Christopher Creek warmed up this week. The dab of snow a week ago didn’t leave but two-tenths in the rain gauge. Tomato seedlings are two inches high, tulips have bloomed, as has the pear tree. House wrens have settled in the birdhouses and are serenading in the early mornings.
Stan is putting in an elk fence around his new garden down on Columbine.
The woods are open thus far and wood cutting season has begun. Eric brought in a big load of juniper the first day. All the trappings of spring are evident here in the Creek after the winter we didn’t have.
Up on the hill across from the Creekside Restaurant is where Eric and Nancy Olsen reside. They were the owners of Grey Hackle Lodge about 10 years back. Visiting them this past weekend were Nathan and Heidi Hartle from Green Bay, Wis. The weather here was pretty balmy for them given the severe winter in the upper Midwest this season. The four were seen at the Landmark patio campfires Saturday evening.
Speaking of that, we watched as Shannon served her cake while holding young Braden in one arm. The occasion was the celebration of her 21st birthday. Congratulations, Shannon. It was most likely not a coincidence that Landon Shill provided the entertainment for the evening. With Landon came an entourage of Tonto Village folks. Shannon wasn’t the only celebrant that evening as Rod Beale from up in See Canyon was observing his 73rd birthday. He spent most of his time out on the patio at the fire with a couple of buddies telling big stories.
Now, speaking of big stories, Kenn and Pat Goreki were back for the first time this spring. He regaled us with tales of their activities over the past winter and his feeble attempt to catch a foul ball at one of the Indians’ spring training games. It’s good to see those folks back up here.
Sunday morning we met with Jan Shavina and her family for breakfast here in the Creek. Jan lives down on Saddle Mountain Road at Kohl’s Ranch. The eight of them had spring cabin cleaning on their agenda. She ran across one of Isabell Swanson’s recipes for Concord grape wine. Isabell was neighbor to Gramma Kohls way back when and Jan’s mother lived across the road.
We ran into Keith and Rhonda Mead from down on lower Columbine. Rhonda has been working in the Valley right along, but that’s coming to a screeching halt on April 15. She will retire after 30 years as an administrator in the medical field. Congratulations to them both.
My egg lady is Patsie, who you may know from Starbucks at Safeway. Last week she brought me a dozen eggs with one she said was “special.” Sure enough, we found one with a curly-que on the end like the top of a Dairy Queen ice cream cone.
This is a reminder that the CCHA Easter Egg Hunt is at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 19. The Milburn Meadow is down on Columbine, across from the old homestead. Then the Firebelles Easter breakfast is that same day from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the firehouse.
Now, remember Parrots in the Pines is coming to Christopher Creek Fourth of July weekend!
Well, we kinda jumped the gun on L. R. last week when we lumped him in with the 90-year-olds. Truth be told, he wasn’t 90 until this past Monday. Happy birthday, L. R.! What’s a couple days among friends when you’ve made it for 32,872 of them already? He was the first fella we met in the Creek back in 1971.
Back in the very early ’70s, when Blanche and Heber White were building the big railroad tie addition to the Christopher Creek bar, a 9-year-old gal, with a long blonde ponytail would sit out in the parking lot, dangling her feet from the tailgate of a pickup truck. She grew up some and before long she became the heartthrob of many a young cowboy who passed though the Creek. The demolition of that old building and the construction of the new one have been bittersweet for both her and her sister, Cookie. Deanna was among the Tonto Village bunch in the Creek last Saturday evening and it was good to see her here.
Isabell Swanson’s wine recipe is quite simple: 1 gallon of the juice of grapes, 1 gallon of water, 6 pounds of sugar (14 cups), 1/2 cake of yeast. Stir and let set for 10 days, then bottle. If anybody should have the least trepidation about tasting it when it’s ready, bring some by and we’ll try it out for you. You can imagine if one drinks enough of it more great adventures lie ahead ... and that’s another week in the Creek.