Even here on the mountain in Florissant, summer is being stubborn. The weather has been glorious and warm and aspens have held on to their golden leaves longer than usual. Mike is on top of preparing for the winter as he cuts down the beetle diseased trees at his friend’s in Woodland Park and we have a couple of tidy stacks of split wood in the front and side of the house. Even though the winter snows are gorgeous in the massive pines that surround the house and neighborhood, I feel a sense of dread. The roads in to town become more treacherous and of course the cold is biting. It’s a different kind of winter though compared to winters in other regions in which I lived. The sun comes out! It doesn’t always melt the snow here, however, it is warming and I love the feel of it on my face and it brings the animals out to bask.
The Woodland Park School district has been calling me almost daily to guest teach at all of their schools and I work just a couple days a week at the shop in Manitou Springs now that tourist season has winded down. This afternoon I get to drive down the pass and work in the shop. I so look forward to it. It’s not just the meeting of customers from the town and from all over the world, but I love the short walk from my car to the shop. I love to greet the dog walkers on Lovers Lane and if I am lucky, Rocky the town’s most beloved artist, and I will engage in a short conversation. Rocky lives and has his studio two studios down from the shop and also uses a room below us. One time he said he missed the “little feet” running in our store above him. I thought for a minute about that and came to the conclusion that he was talking about Mandy the gray, black and white spotted, dachshund that Nancy the manager brings to the store with her. Mandy stays in a little cubby, resting on a stack of blankets beneath our counter. Mandy had been on vacation while Nancy was visiting her parents in upstate New York. Rocky has good ears to notice these little dog feet on our wooden floor.