Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Once Lived "The Dream" In Aspen... Part Five

Aspen... Part One
Aspen... Part Two
Aspen... Part Three
Aspen... Part Four

I try to write about this part of my life with as much accuracy as possible, but I must admit that I don't always get the year or the time periods right. I try to not sound like I'm bragging about people I knew or things I've done, but every time I read back over, it always sounds like that's exactly what I'm doing. That is entirely unintentional. Sometimes I think I'm only writing about this to keep it all fresh in my mind and yet other times I'm just trying to remember it all correctly and am afraid I can't. I'm afraid that my memories are fading and I'll never be able to remember those years in the right context or with the right people. Will they all be the people that I speak to in my sleep when I have ceased to make contact with the outside world? When my mind and body cease to work for me any longer, will I be able to find the people I loved somewhere in my dreams? Or will it be in death? Perhaps I'd be better off just continuing the story and stop asking questions to which there are no answers.

Losing our friend Radar knocked everyone off kilter and we were still having trouble getting back to normal by the time Summer arrived. I think it's so much more difficult to accept the death of a friend or loved one when you're still in the Age Of Thinking You're Bullet Proof. But, Aspen had its share of tragedies every Winter. When you lived *The Dream* where half the people you knew were daredevils and the other half were adventurers, you just knew large numbers of friends would come and go in your life. A ski bum's life is usually a transient one, often saying goodbye to friends you didn't want to let go. I suppose that was the most difficult part of living someplace like that.

Michael had an opportunity to go salmon fishing in Alaska but since one of us had to stay to take care of the house, I knew he needed it and told him he had to go. It was something he'd dreamed of doing his entire life and for the first time in several months, he was getting the old twinkle back in his eyes. Of course, this meant he'd be gone for just over a month, which was the part I didn't like, but I never let him know it. He was just ecstatically happy about his trip, so I pretended I was just as happy for him.

We knew that his trip would wipe out our bank account, which of course it did. However, Michael would be coming home with the money he'd get from salmon fishing, so we just had to be frugal until then. Michael was going to Alaska with another ski patrolman buddy named Woody Woodson who had his own fishing boat, which is how he made enough money to cruise through ski season every year. Anyway, once they finished getting the salmon they needed to sell, they were going to take a week for fly fishing before heading back to Aspen.

Art and Pat seldom came to Aspen in the summer because they also owned another vacation home in Cardiff-By-The-Sea, California. So, my work there was limited to basic, menial tasks.

On the other hand, Lucy spent almost the entire Summer there after shooting her new Fall Episodes for the Here's Lucy show. Lucy was a very private person and didn't really go out a lot. She was very frugal and believe it or not, she was not a high maintenance babe. Most of the time, she came with one family member (most often her second husband Gary Morton) or several other family members and was totally devoted to them. I mean Totally. I can remember wondering what it must have been like to have had a mother who worshipped the ground you walked on. That's how Lucy was with everyone in her family. I always knew that was the exact kind of mother I wanted to be... well, someday. Anyway, when at her condo in Snowmass, Lucy seldom ever had much of anything to do with the *Hollywood Crowd* and always fiercely protected her family from it. Luckily for her, there were plenty of movie and TV stars in Aspen for the paparazzi (even though photographers weren't called that back then) to drive insane. She was a great lady to work for and I'd always said if I was going to be something as lowly as a maid, I might as well work for someone famous.

So, while Michael was gone to Alaska, I stayed busy working and riding my bike in the mountains. I sometimes went on picnics with friends and did a fair amount of fishing and hiking. However, none of it was as much fun without Michael. There were days I thought I couldn't stand another minute of his absence. There were days I thought I'd really go completely nutso, but somehow I managed to hang in there, keeping my sanity in tact.

Michael returned to Aspen just in time to leave for Avalanche Training School, which I was afraid would happen. So, I managed to survive that separation too, even though I felt like doing a blood curdling primal scream off the top of Aspen Mountain. Every. Single. Day. He. Was. Gone.

When he at last returned home, I became very selfish about sharing my time with him. All I wanted was to be with him and woe be unto the person who tried to alter that. I simply was not ready to share him again and he was more than content with that. Yay! All I wanted was for Michael to keep telling me how beautiful I was and how much he'd missed me and how much he only just wanted to be with me. Once again, life was good and My Heaven On Earth had resurfaced and we were blissfully happy.

To Be Continued...


imbeingheldhostage said...

funny, I hadn't had seen one glimmer of bragging. I am just enjoying the story, and the rich life you lead!

Pleasing Procrasinator said...

I do not see this as bragging at all. This is such a wonderful story and look forward to a new days installment.

Flea said...

Snooty, what happened? What happened to Michael?

Keeper Of All Things said...

I don't think it's bragging when your only telling the truth....Love it!!

Insane Mama said...

I don't think your bragging at all. I'm loving this story

Janie said...

Keep going, girl, you've got us all hooked!

My Metabolic Rate is Stuck said...

WOW!You should really write a book!
Amazing life...can't wait for the rest of it! SO looking forward to it!!

noble pig said...

The story gets better and beter and you are not bragging, it's part of your history, you can't help that, I love it.


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