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No good deed goes unpunished!

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TBUTLER

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We arrived in Denver last Monday to help care for Louise's mother who had a heart attack, angioplasty and a stent inserted into an artery to resolve the situation. She had great care at Exempla-Lutheran Hospital in Wheat Ridge and even at age 88 was able to leave the hospital on Wednesday. We took her home to Louise's youngest sisters home. Louise's sister took her mother in five years ago when she could no longer live alone. Mom has been able to care for herself during the day while the rest of the family works. Now, that has changed if only temporarily. Her mobility is down, her medications are up and she needs help with simple tasks. We are filling the gap providing "day care" for her while she recovers from her surgery. What happens when we leave depends on how well she recovers.

Now if you have been watching the news, you know that a major winter storm has been slowly moving across the mountain states. Forecasts for Denver ranged from a foot of snow to as much as 24 inches. Mountain areas got plenty of snow and I-70 across the mountains was closed due to avalanche danger. There was an avalanche on one of the smaller highways in Colorado. It took two cars off the road but luckily no major injuries. For us the rain started on Friday morning. We drove north to pick up Mom for a doctors visit. When we got to their house about five miles north, they had three inches of snow already.

We are staying at The Prospect RV Park in Wheat Ridge, a suburb of Denver. It's not fancy but very affordable and close to where Mom is staying. Friday morning the rain had formed a small lake near the rear of our motor home. We have water and electric but no sewer on this site. The manger, Nancy, has promised us a site with a sewer connection as soon as one is available. Meanwhile we are showering at Louise's sisters house.

We took Mom to the doctor and returned home. The blanket of wet snow on the driveway almost prevented us from making it up the incline into the garage. After getting Mom settled in the warm house I went out to shovel the driveway. The snow was coming down in large heavy wet flakes. It wasn't long before everything I wore was wet. About halfway through the job, my nephew Frank came home and pitched in shoveling. Between the two of us the driveway, walk and porch were cleared in short order. I love shoveling snow so much, I may give up the full time life and buy a house way up north somewhere - NOT!

After an early dinner, we headed for home. I spent ten minutes wiping snow off the Trailblazer, put it in 4WD and started to back away from the curb in front of the house. The roadway slopes down into the gutter at the curb and the slick wet snow under the tires was now ice. I could get the Trailblazer to move but the front tires just slid, I couldn't get it to turn away from the curb. I loaded up our gear and Louise and tried going forward but no luck. I got the shovel and cleared a path behind the rear wheels - no luck. So I dug out all four wheels and finally freed ourselves from the curb. The residential street was deep in slushy snow but the 4WD handled it nicely. Once we made it back to the main roads, they were clear enough to make travel easier. The rest of the trip back to Prospect RV was uneventful. When we arrived I saw that the small lake at the rear of the RV was now a large lake. The only place to park the car was right next to our front door. Even then, we were in the shallows of the lake when we got out of the car.

The snow on our roof blocked the satellite dome and we were reduced to watching local TV. This morning the rain resumed and warmer temperatures (it's almost 40 now) have cleared the snow off the satellite dome. Louise is enjoying West Side Story on the encore drama channel. Except for snow on the roofs the area here at Prospect RV is now a big wet lake. We have been reassured that it will soak into the ground quickly but it is still raining. Warm weather later this week will bring relief and we'll be able to get around the motor home but for now we are staying inside rather than wading out! It isn't this wet in Denver normally so everyone here is glad to see the moisture. We didn't get the huge snowfall that was forecast but what we did get has certainly made a mess. It was just a matter of a few degrees. If the rain we got, an inch and a half today alone, had been snow we'd be buried now! So no matter how bad it is, it could have been much worse.

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