Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good intentions

I'm normally not a bad cook, but something about the high altitude has done me in. The final straw--my attempt to bake a cake from scratch. All that trouble for this pathetic mess. At least the batter was delicious.

I have to get back in practice since I'm hosting Thanksgiving back home. We'll be returning to home for good. (Or at least Allison and I since Robert has hardly been here.) I'll be driving back two days before Thanksgiving so I'll have barely time to prepare.

I have been putting a lot of thought into my tablescape. I have an idea to suspend decorated aspen branches over the table in a kind of alpine theme. Today I set out to steal a few branches from somewhere inconspicuous. My first thought was the Gore Forest behind my condo, but I couldn't imagine hauling my harvest down the mountain, not to mention it is probably a criminal offense; and it certainly would have been super premeditated since I purchased the saw this morning after dropping Allie off at school. Then, as I was coming down Buffalo Mountain Drive, I noticed a pile of newly-cut trees on a house construction site. Who could object to my sawing off a few branches?

Aspen is by far the softest wood I have ever sawed into. And lightweight too. I hauled away four branches about six or seven feet long. Hopefully, I'll make it home with them and my little decorating dream will be realized. I've been known to think too big when it comes to projects. One summer trip here I had a carpenter friend construct forms to make concrete stepping stones. When we got here I gathered everyone to go down to Blue River to collect river stones. Then we went to the hardware store for concrete. Everyone laid out their stone mosaics on the driveway and waited as I hand-mixed the concrete in a five gallon bucket. I added water and stirred, added more water and stirred. This went on for over an hour as I never got the consistency right. Dusk approached and one by one everyone retreated to the house leaving me and my bucket until finally, I too, gave up. The next morning the bucket of concrete had solidified around my stirring stick turning my whole project into a giant concrete Popsicle.

Besides the cake, my day wasn't a waste. I took a long walk, a pilgrimage really, through Keystone to the playground on the Snake River, a place we have taken our boys through the years. I had someone's birthday to remember. That little someone sat on this very slide so many years ago.

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