All posts by Kathleen Flanagan

Yellow Jeep

After days of rain, that permitted our reading of many books (We are all re-reading “The Cat who ….” books, in order.), the day was a glorious, high altitude, blue sky with bright white clouds moving across it. My brother and nephew decided it was time to release the Yellow Jeep from its Winter home and see if it would still run. Well, the ’52 Willys did run and they moved it to the flat lot across the street from our house.

Soon there were three old jeeps pulled into the lot and the old men of town (note, they are mostly in my age range) were having a discussion. I wasn’t part of it, but soon after three or four of the men took off for Battle Park (or above) with three big dogs. One of whom not only does not ride in the jeep, she runs carrying a log (not a branch—think 5 or six inches) the whole way and continues to run the whole time they are there and then back home. One day, she even ran with the jeep to the top of Tomichi Pass and back home (about 3 miles and from 10,000 feet to about 10,450 ft ).

Later that day Brid climbed over the driver’s seat and onto the bench in the back because there is no passenger seat and the floor on that side is not only a little rusty, but rather high to climb into. Her son drove her up beyond Battle Park and back. She enjoyed the rough ride and they are trying to use up old gas so new gas can be put into the tank.

Kathy
Day 8

A Day of Food and Company

A nice day, rain in the morning and a trip to Gunnison for laundry, groceries, lunch and whatnot. On the way out of town, I saw a car at the yellow cabin, so we reversed and found out that my cousin from Oklahoma City and her significant other had arrived. We are so glad to see them. We made sure she knew that there was another town dinner at the Kubiak’s that night and that they were invited. Then after spending a long time on the road talking, we took of for Gunnie.

After the chores were completed, we stopped for lunch at The Alpine High Brewery and let me tell you, that if you are ever in Gunnison, this a definite place to stop and eat. We did not have any of the brews, but we shared three plates. First, we had a chartucuerie plate that included a garlic salami, excellent ham, duck rillette, a goat white cheddar, a raspberry white cheese, figs, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, a cranberry compote nuts and dried berries. You probably won’t get this exact plate because it changes according to what they have, but definitely a great share. The second plate was their sausage special of the day. It included their homemade mustard, homemade sauerkraut and two grilled, sliced sausages. Their house sausage was a pink color and very flavorful. The other was a pheasant, goat and apricot sausage that was equally delicious. Our third plate, on the strong recommendation of my nephew, was their Fig and Pig pizza with figs, prosciutto, arugula and a basaltic drizzle on a thin, crispy, but still chewy crust. Mmmm! Go ahead, put this in your list of someday, when I am in the area. You will be happy.

That evening was filled with more great food made by Jen (chicken marsala, parsley noodles, fruit salad),good company and great conversations. All around a long table created from multiple tables down the middle of the living room. We found out that one of our neighbors, who I had not known, had been an actress. My nephew told that he had begun watching the “Dick Van Dyke” show with his great aunt while spending time with her. He was surprised and pleased at how much he enjoyed it and how good it was. Our neighbor informed us that she had been on his next show—Diagnosis Murder—but only as a victim, not recurring, and that it had been fun to be on set. Another neighbor was heading back to British Columbia for the start of school. She was getting one new class, Textiles, for which she was developing the curriculum. We talked and brainstormed ideas that she might be able to use, of course, there were more developed than anyone could use, but it was fun to be back thinking in those terms.

Kathy
Day 6

To the Cabin

After grocery shopping and dinner, we left Gunnison for the cabin. The only place the had road construction to worry about was just before the turnoff for the road to the cabin where Highway 50 shrank to one lane—with tow temporary traffic lights!

We drove up the road of the Cross-Bar Ranch looking for elk and other animals. We say a few chipmunks. Oh well, we have more chances before we leave. We pulled into Whitepine about 7 o’clock. It was 56 degrees! Quite a difference from earlier that day, to say nothing of the last week in California.

After greeting a couple of people, Brid and Matt unpacked the car with no slowing down by me. I sat out on the new back porch that my brother, Terry, worked on last year and finished in June. It is beautiful, overlooking the forest on the mountain behind us. Inside, over the stove was the most gigantic, multilayered spider web. “A work of Art,” stated Matt. “A gross mess,” replied his mother. So today, the spider web is no more.

Last night, as we lay sleeping it started to rain. We awoke to sunshine, then gray skies. But Bridget and Matt walked up to the bridge: 2558 steps round trip. I cleaned, so I got a little movement done, too. Then it rained again. We are hoping that it is raining where the fires are and helping the firefighters.

Tonight neighbors are having a luau for the whole town. This should be fun. Meanwhile, books are being read by all.

Kathy
Day 4

First Leg of Travel is Coming to an End

 

When we left California, there was lots of smoke in the air, and we expected that because of the local fires. However, the skies were hazy with smoke in Nevada, Utah and Colorado. The three Utah fires affected it, but so did the Northern California ones. Colorado also has fires, but I don’t think any down in the area we were in (at least currently). We could not see the Rocky Mountains until we were in Ridgeway – and Ridgeway is in the mountains. Anyone with asthma should not vacation here right now.

We stopped for lunch at an old family favorite in Green River – The Tamarisk – where Flanagans have been getting their chicken fried steak for over 60 years (probably the restaurant has changed names in that time). My bite was delightful, as was my BLT on homemade bread. Brid enjoyed her green chili burger a lot. We all had local watermelon for our side; then as we left town we stopped at one of the grower’s trucks to bring a watermelon and casaba to Colorado.

On our way to. Montrose, we texted our nephew and his wife (Casey and Sarah); so they and their darling boys met us at the motel for visiting and an attempt at swimming in the pool. But it was SO cold, only the six year old could play in it and he kept going in and out of it. There is a nice picnic area at the Red Arrow Inn with a very good Mexican restaurant next door. We ordered a mixture of soft tacos, beans and rice…and, of course chicken strips and fries for the little ones. However, after munching what they wanted they started demanding rice and beans off their father’s plate. The eighteen month old never stopped running which meant someone had to run after or with him all the time. He has no fear and even if he falls, stops crying quickly so he can go again.

Today, we had breakfast and drove down to their town of Ridgeway and were surprised because Casey was free to join us (his worker called in sick and he could not do the construction job on his own). Yeah! We went to check out his shop: San Juan Marble and Granite. It is small, but effective. He has an old forklift for carrying things around, but the boys found it much more fun. Lots of horn beeping and imaginary driving. As we were leaving, his neighbor came out and we got to see a Grammy in the making. Yep, the Grammy statutes are made in a small American shop in Colorado. It was cool. After the hungry ones ate brunch, we went on a scenic drive into the National Forest to Silver Jake Reservoir. We passed some sculpted mountains named Courthouse Rock and Chimney Rock. It was our first “jeep trip” of our vacation and we had not even unloaded the car!

Then we went our different ways and are now in Gunnison, with Brid buying some groceries and the person who has difficulty walking writing up what has happened. We will be at the cabin where there is no Internet, but will keep up the blog whenever we can. I will try to add some of the photos, but I must learn how to add more than one featured one.

Kathy
Days 2 and 3

And They’re Off…

Well, we hit the road this morning, after we went to our #Pasadena830 Weight Watchers meeting (both of us had good weeks despite multiple celebrations), said “Adios” to all of our buddies, and received a summer charm from one of our friends. Then we headed home to our packed car (Thanks to my darling son, Matt). We had wanted to be out by 10 and we actually left before 11.  So for us, we were on time!

First stop was Corky’s in Rancho Cucamonga for a hearty brunch. Then on to I15 and a drive through the desert. We stopped in Baker for drinks and gas, passed the solar generating station near State Line and drove straight through Las Vegas. We made it to St. George, Utah by 7:15 local time. Good first day on the road.

Tomorrow takes us into Montrose, Colorado and a visit with our nephew Casey, his wife Sarah and their two tiny Flanagans.

Someone ask if we were going to Zion and Bryce, but we are not this trip. We have spent time at both parks on multiple trips so we will save those for another time.

 

Bridget
Saturday, August 18, 2018  Day 1

 

Plans

Hi, this is Bridget. Just wanted to give you all a brief update on our trip. We are leaving for our cabin in the mountains of Colorado a week from Saturday. It will take 3 days to get there as neither Kathy nor I want to spend 12 or more hours in the car. First night to St. George, Utah, on I15, second night to Grand Junction via I70 or Montrose, CO where we will spend some time with our nephew, Casey, his wife Sarah and their two wonderful boys. Then we are on to Gunnison on Highway 50 to grocery shop and up to the cabin off of Highway 50, just before the ascent to Monarch Pass. We will spend a couple of weeks before we take off for our long trip. We don’t have internet connection at the cabin, so we will only be posting sporadically, when we go to town.

 

Courtship of My Mother and Father

After the Rondeaus moved to Sierra Madre in 1946, Lois went to work at I. Magnin’s in Pasadena. At Magnin’s, probably the fanciest clothing store in Pasadena, Lois was a salesperson and a floor model. It was a job she loved because she loved clothes and she spent her salary on excellent clothing. Her younger sister, Cynthia, was said to have the most cashmere sweaters of any girl in her high school, having “borrowed” them from Lois.

Patrick had settled in California upon separation from the Navy. Pharmaceutical sales didn’t really satisfy him, so he joined the LAPD. His sisters also settled in California and Peggy brought her parents and younger sisters to El Monte. After he became a policeman, Pat was living in a maid’s apartment setting in the house of Arthur and Laura Felt in Los Feliz, very near Hollywood.

By 1949, Pat’s sister Nell had graduated from St. Andrew’s High School and was working at Magnin’s. She and Lois became friends. Meanwhile, the only male heir of the Flanagans was having a fine social life dating starlets. His mother and sisters were ready for him to settle down and did not think any of these ladies met the appropriate criteria to become a Flanagan.

Nell had invited Lois to her house and she and Addie (her mother) decided Lois would be a good match for Pat.

One July, Nell invited Lois to a slumber party at her home in El Monte with 3 of her sisters. They decided to go to the drive-in. (We don’t know this, but we imagine they went in Flanagan women style: pajamas-legs rolled up, and a trench coat to cover up.) Pat was made the driver and the group was off.

They had a good time and Lois thought that he would call. Patrick did not call, and did not call, and did not call. She gave up on “that damn Pat Flanagan”. Come Thanksgiving evening, after both families had individually finished their dinners, Pat called Lois to see if she would like to go out that night. She was about to turn him down, but thought that if she did he might never call again, so she said, “Yes.”

They started going out constantly, spending late nights down at Tangs in Chinatown. Pat’s boss, Mert Howe, finally told him to either drop the girl or marry her. And as an incentive, in this post war housing crunch, there happened to be an apartment free in his building. By Christmas, they were engaged and, as 1950 began, were planning their wedding on February 4th.

Kathleen Flanagan

The Journey Begins

Finally we are both retired and ready for changes and adventures.  We are setting off on a road trip for three months with a vague idea of where we are going and this is a journal of our travel.  You are welcome to join us and take what you want.  Bridget will write sometimes and Kathleen will write sometimes.  There will be photographs, maybe videos. (We are brand new at blogging so we’ll see how much we want to learn.)  For some of our travel we (Kathleen) will be researching genealogy and will write up whatever is interesting (probably only of interest to family).

We have a couple of weeks to prepare and get ready and may write about those thrills, trials, and tribulations.

Many different strands of your past experience begin to weave together until gradually the new direction announces itself. Its voice is sure with the inevitability of the truth. When your life-decisions emerge in this way from the matrix of your experience, they warrant your trust and commitment. When you can choose in this way, you move gracefully within the deeper rhythm of your soul. The geography of your destiny is always clearer to the eye of your soul than to the intentions and needs of your surface mind.
John O’Donohue
   Excerpt from ETERNAL ECHOES