Two must listen to songs while on a road trip to my home state of Colorado is John Denver’s song, “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and Willie Nelson’s song, “On the Road Again.” You know you are thinking about those songs right now and maybe humming the tune in your head right? Taking a long road trip means hours of silliness, long talks and memorable stops for my daughter, Jessica, granddaughter, Hayley and me. We headed west to New Mexico where I picked up my Mom and headed to Colorado leaving the two girls to visit with family and friends and have adventures of their own. I was born and raised in Colorado and there is something so warm and comforting about going back but also something so sad. Wow, have things changed, six lanes of traffic in Colorado Springs, no thank you! When we crossed the state line into Colorado the smell of pine was so pungent and the mountains so majestic that it brought back some really wonderful memories of times spent in the mountains and growing up in that state. Those great memories helped dampen the negative feelings I was having over the stop and go traffic that really wrecked havoc on my drive time. Both destinations on this trip were short and sweet but filled with fun times, great food, a few tears and plenty of hugs. Likewise when we got “On the Road Again” for the return trip the sight of all that beautiful green that distinguishes our great state sent my happy meter to the extreme. I love traveling, but I love home. Reflecting on this summer and all the visitors who have come to the retreat as strangers and left as friends, sharing time with family and friends I feel truly blessed. “Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what,” (Unknown) that make each day a treasured memory. The relatives I visited this week accept me for who I am and they still love me. (Believe it or not.) Now that’s pretty impressive and a good way to spend my birthday week.

We had our first “repeat” guest stay with us this weekend with her two young daughters. I shared my love of dutch oven cooking with them while they enjoyed time around the campfire and the waterfall was a big hit with the little ones. Our family grew by three by the end of the weekend.

Henry, our groundhog, has a Mrs. Henry. The two love birds can be seen almost daily now along with a couple of very “nosy” armadillos tearing up the freshly mowed yards.

Summer 2017 may be a memory now but we have the school year and all it’s activities to look forward to with our children and grandchildren.

The fall garden is in and while we wait for the harvest we continue to work on our annual benefit football game coming up in September. The retreat is open year round for day and overnight guests and with the cooler temperatures and rain we are hoping for a really spectacular fall.

If you have a heart warming story to share, would like to visit the retreat, need a hug, want to book a stay, volunteer to help, or make a donation to our mission of addressing Senior Hunger, call 501-253-4716, 501-757-2750, email, text or message me on Facebook through The Dirty Farmers Community Market page.