Summer Odyssey

There are twenty more days of summer left. It feels both interminable and shockingly close depending on the time of day. When it’s early in the day and the air is cool, I worry about being able to fit it all in.


At then end of the day when I’m hot and sticky and desperately in need of a cold shower, it feels like it can’t be over soon enough. Such is relativity.



Guess when this was taken?

Last weekend we went to Gardner, Colorado (aka BFE) to spend a few days at Alana’s family homestead. I was floored by the place.


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Once a thriving commune in the 70s that cultivated quinoa (one first two in the United States to grow it) and operated an agricultural education program, it is now privately owned by her family and managed by her brother Amis.



On site is their family business, an importer of exotic hardwoods that are cut, kiln dried, planed and finished. I was impressed by the scale of the operation – and how high tech it was – and that it was run by Amis in the middle of nowhere with a skeleton staff.


I’m not sure what I expected, maybe something more ramshackle and smelling of hippy, but I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful the land and home were.

We hung out there a couple days where I got to do my two favorite things. Well, among my two favorite things.


No one will ever go hungry around Alana and I luxuriated in having nothing to do.

It didn’t hurt that Alana and Ben schooled the boys in the ways of Dungeons and Dragons, their new passion. Thank you Alana and Ben for the wonderful weekend. You are among my favorite people that I would go anywhere with.

Given that pretty much only Sideboob falls into that category, it’s high praise.

On our way home we stopped at Bishop’s Castle, a true Colorado oddity and as Ben said, “An American disaster waiting to happen.”

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Bishop’s Castle is one’s man’s obsession, built by only him and a platform for his anti-government ravings.

Somehow he has skirted building code and insurance issues by making it free and open to the pubic as a sculpture. It really is a tragedy in the making.

Alana and Ben said that in the past it’s usually just a few people milling about but lately it has become quite a tourist attraction. All that wear and tear will eventually give way with someone on it. I hate to think of it. Sheer terror is the best way to describe what it’s like to be in the castle and I’m not squeamish, you know that.

I tried walking to the top but lost my nerve at the last push up the tower. Loony went up with the boys and Scratchy insisted on going to the ball up top.


I get heart palpitations just thinking about how it swayed when people walked in it

I waited at the bottom and listened to Jim Bishop himself rant at the top of his lungs about the government while pushing rocks around. The place is a trip.

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I was in need of some kid-free time after the long drive home in the brutal traffic between Colorado Springs and Denver. I could only do one thing …


I found myself in the garden of a friend from pottery. I knew her well enough to get invited in off the street, but not well enough to make for an exhausting conversation. Sometimes it’s nice to just skim the surface and be the one asking the questions.

My friend is from Turkey and has been in the states for many years but still retains her Turkish aesthetic. All of her trees were festooned with jewelry and trinkets and there was something sacred and peaceful about her garden. It made me think I should commit myself more to my own.

I snuck back into the house, taking care to avoid any “customers” paying or otherwise (I count house and chicken admirers as customers) and slipped into a cool shower and then into bed with my estrogen poisoned dog.

The next day I invited a butt-load of kids over to play D&D. It’s the only sure-fire way to keep the kids out of my hair while still under my watch.

After years of worrying about something bad happening between Blue and a child, I am happy to be able to have kids over. I don’t mind hosting big D&D game days; it’s not a big deal to toss a bag of chips onto the table every hour or so and put out lunch for them.


It’s important for me to know what they are up to and who they are hanging out with. There’s nothing better than being a fly on the wall as they bicker for hours play games.

When they get antsy they go outside for a mélée in the backyard.



I also discovered the joys of taking the kids to campus, like I did today.

We have a camping trip scheduled in a week and then we are officially done with summer travel. I’m sure there will be plenty more mini-adventures before school starts, I haven’t taken them up a 14er yet.

Both boys say they are bummed summer is coming to an end but they are also excited for school to start.

Yeah. Me too.



One thought on “Summer Odyssey

  1. It looks like your kids are having a great summer. You look like you getting to have some fun yourself. Walking up the top of the castle would freak me out…

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