Low-water Run of the Yampa River, Part 2: Raising Cliff on Rivers

Dear Reader, Our son, Cliff, grew up running rivers, starting when he was a toddler. In Colorado, he’s run: The Yampa, at least six times but never this low. The Delores where, at the age of six, he had his first kiss in the bow of our raft when a cute, little girl asked him if he’d ever made out). The San Juan. The Colorado: Pump House to State Bridge a gazillion times as a young boy; Ruby-Horsethief; and Westwater. The Green: Ladore Canyon, and Flaming Gorge, where at the age of eight, he kayaked his first Class 3 rapids. …

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A Haircut and a Shave: Nica Nugget #29

We have a good friend, Jon Adler, visiting us from our past hometown of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA. On his to-do list was to get a local haircut and a straight-edge shave, so today we took him to a barbershop on the SE corner across from the church, which always seems to be packed. The barber’s chair, and all four plastic chairs for people waiting were taken, half an hour before they closed for lunch, so a little after 1:00, I returned with Jon (my husband, John, went home) and we waited his turn. Cesar, the barber, greeted us with …

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Low-water Run of the Yampa River, Part 1: The River and the Water Tribe

Dear Reader, Before we could leave Colorado, and actually even before we could finish storing everything at our son’s home in Durango and head home to Nicaragua, we had one last thing on our to-do list: To run the Yampa River with our beloved water tribe. The Yampa River The Yampa River is a high mountain and desert river which begins in the Rocky Mountains above our old home of Steamboat Springs. It runs westward and free through northern Colorado until it flows into the Green River at Echo Park, near the border of Colorado and Utah. The Yampa, as …

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Rain: Nica Nugget #28

We have been watching this rain approach via computer models. We shopped for groceries. Made sure we had enough purified water. Froze two gallon-sized water jugs to later be placed in the fridge if we lost power. And cancelled a Game Night we were planning to host on our open air terrace. And today it arrived. Although tomorrow it’s supposed to be worse. We lost power last night around 2 am. It’s still off. And was off most of yesterday morning. I sit outside on my covered front porch writing this at 5:38 pm by what little natural light is …

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Things We Have & Things We Don’t: Nica Nugget #26

Jose may be missing his leg but he has his son Francisco and dog Oso who pick him up every day and brings him to the river by the edge of the sea to see what they can see. Jonathan has the intricately beautiful art made by his mother to hold and to sell but he doesn’t have the tourists to buy it. And we may each lack a magic wand but at least we do have the hearts that could wave it.

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Things Carried: Nica Nugget #25

He carries a mosquito fumigation gun which routinely blasts mosquito-killing chemicals into homes and businesses in town. She carries a pail full of plantains on her head. He carries upon his head fresh strawberries balanced on a full and well-cared-for box labeled Washington State Apples. Babies are carried in the crook of one arm while the bicycle is steered with the other. Grandmothers are carried, seated side saddle, on the back of son’s motorcycles. And hidden away, but just as colorful and unique, each one of us carries our hopes, dreams and fears.

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Lost in Managua: Nica Nugget #24

What do you do in a strange city when night is falling, rush-hour traffic is terrifying, it’s pouring rain, the streets are flooding, the roads Google Maps/Siri screams at you to take to your hotel are all blocked by road construction and you realize you are lost? You pull up to the nearest motorcycle taxi and hire them to lead the way. And then you hire them for the next morning to drive you through the construction maze to your nearby appointment at the US Embassy (Stop #1 in applying for our Nicaraguan residency), because you’ve always wanted to ride …

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Gatherings: Nica Nugget #23

•Wednesday Night was Writer’s Group: 6 Writers •Thursday Afternoon was Speed English’s first event: 10 English-Language Students & 10 Fluent-English Speakers •Friday Morning was Water Aerobics at Pelican Eyes: 6 of us old farts keeping in shape •Saturday was Farmer’s Market at Big Wave Dave’s: Many people •Sunday was Oscar Danilo Collado Dinarte’s church youth group at our house for a swim: 13 darling kids learning how to swim and 7 lifeguards I sweep the house. Do a load of laundry. And take a long nap.

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Moving Day. Correction: Moving Years, Part 2

Dear Reader, The day after our son, Cliff, closed on the purchase of his townhouse in Durango, Colorado, the three of us (John, Cliff and I) were on the road again, making the six-hour drive north, up and over two precarious mountain passes, to our barn in Rangely, Colorado. It would take us four 12-hr round trips, one U-Haul trailer and one U-Haul van, to get all of our stuff out of the barn and down to Durango. And it would take us two months living with Cliff in his townhouse, to sort, sell, toss, pack and store it all. …

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