Twenty years ago, I completed a masters degree along the banks of lower Boulder Creek and am now revisiting the river from headwaters to its confluence with the St. Vrain River. Boulder Creek originates on the east side of the continental divide above 13,000’ and joins the St Vrain river below 5000’. It’s approximately 50 miles long and is the life force of Boulder Colorado.
I live in a vibrant neighborhood nestled against the mountains in Boulder, Colorado. Thirteen years ago, my family moved into a predominate 1950‘s era neighborhood. We were the new kids on the block, buying an old house and renovated it to today’s standards. Since that time, all the elders on our block have died and almost all the homes have either been demolished/restored/renovated and modernized. We have a completely new history evolving as the whole neighborhood undergoes a rapid change. Thus I began thinking of all the house/family/individual histories that linger as only faded memories; children playing hide and go seek in the magic garden; dad’s old tool shed/man cave; lawn care, home maintenance and June Cleaver hanging the laundry. This project is about a sense of place and time in the Interurban/Floral Park neighborhood. In this series only times stands still on the Rittenhouse Clock.
A hysterectomy reduced my world to a centrally located room with easy access to the bathroom, visitors and no stairs to ascend. I spent six weeks sleeping, resting and healing in the blue room.
Two weeks post surgery, I observed a rainbow of defracted light on the ceiling. It was then when I picked up a 1/2 functioning point and shoot camera and began documenting my experience. Many images are blurry, reflecting back a state of mind and body. Most images include Monkey our loyal chinese pug.
Monkey adopted the role of nursemaid, protector and companion. She rarely left my side. Her presence was soothing, calming and reassuring. Then one day she got into a dark chocolate bar at my bedside while I was away. Luckily when I returned, I noticed the empty wrapper in the hallway. Chocolate is lethal to dogs! Long story short, Monkey was rushed to the veterinarian, had her stomach pumped, given charcoal and put on a IV. It was a rough night for both Monkey and I. We endured and reunited to snuggle and heal together. Then the day came when I got up and left the blue room.
Italy is a blend of ancient , old and new; spirit and devotion; color, texture and sensuous pleasures – la dolce vita!
Windsor (named after his birth place) arrived 13 1/2 years ago. He was a cute, gentle chocolate lab/chessie mix with a white star on his chest. My 5-yr old picked him from the liter and we all agreed he was the one for our family. Windsor was a kind loving soul. He loved his family and readily allowed the kids to pull his ears, tail and hang all over him without a complaint. His obsession was ball, water and food. What do you expect, he was a lab! He was a great family dog. In the winter he pulled us around on sled and skis and in the summer he was always up for a hike, a round of ball or a trip to the river. Sometimes, his enthusiasm and stubbornness kept us longer at the river. I learned quick to always bring treats as a lure.
During the past year, Windsor began to show his age. His eyes were clouding over, his hearing wasn’t quite what it used to be and his hips became arthritic and painful to move. Our long mountain hikes began to dwindle. He always rallied for a trip to the river or for ball or for food. Yet his energy was growing heavy. This fall we experienced heavy rains and lots of flooding. Local trails were closed to severe erosion and our walks were shortened and confined to the hood. Slowly the dogs strolled, sniffing and peeing along the way. As they explored their sensory domains; I took photos of wilt and decay. Flowers drooped heavy with water and leaves piled up along the road margins. The days were growing short and nature was preparing for winter. I knew I was beginning the process of walking my dog home.
In February, I knew it was time. Windsor rallied on a cold blustery sunday. We took short hikes, played fetch with his stuffies (no longer balls). He ate lots of treats and got lots of love. My son away at college skyped on the iPad and Windsor seemed to know. We said our last farewells and he joyfully greeted the vet, chewed a bully stick and went to sleep. He passed a happy boy!
Come summer, when the family is together, we will reunite Windsor with that river he so loved!