9-23-20 Weekend in Grand Junction

I took a long weekend last weekend to go visit an old coworker, Brenda, in Grand Junction. She had moved over there last year, shortly after we both got laid off from our jobs. I was going to visit her back in the summer, but covid was rampant at the time and I didn’t feel comfortable. As I mentioned previously, I decided it was worth the risk this time to go see her. I had only driven past Grand Junction once, so I was looking forward to getting a slightly better view of the town this go around.

The drive in was fairly lovely. I was a little worried that four straight hours by myself was going to be a bit much for me, but it really wasn’t. I had some playlists created with the help of Elisabeth and Shari and so I cruised down the highway singing along and enjoying the new rock and mountain formations that I passed. I did pass by a huge chunk of burned land, a result of the recent fires, and that was quite sad, but overall it was good.

I got to Brenda’s on Thursday evening, just in time for dinner. She showed me around her house, which looked like it came out of a magazine, and then made us a salad topped with fruit and poppyseed dressing that was quite delicious. I’m not usually a salad fan, but add fruit to anything and I guess it works. Anyway, Brenda knows how to decorate, let me tell you. The guestroom was even complete with a gift basket for me, travel magazines, and one of those mattresses that you can adjust the hardness or softness of (I like softer beds, I discovered).

So for the next two days, Brenda and I hung out and relaxed. I loved on her two golden retrievers, we sewed homemade napkins, made vegetable noodle soup, drove around the area, played games, and just visited. I learned that Brenda adds butter to her bread when making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That really intrigued me, so I gave it a try as well. I don’t think it is quite my style. She also taught me that you can microwave corn on the cob in order to cook it, you don’t have to boil it. I got really excited about that, but was even more excited when I took that first bite of Olathe corn and realized it was the best corn I’ve possibly ever had. That’s what you get for living in the produce area of Colorado I suppose.

It was a decent visit and Sunday morning I started my drive back home. I knew I may hit traffic, with everyone coming back from the mountains on Sunday, but I was hoping I would be able to miss most of it. I was wrong. My four hour drive home become a six hour one when police closed a strip of highway to investigate an accident. I was reminded, in that first hour of bumper to bumper traffic, that I’m not as zen as I’d like to be, and there is still progress to be made. I suppose, in a sense, that’s a good thing, if there wasn’t anything in my life I wanted to improve, something would be wrong, because there’s no way I’d be perfect at that point. Still, it felt frustrating to not have a handle on my emotions as much as I wanted. I pushed through eventually and was able to go with the flow of traffic until we finally made it back to the speed limit.

Shortly after I returned home, Elisabeth and I hopped in the car again (this time SHE drove, thank goodness) to meet Shari at Four Mile Historic Park to look for our next clue in the scavenger hunt. We wandered around the park looking for giant, shiny purple plastic eggs that held information. We visited with some other people along the way who were also there for the clues and while it was so hot out there, it was still very enjoyable, even though my mood was a little iffy after the long drive.

Needless to say I was tired on Monday. Still, I got to video chat with Kaitlin and Kevin that evening so that was good. I’ve missed family dinners with them and look forward to the day when I feel comfortable doing that again. In the meantime, we might have to start up a semi-regular virtual hangout time to catch up and perhaps play a game.

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