Monday, September 20, 2010

The Baldpate Inn

I love getting away for a few days, don't you? I just got back from a weeklong visit with my sister in Colorado. We spent most of our week in Estes Park and it is so beautiful up there this time of year. The days were warm, the nights cool. We had the opportunity to eat at a couple of fun restaurants and see the wildlife -- majestic elk and magnificent deer.

On our way down the mountain, we stopped at a lovely old inn called The Baldpate Inn. It's about seven miles south of Estes Park on the way to Lyons. What a beautiful bed and breakfast. It's nestled in the mountains with wonderful views of the aspens turning yellow amidst the tall pines and red mountains. They offer a lunch of crisp salad, delicious homemade soup and hot muffins. If you're lucky, you'll get seated on the covered porch and can enjoy the mountain views while you dine. Our waiter was a young man from Turkey, here on a visit for three months to learn the language, visit the United States, and work for most of the summer.

The Baldpate Inn is home to one of the largest key collections and it was so interesting to see. In the old days, they used to give out keys to their guests but that became unpractical so now people bring them keys -- safe keys, keys to cities, boat keys, house keys, keys of all shapes and sizes. You could spend hours reading about the keys on display.

I love visiting places like this that are unique. I have to admit it got my writing juices flowing, ideas started being crafted for a new storyYou might even recognize some of the sights I saw while in the mountains of Colorado, Estes Park and who knows, even the Baldpate Inn.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chocolate Ice Cream -- Please!

A friend of mine sent me this story and I wanted to pass it on. I think it's pretty profound. Too many times we get bogged down with worrying about money, diets, what we should do and forget to live life and do the things we enjoy. The story is kind of long, but it's worth it:


One day I had lunch with some friends. Jim, a tall, balding golfer type about 80 years old, came along with them---all in all, a pleasant bunch. When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Jim who said, "Ice Cream, please. Two scoops, chocolate.

I wasn't sure my ears heard right, and the others were aghast. "Along with heated apple pie," Jim added, completely unabashed.

We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time.. But when our orders were brought out, I didn't enjoy mine. I couldn't take my eyes off Jim as his pie a-la-mode went down. The other guys couldn’t believe it. They ate their lunches silently and grinned.

The next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Jim. I lunched on white meat tuna. He ordered a parfait. I smiled. He asked if he amused me.

I answered, "Yes, you do, but also you confuse me. How come you order rich desserts, while I feel I must be sensible?

He laughed and said "I'm tasting all that is Possible. I try to eat the food I need, and do the things I should. But life's so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good. This year I realized how old I was. (He grinned) I haven't been this old before. ""So, before I die, I've got to try those things that for years I had ignored. I haven't smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many trout streams I haven’t fished. There's more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead. There are too many golf courses I haven’t played. I've not laughed at all the jokes. I've missed a lot of sporting events and potato chips and cokes. I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace. I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast. I want un-timed long distance calls to the folks I love the most. I haven't cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind on my face. I want to be in love again. So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I die before night fall, I'd say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart's desire. I had that final chocolate mousse before my life expired..

"With that, I called the waitress over.. "I've changed my mind, " I said. "I want what he is having, only add some more whipped cream!"

Isn't this great?
Live well, love much & laugh often - Be happy.

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we like and respect. Remember that while money talks, CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM SINGS!