Escaping the Heat, Day 31-33

August 8-10, 2022

Smelling the Roses

So fragile, so beautiful.

Our membership in the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix allowed us entry to many gardens across the country. Tuesday morning, we took advantage to visit the Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins. While the DBG is a treasure of desert landscaping, the GSC boasted grasses and flowers unfamiliar to these desert rats. It also offered a small but vibrant butterfly house where we enjoyed 15 minutes of communion with many colorful beauties.

But it was hot with little shade, so we cut short our visit to return home where I prepared for an evening meeting.

As a break, we headed downtown for dinner. Construction, which seemed to be everywhere we went, sent us driving around the block as we searched for the restaurant, which, to our embarrassment, was prominent on a corner. Penrose Tap House offered good service and good food to fuel energy for the evening Shut Up and Write anthology meeting.

On Tuesday morning Mike packed his day hiking gear, and we drove 20 minutes just outside of town to Horsetooth Mountain Open Space.  As he scaled the peak resembling a large molar, I returned home for me-time. At this point we had spent over four weeks 24/7 together except for an oil change and Mike’s hiking one day in Grand Teton. This was a test of 50 years of marriage.

Mike having conquered his Everest, I met him at the trailhead and took the scenic route of the upper drive around the Horsetooth Reservoir on our way home. The drive took us close to the water to admire families enjoying the beaches as well as high above to take in the vista of water, forests, and mountains.

The day was complete with a phone conversation with my cousin Marti, and Zoom happy hour with the Cunninghams and Stepps to honor Tony’s birthday. Zoom has allowed us to keep in touch in a personal way with many people. I would prefer in-person, but online is the next best.

Waiting for the Wednesday morning market to open, we took advantage of the under $4/gallon gas to fill up. Then, to the Fort Collins Farmer’s Market, five stalls set in a strip mall parking lot. The beautiful produce and flowers were tempting, but I had little opportunity to use them, our kitchen being limited. I admired the flowering dill women were buying for pickling. Several people having touted the quality of the in-season Palisade peaches, I purchased a small bag, later discovering that the flavor is superb. Although another buyer agreed that there are no tomatoes like Illinois tomatoes, I broke down and bought a few. They were better than Arizona, but nowhere near the quality of Illinois. We also purchased a small container of donut muffins, described as donut flavor in a mini-muffin with frosting dipping sauce. Next time I will buy a donut.

We were testing living in different places, thus we returned home to attend to our duties, for Mike a church Zoom meeting, and later, Zoom with our SOAR group (Still On A Roll).  I was enjoying reading outdoors in the evening, which remained light until 9:00, past my bedtime. Although below Phoenix’s temperatures of 105, the 95 in Fort Collins peaking at 5:00 encouraged lazy days. We were getting too good at doing nothing.  

Author: Mary Cornelius

I am an aging woman who writes three blogs.