On a Thursday in August, my husband, Jim, and I drove to Colorado to spend a few days in Boulder attending the Planet Bluegrass Folks Festival. We’d had a summer of responsibility—caring for our infant grandson, Otis, and helping my disabled sister through three hospital stays, a stint in rehab, and various arrangements for in-home nursing and physical therapy. Driving to Colorado, with Otis happily ensconced in his new daycare and my sister temporarily okay, I felt carefree for the first time in many months.
Jim and I had our usual fun. We dined at an Italian restaurant on Pearl Street. At our Chautauqua cabin, I slept on an outdoor porch that abuts the Flat Iron Mountains and fell asleep looking at stars. Friday, we attended the festival in all its hippie glory. But Saturday, I decided to stay home and have one day to myself.
After Jim dropped me off at Pearl Street in the morning and headed on to the festival, I walked to one of my favorite places, the Boulder Bookstore, where I lost myself in books. Later, I ambled next door to a place with outdoor dining and ordered sushi and a glass of wine. I watched people walk by—the tourists, the students, the street people, and the very rich. I savored each bite of fish and each sip of wine. Afterward, I began the slow climb back to our mountain cabin, turning into an old graveyard that Jim and I had driven by for years. We’d always been “too busy” to stop, but this afternoon I had time.
I wandered about,…