Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Piranhas in Colorado Springs!

At Colorado Springs KOA, Colorado Springs, Colorado...

We've stopped here mainly to visit friends, as we've toured most of the sights here already--except for a couple we're going to try to work into the agenda. The next day after our arrival, good friends and fulltimers Ed and Marilyn were kind enough to join us for lunch at Jake and Telly's, an excellent Greek restaurant in old Colorado City. After enjoying our lunch al fresco in the perfect weather, we sat for quite a while catching up since our last visit in the Rio Grande Valley back in February. As we parted, we discussed meeting again at their RV park in a day or two.

After lunch, we stopped at Just Brakes to have Mae's brakes inspected. I had noticed more fading than usual while driving in the mountains, and I anticipated there would be some issues. I was right; the rear brakes were hardly worn at all, as they were out of adjustment, which meant that the front brakes were doing most of the work and the rotors were, indeed worn beyond limits. After new rotors, an adjustment and a brake fluid change, Mae was good as new, and the braking action was noticeably better.

A band of thunderstorms moved through the area during the night ahead of a cool front, leaving behind overnight temperatures in the low 50s; it seemed strange to be running the heaters in both Phannie and Mae in August but boy, could we get used to this! The weather today was beautiful--perfect for what I thought was going to be a cookout, hosted by Ed and Marilyn and joined by a gaggle of other friends whose company we usually enjoy--until today.

You see, Ed sent an email and a text early this morning advising that the cookout was on--for tomorrow, not today. His messages went on to elaborate on the weather forecast and even included the dishes that others were bringing to the soiree. It was a while before I picked up my cell phone and read the messages, admittedly in a just-awakened fog. (Like most normal people, we tend to sleep later than Ed who, for reasons that are unclear, often arises before the sun comes up.) 

I'm not sure if I was wearing my glasses while reading the messages but, it didn't really matter, as they're more or less useless until about 10:00 a.m., before which time there's really not anything worth seeing anyway. (I have support for this: If you recall, early advertisements for Dr. Pepper included the face of a clock with the times 10, 2 and 4 highlighted. I took this to mean that it was improper to drink Dr. Pepper before 10 a.m., a very sensible bit of advice, obviously from experts, that I have embraced with gusto since being retired.) And if it's improper to drink Dr. Pepper before 10 a.m. then, it must be improper to do a lot of other things, like read emails--especially long ones with lots of words, like Ed's. So, I missed the word "tomorrow"; it wasn't my fault, it was Ed's, for giving me way too much information way too early.

And it was with that misinformation that Sandy and I hopped into Mae and began our 20-mile trek out to Mountaindale, an attractive RV Park south of Colorado Springs in a bucolic mountain setting. As usual, we left Phannie so as to arrive at our destination fashionably late. (An entrance not seen by others is an entrance wasted.)

Upon our arrival at Ed and Marilyn's coach, we were unable to make our entrance before the group--because there was no group! Marilyn was lounging outside reading a book and, as we passed by a window, I heard Ed's disembodied voice exclaim excitedly, "Hey, Mike and Sandy!" as if we had just beamed down from a spaceship. 

Clearly, there were no preparations for a cookout, and there we stood, realizing something was amiss, but not fully comprehending until Ed strode outside and said, tactfully, "How nice of you to come by for a visit before our cookout tomorrow."

After it became obvious that we were a day early, we sat, red-faced, and talked for a while. Our hosts, sensing our plight, attempted to make us feel better by recounting an embarrassing misstep of their own in days gone by. In a few minutes, others in our group of friends in the park ambled up and, upon learning of our debacle, were not nearly as charitable. In fact, it was much like a school of piranhas going after a wildebeest that had fallen in a river.

But we didn't mind; it was all in fun and, since I am not above throwing a few verbal jabs myself now and then, it is only fair that I take the ribbing that I was due. It was great merriment, and everyone, including Sandy and me, had a good laugh at my expense. What I also know, however, is that it is not over. There is the real cookout tomorrow, and more piranhas will be attending. 

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.


  1. Sometimes these things happen but at least all is in good fun and you can laugh at it.
    Myself I am always up before sunrise, in my opinion the beast part of the day, don't want to miss any sunlight, ya know.

    1. I hear you, George. If the truth were known, I am actually jealous of those who get up early and seize the day. I ruined my body clock by working nights for so many years flying cargo and mail.

  2. If it makes you feel better, I once (when I was much younger) took a flight from Amsterdam to Saudi Arabia on the wrong day. That casused quite some problems for me. I tried to blame the airline for letting me on the plane a day early, but nobody was buying that either:))

  3. That does make me feel better. The story I mentioned in the post that was told by my friends involved a couple whom they met at an RV park social and who invited them to come by their coach afterward. My friends misidentified their coach and showed up at one occupied by perfect strangers, who invited them in! It was an awkward time until their error became apparent, and the story made the rounds of the campground. A good laugh, indeed!


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