The Labor Day Trip – 2003 III

I had ever since I discovered Kenosha back in 1979 when I moved to Denver. It was truly my arcadia. The huge mountainside to the east was covered with great swaths of lush-green aspens intermingled with the darker evergreens. I could only remember what it was going to look like in a little more than a month when the aspens would be resplendent in their golden colors. A cool, cloudy mist had settled in, making it again, just as in northeast New Mexico, feel more like winter than summer. After sundown, I was enveloped in a aura of darkness that was black as India ink. I mean, it was really dark, and getting mighty nippy outside with the temperature hovering around 50 degrees. Then there was the soothing sound of rain on the roof, and I thought it would be appropriate to break out some candles in order to have some light by which to write in my journal. It was the ultimate in peacefulness.

I awoke to a cold, drizzly morning, and stayed in bed for another hour, so thankful for being where I was. I was in no hurry whatsoever. I was content to spending as much time as I could on top of Colorado. I finally made my way down to Bailey where I stopped for some high-priced octane, now at $1.76 per gallon. I called cousin Vivian Farris/Rosso to let her know I was in the area. I found out they were just leaving for her son Randy’s first football game in Evergreen about 20 miles from Bailey. She also said the house would be unlocked and to come up and make myself at home.

I remembered the exit off Hwy 285, but then realized I had forgotten to ask Vivian for the specific directions to the house. I wandered around the area, asking several people out walking if they knew where Pinon Street was, but to no avail. I finally saw a man tinkering around in his garage. As luck would have it, he just happened to have a detailed map of the community. It was a walk in the park to 222 Pinon Street. It wasn’t hard to miss the Rosso’s house — John Farris’s RV Battleship Galactia was wedged into the driveway. It felt a little strange walking into an empty house, but I soon relaxed by the TV to watch a crucial baseball game between the Giants and Diamondbacks.

Sooner than expected, the Rosso/Farris clan came filtering into the homestead, somewhat rain-drenched. It seemed that Randy’s football game had been cancelled because of a heavy downpour, but not just because of the rain, but because the officials had ruled that the natural grass surface would be ruined for the rest of the season if play continued. Can you believe that? Only in Colorado.

It was a great family gathering with Vivian’s sister JoEllen and her fiancé Patrick coming up from Denver, and Jerry’s brother Ron Rosso coming from Southern California. I tried consoling Randy on the game being cancelled, and he simply said, “It’s okay. We have the whole season ahead of us.” Spoken like a real trooper. I noticed Vivian sitting at a table in the kitchen corner all by herself, preparing something for the dinner. I went over and sat down next to her to keep her company. She was immersed in rolling up enchiladas, one of her best concoctions. While we got up to date with each other, I had to say, “Vivian, I’m really proud of how you and Jerry have raised such three beautiful kids (Little John was just a tyke). Randy and Rachel seem to be so precocious, if you get my meaning.” She gave an approving smile.

It was a moveable feast as Vivian had outdone herself again with a delectable Mexican dinner. Cousin John and I shared a bottle of my Red Rose. Ron told of a rather unique cautionary sign that had recently sprouted up along highways between San Diego and Mexico, depicting a man, woman, and child walking arm-in-arm — a “Lookout for Immigrants Crossing” warning. Only in California! JoEllen shared a satellite photo of the Big Blackout in the northeast. Wow! Was that ever eerie! Then Jo Margaret’s birthday cake was brought out, and Cuz John went crazy with his latest technologically-advanced gadget— a digital camera.