Ring them bells

Bob Dylan wrote Ring them bells, covered here (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8avSGnZlnaY) by local singer/songwriter Sarah Jarosz. In my mind it’s the perfect accompaniment to these images of the Maroon Bells in Aspen, Colorado.

The story ends here …

but it begins with the second annual reunion of three teachers and their spouses …
Don, moi, Pam, Sarah, Wade, Bill
Back in the 1990s, Don, Pam and Sarah taught together at Norge Elementary School in Williamsburg, Virginia. Along the way, Pam and Sarah taught both of our daughters. The guys played sand volleyball together. And we all looked forward to annual jaunts to Jimmy Sneed’s restaurants, first Windows on Urbanna Creek and later, The Frog and the Redneck.
Last year, we held a long-hoped-for reunion at our home in Texas. This year, we all traveled to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Knowing my aversion to heights, Pam and Wade planned a day trip that wouldn’t freak me out. After a delightful bistro lunch, we climbed on board a bus (https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/whiteriver/specialplaces/?cid=stelprd3835792bound for the lake at the foot of the Maroon Bells …

14,000′ peaks named for their resemblance to, well, maroon bells …

Only 12 miles from Aspen, it was no surprise to find the trees for which it is named, but what truly delighted me was Pam’s direction to see the eyes in the aspen trunks …

The day was hot and the sun strong as we waited for a bus to go back down. When one finally arrived, it was clear we wouldn’t make it on … until the driver offered standing room for those who were willing. Well sure, but as we climbed aboard, a woman shooed her two daughters out of their seats, offering them to three of us in their place.
Always before I would have said “No thanks, I’m fine.” But this time I simply said, “Thank you … thank you very much,” then watched the mom and her daughters wrap their arms around each other as the bus bumped and swayed … 

That was how I came to take my next-to-last imagine peace pin from its place on my purse and pin it to one of my cards. Handing it to the mom as we got off the bus, I thanked her and her daughters one last time. She handed it in turn to the daughter whose seat I had taken … and I do so hope she will see herself here.