The Last Week

Day 44 and the end of my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

Today was the kids’ last day of school. Yesterday was Nathan’s last day of work, and the day before that was my last day as music director at our church.

So it just seems fitting that even though we’re not pulling out of Loveland for good until June 19th, I’m going to end my little blog series of things I love about Loveland.

There’s plenty more I could add, but I must admit that my heart is really leaning towards Minnesota now and also there are many things to do to prepare for our move. AND we are excited that next week we will embark on a week-long tour of five national parks in the region with Nathan’s parents, who are coming out for a visit. This will include the Grand Canyon, and it will be the first time any of us will have seen it.

So I’m off on my own mini summer break here in Colorado, and will resume blogging after we make our move. Maybe there will be fun new things to post as I discover my new neighborhood there.

Much love from – and to – Loveland, Colorado!

Bill Reed Middle School

Day 43 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

In 2015 my firstborn started middle school. We’ve loved that both schools our kids have attended while we’ve lived here have been walking distance from home. We also loved that at Bill Reed, Luthien started playing cello and enjoyed attending orchestra as part of her classroom schedule every day.

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She also joined yearbook club and played volleyball this year.

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The 7:25 am start time was not a favorite, nor was the predictable middle school social drama; and we felt her sadness both years when she tried out and didn’t get into the spring play – but we still loved going to all the plays because they were so well done. All in all, these have been good sixth and seventh grade years for my girl and I’m thankful she got to attend this school.

Mustard Seed House Churches

Day 42 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

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Tonight was our family’s last service with our church here in Colorado, Mustard Seed House Churches. We joined this community as it was forming in 2013, the year we moved here. It’s an ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) congregation with a unique model. Each time we meet, we gather around a table and share a meal. The larger church is made up of smaller house churches based in different areas around northern Colorado. Each week one house church meets in someone’s house, and once a month all of these churches meet together in Fort Collins at the USC Lutheran Campus Ministries’ chapel for a bigger dinner and worship service together.

Tonight our pastor Andy utilized a selfie stick to get everyone in this group photo, and we said some tearful goodbyes as our community gathered around and prayed a blessing over us.

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River’s Edge Natural Area

Day 41 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

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Another of my favorite running routes takes me through River’s Edge Natural Area. In this photo the water isn’t showing, but there are several large ponds ringed by gravel trails through prairie grasses, and I suppose part of why I love coming here is because it reminds me of Minnesota. Except with mountains as a backdrop.

I took the above photo this morning when my dog stopped to sniff/pee on some grass and I noticed the blue flowers in the foreground.

Here are some photos I took when I ran through here in February:

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Pinewood Reservoir

Day 40 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

Today Nathan and I took a motorcycle ride out west of town into the foothills past Carter Lake and up to where the public road ends at Pinewood Reservoir. The hairpin turns up (and back down!) the mountain make for a slightly too-exhilarating ride for my taste, but it’s worth it for this view.

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And yes, that’s snow! There isn’t any left in Loveland from last week’s storm, but it’s still hanging around at slightly higher elevations.

Loveland’s St. Francis of Assisi

Day 39 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

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This guy feeds the squirrels peanuts, patiently, generously, sweetly. “Want a peanut? Come here, come here, want a peanut?” you can hear him calling as you walk past. I see him at least every week. Sometimes he plays a ukelele and sings, maybe to the squirrels, maybe for the preoccupied humans walking by with their little screens.

Sorry you can’t really see any squirrels in this photo. I took it hurriedly and candidly, more interested in the man than the squirrels. But the squirrels do gather, wherever he and his peanuts are!

P.S. I am leaving Loveland temporarily tomorrow, heading to Minnesota for an extended weekend to see if we can find a house. My blog posts will be on hold until next week when we return.

Muse

Day 38 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

Got to take my mom out for coffee this morning, extending Mother’s Day another day. We had to make up for lost time – this is the first time we’ve been together for Mother’s Day since I moved here in 2013.

Dallabetta’s Muse is a coffee shop located on the premises of a sculptor’s studio. The sculptor is Jane DeDecker, and her husband Kyle Dallabetta runs the coffee shop. Coffee and goodies are great, and so is the atmosphere. Sculptures and art are everywhere, including functional exit signs, railings, fixtures and parking signs.

Should’ve gotten photos of the inside, but you’ll just have to check it out yourself if you haven’t yet and are in the area! Note the hours are quite limited (open till about 3 on weekdays – don’t trust the Yelp page linked to above for hours!).

 

Front Porch Perch

Day 37 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

I have always loved front porches. Our big old Victorian house in Owatonna had one, and I spent many afternoons out there reading or writing – a good bit of my work on Frankenchurch was done there. And plenty of not-working too.

Here in Loveland, our smaller house has a smaller front porch, but it still has one, and I’ve taken full advantage of it, often with my faithful doggy companion Cody.

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I’m hoping my front porch luck will hold as we look for a house in Minnesota!

Uncle Benny’s Building Supplies

Day 36 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

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This place is amazing. Used/salvaged building supplies galore! We’ve bought and sold and donated more than a few things here since we bought our house three years ago. Fancier stuff is kept in the building at the front, and out back are sheds and sheds of materials – each one filled with similar items (all the storm doors are together, all the gutters, all the countertops, etc. etc.).

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And between the sheds, even more stuff that can handle sitting outside without a roof over it.

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Today we were looking for metal roofing for our garage, but didn’t find enough to do the whole roof.

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We did donate a couple extra cabinet doors we had been storing in our basement though. And got to say hi to the huge loveable dog who often greets us there. And spied an outhouse for $300 on our way out. But passed it up.

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We also spotted this vehicle, which is often parked downtown on school mornings, with the big dog sitting in the back. Silas and I always enjoy seeing it on our walks to school.

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