Moving and finding good services

I feel like I have moved a million times in my life. One of the most memorable was in junior high. I got so stressed out on my first day of school I actually started crying in gym class. The stress was just too much when I couldn’t find my next classroom, and everyone else seemed to know exactly where they were going.

puzzle-piecesThat’s one of the reasons why I am so glad my final move is finally behind me. How do I know? Because after two years here, I have finally found someone who can cut my hair properly.

Yes, one of the toughest parts of moving is lining up all the service people you will need in your new area to make you feel comfortable doing things like buying the foods you love, grooming your dog, getting a great massage, and loving your new haircut.

In a combination of two tiny towns with a total of less than 4,000 people, good services can be hard to find. That was one of my original reasons for trying to make friends here, for good referrals! Since we only have two grocery stores and one dog groomer in the entire county, that search was easy. But I had to try three different hair stylists to find one I really like.

Medical services have been much more complicated. One of the reasons we thought this area was a good choice was because there is an emergency room, a small hospital and a nursing home nearby. Come to find out the service is very good at these places, but the financial end of things is completely screwed up, to the point where many will not go there simply because they mess up the billing so badly.

If you receive a bill ever, it is usually far more than six months later, so you can’t even remember what you went to the doctor for, and they always mess up the insurance payments. We’ve started driving 40 minutes to Colorado City or even as far as Pueblo for medical care, mainly because things are too messed up here! Alas, the many things you don’t find out until after you move somewhere new.

shoulder-massageI still haven’t found a good massage therapist around here, and I really need one! I had the most incredible one up in Loveland. She was such a good friend and master masseuse. No one else can even come close!

Lovely Place, Grumpy People

“Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”  — Anne Lamott

imgp5354

This is a great place to live regardless of anything, but I must say some of the people here leave a lot to be desired. Let’s take the crazy guy who lives nearby. Last week he rammed Mike on his mini-bike and then hit him in the face. How many neighbors have you had that you had to call the sheriff on? I have a sneaking suspicion I know now who broke our brand new door knob before we even moved in…

Then there’s the folks in town, either town Walsenburg or La Veta. Some have been truly kind and welcoming, the rest seem to have a bug up their butt! I have spoken to many people on this topic. Some say it’s because the people in La Veta just feel superior to everyone. Why, I couldn’t tell you. Others say it’s because the towns are so small, you don’t want to share your business with others. Excuses, excuses!

Now I understand that if your family has lived here for generations, you may not appreciate newcomers. But everyone here came from somewhere else, unless you’re native to this area (as in Native American!).

What is so hard about being nice?

a-real-friend

I’m the kind of person who is naturally nice, especially to newcomers who might feel uneasy about moving somewhere new. I have been moving somewhere new my whole life, so I have learned that it pays to be friendly and welcoming to others. Here I have had to learn how to be un-nice to a few, especially those who threaten me and my family.

Yesterday we met the nicest people. They live just up the road from us. They were naturally friendly and welcoming (now, was that so hard?), and we made plans to do things together.

This is how people are supposed to act, in my most humble opinion.

A Great Day in Spanish Peaks Country!

imgp5357

This morning I woke up too early, but since I was already up I went outside to take a few sunrise shots. Then we started getting ready to drive up to “Uptop” to enjoy the 2016 Welcome Gathering for the Spanish Peaks Celtic International Music Festival.

imgp5387

Uptop is up at the top of Old La Veta Pass. It’s a bit of a ghost town now, but still fun to visit, especially on a glorious fall day like today!

imgp5391

This is where the train used to come through over a century ago.

imgp5384

It has an cool old chapel and an old tavern where the Celtic musicians set up to play and guide the courageous ones through some Irish dances.

imgp5375

And since I LOVE anything Celtic it was GRAND!

imgp5376

I loved the harp the best. I seem to be developing a love affair with all kinds of harps.

imgp5393

On the way home we stopped a few times to try and capture the amazing fall colors up there. Here’s Mike looking back towards the Spanish Peaks.

imgp5395

It’s days like these that make me so happy that we decided to move down here.

On the way home we got in our FIRST traffic jam ever on Highway 160. Still don’t know what happened there… So we took the county road home and got in the middle of a cattle jam instead! So much more enjoyable than a car traffic jam. It was fun watching the cowboys herding the stray cattle across the road.

Busy Blogging Boomers!

This week we are offering you reviews of movies, restaurants, an analysis of upstate New York versus California living, and how to get better prices on your new iPhone. Let’s hear from Carol Cassara first:

east-coast-versus-west-coast

Each of us sees the world filtered through our lives and every one of our experiences. As older adults, our world view is very different now, Carol points out over at her blog,“Heart Soul Mind.” She also goes back to the first half of the 20th century, when life was very different, and maybe romanticizes it a bit.

For many Americans going out to eat has become a regular pastime, a part of our lifestyle.Usually the experience is a pleasant one, but occasionally disappoints because of poor food or service quality. Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting recently enjoyed some great Mexican food with a portion of poor service. 

sully-movieBoomer blogger Tom Sightings admits, “I Don’t Like to Fly.” The last flight he took was round trip from New York to Phoenix in 2012. So why did he go see the movie Sully? And what does he think about it? (It might surprise you.)

iphoneOver at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, consumer journalist Rita R. Robison writes about how much a new iPhone 7 can cost you. Did you know you can save more than $1,000 by using WalletHub’s Cell Phone Savings Calculator to compare the different ways that consumers can purchase the iPhone, evaluate coverage plans, and figure out when they’re better off keeping their current phone? Go learn more!

memoir-of-retirement-2016-large

Me, I’ve been busy editing and formatting my new book. I will be so glad to present it to you in the next few weeks! Until then please enjoy the cover. This is a photo of Mike’s excitement one morning as he walked outside to enjoy our tremendous view.

LIFE IS GOOD IN BOOMERLAND!

 

Do we want to grow or not?

After living here in rural southern Colorado for the past two years, I am often struck by my ambivalence towards attracting more people to this area. One thing is for sure, they are coming!

Each summer I see more people coming here to vacation and look for land or homes. The general trend is lots of Texans seeking a cooler place to summer, but I am now seeing more cars and RVs from other states, even as far away as New York!

imgp5323

And who can blame them? With sunsets like these, and towering peaks just a few miles off of Interstate 25, with rolling hills full of wildflowers, and cute little towns like La Veta, this place is some kind of paradise for nature lovers.

It’s not just me either. I checked with a local realtor this morning. She said the past few years have been “fabulous.” Our local water district reports that after  five years with almost no requests for new water taps or hookups, they have received twelve requests in the past two months.

The 2008 recession hit this area very hard. Huerfano County still has one of the highest unemployment rates in our state, so it’s good to see things picking up and new businesses opening in Walsenburg and La Veta. My only fear is that too many people will move here and ruin our rural, relaxed atmosphere. Our saving grace seems to be how many choose to go elsewhere for winter.

I met a very interesting woman here a few months ago. She has lived in Aspen for the past forty years, and she cautioned us about telling too many people about this place. She hates to see what happened to Aspen, with a median home price of $1.5 million. I understand that kind of caution, because I first moved to Boulder in 1966. I saw so much change there over the decades, and most of it not good.

walsenburg-west

I cannot see Walsenburg turning into Aspen any time soon, but I would hate to lose the natural beauty and quiet that makes this such a great place to call home.

 

Outdoor or Indoor Kitty?

To give you some idea of the questions that we wonder about living here, away from all cities or even towns, recently we were discussing whether our cat should be let out to roam a bit, or is it too dangerous with the wild animals around here?

charley-and-rasta-on-mikes-lap

Charley the cat has been an indoor kitty since we got him last August. He was just a kitten then and had no idea where he was. Since then he has grown bored with our great indoors. He wants out!

Friends around here have both encouraged and warned us about letting animals out to roam. Especially dogs seem to disappear if you don’t keep close track of them.

IMGP4761

Rasta never goes out without us close by. He was raised a city dog, and has no idea that other animals might come by to eat him. Einstein is his middle name, LOL!

But Charley is a whole different animal. He’s young and strong and a natural hunter. He loves exploring the sunflower groves outside our home, and he’s a great mouser. He needs to go out, it seems.

So this morning we let him out for a while. He loved it! I guess we’ll keep a close eye on him, and let him out a bit in the morning when most animals aren’t prowling for a meal. We’d hate to lose him.