Jim on Engineer Mountain (Sep 28, 2003)

Jim's Little Corner of the Internet

(Constantly Under Construction)


What's Up Lately?

Well here we are again at the end of the year; time to catch up. What else can we say? It was 2020, from start to finish. The year started with Karen in Durango working at Cottonwood Inn (rehab and long-term care), Jim at Big Bend National Park working at the Castolon Visitor Center, and itís ending with the same. What happened in between? Pretty much nothingÖ house arrest, much like everyone else in the country (should have been)!

Karen has been working full-time at Cottonwood Inn since the beginning of the year until just recently when she decided to cut back and go PRN. PRN status requires a minimum of 2 days per month, but she has worked it out (we hope) that she can do more (which she has been doing, putting in almost as much time as full-time) and then take some months off without working at all. The idea there was to load up more days in the fall, so that she could take a block of time off this winter to join Jim at Big Bend. So January 4, Jim is on his way to Durango to load up Karenís stuff, the cats and all the cat toys for the trip down to Big Bend. Itís time to retire anyway!

During the summer, Karen was gardening from dawn to dusk in her down time and she had a magnificent garden as a result. Lots of vegetables and some pretty incredible flowers all summer and into the fall. The flowers attracted birds, hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, so it was a colorful summer as well. It was also a bumper year for apricots and apples. She froze apricots, dried them, made apple pie, apple crumble and dehydrated both apricots and apples. Lots of tomatoes too; although many of them had not ripened before the first frost, so they came inside green to finish ripening in the relative warmth of the house.

The big deal was no music festivals this year. Itís been the first year in at least 20 that we havenít gone somewhere. The Durango Bluegrass Meltdown in April was cancelled; Kerrville was cancelled twice... first the regular festival in May/June, and then the rescheduled festival in October. The Pagosa festival in September was cancelled as was the Pickiní in the Pines festival in Flagstaff. We also had a couple of other smaller festivals we had scheduled that were also cancelled. That pretty much sums up 2020 Ė It was cancelled.

On a sadder note, Jimís ex-wife Susan passed away from cancer in August. Jim made one trip back to Michigan in June so daughter Kristin could go to Maine to be with her mom to help out sorting through end-of-life issues, getting her mom into hospice and other such tasks; very sad and mentally exhausting week. In August Jim spent a week in Arizona to help take care of his grandkids while son Mischa went to Maine. His mom lapsed into a coma the day he arrived, and he was there when she passed. On his return, his wife Linette insisted that he spend a week in quarantine, so he and Jim returned to Durango for that time doing some touring of the high country in Jimís FJ40.

Jim spent much of the summer working on the RV, cleaning it up after his abrupt departure from Big Bend when the park shut down in mid-March as a result of the pandemic. He also spent some time in AZ working on the trailer at Val Vista to get it ready for rental in the fall, then getting the RV ready to go again for winter at Big Bend. We purchased season passes for skiing at Purgatory, but have decided that with the ongoing pandemic we just donít want to risk an activity that has a higher probability of exposing us to the virus. So weíll spend the winter at Big Bend located in Brewster County, TX (population 9,000; land area 6,000 square miles; more than half the population in one town Alpine which is 120 miles from us here at Big Bend)!

With that, the year comes to a close. Hopefully 2021 will be better, with #45 gone, the pandemic under control (maybe), and life returning to a semblance of normal. Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous New Year!

That's about it for now... I never seem to have enough time to get everything onto these pages that I plan, but read on, check back here from time to time, and I will update information here as things change. Feedback is always appreciated!!!

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