Of course, I'm sure a lot of the atmosphere here has to do with who we come to visit. Ruth and Bill have created this nature filled oasis, just outside of Gypsum, bit by bit, since they bought this house and two acres 27 years ago. The flower gardens, vegetable gardens, chickens, goats, dogs and cats have all flourished under their loving and constant care. They are the reason my kids and I keep coming back to the valley in which their father and his seven brothers and sisters were raised. My (former) mother-in-law is truly my hero. At 76 years young Ruth still amazes me. She has the energy and physical stamina that would put most 30 year olds to shame and even after eight kids she has a better figure than I ever dreamed of having. She hikes all over these mountains during the summer and in the winter dons her cross country skis or snowshoes.
Ruth and Wades father Dale moved their large family from Wisconsin to Vail 40 years ago and, though all but one of her children have left this part of Colorado, Ruth has continued to thrive here in the life that she and Bill have built over the almost 3 decades that they have been married. I have been fortunate to see my friendship with her strengthen and continue to grow over the years and I am always so pleased when we find similarities between the two of us. Other than my children, her opinion of me is probably more important to me than is that of anyone else in my life. I can't express how loved I feel when she introduces me to someone and says that I'm like another daughter to them.
Though Ruth was married to Dale for the first 30 years of her adult life, she found her mate when she met Bill Moran shortly after her divorce. Bill shares her love of Colorado, dogs and their home. This Rocky Mountain Retreat that continues to draw my kids and me back year after year has been a joint labor of love between the two of them. It would not have been possible for either of them alone to create, but together they have coaxed their common dream into reality.
And so here I am, in one of my favorite places with two of my favorite people.
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