Boom or Bust in the mountains

Being in a new relationship the second time around is so interesting in my 50’s.   I have heard people call their first marriage their “starter marriage”.  By their second marriage they are determined to live the lessons they learned from the first.  To show up differently in their next relationship.

Since moving to the mountain we have bought a crock pot.  We have tried to make lamb stew and beef bourgeois.  I do feel like a new wife who wants her husbands belly to be happy.    I myself like cooking and chopping and drinking and nibbling more than I like eating the end result.  Suffice to say I am an ok cook but not great.

So I decided to go to a local bookstore to get a crock pot cookbook.  I ventured out in Breckenridge and found a great used bookstore run by two young guys.  I asked them about cookbooks, they led me to a back room and pointed to piles of books on the floor.  “These are all our cookbooks”.   I said I was looking for a slow cooker cookbook.   One young guy pulled out the “fix it and forget it” cookbook, I flipped through it.  It was mostly ingredients like velveta and cream of mushroom soup.  I opted for the classic vintage crockpot cookbook titled Mable Hoffman Crockery cookery from 1975, it used whole ingredients.

I went home and cooked beef bourgeois as per her recipe and it turned out great. It seems that at altitude more flour and water is needed. My fiancé seemed super happy and we ate it once with french crusty bread and once with pasta.   I forget that if something is not sealed and in the fridge it goes rock hard within an hour or two.  Welcome to thin dry air in the Colorado mountains.

I think about women who married gold miners here in the 1800’s what kind of life they must have had.  No running water, and a wood stove.  One woman who owns a clothing store told me that her space used to be a bathhouse in the 1860s.  She said that gold miners would come down the mountain and take a bath on one side of the store, and then buy chocolates on the other side of the store for their sweetheart.

We live right in the gold-rush town.  “Downtown” consists of 4,500 permanent residents, with 160,000 tourists that arrive over the winter season to ski. The town  becomes a ghost town on April 23rd when the mountain closes.  Boom or Bust.

Relationship Flashbacks and Mud season

After the initial romantic fling ends, the domestic partnership begins.

Last night my fiance brought out a wood spatula to show me how the rice had been baked on in the dishwasher, and informed me “it needs to be scrubbed before it goes into the dishwasher”.

“Oh I see” as he waved it in front of me while I was reading the New York times weekend edition.

Then came the muffin pan, “you really need to wash these by hand you know” .

“Oh ok”

“I am not nagging you, I just want us to be a good cleaning team”.

“Oh ok”

When did we transition from passionate romance to being a good cleaning team?  Yes it has been a long winter in the mountains.  And the snow continues.

We are now officially in mud season.   This means that the ski hills have closed April 23rd, but the snow continues to fall.

The restaurants and cafe’s that were packed are now empty.  Most people have closed up shop and gone on vacation for 2 weeks.

We were initially excited for mud season that lasts from April 23-June.  We thought finally, we can get a table in some of the really nice restaurants like Relish, Twist and Hearthstone, that are always packed with a 1-2 hour waiting list.

Now we go to these gorgeous restaurants and they are closed till May 29th.  Even our favourite sushi restaurant does not reopen till June.

I understand that businesses need a break before the summer tourists arrive to hike, bike and rock climb the mountains.  Suddenly the only people left are the few locals that are too poor to take an exotic vacation.

Our beloved yoga teacher hurt her back, but the chiropractor and the accupuncturist are away, and will be back after mud season- so suck it up.

My fiance just came back with dinner and told me the hot local news.  The city has just hired a new housing authority, as housing is in short supply in the mountains.  The successful candidate has just turned down the job, because he can’t find affordable housing here.

Well no cleaning team tonight, take out fish and chips from Murphy’s irish pub, and a Netflix movie, who says romance is dead?

Braving the golf ball hail, waiting for spring…..