Saturday was a day of colors: of gray, overcast fall skies; of flaming orange and red and golden trees as we drove up into the foothills; rivers of shimmering gold aspens catching the intermittent sunlight amongst the dark evergreens. I was kicking myself all afternoon for forgetting my camera. Then, because Dan’s parents were out of town we got to use their tickets to the CU-Texas football game. The walk up to the campus was all black and gold (CU) and muted rusty orange (Texas), and someone had put bright yellow-gold t-shirts in the stands, particularly in the student section. Thus, halfway through the (terrible, awful) game, I looked across the stands and noticed the same colors I’d seen earlier: patches of gold amongst darker color. (Some took advantage of the shirts by throwing them down on the field to protest plays or outcomes they didn’t like; the shirts were the same color as a yellow flag). I hadn’t been to a college football game since maybe 2000, and the games I attended while I was in college helped me discover some of my migraine triggers (loud unrelenting noise, humans screaming, the acoustics of such in a stadium). I’ll never sit in the student section at a game again.
But I digress. While I wasn’t impressed with the way CU played (it was really, really unimpressive) or with the CU band (I think I’m spoiled by Cal’s band, which was always great), I was impressed with the blowup doll that was tossed around by students and made its way onto the sidelines at one point, at which time the CU mascot put one of the tossed t-shirts on her. And I didn’t see what happened to her then, though I’m sure she is living a long happy life in a pasture somewhere. Equally impressive was the running of the CU buffalo at the start of the first and third quarters when the team came out. They have a real, live young female buffalo that gets run around the field, surrounded by 8 or 10 handlers, and she runs right into a trailer. Apparently she’s replaced every few years because each one grows up and gets mean. And then she gets to go live a long happy life in a pasture somewhere.
We had good intentions for the remainder of the weekend, but our errands took far longer than expected so the only room that got cleaned was the bedroom (which, admittedly, probably needed it the most). I counted over forty books next to my side of the bed and another 20+ on my nightstand, which are all now back on bookshelves where they belong, and we definitely need more bookshelves or to sell a bunch of books or something, because we are bursting at the seams with all our books. We also bought a vaccuum because the one some friends gave us when we moved into our current place never worked well and recently hasn’t worked at all. Is it funny that buying a vaccuum made me feel more Old and Married than getting married did?
Monday I spent running around like a chicken with my head cut off at work, trying to get everything finished (copies collated and folders stuffed and emails returned, follow-up calls, you know, all that stuff) before heading up to my first training in Glenwood Springs. I left work an hour later than I’d planned so I got to Glenwood right at six, with no time to stop and take photos of the most amazing fall color I’ve ever seen in Colorado. Vail pass was just incredible, as I was driving through with the afternoon sun hitting the mountains covered in bright gold aspen just at the right time. It quite literally took my breath away, and I really wished I hadn’t been driving so I could have just basked in its beauty. Maybe it’s like that every year, but I’ve never driven that way this early in the fall (usually the aspens have already dropped trou by the time I’m getting up there) and so never seen anything quite like it. People say that the northeast has the best fall color, but I’ll put Colorado’s aspens up against their maples any day of the week.
I spent the evening with Dan’s cousin and her husband who live in the area and were kind enough to entertain me for a few hours. I got slobbered on by some dogs and mostly ignored by a cat, saw photos from their wedding four years ago and talked a little politics and a little wine. When I got back to my hotel, I took a warm shower and got into bed, thinking I’d fall asleep right away. But that’s never the case when I’m away from home, particularly when I’m staying in a hotel rumored to be haunted (it was a sanitarium and a hospital at various times in its life), and my eyes were dry and red as I watched my first ever episode of the Duggar show on TLC or whichever channel that plays on. In said episode, Oldest JimBob Jr. (age 20) flew to Florida to ask some chick he liked (also age 20) to marry him. Notice I didn’t say girlfriend, because they weren’t dating (apparently, in the Duggarverse you’re only supposed to start dating/”courting” once you’ve already committed to marrying someone). Of course, he asked her father’s permission first, and he met her with her parents at a restaurant with a whole bunch of balloons and, of course, a camera crew. Nothing says “special” like balloons. So she said yes, took off her purity ring, put on the engagement ring, and they shared an awkward sideways hug. No full frontal contact, since that would be too intimate. And of course, no kiss (they spent the rest of the episode talking about how they were saving that for the wedding day). The two drove back to Alabama together, chaperoned by two of her siblings, and they sure did a lot of hand holding and saying “I love you” and Future OfJimbobJr looked sufficiently Stepford for the role. At one point JimBobJr also mentioned how he knew to look for someone like his mother, and Future OfJimBobJr was enough like his mother to get a proposal out of a horny 20-year-old. So, you know, good for them, but NO KISSING OR EVEN DECENTLY HUGGING BEFORE THE WEDDING? Too far, JimBobJr. Too far.
Needless to say, after watching that I did not sleep well. I woke up in time for a hasty breakfast at my favorite breakfast place in Glenwood (Daily Bread Bakery & Cafe) and then conducted a training from 8 AM to 5 PM. Then I drove the nearly 3 hours home.
I am wiped out and seriously considering taking tomorrow off work for a mental health day, or at least a half day. I would have done it today but had too much to do for the next training which is down in Durango and to which I have to DRIVE (I usually fly) so I will spend all day Monday driving and all day Tuesday training and all day Wednesday driving home. Fall in Colorado, you are beautiful, but you are exhausting.