Tag Archives: courage

Adventures in Colorado

Here are some highlights from our Colorado trip so far:

Saturday, June 1
We arrived at the cabin in the Rocky Mountains.  The cabin is very pretty, made of pine logs without and pine boards within.  My northerly-dwelling relatives might be amused at how elated the Louisiana and California cousins were about sledding on a 10′ by 6′ patch of snow they found in the woods.

I thought these were birch at first, but they are aspen.  There are many in the woods around the cabin.

I thought these were birch at first, but they are aspen. There are many in the woods around the cabin.

Sunday, June 2
A number of us went to Mass in a tiny church in a tiny town.  It had a simple interior with a lot of light, and a stained glass window of the Holy Spirit behind the altar.  After Mass we had lunch at a little cafe, then got groceries to bring to the cabin.

Monday, June 3
It was our 7th wedding anniversary.  Michael and I spent the day together in Breckenridge. The city was not what I expected, after seeing the rows of new-looking, many-storied chalet-style buildings from the highway.  As we walked around visiting this place and that, beside the tourist-style stores full of t-shirts and magnets, everything seemed just a little dated and a little worn, but well-kept; and the general feel was of slow-paced friendliness.  We are here in “mud season,” when tourism is low, so maybe things look a little different at the peak times.

Tuesday, June 4
On this day we drove to Cañon City to ride the Royal Gorge Route Railway.  The train went at a slow, ambling pace through the gorge.  Some of the views were spectacular.  The children loved riding on the train.

Tuesday night I discovered that the Louisiana folk were not familiar with Pictionary.  Since a lot of them have a goodly bit of drawing talent, and a lot of creativity, it was fun to introduce them to the game.

Here are some Pictionary drawings by Michael.   Can you guess what they are?

Here are some Pictionary drawings by Michael. Can you guess what they are?

Wednesday, June 5
We went range-shooting in the woods, the two oldest cousins, Michael, my father-in-law, and I.  Hunting is forbidden, but range-shooting is not.  We went in the morning, through the woods to a site my father-in-law had scouted out.  The morning was gorgeous, and after so long in southern California I don’t remember the last time I saw breath hanging in the air, as it did this morning.  I went willingly – I was glad to have this chance to handle the weapons, to learn about them, and how they are used.  I would rather that than simply be afraid.   But I felt nauseated, for a time, as we walked through the trees, thinking about guns and shooting.  The hearing protection gear enabled me to hear the blood pumping in my head, and I thought about soldiers, as I waited for the report from a weapon that can easily sever soul and body.

We shot a Ruger 22 and a Colt 45.  It was a good challenge to aim and hit the target.  I’d like to do it again.

Thursday, June 6
Today Michael and my father-in-law and I set off to attempt to hike to the summit of a 14,000 foot peak.  We made it pretty well above the tree line – my father-in-law estimates that we may have gotten to 13,000 feet.  However, at that point the trails were covered in snow, and the mountain face with lots of loose rock, and we had no climbing gear, so we turned back.  The views were gorgeous and ever-changing; Michael said it was like walking in a painting.  We saw a mule deer, three wolves (away on a hillside) and a little speckled partridge.

This is a ridge between Mt. Sheridan and Mt. Sherman.

This is Mt. Sheridan to the left, and a ridge that connects it to Mt. Sherman to the right.

One more full day to go, then we take off for the great white north.  Well, for Fargo, anyway.

Be not afraid

On Friday we left Los Angeles, driving east for our summer family vacation.  We left California, crossed Nevada, and stopped for the night in Utah.  The boys got so much delight from spending the night at a real, live, hotel, that we were delighted, watching their enjoyment.

One of the great pleasures of a road trip is getting to talk in the car.  As we drove through high red rock formations in Utah on Saturday morning, Michael and I talked about politics and culture, wars and persecution, the virtue of courage, and how we might go about instilling this virtue into our children.

      “Remember the words of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” said Michael.  “‘Do not be worried or anxious about anything.'”

Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?”

Take those words, then think of these from the Song of Solomon:  Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?

It seems like a picture of the perfect mother: warm, loving, reassuring – and just a little bit terrifying.

Queen of Victories, Star of the Sea, Mother of the Church and our mother.  Painting the Mother of God is a bit of a tall order.  I asked the Lord when I was painting to help me to convey some of the sweetness of his mother.

Queen of Victories, Star of the Sea, Mother of the Church and our mother. Painting the Mother of God is a bit of a tall order. I asked Jesus when I was painting to help me to convey some of the sweetness of his mother.

We are now in Colorado.  We’ll be on vacation all through June, so posting will be sporadic, but I’ll do my best.