing experience.

Private courtyard, Quai Voltaire, Paris

And this one of the Tuileries . . . 

Jardin des Tuileries et La Tour Eiffel

We loved seeing Paris at night on one of our first evenings . . .

Then, since our “year” lengthened to nearly thirteen months, there were also photos of March 2015 in Memphis, one of our last adventure weeks on the road home to Colorado.

Rum Boogie Blues Hall and Juke Joint

It was a bit like seeing the whole grand adventure bookended. Then with it being the 27th of the month, I suddenly realized David had been gone exactly three years and three months. It felt, I don’t know exactly, but sort of important, worthy of note somehow.  But not as painful as the early — even monthly — anniversaries were.

So I’m feeling nostalgic (again), but also optimistic. I’ve had my first dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine and will have the second on the 6th of April. We’re all deep in plans and prep for Brittany and Andy’s wedding late July at Lake Sunapee. So even though nothing is back to “normal” and Brittany is still facing months of medical challenges, there are finally not only memories to treasure . . . 

BBQ chez Pascale et Jacky 19 juin 2014

. . . but also plans to look forward to.  

Wishing the same for you!

Rocky Mountain High

No, not that kind of “high” despite what the law allows here in Colorado. We said goodbye to Santa Fe last Tuesday morning . . .

Wind Sculptures at Loretto Chapel
Wind Sculptures at Loretto Chapel

. . . and headed north, or rather southeast and then northeast and then southeast again and then east and THEN north, because that’s what I-25 does to get around some mountains. We saw a WHOLE LOT of this . . . Road Home I-25. . . but we did finally make it back to Colorado, where the mountains are high, even if we’re not. ↓

Rockies, just north of the New Mexico - Colorado state line
Rockies, just north of the New Mexico – Colorado state line

Pueblo, Colorado, where we had intended to spend the night, turned out to be surprisingly popular and the hotels were full, so we ended up in Colorado Springs for the night. On the plus side the hotel didn’t have the room ready that I’d reserved en route after striking out in Pueblo, so they upgraded us to the Presidential Suite. What?!? Super fun for our last night on the road.

We pulled into Fort Collins on Wednesday, the 8th of April, nearly 13 months after this adventure began. Spring is underway . . .Glossi Yellow Tulips We’re not quite “home” yet, though, since we’re staying with Tom and Lexi until we close on the house we’re buying next week. But it’s lovely to be here . . .Glossi Bench

Glossi Music RoomThis house is filled with music much of the time, which is something I’ve missed. Except for listening to Nostalgie in the car with Pascale and Jacky on all our jaunts around western France, music has been less a part of our daily lives than usual. But here I get to play the piano, and better yet, hear others who’ve actually been practicing!

I was hoping to enjoy more music at church this morning, not to mention long-awaited reunions with friends, but I seem to have caught some wretched bug (or my allergies are on the rampage, not really sure which), so decided I’d quarantine myself this morning and maybe finish this post I started days ago. Life has taken on a new frenetic pace this week, and sleep has become a bit elusive, neither of which is sustainable for long. But I’m sure I’ll be fine and things will settle down.

In this state of flux, though, questions are the order of the day. Are we making the right decisions? What will life be like now after this adventure? What will I post about–I don’t want to quit!–now that our life is a little less movable?

I came across these gems this morning while reading Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art:

Generally what is more important than getting watertight answers is learning to ask the right questions. 

Ah, but what are the right questions?

Safety is only an illusion, and letting it go is part of listening to the silence, and to the Spirit.

So while I’m sitting here this Sunday morning, just one week after Easter, with spring’s new life gaining more ground by the day, I’m going to rest in the silence and listen to the Spirit.

Wishing you a very blessed day, with time for silence and listening!

Santa Fe Springtime

We made it to Santa Fe Tuesday afternoon after three days on the road, so were delighted to find this final condo/townhome is exceeding our expectations. Our first sunrise here . . .

Sunrise over Santa Fe from the upstairs deck
Sunrise over Santa Fe from the upstairs deck

Love the classic southwest style bands of color. Even the sky is participating in the artsy atmosphere around here. Santa Fe has a unique look . . .

. . . and some unique people . . .

Suitcase Singer in the Santa Fe Plaza
Suitcase Singer in the Santa Fe Plaza

. . . so we’ve been enjoying our usual walks and people watching.

Spring is definitely underway here . . . Santa Fe Crabapple. . . as my allergies can attest. It seems especially apt this week, since spring is such a vibrant picture of rebirth and resurrection.

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime∼Martin Luther

If the truth is that after death there comes a negatively spiritual life, an eternity of mystical experience, what more misleading way of communicating it could possibly be found than the appearance of a human form which eats broiled fish? ∼C.S. Lewis

Last year we were in La Rochelle for Holy Week, which was beautiful, and this is another special place . . .

Rosaries on Loretto Chapel Tree
Rosaries on Loretto Chapel Tree

The Loretto Chapel has possibly the most beautiful staircase anywhere . . .

Miraculous Staircase of Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Miraculous Staircase of Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe, New Mexico

It seems to lift my eyes to heaven every time I see it. Click on this link for the story of the miraculous staircase at the end of the post.

So as we pause our wandering for a little while, we are thinking of all of you who have come along with us, virtually and occasionally in person. We have been delighted by meeting new friends, saddened by the partings, and blessed by the reunions.

Every parting gives a foretaste of death, every reunion a hint of the resurrection. ∼Arthur Schopenhauer

Definitely looking forward to some reunions! And as we celebrate the resurrection here in Santa Fe, and anticipate being reunited with our Fort Collins friends, we wish all of you, near and far, a very happy and blessed Easter.

He is risen indeed!


Getting Our Kicks on Route 66

In case you haven’t checked recently, I’ll remind you that Memphis is not actually anywhere near Santa Fe, our final stop before home, so the road trip since Memphis included a LOT of ROAD. Some of it was even green and gorgeous, some surprising–like a huge Benedictine Abbey and finding ourselves suddenly in Paris (um, Arkansas, NO resemblance)–and of course, a lot was just LONG. But eventually, just outside of Oklahoma City, we discovered I-40 had joined (or become or covered over, we weren’t really sure) the classic historic Route 66 . . .

Route 66 Map
Route 66 Map

. . . which, okay, doesn’t exactly exist anymore, but remnants do. I-40 between Oklahoma City and Santa Rosa, New Mexico is pretty much the same route, but unfortunately large parts of it are completely lacking the character of the famous “Main Street of America” also know as “The Mother Road.” That is, until here . . .

Russell's Truck & Travel Center Car Museum

. . . the coolest car / mid-century memorabilia / Route 66 museum ever. We wouldn’t even have stopped, but after lunch in Amarillo, Texas, the exits and on-ramps were so convoluted, we got distracted and forgot we needed gas until about an hour later when we were out in THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.  Oops. We were hoping to make it to Tucumcari, New Mexico, but the car’s prediction of how many miles we could drive before running out of gas was dangerously close to the number of miles to Tucumcari. So you can imagine our relief when, just across the state line between Texas and New Mexico, we saw Russell’s Truck and Travel Center.

A sign had mentioned a free car museum, but, seriously . . . yawn . . . until we walked in and saw this . . .Car Museum New Mexico Ford

Car Museum Blue CarAnd it was FREE. And the docent was a super funny, friendly old guy who made it even better. Loved it.

Good thing we’d had a bit of a mood boost, because the Hampton Inn in Tucumcari, where we’d hoped to spend the night, was a burned out shell and all the other options in town seemed to be 50’s era motels offering rooms for $31.95 a night. Scary. Pass. So we kept going, and not too far down the road, in Santa Rosa, found not only a decent hotel, but a fabulous little Route 66 diner with outstanding Mexican food. Woohoo.

One of the things these long days in the car have offered is plenty of time for observation and reflection. It’s stunning how many cows you’ll see straining through a barbed-wire fence to reach some coveted weed, when there are sometimes literally thousands of available acres of pasture on their own side of the fence. Makes me think about, “The grass is always greener . . . .” After driving across and around a good part of this country, I can tell you that, surprise, surprise, the grass is greener . . . where it rains more. So take your pick. I love the green, and I’ve learned to love a rainy day, but I also love the sunshine, the majesty of the mountains, and the wide open spaces of the West. What a treat it has been to see so much of it.

. . . the grass may look greener on the other side, but believe me, it’s just as hard to cut. ∼Little Richard

True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture. It is the power of getting out of any situation all that there is in it. It is arduous and it is rare. ∼G.K. Chesterton

Contentment is the only real wealth. ∼Alfred Nobel

Wishing you green valleys . . .

Four-Legged Farm, Putney, Vermont
Four-Legged Farm, Putney, Vermont

. . . peaks bathed in sunshine . . .

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

. . . and quirky surprises along the way.