The day breaks

The day breaks

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2016

It's only in the last few years that Easter has once again meant something to me, no I didn't find Jesus. However, I do believe in the resurrection.

In 2005 my wife Sarah and I were running Spoken Word Nantucket, it was our first year of really being able to afford to book the best in the field, month after month.  That year we hosted Brother Blue, Taylor Mali, Regie Gibson, Franz Wright, and others.  One booking above all the rest has stayed with me ten years beyond.  If you were thinking that our list is good but it's shy one Jack McCarthy, well no; it wasn't.  Jack was booked that year for Easter Sunday (our shows were on Sundays) but as you might recall Jack had a minor setback that year in the form of major heart surgery.

Which leads me to divulge Jack wrote me from his recovery room to assure me that he would be on Nantucket, have no doubt! It turns out Nantucket was important to him personally because back in the 50's his dad had run a summer baseball camp on the island, as a matter of fact his poem over takers (meant to compete with Patricia Smith's "Undertakers") was about Nantucket.  If you haven't heard it or read it, GET IT!

In total Sarah and I booked Jack 5 times, each time was a blessing in the truest sense of the word.  I have an e-mail from the first booking where Jack asked me to promise to re-book him if no one showed up to hear him on Easter.  Hell, you could see the line of cars coming from the Polpis Road all the way to the little classroom on the bluff as if it were that scene in Field of Dreams.  It was our first overflow crowd and all that came will tell you how much of a revelation his words were. I treasure that bit of electronic keepsake, it gives me pause to be thankful.

Today, Sarah and I took a ride to Taylor Reservoir, just a few minutes from where we now live.  We stopped and took some pictures and thought about all that's happened and how very lucky we are. Tonight I'll put on Jack's last CD and I'll hear him again and he'll make me laugh, cry, and think.  Happy Easter.  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

10 Days After

It's been ten days since my last post, things have gotten busy here at Len and Sarah's hideaway.  Most of the boxes are emptied and I'm happy and proud (I did most of the packing) that very little breakage occurred. Today we began the process of hanging our art, something we had difficulty with in our last home for lack of available wall space.  Finding some of the pics that have been in storage is a little like a second Christmas for us.  There has been only a few inches of snow here in Almont, we're tucked into a valley that seems to be a dividing line for snow fall at times.  Not a complaint, I hate shoveling.  Crested Butte got about a foot last week and Irwin well over that.

I got a spotlight reading at an event on the 8th of next month.  I saw a poster for an event called Syllables and Sounds "An Evening of Musicians and Writers" with a line that said if you want to participate... well, even though they'd closed enrollment a few weeks back the chance to include a Slam Poet was too great an enticement to pass on.

It's just begun to snow in the last few minutes and the forecast (now that I check) calls for a full day of precipitation so, I guess I spoke to soon.  Sarah and I plan to head into Gunnison to do our Saturday shopping and perhaps stop for lunch in one of the local Mexican joints.  We both love Mexican food and there are a lot in the Gunnison valley so, we be happy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


When you move to the high country you'll hear things like "be sure and drinks lots of water" and "it's important to stay hydrated" and it's true.  For most, the first week can be uncomfortable to say the least.  You'll experience headaches, chapped lips, and a feeling of lethargy due to the lack of oxygen. There are things you can do like guzzle 3 or 4 gallons of water a day (know the location of all bathrooms near you) and take aspirin as needed.  There are additives to water, one called acclimate works fairly well if you can stand the taste.  Me. I prefer rolling into a ball and praying to jeebus until the feeling passes.

Which brings me to the real water issue.  Everywhere in our new home we found little notes about conserving water.  The previous owner has regaled us with stories about peeing off the back deck to discourage bears and mountain lions from poking around.  Taking water from the creek out back to fill the Jacuzzi (yes, I realize I'm complaining about water but have a Jacuzzi) and the ever popular "if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down" to name a few. Oh, how we rolled our eyes at it all.

Cut to yesterday, laundry day.  No biggie really, it's just we two O and I.  Two loads of laundry, one load of dishes, two showers, a couple of necessary flushes of the toilet, and 3 or 4 gallons of water from the tap. That is, until I began to prepare dinner.  It was going to be pasta with meat sauce and a salad.  First things first, I begin by filling the pot I'm going to boil water in for the pasta and ... nothing!  The first thing that runs through my head in times like these is what did I do now?  Of course, water is at it's lowest availability at this time of year and I've used too much.  Plan B, the Almont Resort and burgers.

So, here I stand on my back deck some hours later peeing around the perimeter of the property, oh I can go on for minutes these days.  As I do, I think about low flow shower heads, baths on Saturdays, and wearing clothes until they walk on their own and then buying replacements instead of washing them.  Of course this won't be necessary, I just need to adjust or roll back into a ball and pray.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sunday - Finally some rest and relaxation

Well dear reader, the furniture is here and Sarah and I spent the weekend putting it away in our new home.  There was some furniture damage that we'll work out with OMON and one or two small breakable things that did not make it but other than that everything is going great.

The staff at RMBL (where Sarah and I work) threw a welcome party at Donita's Cantina that was fun and it was a great way to meet some new friends and associates. We met our state senator there and she's an ardent supporter of water quality.

Getting used to living at altitude has taken some effort (staying hydrated) but we all seem to be taking the transition in stride. I have noticed that Swegen has been affected the most by the change.  I attribute this to the altitude as well as the reduced traffic in his daily life.  He still gets a lot of walks and fetch sessions but he misses his pals.  Now when there's a noise at the house it's usually falling snow from the roof or the passing of an occasional bear or mountain lion, not Beau or Tess come to play.

Well, the change in time has me up late and writing this and several e-mail for work and the time has come to bank the fire in the wood stove and go back to bed.

Until tomorrow.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

More calliope music

For those of you following along at home, you've heard the tale of Len and Sarah's furiture merry-go-round.  It's been a fun ride but it's time to ring some changes.  My man on Nantucket, you remember the guy. He's told me after much verbal genuflecting and admission of culpability on Tuesday that our stuff will be at our door by 10:30AM Wednesday without a doubt.  And guess what?  10:15AM Swegen's ears pop up, and by an all to familiar deep throated woof I know someone is at our door.  It's the truck with our stuff! Oh joy oh rapture! Snoopy dance engaged at last!!!

Wait, there's only one guy in the truck.  I say hello, my name is Lenny, where are the other guys?  He says hi I'm Travis and there ain't no body but me, see I just drop the container and go.

These are the moments most delicate, filled with fear and loathing you hope you only read about. I want to bark but at this guy, not such a good idea (he's a refrigerator) and he's not to blame.  Still, I'm really feeling the Oliver Douglas vibe here in Crystal Springs so I broach the subject with gentlemanly tact and say, there must be a mistake.  It's not yours but please forgive a moment, I need to make a call and chew the ass of the person who's fault this is.

Calls made, my blood pressure stays at normal levels and we conclude with a promise from My Man On Nantucket that a return call will be forthcoming with the answer ASAP. That done, I look to conclude my dealings with Travis who in the intervening moments has called his boss and is in the process of explaining the situation to him. They both agree they're in the right and Travis offers the phone to me that I might speak to Ray (do you remember Ray?) we quickly agree that Travis drop the container and split.  There really is no other answer and in my head I fantasize about nutmegging Mr Drucker over and over again but acquiesce.

Long about 1:30, MMON calls to tell me he's found a guy in Gunnison that should be able to do the contracted unloading later today or Thursday morning, for sure.  The company in question has placed calls to associates already gone for the day and he's just waiting on the call backs.  He says, worst case scenario he'll have a crew there Thursday by 10am.  Worst case scenario is the group in question hangs out at the Gem saloon in Deadwood.  The fear and loathing increase exponentially but I resist it.

Slow forward to 2:45 and no word of the  en pending arrival of a crew of gentleman to PUT OUR STUFF IN THE HOUSE! I call MMON, I can tell by the tone of his voice that he's at a loss and ready for a whipping, poor bastard.  He tells me the good news first, he's secured at least one guy for tomorrow, guaranteed. However, he's having trouble getting others because where we live is too far away (hear the music?) and concludes with, do you have anyone you can call?  1001, 1002, 1003,  I reply no, I don't. I just moved almost 3,00 miles from home.  It's a fact he knows already and he's whimpering, I can hear him whimper.  I say, let me make some calls and I'll get back to you.

I speak to our RE broker who is also in property management and ask if she has someone that can help?  She does and once again we are in her debt.  She's really cool, she doesn't belong in this show, she belongs in Petticoat Junction.

Sarah and I are able to laugh about it over dinner and drinks at the Almont Resort, where the burgers are cooked to our liking and the beer is always cold.

Now, if this were an episode of Green Acres this would be the conclusion of this weeks goings on but you know it isn't.

Stay tuned folks, Same batshit, same batshit whining time tomorrow for another episode of - Sisyphus has nothing on us   .

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Nope, not today

As previously stated we are awaiting delivery of our furniture.  Thought it was going to be delivered on Tuesday but that was just a dream some of us had.  Tuesday was another day of phone calls and well meaning customer reps. assuring me everything was being done to get our stuff to us.

I wrote a poem, real nasty stuff.  I'm not proud of it.  I shared it with my poet friends on Nantucket, got some interesting replies.  

Here is mine.


Hope this finds you well  
Where ever you are
I'm over here now
Got a new phone number

Finally have the  interweb thingy working
fairly well
slow as a gerbil in a deep dark hole
And you?
Who know as well as anyone
Where the fuck our shit is
And no one knows
Where the fuck our shit is!

Here is a response poem from my dear friend Maggie Sullivan.


I hope this finds you well
over where you are now
I'm still here
back where you left us
and yeah, I wannaknowit
that new phone number

About where that shit is
the shit you say is yours
well, it's inside you
until you get rid of it
then it's not even
yours anymore anyway

that's how shit is
unclaimed and unnamed
until it's not there
and you need it
then you curse it
damn the distance
call on the anonymous nonsense
for real information

nah, sit still in your
deep dark gerbil hole
your shit will come floating
back to you, slowly
especially if you pretend
you don't want it at all

a pair a socks paradox

 Anyway, I've been assured the delivery van will be pulling into our driveway about 10:30 on Wednesday.  

Anyone want to place a bet?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Maybe Tuesday will be our good news day

Today we awoke like children on Christmas morning awaiting the delivery of magic and delight, it's  5 am.  I speak of course of the delivery of our furniture and personal items that did not travel with us but came by moving truck.  We'd had word on Thursday that our effects were in Denver and hope began to percolate that we would have our stuff by Friday, when that didn't happen tiny bells began to ring but we were busy and the day passed.  On Saturday we called to inquire about its whereabouts and were told that all was well and that our truck would be heading to Salida and then to us on Monday.

Come Monday we call to check in with the movers who inform us that they no longer deliver to Almont and that we'll need to speak to Ray in Montrose and to give him a call at 8:30.  At 8:30 I call and Madge (I shit you not) answers the phone and after introductions tells me Ray is busy loading trucks (good news?) Madge asks me to hold while she checks with Ray.  Madge comes back with trepidation dripping into the phone like a leaky faucet, our tuck is not there but if I'll hold she'll check with dispatch and get to the bottom of the matter,  Foreshadowing button engaged, after a few brief moments of time/hell Madge is back to let me know she going to have to get back to me.  She's very nice and I thank her and bid her good day, knowing full well I may never hear from her again.

Next I call our moving rep. on Nantucket, nice guy I took him and his child on a nature walk last year so I calm my livah, tell him the situation and where I stand at present, on the precipice of mad Italian and he tells me he'll make some calls at get right back to me,  That was 9am Mountain time...

Latter that day, 2:30 to be somewhat exact, I get the call I'm not waiting for but It's Sarah.  Did I mention today is Sarah's first full day at her new job?  She mistakenly asks me how the day is going and I answer, she has regrets, I have amends to make.

3:30 and my thumb has gone numb in my bum and the dog and cats have all disappeared, no fools they.  The phone rings and before so much as a how do you do our moving rep has plead  mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.  You gotta love a learned moving guy.  He assures me that our truck has been found and we'll take delivery Tuesday.

If the snow don't fall and the creeks don't rise.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A real day off!

Any one that knows Sarah knows there are precious few days off and none certainly in our 12+ years on Nantucket.  That's not a whiny comment, it's fact.  Today, a Sunday we woke at a leisurely pace, took Swegen for a walk etc. and came back home to plan our day off.  We decided to take a lazy drive to Crested Butte for a little coffee and shopping.  The ride was terrific, saw a small gathering of Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep on the way, that won't get old any time soon.  We got our coffee and took in the vibe, it's spring break and the skiers are in bloom.  Just as we finished up our beverage a light snow began to fall.  It's about 34 degrees out so it melts as it hits the ground, higher up, where the shushing and booming occur it's colder and all is well in ski country today.

We stopped into the local book store, nice but about half the size of Book Works on Nantucket and most of the titles of interest are books we own already, so the book sellers taste is to our liking.  The local history etc of Colorado section is well represented and I found a book on NA's of Colorado that will help with my work teaching middle school naturalists and  the subject is one I find personally intriguing.  Next we hit a cool little hat store and Sarah got herself a Chapeau with fuzzy ear flaps (pictures to follow) and finished up by walking around the quaint and quirky downtown for a bit.

On our way back home Sarah got a call from a fellow we met yesterday, a friend of the man we bought our house from. He invited us to join him and Bill for brunch at the Almont Resort.  It's on the way home, we've already eaten there once (on Thursday) and enjoyed it so we accepted.  Both fellows, Travis and Bill are really interesting, accomplished and well read.  Needless to say we had a pleasant time.

Back home I checked in on the computer to see if I could find any information on my young friend Beck Barsanti's day of poetry recitation competition on the cape.  Glad to say he had a blast and did fairly well by all accounts, he's a cool dude.

Well, we have a dinner plans several nights this week, Sarah starts full time in earnest Monday and our furniture is set to arrive so I'll be busy.

As I said today was a day of no work.  Man that was fantastic!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Mountain grown coffee in the mountains

Friday is a bird chirp
Dog stretching
cats still sleeping
Peter Max sunrise

Our stuff wont be here
until Monday
We don't mind
we're lucky and incredulous

Sarah says good morning
Of course it is my darling
We have a great life
Terrific friends and each other


We feel like a half a million bucks

It’s official Sarah and I closed on our new home Thursday!  The day began in Gunnison at the Days Inn where we stayed overnight.  Of all the hotels we’ve stayed in over the past week theirs was the best breakfast by far.  Sarah and I, Bob and Deb had a lovely meal then packed our stuff and the animals and headed for Almont.

Morning in Almont, the weather was unseasonably warm and the sun on the mountains really is something to see.  We pull into the driveway and let Swegen out to have his first reckless run in about a week.  The previous owner (Bill Duricott) has left a chuck it with a tennis ball loaded up hanging on the door and Swegen about lost his mind.  The sound of an excited Labradoodle is a primal force to be reckoned with and it signaled his approbation which made us all smile with appreciation. 
We’re there to have a final walk through with our real estate agent Shay and all is in order.  She’s fabulous BTW! After we unload our travel bags and get the cats and dog settled in we head to Crested Butte to sign the documents that make 1420 County Rd, 744 Almont, CO. ours.  The closing takes about an hour which gives Bob and Deb a chance to walk around the downtown area.  It’s a gorgeous day and there are a lot of people about and the shops are funky and fun and we’re sure they’ll have a good time. Papers signed, the last detail lets us know the house will be payed in full by 2046 to which we all had a good laugh. 

We take Bob and Deb to Teocalli’s for lunch, great Mexican food and a very cool local spot.  Sarah and I have eaten there twice already.  We all cruise back to our new home… letting that soak in, and we open a bottle of Prosecco for a celebratory toast.  Deb wonders about the Jacuzzi and she wanders over to look it over.  When she lifts the cover the chlorine smell almost knocks her over.  The past owner was a bit over zealous in its application.  We open the outside door of the solarium to air it out and will have to wait three days for the chemicals to dissipate enough for us to use it.  Not a problem, we’re too happy to kvetch.

Bob and Debs son Nate drove down from Park City Utah with his girlfriend Sally to pick them up and spend some time with them.  Good people Nate and Sally.  We catch up and swap stories of the road.  Nate and Sally’s dog Carl is the first dog Swegen has had to play with in over a week and they head out to the back yard for a run and shoot.  They mark every tree and twig in the yard, they’re happy boys.

That night for dinner we head down the road to the Almont Resort, the only open year round place that isn't 25 minutes away and it is really good and the service is great. After dinner we talk about the next day’s plans without getting to choked up about what that means.  Every one picks a spot to crash and our first day as homeowners sets like the sun over the mountains of the moon.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Where am I?

Started out yesterday in Kansas, all of the crew well rested but a bit road weary.  The weather has been cooperating, it's been unseasonably warm and we've not run into any storm activity.  Deb and Sarah have been wrangling our cats, Lily and Canada.  They've never been anywhere but our small apartment in Nantucket, this has been a big change for them.  They've been wearing harnesses and they've been outside and now half way across Mureica.  We got to Colorado early and not long after we gained an hour crossing another time zone.  Swegen, Bob, and I in our car have been music deficient as my Ford Escapes CD player does not work and we've been reliant on the radio.  The choices have run to classic rock, oldies, and Jeezus (Hallelujah) and if I could offer an observation to all the classic rock stations across this great country, THE KINKS RECORDED MORE THAN "YOU REALLY GOT ME"!

Our first breath of fresh air came from the local radio station from Gunnison called KBUT which plays a wide assortment of music, a real throw back.  Yesterday they played all their favorite covers of famous rock songs.  The one that stands out for me was a Ska version of Blondie's Heart of Glass as well as a reggae version of the Beatles Tax Man..

Got to Gunnison by (does it really matter) by 3 local time.  All of us feeling the effects of the altitude to one degree or another but nothing too extreme.  Driving in, at least for me seems to have helped as it allows me to ease into the change.  Had a slight headache but we all drank plenty of water and by dinner we were all just fine. We had dinner at a place in Gunnison called Garlic Mikes. It is fantastic, the food was very good, the prices (after Nantucket) are great! and the service is outstanding.  Sarah, after just a few minutes in said "this will be somewhere we'll eat at a lot" and I agree.

Today is the big day.  We have a walk through with the real estate agent (Shay) who's been such a big help, at 8:30, we close on the house by 10:30, and we begin pinching ourselves right after that. Our furniture etc. arrives on Monday, until then we'll camp out in our new home, all of us in sleeping bags around the fire place in the living room.

Deb and Bobs son Nate will come and get them this weekend, and we'll have the last of our heart wrenching goodbyes to our Nantucket life.  I can't tell you how lucky we've been to have them along, Bob did all the driving (I suck at driving) and I would never have gotten here without him, really.  Deb has been a great help with the cats and with helping Sarah in so many ways.  They've both helped make this an easy transition and we'll never be able to thank them enough, but we'll try.

Swegen is up with me, it's 6:30 back on Nantucket and he's already overdue for his first of the day walk.  I'll sign off now, .