Category Archives: Greeley

Posts about Greeley, Colorado or the Greeley area

Cassie’s Last Day of Work


Posted by Cassie

Today marked my last day as a Health Educator with the County. I’ve worked there nearly 8 years and made many friends and memories along the way. It was always a changing field and I did a variety of different jobs in my position. From tobacco education to H1N1 to healthy eating/active living to translations and interpretation and decreasing health disparities.

I helped to put on countless events,write articles, give speeches and presentations, host community forums, write grants, balance budgets, do inspections, promote best practices and policies, go to conferences and trainings and so much more. As I look back on all the projects we did, I am surprised by how much we really do!

It is hard to encapsulate what 8 years of doing anything is like, but my time doing it there has come to a close and a new chapter is just around the corner.

Staff photo 8 28 13
Some of the great co-workers in my division

I will miss many of my co-workers and friends and wish them well on their journey as Britton and I commence our new one together.

P.S. Thanks for the great send off! :-)

Cassie Reception

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Doctor Visit (well…ok….veterinarian)


Posted by Kitty

In preparation for the move to Puerto Rico, I had to get a health certificate and be up to date on my shots.  I had gotten my distemper and rabies vaccinations the other day at a scheduled visit.  The health certificate is only valid for a short number of days, so we wanted to wait and get that closer to our actual move date.

When it came time for Cassie and Britton to take me to my appointment however, I was off sleeping in my secret spot and they couldn’t find me.

Well today Britton took me on his bike!  Since he has no car, and no phone he had to take a chance that the vet could fit me in.  So I got loaded up into my snazzy new cat carrier.  It has a few openings, places for all my documents and meets American Airlines rules for dimensions.  I don’t really mind that we didn’t take a car, I actually enjoy riding in the fresh air.  I had Britton take a video of me to share with you all.

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4th of July in the U.S. of A


Posted by Cassie

Yesterday Britton and I both had the day off for the fourth of July. We really didn’t have any plans so we invited my mom and her partner over to BBQ with us. We decided to have a little fun and participate in some of the traditional American aspects of the 4th of July: beer, BBQ and blowing crap up (fireworks) :-) .

Sometimes I forget that not everywhere (not even everywhere in the US) does things the same as in Greeley, Colorado. Some places don’t have drive-thru liquor stores, car lots aren’t closed on Sunday for religious holdover reasons and water rights aren’t more important than just about anything else. In some places you don’t see people drive humongous diesel trucks, work on a farms or oil rigs, wear cowboy hats and spit brown tobacco. Or you don’t still see manual laborers pulling onions from the ground or corn fields that come autumn turn into beautiful huge mazes (or maizes as they wittily call them).

Longhorns-in-Parade
Long horns in the Greeley Stampede parade

In other places, you might not see people jogging around town running in place (the men usually shirtless) while they wait at stoplights in order to continue their exercise momentum. You might not see the huge exodus of cars as they drive up into the mountains on holiday weekends for a hike and picnic. In some places, “Red Rocks” means next to nothing while here it is always the answer to “Where is the best concert venue?” In some places the carnival and rodeo and huge parade don’t come around every 4th of July and the big Black Cat firecracker tents don’t pop up like weeds all along the front range.

Fireworks Tent
Fireworks tents spring up everywhere this time of year even though most of what they sell is illegal to ignite

But right here, in this place and time, these are all things we just take as part and parcel of this American life in the no-longer-too-Wild West of the high plains/front range of Colorado.

We often don’t think about culture as being the culture in which we grew up, but it is there hidden in plain sight, right in front of our eyes. We don’t see it until we have the contrast of other cultures, norms, and rules.

Merica
Yes, that is a confederate flag…

We sometimes think of culture as something other people have, or of subcultures of the mainstream. What this implies is that it feels normal. Because there is no contrast or challenge to the main culture, one is not able to see oneself. Normal often means invisible to ourselves. This is one of the reasons I love travel and cultural immersions. Through meeting people and visiting their lands, you actually start to see yourself and your roots more clearly.

I realize that it will be a little bittersweet to leave this comfortable life and culture we have always known. It is so very easy to fit right in with the place you were born and not give it a second thought, especially if you can identify with the majority. But ease and comfort doesn’t usually help you grow as a person. And so it is partly for that reason that we are moving on to new, wider experiences in life.

But for this day, this emblematic day of America, we appreciated our hometown 4th of July, Independence Day, in the ol’ U.S. of A by doing a few things we love to do on a hot summer, mid-west American day.

We took a walk in our favorite park, Glenmere.

Glenmere Where’s Cassie? I love this little cove Hobbit-house in Glenmere Park

We picked up some beer, and put some brats on the grill. We listened to music and as the sun set, the whole neighborhood came alive and glowing with people setting off all the firecrackers they had bought from the ubiquitous tents. As the night became even darker and cooler, we sat on our front porch and lit our small $5 supply of sparklers and jumping jacks and watched the big and beautiful fireworks show put on by the Stampede as we have done almost every year we’ve lived here. We enjoyed the finale to a wonderfully American day.

Sparklers and Beer
Watermelon, sparklers and American beer -Happy 4th of July

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Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize


Posted by Cassie

We have come a long way. When we began writing this blog five years ago (five years!), we had no idea how to write a blog (the very first posts are pretty bad, lol) and we had only a vague idea of when we were moving to Puerto Rico. We had a contract to buy a finca with 25 acres in the jungled outskirts of Lares, Puerto Rico and were just waiting for the paperwork to clear, a mortgage to come through, and ideas for income sources when we moved to appear.

100_2845
At the first property we tried to buy

We thought, perhaps, within that year.

But things changed; the title work didn’t come through cleanly. The mortgage companies said it was non-comforming and in general it just sort of fell apart. In the mean time, we kept working and living in Colorado and as we thought about it we became more and more drawn toward the west side and the ocean. We looked and looked for properties and visited PR various times. We even put in another offer/contract on a place in Isabela/San Sebastain, before we finally found and bought our little slice of paradise in Rincon, Puerto Rico.

From other side
The Prize! :-)

Now, we are finally on the verge of the big jump. We have worked out the kinks. In just about 100 days, we will have left all that we know -our friends, family, jobs, home- and will begin our new life, from scratch.

Now that we are in the home stretch, we have to close down our life in Greeley, Colorado. I am finding that this is much like attempting to unravel all the various roots and ties we have here. And they run much deeper and tangled than I initially thought.

We are still selling nearly everything we have. This has been a much more emotional task than we thought when we started. Everything we keep in our lives has some sort of reason for being there. Sometimes they are very superficial, and other times, they have huge sentimental and identity attachments, like Britton’s Corvette or my jewelry armoire that was a gift from BK.

We are also trying to detach from opportunities and work we have here. While we have to remain somewhat present to our current lives, we also have to know that we just can’t get too wrapped up in the latest and greatest new event. As it turned out, at my work, one of the grant programs (a cardiovascular health disparities program) that I coordinated just happened to end too. We had a nice celebration to acknowledge all the work we had done over the last two years on this program.

Ama Tu Vida crew
There’s going to be lots of goodbyes

We are also going through our to-do lists. Like doctors’ visits, vet visits, making accounts paperless, arranging places for our too-sentimental-to-sell, too-bulky-to-bring stuff, checking off our Colorado bucket list (and occasionally adding to it). We are planning our going-away party. I also had some information to share with Greeley chicken enthusiasts who want to know what the chicken laws are, so I finally wrote a page here about the rules for chickens in Greeley that I had been meaning to write for some time.

americana chickens

Sometimes we still get so busy in our day-to-day chores we forget what we are moving towards! It’s important to keep our eyes on the prize, but we also can’t be so forward looking that we miss what we are doing right now. This life-changing stuff has been a good practice for a lot of things. Mostly of balance and of letting go.

Letting go of our egos. Letting go of our stuff. Letting go of money and comfort and jobs. Letting go of our identities (somewhat). Letting go, moving on and making space for something new entirely. Sometimes we get profound insights on why we are doing this and other times we break down (probably mostly out of fear) and start having alternate reality fantasies of what our life would be if we just stayed in Colorado. And, of course, we know that it would be good and fine, because we love our life, but it would be, well, the same game. Rinse and repeat.

We have played the game here in Colorado. We have played the heck out of it! We are really good players. We have won this game. It’s time to collect that prize and start playing a new game. Watch out, world. Here we come.

BK and Cass2

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