Row upon row of faces — old, young, girls, boys — gathered to share the feast in front of them.  Despite the stress of the holiday season being upon us in the next two weeks, everyone appeared relaxed and content.  Sharing turkey, potatoes, pumpkin pie and spirited conversation with friends they’ve known for years and newcomers who’ve just arrived for their first winter in Nederland.

I’ve lived a lot of places during my life, so many in fact that my mother teases me that all my addresses from the time I left home until now take up three full pages in her address book.  Still, I can’t recall another place where the entire town gathers for a community Thanksgiving dinner, a sign of how we look after our fellow residents and give thanks.

More than anywhere else I’ve lived, I feel grateful all the time for the multitude of blessings that comes with our life here in Nederland.  After eight years of living here, every night when I drive up Boulder Canyon and arrive home, I feel blessed.  Here are just a few:

  • Hiking to and stand on top of Isabelle Glacier.  No special mountaineering skills required.
  • The companionship of our two dogs and two cats, and for all the other pets in our neighborhood I’ve gotten to know.  A special blessing for Luke, the yellow lab, whose life was tragically taken too soon.
  • The alpenglow of reds and pinks that illuminate the Indian Peaks as the sun sets over them during the extended evenings in summer.
  • Volunteering for the US Forest Service this past summer doing wilderness trail patrol.  The people I met inspired me of their stories of perseverance to climb the highest peaks and passes.
  • A magical snowy ski on the Sourdough Trail from the Rainbow Lakes Road to Brainard Lake.  It’s amazing how quiet and hushed the woods can be when you go farther than a mile out from the trail head.
  • So grateful that here in Colorado this past summer we had a relatively quiet fire season.  After last summer’s trauma of the Cold Springs Fire, it was nice to received the rains in August.
  • Grateful for the friendship of neighbors and friends who inspire me to write their stories on this blog.
  • Grateful to have been able to serve the Town of Nederland as the Coordinator for the Mining Museum.
  • Grateful to have another year of exploring the wonders of this amazing landscape we live in here