It was a real pleasure and actually a lot of fun to take in the Meeker School District annual Community Winter Concert last week at Meeker High School. The music featured the sixth grade, seventh grade and eighth grade bands from Meeker Elementary School, the Barone Middle School choir and the Meeker High School choir and band.
Sixth grade is the first class in which there is a band program, and it was a lot of fun to see what those sixth graders have learned in three and a half months and then to see how much more advanced the seventh grade band was over the sixth grade and how advanced the eighth grade was over the seventh.
That is in no way an attempt to degrade any of the bands, but it is fun to watch how the kids/students grew and advanced their talents from the previous year. It is a normal growth pattern through school but one of the few ways in which one can observe the progress first hand.
This year’s sixth graders will continue to excel as will the seventh and the eighth graders until they all advance to the high school band, where many of those will also excel.
The high school band and choir each did extremely well in the concert, and the school district should be proud of its hiring of Mr. Jeff Hemingson prior to last year, as district music director.
I wrote in mid-October about the completely professional crew of nurses who took care of me at Pioneers Medical Center when I was there for a couple of nights in October.
Other than at a luxury hotel, there could not have been a greater crew on board than those who took care of every problem and wish I had while at the hospital—always with a smile.
Since that occasion, I have had the opportunity to stay one night and make several day trips to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction for surgery and follow-up checkups.
I would reiterate what I said regarding the nurses at Pioneers Medical Center. A nurse is kind of a mood setter for the rest of your stay at a health care facility and while every nurse I encountered at Pioneers would have deserved a gold star, not quite the same can be said of all my visits to St. Mary’s.
A majority of the nurses in Grand Junction were truly friendly, had good senses of humor, did what they needed to do to keep you comfortable and did what they needed to do to provide good health care.
There were one or two nurses there who made it obvious they didn’t want to be there that day or they made me feel like I should apologize for having bothered them. They weren’t rude or nasty but they just didn’t seem to care much about anything.
I worked very closely with a nursing school when I was public information officer at Mohave Community College in Arizona, and I know what is involved in getting that nursing degree.
There is hard work, lots of homework to take you away from family and friends (many of the nurses in school there were single mothers), long hours of practicals and, plain and simply put, it is a true accomplishment when those nurses finally get their pins at graduation.
What I’m trying to say is to all nurses: Thank you for the hard work you put in to become a nurse; thank you for all the unpleasant duties you end up doing as a nurse; thank you for putting up with crusty patients and those folks who can be nothing but trouble.
Thank you for just being you, with a special nod to those who understand that it is often up to you to make or break a person’s visit, and, like almost nowhere else, a smile and kind word goes a long way.
The snow continues to fall almost every night, and by my register we had almost 16 inches or more last week if you don’t count the daytime melt.
As I am writing this on Sunday night, there hasn’t been any snow for the the last four days, but the weather forecaster within my phone tells me it is expected to snow a bit tonight and then on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday this week. I don’t know how much we are supposed to get, but it looks like we will probably get a minimum of a few inches.
Once again, we had a hunting season that stayed fairly warm and one that really saw very little snow up high, ensuring that the elk would be protected in the mountain forests.
This year, however, the snow was so lacking that many hunters were able to get up higher than in the past couple of years, and those who did had a pretty good success rate.
Since the close of the hunting season, it certainly has gotten a bit colder and the snow has gotten a lot deeper.
Looking at the last couple of years, the CPW wildlife officials say, the warm weather and the deep snow have combined to keep the herds of elk and deer fairly high.
I don’t know if we have had super-cold temperatures up high or if the snow is up to the chests of the moose and elk, but I do know that there was herd of at least 200 elk last week on the new McCoy property, where the McCoys built a large home and personal lake just past where County Road 8 meets County Road 4 at the Seely residence.
There were many more cow elk than bulls in the group, but a few of the younger boys were mixed with may one or two large bulls.
Anyway, there are a bunch of elk down low this year, which, once again, doesn’t do the hunters any good. But it is fun to watch.
We are now in the rut!
At least the deer in Meeker are; I don’t know about the residents.
Having taken several opportunities in recent weeks to drive around Meeker in early afternoon right after lunch or in the evenings between 7 and 8 p.m., it is quite obvious that the does and bucks in our town’s herds have something other than acorns and grass on their minds.
My wife and I make a little circuit after lunch on a daily basis to just relax and look for deer. It takes about 15 minutes to make the entire circuit, and most days we know where we will see the does and where we will see the bucks. During 11 months of the year it seems like the boys and girls stay in their own neighborhoods and the members of the other sex are nowhere around.
Until the first of December.
All of a sudden you see the herds of does running all around, often walking down the middle of the streets, but if it is light enough, it seems there is always a buck hanging around—sometimes two or three bucks.
We’ve seen a couple of fights going on between the bucks, which is something you don’t see the rest of the year.
The does can be found in just a couple of the same blocks most of the year and they don’t seem to stray.
This time of year we have seen the does from Sage Creek to upper Third Street to down by Meeker Town Park and the river. We have also seen them at the top of Ninth Street to the lower blocks on 12th Street and everywhere in between, from near the high school to the bridge that crosses the White River at 10th Street.
And it isn’t just the boys and just the girls. As of this past weekend, the two groups were still “mingling,” so it is quite easy to spot last year’s fawns and the older does and the bucks doing what they do naturally this time of year.
And, if nothing else needs to be said, it is interesting to a boy who mostly grew up in the city.
The Broncos! Oh, the Broncos! What has happened to the Broncos?
It isn’t the loss of Peyton Manning; it isn’t Brock Osweiler.
Mr. Bronco franchise Demetrius Thomas can’t catch a pass; Mr. Saunders and Mr. Daniels can’t hold on to the ball; and the defense seems to fall asleep in the second half.
I still recall the phone call from the woman who called me in the early part of this season who literally called me names and said some nasty things about my ancestors all for calling them the “Cardiac Broncos.”
Well, lady, I am a 55-year fan of the Broncos and while I would like to call them worse at times, they are, without a doubt, “the Cardiac Broncos.”
Let’s understand that after starting out 8-0 and having a four-game lead over the Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders they have yet to even clinch a playoff berth, something they should easily have done two weeks ago against the Raiders.
All we can do now is hope and have faith.
And for Christmas I would love to get the Broncos a few folks who can be relied upon to catch the football in moments of need.
And lastly, tomorrow is Christmas Day, what is supposed to be the happiest day of the year on the Christian calendar.
Christmas is a time, first, to remember the birth of Jesus Christ at Bethlehem. Secondly, it is a time for children. Third, Christmas is a time for family. And fourth, it seems to be a time when all in the world profess their hope for peace.
I hope all of you remember the reason for the season, be it Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Christmas. I hope every child on earth has a happily memorable day and I hope that as many of you as possible are able to be with family and loved ones or spend a moment thinking of those who can’t be with you.
And I would hope along with you that the world’s conflicts can be resolved in a way to benefit all so that next Christmas or holiday season sees more of you with your loved ones.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays!