October 4, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,    Aspen Leaves

       It’s been quite a warm summer here in the foothills of the Rockies. June and July were wetter than usual, but the daytime temps were usually 75° and above. The rainfall may account for the rich fall colors, which peaked the middle of last week. The aspens have been glorious. Crowds of leaf peepers have been parading through Nederland and along the Peak to Peak Highway (a designated scenic highway that runs from Black Hawk and Central City to Estes Park) to observe nature’s annual beauty pageant. Each year thousands of folks travel along this 60-mile stretch of road to see firsthand how the aspens have changed from bright green, to light green, and finally to golden yellow—showing, occasionally, red/rust colors. We don’t think the colors have been this splendid in more than a decade.
Along the Peak to Peak
        Judy took the hummingbird feeders in at the end of September and we haven’t seen any coming back for one last feeding. We believe they are gone until next April, just around tax time.


        For the first time that we can remember we’ve been home all summer—and we have enjoyed it. A lot! We’ll probably do it regularly from now on. We enjoyed our pleasant routines: selling tickets at the Carousel; telling people where to hike and camp, how far it is to Estes Park, how to get to the Interstate, where the public bathrooms are, et al. at the Visitors Center; selling refreshments at the Backdoor Theater on Friday nights and sweeping up spilled popcorn after the movie; playing both social and duplicate bridge as often as possible; making music on Wednesday nights; and monthly Mystery Book Club discussions (A Lily of the Field by John Lawton and John Le Carré’s Our Kind of Traitor were both worthy of recommendation).

        Since we returned from our month in the Canadian Rockies, Judy has hiked each Thursday with a group of women from Nederland, Boulder, and the surrounding Front Range. They have gone on lots of trails in the Indian Peaks, James Peaks Wilderness Areas and Rocky Mountain National Park (see photo below) along the east side of the Continental Divide, and she has seen and photographed some of the area’s beautiful lakes, waterfalls, wildflowers, meadows, overlooks, and, recently, the changing colors of the aspens.

       In addition to the hiking, Judy continues with her running “schedule,” which, in addition to running up here along Ridge Road, includes Saturday mornings in Boulder with the Purple Runners and Sunday mornings with the Boulder Road Runners. Both are informal, social running groups, though the Purple Runners group keeps separate, cumulative scores for both men and women based upon their finishing placements (not time). Winners are announced at the end of each year, and sometimes there have been prizes. We were home this year for the 30th annual Neder-Nederland race, in which Judy won her age group, adding a 14th polished geode slab to her trophy shelf that dates back to 1992.
Lady Hikers
        Hughes often goes down to Boulder with Judy on Sundays to ride his bicycle for the hour or so that Judy runs. Those Sundays, plus occasionally riding here in the mountains and using the stationary bike, are his main forms of exercise. However, September is, traditionally, the month to cut trees and split wood to keep the woodstove going during the winter. That’s exercise, and he finds it still satisfying and worth the physical effort, though cutting and splitting does seem to get more challenging has he grows older. But when the cold weather comes, those aches and pains quickly dissolve in front of the warm fire. It’s easy to remember the African proverb: “Chop your own firewood and it will warm you twice.” (Or, as W.C. Fields has been quoted somewhere, “The nation needs to return to the colonial way of life, when a wife was judged by the amount of wood she could split.”)


       Back in 1992 we bought a red Toyota 4Runner when we moved to Nederland. It has served us well in the past 20 years: we plowed through deep snows, crept over treacherous mountain passes on dirt tracks that date back to the 19th century mining days, towed trailer loads of cut trees out of wooded areas for firewood, hauled trash to the dump, and carted mulch to our garden areas. With over 150,000 miles, it was just broken in—it still has that many miles left on it, or more. Hughes always figured he would kick the bucket long before the 4Runner would head for the junk yard.
       However, our needs took a turn this summer: while we still need 4wheel drive or AWD here during the snow and ice season, our present travel style calls for a lightweight vehicle that we can tow behind our RV when we go away for more than a casual weekend of camping. Last winter in Arizona, we had our bicycles, which we used nearly every day, but found we were too far from a grocery or hardware store, or from an event in the area to get there by bike. Plus, we had to limit what we could bring back to what would fit in a backpack. Our solution: trade the heavyweight Toyota 4Runner in on a lightweight Toyota Rav4. The difference: the Rav4 is 1,200 pounds lighter (curb weights 2,535 lbs. vs. 3,740 lbs.) and it gets 60% better mileage. The manual transmission makes it possible to tow the Rav4 behind the RV with four wheels down: we simply put the transmission in neutral, turn the key to the accessory position, and tow it away. Since it’s the same color as the previous big red 4Runner, we’re calling it the “Little Red Toad,” (a “toad” is RV-ese for a towed vehicle).


       The Sunday edition of the Boulder Daily Camera always runs announcements of engagements, weddings, and significant anniversaries. Couples submit articles and photos in advance and they all, to our knowledge, get published somewhere around the date of the event. Apparently September is a particularly busy month and submitting the article four weeks in advance is not soon enough. The article and photos we sent in, if they were received (and we have no confirmation that this happened), have not yet appeared. So, to ensure there is a record of what has been a long anticipated event in our lives—one that we want to proudly share with our friends and family—below is what we submitted for publication. We hope that it will show up in the paper, but in case it doesn’t for some reason, we wish to make the announcement here as it would appear in the newspaper:


Wedding Portrait        Hughes Moir and Judy Chasan were married September 24, 1961, at the Bucks County Playhouse Inn in New Hope, Pennsylvania, Judy’s hometown. New Hope’s Mayor John Flood and Bill Dryer, Judy’s high school drama teacher, performed the ceremony which Hughes and Judy wrote (it was a very 60s thing to do).

    They were both students at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Hughes completed his A.B. the following June while Judy dropped out to work full time at Fels Research Institute in Yellow Springs.

    They moved to Newton, Massachusetts, where Hughes taught school and where their children were born. He earned a Master’s Degree at Boston University (1965) and, later, a Doctorate at Wayne State University in Detroit (1969) where he also taught. The family moved to Toledo where Hughes taught at The University of Toledo and Judy completed B.S. degrees (cum Laude) in Biology and Medical Technology in 1974. She worked as a toxicologist at Riverside Hospital in Toledo until retiring in 1990. Hughes retired as Professor Emeritus from UT the same year and they moved to Nederland in 1992.

    They have two children: Michael (who married Cindy Bender) of Lafayette, Colorado, and Debra (who married Dan Budde) of Milton, Massachusetts. Their grandchildren are Griffin Budde, a sophomore at Wake Forest University, and Julia Budde, a senior at Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts.
50 Years Later
    Since moving to Nederland, Judy joined the Nederland Fire Protection District, earned her EMT, firefighter, and wildland firefighter certificates, and retired in 2004 as Captain after ten years of active duty. She has been Treasurer of the Nederland Chamber of Commerce, Director of the Neder-Nederland races, and a volunteer at the Nederland Visitors Center, Nederland’s Backdoor Theater, the Carousel of Happiness, and Boulder Community Hospital. She continues to be a competitive runner, regularly winning her age group in local races, including the Bolder-Boulder, plus national and foreign races. She ran the Boston Marathon in 1988 and 1989.

    Hughes was a professional storyteller for twenty years before coming to Nederland. Since 1992 he has volunteered as a teacher’s aid at the Nederland Elementary School, was President of the Aging Services Foundation of Boulder County, and for nine years served on the Boulder County Aging Services Committee; he helped establish the Nederland Community Library, the Nederland Library Foundation, and the Nederland Mystery Book Club; he was a Trustee of the Nederland Fire Protection District for five years and published a quarterly newsletter for the District; he wrote a weekly column about library issues for the Nederland’s newspaper, The Mountain-Ear, and for ten years he was Director of the Nederland Visitors Center where he continues to volunteer; he plays trombone in the Barker Dam Brass Band and guitar in McGinty’s Wake, a local celtic-bluegrass group.

    They are both avid readers and bridge players. They enjoy camping and traveling: they have visited every state and continent, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, trekked the Himalayas and New Zealand’s Milford Track, hiked the Swiss Alps and Peru’s Inca Trail, rafted the Grand Canyon, and dived the Great Barrier Reef. They will celebrate their anniversary with a river cruise through central Europe in October.

All good wishes to you for a brilliant fall and upcoming holiday season.

Hughes and Judy

Judy and Hughes Moir
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