La Salle, Colorado, Here We Come!
October 13,14,15, 2000
Sister Elaine and Ted Oster’s place
We had a great time in Colorado Springs visiting with my little brother, Jim and Sandy and the large family of children and grandkids. Loved every minute of it and treasure the memories even more since my brother recently went to talk with Dad and Mom setting under the big apple tree in heaven.
We left Colorado Springs in about noon and headed for I- 25 going the other way – north to La Salle. The 6 to 7 lanes of traffic through Denver was very distracting. Finally Bob got in the 4th or 5th lane and we sailed through to off ramps and different sections of different highways and ended up somehow in La Salle. Maybe I was a good Nag-a-va-tor that day!
I finally knew where we were. We drove on side roads through wonderful green farm land, nice houses and big barns. I felt like I was almost home again. I was anxious to see Elaine and Ted and girls and their home. They had remolded and a big kitchen added. I was not disappointed. It is beautiful, big and awesome. We were greeted with big smiles, hugs and kisses. Well, hand shakes between Bob and Ted!
We sat around an antique oval table and ate good hot Hamburger-Vegetable soup. (Recipe follows.) I make it often. Another good cooker in our family! Daughter, Amy is a great baker and cooker also. She spends many hours making Grandma Loretta McClure’s cookies every Christmas and Easter.
Bob spent hours and hours out in Ted’s acres and acres of antique cars, trucks, tractors and other equipment that had seen better days and served some farmer well.
The black horse-drawn surrey stored in a large shed is something Bob still talks about. Bob refers to all this as “Ted’s Treasures.” He also wondered how he could get an old drill press, grinders, cut off saws and antique tools packed in our van and get them back to Alaska. He gave up and let them be where they have been most comfortable for years. He tells his friends about the treasures that Ted has, plus all the John Deere Tractors, cars and trucks. Grey and I visited in later years He and Bob talk often about “Ted’s Treasures.”
We went to a Mexican restaurant and enjoyed very good food. Elaine and Amy ( I cannot remember if Jill and Susie were there – sorry!) took me to a craft show. I got to see the great Colorado crafts. We spent the rest of the day in the green coolness of the yard. I mostly sat in the swing chair on the patio at the shady side of the house and melted. This old gal was just plan HOT! My years in Alaska took its toll on me! The yard was full of pretty flowers, trees and green grass.
We ate more good food and jabbered long hours. I enjoyed every minute!
We also were greeted by many of my relatives who came to see us and visit. Many who are gone now from this world and resting in heaven. My memories bank is full of delightful memories!
We said good-bye with big hugs and lots of tears on a Sunday morning with directions to Wellington, Colorado, to visit with my niece, Regina McClure Bevin’s, my brother John’s daughter and her family on their farm. We found it without to much difficulty!
I marveled at the fact I could recall roads and highways after being away from that area for 33 years. Lots had changed and farms had turned into subdivisions.
Not to far from my Dad and Moms place that they retired to, after leaving the farm life, on Highways 14 outside of Fort Collins, was a huge Budweiser structure in what used to be a beet, wheat or hay field of some farmer.
We arrived at Regina and Rex place. Glad to see them and boys, Justin and Cody. They were very heavily involved in 4-H and it showed with the care they took of their calves and other animals. Regina and Rex were 4-H leaders. Proud of them and all the accomplishments.
We thought we had said goodbye to Elaine and Susie, Elaine’s oldest daughter, until they drove into the yard! I had left my address book and they so kindly brought it over. So we got to visit all together again! Regina grilled BBQed pork steaks and added other goodies to a great meal. Yup – you guessed it, she is a good cooker too!
Regina took me to Fort Collins, where I got to see all the different changes of a little town, turned into a large very pretty city. We visited the cemetery where my Dad and Mom and most of our relatives and neighbors rest. It is a beautiful well maintained place and one I had remembered from my childhood, many years earlier, when we had picnics on the 4th of July in the park next to it. After eating our fill of fried chicken and potato salad, Mom, me and my sisters, Ginger and Elaine, Grandma Cogswell, Aunt Ruth (Moms sister) and Grandma’s sister,Toots and her daughter, my girl cousin, Shirley, strolled over through the cemetery.
Regina and I picked up Pizza and beer for the guys and a pumpkin to carve for the boys as it was two weeks before Halloween. Had a delightful evening jabbering and resting up from a full day.
Regina also took me to Horsetooth Reservoir in the foot hills of the Rockies, west of Fort Collins. I remembered that being built to hold irrigation water for the farmers. They were draining it, not sure why. Maybe for repairs.
We left the next day after hugs and saying good-bye to a great family making their living on a farm and making ends meet, working other jobs. We had a delightful time!
We headed to Wyoming and to see our Alaskan friends who had moved to Torrington, Shirley and Larry De Vault.
Grannie Annie can be reached at anninalaska@gci. net