Vacations Are Over

Miss Trixie and Ol’ Dutch recently made a sojourn out into the Valley for needed supplies, including stops over in Center, Monte Vista, the Amish area and Alamosa, then home to South Fork. We needed some specific items for the Chapel Jewels Annual Fashion Show to be held Thursday, Aug. 12, at The Chapel on the South Fork so we got to spend the day out and about in the beautiful San Luis Valley.

If you have not been South of Monte to experience the rural stores in that area, try and take the opportunity to visit them as you will be pleasantly surprised. But be prepared to spend some real cash as the selection of fresh baked goods will keep calling you back again and again and the bargains to be found at Magdelena’s Sunshine Store are always a surprise and fun to find.

Amidst all that fun Ol’ Dutch noticed that the traffic on Highway 160 was horrific. Now, this was not just the usual passing on a double yellow line kind that the road is known for, but it was a constant flow eastward of huge campers, trucks pulling ATV’s and jeeps and other rigs. All of them seemed to be in a mad rush home after spending all their money on vacation. It's funny to me that they are in as much of a hurry to get home as they were to get here.

But regardless of the craziness that the mass of crawling lemmings headed out of our state appears to be, it's just that time of year when schools start winding up and parents have to get home to shop for the requisite items needed for each child to begin school.

I can remember how excited I was growing up going to Woolworths Dime Store and getting all new supplies for the school year. You know the list: a box of crayons, paper, tape, four Big Chief Tablets, 10 yellow #2 pencils, two of those great big green erasers and a black tin paint set.

Miss Trixie, ever her helpful self, just asked if Ol’ Dutch had an inkwell and a quill pen “back in those days.” And that's why I love her so much. She is so eager to add her two cents in when I am trying to think.

From what I can recall we never got to use the paint set as the teachers knew it would be too messy, so we just got them for show and to clatter around in the metal desks we were assigned. The boys always ended up with a mixed lot of broken crayon pieces scattered about the tilt-top desks while the girls Crayola’s looked as good as the day they were first purchased even at the end of the year. There is a message there somewhere for another column, I think

The boy next to me in second grade ate every eraser that he could find, and I lost quite a few to that voracious consumer of rubbery goodness. I do recall that the big green erasers didn't last all that long for Ol’ Dutch and thinking back that may be because I made a lot of mistakes. And come to think about it, the comment about the inkwell got me thinking that maybe I also made one about Miss Trixie also. Where is that eraser when I need it?

But regardless of the reasons for returning home, the exit from the Valley is constant as families return to hearth and home in distant places leaving the local coffers full once again of gold and silver thrown about like manure on a garden.

It may be dirty, but it makes things grow. So, wave as they go by and take a breather before they once again return, credit cards in hand to strap on boards to their feet and partake of the ski slopes patiently awaiting the glimmering snow.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected]. Additional news can be found