Christopher Creek visitors last Wednesday evening were my two younger sisters, Linda and Carol. It was my assumption that they were here to monitor my behavior over my birthday. So as not to disappoint them, immediately following dinner we got right into a tequila tasting session. The balance of the evening was spent telling stories that normally wouldn’t be told without the benefit of encouragement.
One thing you could notice right away was they were sort of jumpy. Given that they are Valley people — or flatlanders, as we affectionately like to say — they were unaccustomed to strange noises.
Now, for a moment, let’s talk about a phenomenon called a mast year. Scientists are unable to put a finger on what causes a masting acorn season. It can happen from two to five years apart. Since nearly everything eats acorns, non-masting years diminish a food source, perhaps controlling populations. Seasonal wet or dry periods don’t seem to be the cause. The fact is we don’t know what causes it, but this is one of those years. One more thing — there is a huge oak tree in my front yard and there is a metal roof on the house. So, after fixing my sisters a big dinner and while putting away groceries and cleaning the dishes they were ducking and flinching each time an acorn pin-balled and ricocheted off the roof. These hard-shelled nuts sound as if they are shot from the tree and the glancing around can be a bit unnerving if you are not used to it. The bombardment continues throughout the night.
Linda and Carol wanted to walk the loop, but by then it was dark and they were told that this time of year it was too dangerous. And besides, you can get clunked on the head from falling acorns. Perhaps they didn’t understand we have an unprecedented overpopulation of elk right here in town this year and we are right in the middle of rut. Male bull elk, in the middle of mating season, have no brains. Therein lies the danger, especially at night.
Following breakfast the next morning and a walk around the loop, the somewhat sleep-deprived pair fixed up some mimosas as the whole idea was to be a birthday celebration. Then they commenced to baking. Dozens of cookies and pans of brownies later, they braved the bombardment and walked the loop again. They got to see an elk.
The afternoon came and went. They packed up and were headed home to arrive in the Valley before dark. On departing, they drove down Columbine on their way out of town. They saw an elk, then another. They circled the loop again, this time getting a video of a pair of young males antler sparring. They circled the loop for a third time seeing more and more elk and got out of town after a delay of some 50 minutes.
Thanks for the visit, girls.
This is a reminder for those honoring two great ladies from the Creek. Services for Marcia Delesandro will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 12 at the LDS church, afterward there will be refreshments. The following Saturday, Oct. 19 Eileen Kittock’s memorial is at 11 a.m. at Messinger Mortuary in Payson.
Last weekend was jam-packed full of places to be. Friday evening at the Landmark there was a good crowd on hand to help eat a couple of birthday cakes celebrating Tony and my birthdays. Saturday morning it was off to the Beall cabin for Greg’s world-famous breakfast burritos. Joining in were Jeff and Lynette Harper along with Lynn and Jerry Harper.
Then it was off to the Christopher Creek Homeowners Association Oktoberfest where we joined 75 locals for a delightful afternoon of music, food and a glass of beer for those willing. Denise Bunting was the winner of the 50/50 drawing and she made a healthy donation back to the cause. Newcomers Rick and Briana were introduced to the crowd. Chuck manned the grill, Bud Light John handled the music and John Turtchin and his crew did the setup and cleanup.
By four that afternoon we were sitting on the terrace overlooking the meadow out at Patrick and Kathy Doolittle’s spread in Colcord Estates. This time Randy Hostee was on the grill and his wife, Patsi was helping as well. We saw a lot of old faces and met some new ones in the crowd of over 110. This annual barbecue goes back 40 years.
The sun was dipping toward the horizon, so we high-tailed it back to the Creek to catch a ride with Karen and Margo to the Empty Bowls event in Payson. There we met with Olive and four of her senior singles group for soup. It was very nice to meet all of them. What a day ... and that’s another week in the Creek.