I live with my husband and our dogs at 9,000 feet in a tiny mountain village, in the Colorado Rockies. Life here isn’t easy but those of us who live here do so because we really like it.
Before COVID , (we are always going to be saying that) a gathering of us girlfriends was a regular occurrence. After getting over the hump of not getting together at all because of COVID, I thought I got used to it. I didn’t think I missed it. Then all of the joy came back; laughing, being serious, hugging with good friends was indeed missed. We had a simple potluck birthday to welcome Linda (60) and Erin (65) to old age. Thanks to local baker Alice for her delicious cake. The happy event was a real mind booster.
Back row: Linda, Julie (author), Judy – front left Erin and Chris
Segue to booster of the COVID prevention sort …Public Health makes it so easy for us to get our booster. Nurse Shawna has had plenty of practice to make the experience as painless as possible.
I’m fully vaccinated and have had my booster, as has everyone gathered together. As of December 18, 2021, according to John Hopkins University and Medical Coronavirus resource center, the US has had 50,746,604 cases and 806,171 deaths. Some of the long-term effects of COVID include fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, sleep disorders, fevers, anxiety and depression. According to John Hopkins, 62% of the US population is fully vaccinated. Global Deaths are 5,349,119.
In Lake City we isolated (and maybe hoarded a little) before it was fashionable. Thankfully we don’t have a shopping mall or grocery chain. We do have a delightful little grocery store and some charming eateries are open year round. Christmas in Lake City is where the participating businesses have decorated for the holiday and homemade goodies are available. There’s the tree lighting and Christmas parade. Old fashion fun like Christmas crafts and cakewalks are part of the enjoyable activities. The week before Christmas Lake City held a delightful crafts fair. We don’t have traffic lights. We wait on the meandering deer who often blend in with the town’s Christmas decorations.
We don’t have a hospital. We do have a caring staff of medical professionals at our Lake City Area Medical Center. There’s a trauma room, a bit of a pharmacy, some testing available and depending on conditions, ambulance and helicopter airlift. The center also has a well equipped dental clinic. Our outstanding staff has a very difficult job of generally managing the increased older population which visits in the warm months. As a previous doctor stated: “It’s a challenging life here and it’s telling when you work as hard or harder than you would someplace else and make half the money and you don’t regret it.” He also said that Lake City Area Medical Center almost has two seasons: an urgent care season in June through September and then a preventive care season that’s the rest of the year. As Cindy Dozier said, “The value of the clinic can’t be overstated.” Our amazing, highly trained, hard working staff is able to allow many elderly and people with chronic medical conditions to visit. These folks wouldn’t be able to come to Lake City without the medical center. Our medical staff absolutely gives peace of mind to the community, especially in the winter.
More friends of Lake City Residents, CCS: Christian Community Service was founded for the purpose of providing help on a temporary basis to anyone in the Lake City area who has basic and urgent needs such as food, clothing, gasoline, rent assistance, transportation to the doctor and medical needs. These are needs that often seem to “fall through the cracks” of other aid provided in our community. CCS is interdenominational, and we serve in Christ’s Name, seeking to fulfill the great commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). To receive assistance, any of the church pastors can be contacted as well as Public Health.
This time of the year Mother Nature is a friend with air is so clean its sweetness can be tasted. The stars are able to stand impressively out because of the dark, dark sky. A single snowflake can be heard fluttering to the ground. Life in our little mountain village is out of the ordinary. You can have light, air and noise pollution anywhere – not having it in this 21st century is an extraordinary blessing. Perhaps precisely because it’s not an easy life, those of us who think it worthwhile find living here being fully immersed in life, more conscious of living. Walks in the mountains, wildlife watching, or simply enjoying nature and our connection to it is excellent for body and soul. Wherever you live, take care of yourself; walk and seek out healing nature. Be kind to each other and the animals.
How are you doing?
“The most precious gift we can give one another is letting them know they matter.” Julie A R Stephens