Today is January 1st, 2016. Amazing. I never thought I would make it this long. When you’re young, sixty sounds so old. And here I am, having just moved (across the country) for the 1st time in 23 years. And I certainly don’t feel sixty.
Our new neighborhood is interesting. Kind of cool, kind of funky, a little dumpy. I am not used to alleys. And alleys are a big thing here. They are used all the time. Our entrance is off the alley. Our address is 2428 1/2. Yup. Don’t put .5. The P.O. doesn’t like it. Anyhow, up here, in our little tower at 2428 1/2, we look out at Pike’s Peak and the rest of the mountain range. The sun dipped behind the mountains just before 3:45 today. Sometimes I wake up at night, and when walking around at 2:30 A.M., I see squares of light on the floor in the living room. And looking straight up, there is the moon coming through the skylights. Very cool. It makes this place feel bigger. It gives me a good feeling- this place is talking to me.
We are now part of a community who is proud of their neighborhood; the West Enders. It is an affectionate term. People just love it here. And I am really enjoying it. Two blocks over, on Main Street, which is really Colorado Ave, are all kinds of cool shops and restaurants. It is a busy, thriving, walkable main street complete with a nice park. There is a chocolate shop on the corner of main and 25th street where you see women standing in the front windows stirring chocolate in big copper bowls. Then there is a French Bakery Bistro that is hard to stay out of. Their beef burgundy stew is to die for, and oh, the eclairs! The next door over is the Thunder and Buttons restaurant pub, which has a lot of amusing history, and across the street is a quirky restaurant called Cucuru. The place started out as a gallery in an old house, and has become a restaurant (different Spanish influences), gallery, jazz place, and has tango lessons on Monday nights. The owner is an amazing man who loves to entertain, talk and takes such delight as he presents his delicious food. We are there much too often! The library is on the back side of the park, and there is a painters’ co-operative that I have yet to work up the courage to explore. 17 studios on two floors right there by the park.
It is three weeks today since we moved in here. That is not enough time to really get to know a place. But so far, so good. We are hiking in the local parks a lot, and getting used to the altitude. That is major. It has been pretty cold and snowy since we arrived. The locals are blaming us. This is more snow than they have had in a while. And back in NY, it has been downright balmy up until a few days ago. Trees, flowers, lawns, all confused by the 65-70 degree weather. I can honestly say I am glad I am not there. Because of the humidity and mold. I miss my friends, my neighbors, and the whole circle of people I became familiar with in those 23 years. That’s hard.
But since we have left that area, my health has improved tremendously. And that is a good reason to start all over again, on a new path, exploring new places, while I still can. My easel is set up, and the tarps are down to protect the carpets in this place. It is time to start painting again, and I couldn’t be more excited.
The light is fading. The mountains are dark and looming, and the sky is almost dark now. I have stuffed cabbage in the oven as a humble meal for the start of the New Year. Stuffed cabbage is a lot of work, but boy, is it worth it. Since I’m in Colorado, I am using local meat- elk and bison. With the rice, some cheese, and two types of cabbage. This is my version of a favorite comfort food.
I wish everyone a wonderful, creative, prosperous and healthy new year. Be well, be happy!