Sunday, December 13, 2020

Merry Christmas 2020


Christmas Day 2020 is fast approaching.  Many of the usual festivities around this time of the year such as school and church pageants, community parties, get together with friends, trips into the city to see a show or ballet or concert, etc, etc, were not able to be enjoyed because of the pandemic this year, but...


...I did decorate my house and enjoy many of the ornaments I've hung on my tree for many years.  Many of which my children made and some of which my grandchildren have made. All bring back happy memories and have filled my house with the usual Christmas coziness.



I won't be making all this seafood as I usually prepare for Christmas Eve...


...when my entire family, and my son's in-laws, and on some years a friend or two would gather. with us for dinner...

.
...and afterward dessert and the joyful opening of gifts.

Because of the continuing danger of Sars-Cov-2, my children and grandchildren will remain at their homes this year and it will only be my husband and I celebrating together, but I do plan to drop off some special foods and treats at their houses beforehand.



But one thing that won't change this year is the happiness of welcoming into our hearts the true meaning of Christmas...the birth of our Lord, Jesus! 

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. 
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, 
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. "
John 1:14


"May you have the gladness of Christmas, 

Which is Hope;

The spirit of Christmas 

Which is Peace;

The Heart of Christmas 

Which is Love."

-- Ada V Hendricks



I'll be taking a short break until the New Year



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Sunday, December 6, 2020

The Rocky Mountain Land Library




The first time my husband and I drove through South Park, I fell in love with this beautiful pastoral area in the heart of Colorado. A grassland basin at 9,000 to 10,000 feet elevation, it is surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks of the Mosquito and Park Mountain Ranges. The Platte River headwaters are formed here and the river gently rolls through the valley. Native American Utes and Arapahoes hunted the abundant wildlife in the area. The term South Park was first used in the 1840s by hunters and trappers who traversed the Rocky Mountains. In 1859, the discovery of placer gold in the streams of the valley during the Colorado Gold Rush led to an influx of prospectors and miners. By the 1880s the area was known for its mineral springs, hunting, fishing, and grazing land for cattle. In 2009, South Park and the area around Fairplay were designated a National Heritage Area by the U.S. Congress for its distinctive landscapes, historic structures, recreational resources.




Much of South Park's 1,000 square miles is used as grazing land for cattle and horses and other domestic animals...





...and it encompasses a feeling of wide-open skies and vast wilderness that is absolutely beautiful!



Photo credit Rocky Mountian Land Library

Now South Park as a new attraction as nestled in a part of this magnificent valley, close to the South Platte River, is the Rocky Mountain Land Libary  A work in progress, the Rocky Mountian Land Library is a dream come true for husband and wife former book buyers for the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, Ann Marie Martin, and Jeff Lee. Back in the ’90s, while on a book-buying trip for the store, they came upon Gladstone's Library at St Deiniol’s, a residential library in Wales. That visit was the start of their dream to create a residential library in Colorado — one that focused on people and the land. They always knew they would find a home for their beloved tens of thousands of volumes about nature, the environment, history, literature, western land issues, archeology, and all things American West.
In 2013 they signed a 95-year lease for the 1,500 Buffalo Peaks Ranch, in South Park. Established in 1861 as a sheep and cattle operation, it was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.  Work began to renovate the ranch, using volunteers and donations.

This short Youtube link about the Rocky Mountain Land Library features Jeff and Ann and their visions for the library.

 

The historic Buffalo Peaks Ranch has already been utilized by the library as an inspiring site for classes, workshops, field studies, teacher training, etc, and there are many plans for 2021.  Fundraising and renovation work continues to help create this future residential library dedicated to nature and the land. There are plans for special libraries across the ranch, including a Native American Library, a Young Readers Library, a River Hut Library on rivers, water & fishing, and one on Ranching History & Practices and the Cook's House library on Food and the Land.

The Rocky Mountian Land Library will be a year-round, residential retreat center and library while also hosting additional programs and outreach through their Metro Denver locations. Visitors from all backgrounds and interests will be able to gain inspiration from the books and the surrounding landscape of South Park.  

My husband and I were hoping to visit the library this past summer, but because of covid shutdowns we had to forego those plans, but we definitely hope to make it a destination when we can travel again.

If you'd like to learn more you can follow the Rocky Mountain Land Library on their blog, Facebook. Instagram, and Twitter.

Meanwhile, I am in the midst of decorating for Christmas, writing Christmas cards, and will begin preparing some favorite holiday treats. Most likely we will have to forego gathering for our traditional family gathering for the Italian style "Feast of the Seven Fishes" I prepare on Christmas Eve, as the Sars-CoV-2 numbers have been worrisome high here in Colorado.  We do hope our grandchildren will be able to visit and see our tree and open their gifts, while we all wear masks, etc., and try to stay healthy as we wait for the vaccine to become available.  I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season--it is still the most wonderful time of the year!

 Stay happy, safe, and healthy!

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