Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Sunday, July 3, 2022

"And That Has Made All The Difference"

 At West View RV Resort, Dolores, Colorado...

Many will recognize the title of this post to be an abridgement of Robert Frost's famous quotation: 

Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

To further illustrate the overall themes of this post, I must include a snippet from the lyrics of Frank Sinatra's iconic song, "My Way" (the tune composed by Claude Francois):

Regrets, I've had a few but, then again, too few to mention...

You may have noticed that my posts of late have begun to point toward this blog's eventual conclusion, not that I'm contemplating it by any means, but perhaps because I have many more years behind me than those ahead. This month marks the 17th year of the publication of Phannie and Mae, and it is entirely appropriate, I think, to look in the rearview mirror and reflect upon the path we have traveled.

Having extra time on my hands among the idyllic mountain settings of Colorado affords a perfect opportunity to reminisce about having taken the road "less traveled by" and its having resulted in regrets "too few to mention."

An unknown butte in the foreground with Ute Mountain in the distance.
(Photo taken near Mancos, Colorado.)

You see, we believe we have enjoyed the best of both worlds--having spent most of our years working, raising a family in a nice home and being involved in a community that included friends, family and church activities. Then, in preparation for retirement, we decided RV travel would be a good way to visit all the places we had longed to go when we were no longer tethered by our responsibilities. And so we did--and it has "made all the difference," as has been faithfully recounted from day one in the hundreds of posts and countless photos in this blog. And we ain't done yet!

As we sit outside with friends Jackie and Steve, sipping a cold beverage and feeling a bit too cool in the high country breeze, we can't help but think of family and friends back in the cauldron that is Texas in the summer and how unthinkable it would be for them to need a jacket in mid-afternoon. We would, indeed, feel a bit guilty had we not worked hard to enjoy this privilege. 

From time to time, we question ourselves as to whether we miss having a regular house, and the answer inevitably comes back with a shudder. No! The reasons have been stated in previous posts, and nothing has changed. When we are forced to hang up the keys, we will be looking for something small and simple in a 55+ neighborhood. You will recall from previous posts that we have a hybrid of that now in Ranchito Hondo.

For those who wonder if we get bored when we go to Colorado for months at a time, we just say, "Are you kidding?" We have arrived at the age when simple pleasures matter most. These include being with good friends, talking with our family members, shopping for and sending trinkets and souvenirs to the grandkids, playing games, exploring, having potlucks and, most of all, remembering all the good times and good friends we have met along the way and wishing they could be with us. It also doesn't hurt that we are enjoying some of the most beautiful scenery and weather imaginable.

This brings me to what is perhaps the more important of the two pearls of wisdom expressed above by Messrs. Frost and Sinatra:  Regrets...too few to mention. One thing I have always thought would be a tragedy is to arrive at my sunset years regretting things I wished I had done. I can testify to the incomprehensible blessing of our having no regrets for having taken the path that has made all the difference.

If you find yourself wondering what kinds of things we do during our escape to southwestern Colorado, I have to tell you that relaxing is a mainstay. Here are a few photos of places and activities we also enjoy:

Steve proudly holds up his baby-back ribs, having outdone himself with his smoker.
So good!

A rainbow ends on Phannie's roof! No pot of gold was found, unfortunately.

Historic Durango is only an hour's drive away and, on another day, we were able to have lunch al fresco downtown at the Thai Kitchen. The weather was absolutely perfect--79 degrees, no wind, and no pesky insects. We lingered for quite a while, not wanting to leave:

On yet another day, we just had to make a visit to the Dolores farmers' market, held in a lovely park in the town center:

I scored a big bag of freshly-picked salad greens that were so good. (We had already used half the bag when I took this photo.):

Jackie purchased a couple of greeting cards made by a local crafter using something called  'quilling,' an amazingly intricate and laborious technique of which I had never heard. Impressive, huh? I don't know if she'll be able to bring herself to send them to someone:

Another trip to Durango required a visit to Honeyville, a specialty factory that deals in everything imaginable having to do with honey, as well as homemade jellies, preserves and other goodies. I was especially fond of the honey peanut brittle--perhaps my favorite candy of all time.

Sandy's making friends with the honey bear at Honeyville.

Having spare time to putter with Phannie, I installed a couple of cameras on the outside, so we won't be quite so oblivious as to what's going on when we're away or when all the shades are down at night. The video shows up on the cell phone wherever we are, and this is made possible through our constant wi-fi service via Starlink. The cameras are wireless and are easily detachable when we are ready to travel:

I thought you might like to get a flavor of what the first few weeks of our stay in the mountains was like. We will be leaving Cortez in a few days for Grand Junction, where Phannie will get her annual service. After that, we will proceed higher in the mountains to cool Gunnison for the rest of the summer. Stay tuned!

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

We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing. 
 ---George Bernard Shaw

"I get up every morning, and I just don't let the old man in." ---Clint Eastwood


  1. You two look fab-u-lous !!! I miss ya'll and I wish we were there with you to enjoy the great weather. I an jealous our temps here are 102 to 104 on the porch in the shade. The view from your rig is breath taking... ♥

    1. Hi, Debi! Oh my, I wish you and all our friends could be enjoying our time up here. We are so glad to hear from you and hope you are well and happy!

  2. Mike as a suggestion, our daughter took our blog and had it made into a book. We often go thru it remembering the great times. All the kids have showed interest in reviewing it and as a treasured keepsake.

    1. Funny you should mention this. We have been looking into making a book from this blog, but we're almost afraid to ask what 17 years of posts would cost!

  3. Always good to see that you have posted a new blog. Your writing is always appreciated and enjoyed .

    1. You're very kind; I always cherish encouraging comments like yours. Cheers!

  4. There is much to be said for contentment and this post reeks of it. I'm so happy that you and Sandy are so, well, happy. There are many people at this stage of life who cannot say the same for a great number of reasons. The two of you are certainly blessed and it's obvious that you realize that. Enjoy your summer adventures!

    1. Ah, Mary…always good to hear from you. I always admire your positivity and humor expressed in your writing. I think you and Alan need to come to Colorado right now!

  5. Are you certain the "unknown butte" isn't just a bit of Mesa Verde? It sort of dominates the skyline in that neck of the woods. Anyway, great blog, as always. We live in Colorado, and even we are jealous of all the traveling you do in the state!

    1. Hi, Lee! Now that you mention it, you're probably right. It's certainly in the right place. Thanks for the information and your kind comment. So glad you're traveling with us!


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