another aloha thanksgiving!

this was my third year of thanksgiving in colorado, which has a lot of potential to be a day filled with missing my friends and family gathering and giving thanks in new england. while there is always a bit of that, thanksgiving in colorado has also become a terrific tradition. colby walker's family has been kind enough for the past 4 or 5 (?) years to open up their family, home and turkey to any aloha orphans living in colorado. this year was my third appearance at the aloha turkey reunion and it was another memorable and heartwarming holiday.

this year we held the feast at colby (and gaffney)'s new place in leadville rather than at his parents house in dillon where we usually are. they are living in a huge, cozy home with several other copper patrollers. we had 17 people for dinner, ten of whom were alums of the aloha foundation. there are actually even more aloha folks in colorado-- in boulder, colorado springs, castle rock, and other little pockets of the state... it is amazing what a crowd there is living in colorado who all have ties to camp.

i am so thankful for all of these friends who do live in colorado. since colorado is far bigger than any new england state, we are scattered at least a few hours apart... but we do manage to see each other every month or two, and those adventures are simply fabulous. i appreciate having a camp family out here, when so many of our families are thousands of miles away.

so, thank you to colby & fam for hosting another delicious and generous thanksgiving.
and thanks to my 'aloha west' family for a fabulous reunion.

mom & dad, don't worry- i still miss you and the family holidays.

i'm thankful for all of you.


november 19th celebrations

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAYLA! hope you enjoyed a terrific vermont birthday complete with cake and cabot.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLEN! sending you all sorts of spunky love and best wishes for your final months at vassar.


Meet Peabody!

the trip to SLC was a success! i am pleased to introduce you all to my new road buddy, peabody. peabody was a california rental car in its previous life. i'm not yet sure if it is a mr. peabody or a princess peabody. so far we are enjoying our time together very much- peabody is so fast and so smooth! who knew a mid-20s girl would be so excited about a 'grocery getter" aka station wagon? but i am loving it. in the first 400 miles, peabody has averaged 28.2 mpg (300 of that was highway), which is similar if not better than garby's mileage.

why the name peabody you ask? i've had my eye on the "willow green" color for about a year and a half and didn't know what it was called for a long time. brett once called it a "pea" green, which triggered the PEABODY. you see, peabody is actually a family name on my mother's mom's side of the family. her name was rosamond peabody hamlin before she was married. growing up i had a t-shirt from some sort of family event (details are totally fuzzy?) that read
and i used to race vanessa (v) and probably other friends in who could say in quickest... like a tongue twister. i practiced the same little twister while test driving the cars in slc. :)

so, i look forward to more drives ahead with all of you in a new ride and on new roads.


“Remember your tools:
flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.
Make soup.
Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
Imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty
Or the gesture of a fish.
Swim for the other side.
Wage peace.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Don’t wait another minute.”
-Judyth Hill


vroom vroom.

it's the end of an era, folks. my days with my trusty volvo are coming to a close. many a mile, many a road has been travelled, and while i am eager to get a new car, it is certainly bittersweet. along with the end of my volvo days comes the end of my vermont license as well as my vermont plates! i'm a bit overdue, as i have lived in colorado for 2.5 years already... but it still feels significant.

the volvo has been named garby for about five years... after several names that didn't stick, he was randomly named garby (short for garbanzo) in colby walker's kitchen on my first ever trip to colorado. most likely colby doesn't even know that. it was certainly years before garby ever came to colorado!

garby and i have driven approximately 110,000 miles together. we have experienced one minor accident, one minor speeding ticket and several parking tickets in various cities. we have driven across the country three times, and have driven an average of 50 miles a day for the past year.

in my first month at my current job, my boss (who is also a volvo owner) came into the office one morning after parking next to me. she said "eliza, i have never seen a car that so accurately represented its driver." and it is true- the assortment of stickers that somehow ended up glued onto a car which i once proclaimed would never have stickers represented my values and places important to me... an aloha foundation sticker, vassar college, NOLS, AMC, tree decal, and of course my crazy rowers.

i wanted to write about garby on here because i know that most anyone who would be reading my blog has some sort of tie or memory to an adventure that occurred in the volvo. perhaps you drove to school, to barre (with the base pounding), around lake morey or even across the country in it. perhaps we held hands, or sang loud songs or listened to books on tape.

despite his leaky tire, his front wheel drive, and his fading controller, garby has been a faithful, powerful and comfortable transporter. not to mention his extreme safety, his handy tape player (i sure will miss that), and his heated seats. i can only hope that my next ride will be as smooth, safe and successful.

tomorrow we are off to salt lake city, where there seems to be a colony of my hard-to-find dream car. with any luck, my next post will be welcoming a new co-pilot to my highway!



This post is way overdue, but I feel like I can't write about anything else until I at least touch on the subject of BARACK OBAMA-- both my experience seeing him speak in Denver as well as the recent election!

On October 26th, Brett & I awoke at 4:30 am to drive to Denver for an Obama Rally. We met up with a lovely assortment of my friends & headed into downtown Denver to the rally. The line was massive... but luckily Kat had an in through a group she had been working with! We ended up jumping to the front of the line to join a group supporting green jobs... that happened to be organized by an 08 Vassar Grad (Eleanor Fort, for you vc folk out there)! Nearly as soon as we met up with them, we got to enter the park. After a lot of standing, some group photos, a bit of singing, a lot of laughing, and a touch of dancing, hearing from most of the Colorado Democratic Politicians.... OBAMA came out. His speech was, of course, mainly stuff we have all heard before in debates, speeches, and emails... but it was still inspiring, energizing and exciting to see him in person! As you will see in the last photo, there was a little bit of an issue with the stage set up, but luckily we were able to laugh over it rather than be tooo frustrated. We found out later that there were over 100,000 people there, which was his largest rally to date. All in all it was a memorable day of renewing hope for this country as well as appreciation for friendship.

For Election Night, we went over to Ken & Carol's (our landlords) with our friends Rob & Anita... we had watched all the debates together so it seemed only right to watch the big night together as well. We cheered as blue states came in, held our breath for Colorado's results, and drank champagne when Obama was declared the winner! I certainly cried when he gave his speech (as well as twice earlier in the day b/c i was so nervous!).

I am so so happy that Obama won. My hope & faith in this country has been renewed and it was such a memorable event in history. There is certainly a lot of work to be done, but I am so thankful that Obama will be the one to work on it.

I am going to try to post some photos of the Rally (wish me luck)-- and camera credit for the actual Obama pics goes out to Alysha because I had a little camera battery incident right at the crucial moment...


"I'm for best friends
Long drives and smiles
Nothing but the sound of thinking for miles.
For the unconditional love of dogs
May we learn the lessons of their love by heart.
For therapy when you need it
And poetry when you need it
And the wisdom to know the difference.
For love and the fragile human heart
May it always grow and heal
stronger than it was before.
For walks in the woods themselves
By which I mean the trees
Definitely for the trees.
Window seats and locally brewed beer
And love letters written by hand
with fountain pens
I'm for all of these."
-Taylor Mali