Of Enthusiasm and Endurance

Hellooo new decade. Anyone else feeling an inexplicable desire to do something bigger or better, simply because we’re entering the ‘20s?  Whether we’re seeking improved health, career growth, or stronger relationships, the symbolism of a fresh start in January gives many of us a tangible starting line for tackling our ambitions. Treading water in the … Continued

Traditions, Old and New

What’s your most beloved holiday tradition? Growing up, my favorite December treat involved not gifts or cookies but an annual campout beneath my family’s Christmas tree. After spending nearly an entire day each year cutting it down, stringing it with lights, and festooning it with ornaments, my (surely exhausted) mother allowed my little brother and me to spend … Continued

Feeding Heart and Soul

“Who inspires you, and why?” This is the simple question we posed to the five nonprofit directors featured here in our November issue. When their replies rolled into my inbox earlier this fall, I found myself both delighted and profoundly moved by their responses. As the season of thankfulness dawns this month, they reminded me that indeed, inspiration … Continued

Connecting is Caring

“Community” is a word you’ll hear a lot in our valley, and for good reason. Our collective need for a life deeply engaged with our neighbors is one of the things that makes this corner of Colorado so great; it’s a hallmark of our identity here, and I daresay it’s more important to us than even … Continued

Notebooks and Pencils and Glue, Oh My

Admit it: the back-to-school aisles are fun to poke through, even for us adults. I’m convinced that a particular delight lives among the stacks of clean notebooks and folders, crayon boxes, markers, glue, and glitter (oh, the glitter!). Local kids who go to pick out supplies this month probably won’t be feeling any No. 2 pencil-inspired nostalgia for years to … Continued

Summer’s Sweetest Joys

Summertime is magic. What makes it special for you? Maybe it’s outdoor festivals and live music, or farmers markets filled with fresh food and cheerful neighbors. Perhaps it’s picnicking with the kids after a nature hike, grilling with friends on warm Saturday nights, or gathering with family to celebrate the 4th of July. If nature is … Continued

The Many Roles We Play

As a 68-year-old man I have passed several milestones in my life. I started three companies in my 40 years of self-employment: one in restaurant design and two in magazine publishing. I somehow managed to raise a wonderful family with four kids and five grandkids, and kept the woman of my dreams for 45 years … Continued

Boldly Imperfect

We’ve all felt pressure to seem “perfect” before, right? Or wait, maybe that’s just us ladies. Whenever I’ve heard the topic come up in conversation among guys, the notion of personal perfection seems pretty foreign to them—or pretty silly. As my own husband once said to me, like it was a total no-brainer, “Why would … Continued

To Greener Times

Each year, springtime reminds me to pay attention. Just as the cold, dark, snowy months seem as if they’ll last forever, we get that day—you know the one—when we walk outside and suddenly just feel that something’s different. It stops us in our tracks. The sun shines a little brighter, the wind blows a little sweeter, … Continued

Choosing Home

What makes a house a home? First are surely the people who live in it (followed closely by their pets, of course!). But beyond the love that a home’s family brings inside its walls, it seems that the sky’s the limit when it comes to making it their own—particularly here in the lower Roaring Fork … Continued

Art and the Irresistible Urge

I think Einstein was onto something when he said, “True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.” As someone who was raised in the rural south without much access to art education at an early age, this speaks to me. We had no art centers in town, but my school district … Continued

Winter Wellness

‘Self-care’ has officially positioned itself as a major player in the zeitgeist. Wellness industries across the U.S. are booming, and it seems that everywhere we turn—or tap, if scrolling social media—the experts are telling us that we should be finding ways to do more for ourselves. The cultural climate that spurred the self-care revolution is … Continued

Cheers to the Year

The season of reflection is upon us. While glittering lights, gift-giving, and parties galore can entertain us this month, I think of December as a time for some good old-fashioned rumination. Despite its glitz, this month begs asking that pesky perennial question: What have you done this year? Meaning, what have you accomplished (or not)? … Continued

November’s Riches

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love to imagine the millions of intrepid home cooks across the nation hitting their kitchens, armed with family recipes, bravely roasting the turkeys and rolling the pie crusts and buttering the potatoes. More importantly, I love sitting down with my own family and friends to eat and reflect on the … Continued

Bon Appétit

Food: We love it so. But why? Surely it’s not about survival alone—or even taste. (Although taste is pretty high up there on the list of explanations!) The more complex reason why we love to eat is because food connects us: to others, to the earth, or to a time and place. As the late chef and … Continued

No Fuss Required

Trucker hats. Puffy coats. Sport sandals. Duck boots. Yoga pants. Pom beanies. Plaid. More plaid. All sound familiar? Valley style just wouldn’t be valley style without ‘em. Although locals do find plenty of reasons to clean up and don dressier apparel, our everyday street style is a mash-up of athletic gear, casual comfort, and a … Continued

Kid + Pet: The Truest, Sweetest Pairing

Stop. Flip back to the cover and look at that photo—really look at it, from top to bottom and inside out. Finished? Now continue with the following quote from “Dog Songs” by the great American poet Mary Oliver: What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What … Continued

Staying for the Summer

“Come for the winter, stay for the summer.” We’ve all heard that little gem a thousand times over, right? It’s a common refrain uttered on valley patios, picnic blankets, and river rafts throughout the season, but its ubiquity doesn’t make it any less true. For the many—many—transplants laying down roots here, the saying frames a Western … Continued

Let’s Hear It for the Dads

I have a new appreciation for dads this year. After all, I’ve recently had the privilege of watching my own husband become one after our daughter was born last summer. Parenthood was still an abstraction for both of us before she arrived, but even more so for my husband. I, at least, had the nine-month … Continued

Extraordinary Women

What does it mean to be a woman in 2018? It’s a question that can feel like a trick, because it’s one that has multiple, often contradictory answers.   Although it’s up to each individual woman to determine her own personal truth, I believe that there are significant commonalities binding us together, even if we … Continued

Big, Green Ideas

What’s your favorite sign of spring? I can never decide between the blossoming old fruit trees across the valley, the robins that march around looking for worms in my neighborhood, or the evanescent yellow of local dandelion fields that appear and disappear in a matter of days. Too many choices.

A Labor of Love

I remember the first night in our house quite well. Wall-to-wall boxes were stacked high enough to cover the windows, furniture was shoved in corners, bags of clothes were tossed at the foot of the stairs. The empty pizza boxes on the kitchen counter reminded my husband and me that the friends who had helped us conquer moving day were…

Made by Hand, with Heart

 When was the last time you created something?  Wait, that sounds a little intimidating. Let me rephrase: When was the last time you simply made something with your hands?  Chances are, it was more recent than you might give yourself credit for. Maybe it was a scratch-made meal or fresh flowers arranged in a vase, or a handwritten note to…

Cheers to 2018

Welcome to January. By now you’ve hopefully polished off all the leftover pie from the back of the fridge and guzzled your last mug of eggnog for at least 11 months. So long, holiday feasting—and hellooo fitness resolutions.

Cue the Confetti!

With the season of celebration officially upon us, Roaring Fork Lifestyle is debuting the magazine’s first Readers’ Choice issue to spotlight the valley’s best and brightest in local business. In a big city this kind of round-up might not offer much of a personal connection to readers, but here in our tight-knit community this list of local favorites is filled…

To Laugh, To Cry, To Learn

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” I watched as Prospero delivered these words during Thunder River Theatre’s recent production of “The Tempest,” recognizing one of the most well-known lines in all of Shakespeare’s canon. It’s been quoted time and again in popular culture, even misquoted, to the point…

History Repeats Itself

We gathered in the dark at 12th Street and Bennett, lanterns in hand, preparing to embark on a walk to Glenwood’s pioneer graveyard, Linwood Cemetery. It was a brisk October evening, and the chill in the air helped quicken our pace up the rocky hillside toward the final resting places of many of the valley’s first European settlers. What during…

Back to School, Back to the Drawing Board

This is not a letter from this magazine's editor, just a note from her stand-in. This month, I left my artist's studio to come back for an editorial encore performance. The reason? This magazine's real editor, Caitlin Causey, has been attending to a more important assignment—the birth of her first child.

Love Where You Live

For the past few months, vehicles with out-of-state license plates have lined my street in downtown Glenwood. Ohio, Iowa, Arkansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Missouri, Maryland: all terrific places, yes, but ones where—c’mon, let’s be honest here—the landscapes aren’t quite as exciting as those in western Colorado.

Adventure Defined

Merriam-Webster defines the word adventure as both “an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks” and “an exciting or remarkable experience.” Although a dictionary definition makes the concept seem a little dry or square, I do agree with it—especially the part about adventure encompassing not only dangerous pursuits but “remarkable” ones. This opens the door to a host of qualifying…

Sweet, Sweet Summertime

There are exactly 1,439,552 fantastic things to do outside in the Roaring Fork Valley this month. I, your editor, did the dirty work for you and counted. Of course we have hiking, rafting, rock climbing, fishing, golfing, jogging, and all the other sports and physical activities we love—but what about festival frolicking, market strolling, rodeo gawking, sidewalk chalking, creek dipping,…

Nurturing Nature in our Valley

Ah, May: the month that truly brings the Roaring Fork Valley back to life. After a cold winter and the ever-unpredictable month of April, May ushers us from mud season to sun season in a mere 31 days. Cue the green trees, late hours of daylight, and picnics in the park.

Blooming Where You’re Planted

What does home mean to you? What about community, neighbors, or friends? In the five years that my husband and I have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley, we’ve thought a lot about what these words mean to us. We spent our twenties bouncing from place to place, exploring what the world had to offer, and found ourselves here unexpectedly…

Moving In, Moving On—
My Parting Thoughts

You hold in your hands the 27th monthly issue of Roaring Fork Lifestyle. It's the last one I will edit. So far, this publication has had but one editor, yours truly. But next month, I will be moving on, and Caitlin Causey will be moving in. Caitlin's name should be familiar; she has been writing for this publication virtually since…

Made in and for the Roaring Fork Valley

Most months, my editor's letter explains how the articles we've picked relate to a theme, and this one is no exception. I'm going to tell you how my favorite local product, this magazine, came to be. But let me start with a confession: when it came to selling "beat tags", I was a waste of space. "Beat tags" were little…

Caring for Mind, Body & Spirit in Winter

"What's a body to do in the cold?" That's the question that writer Genevieve Villamizar asks this month. Because there's a "Colorado native" sticker on my car's bumper, I've known the answer for years. As a child, I always asked for the same gift for my November birthday. "Make it snow so I can ski!"

The Bones of Christmas Past

These days, stores seem to break out the Christmas decor as soon as the Halloween candies can be cleared away. That may be a good thing for sales, but the long holiday season is hard on those away from family, those who have lost loved ones, those have lost the chance to be with loved ones because they must work.…

In Praise of Acts of 
Random Kindness

When I moved back home to Colorado in 2011, it was actually the second time I ran away to the Roaring Fork Valley. Both times, my reasons for wanting to hide in the mountains were similar. William Butler Yeats' 1919 poem describing his feelings on the eve of World War I describes mine as well:

All That Jazz (Folk, Bluegrass, Country & Classical…)

Astute readers may have noticed that each month, Roaring Fork Lifestyle has a theme that is announced on its cover. I had been working with a "music and musicians" theme when some basic math convinced me to change that.

A Paean to Pets 
& Wildlife

Not long ago, I overheard a neighbor saying on the phone, "Where I live, the word 'nightlife' usually refers to the critters that knock over the trash can around three in the morning." While that probably sells our local entertainment options a bit short, it's true that we're long on things that go bump in the night. In the summer,…

Growing Up with 
Free-Range Childhood

For several reasons, I have never had children of my own. Sometimes, that omission leaves a hole in my heart. But as longtime readers of this publication know, I was fortunate that my young neighbor Sam Stableford adopted me as his "Carbondale grandma" almost as soon as I moved into my house.

“Art Shakes the Tree, the Monkeys Fall Out”

I have always considered myself an artist and have stuck up for freedom of expression. Especially my own! My fourth-grade teacher sent me to the principal’s office for mulishly refusing to draw a horse’s ears the way she directed.

Uniting Vocation and Avocation in One Sight

"What's it going to be?" "What are you working on?" My neighbors were dying to know why my driveway was piled high with river rocks ranging in size from cantaloupes to watermelons. What was I building?

Planting Seeds for the Harvest

My boss, publisher Rick French and I strive to make this publication truly reflect the communities that make up the Roaring Fork Valley. As editor, I’m particularly glad to receive editorial suggestions, even though I can’t follow up on them all.

To Serve, To Strive and Not to Yield

Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. Mine have ranged from a broken arm to a broken heart, from getting lost in the woods to a lost job. Bigger challenges come in the form of the loss of a home or a loved one. Sometimes we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Sometimes we're so disabled we need someone…

A Healthy State of Mind

For me, that healthy state is called Colorado. I grew up here, then lived in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. I'm celebrating a five-year anniversary since returning home to the Mile High State on “March forth!” 2011—a memorable date. Coming home cured most of what ailed me.

Bless this table

In her article In Praise of Locavores, Andrea Palm-Porter asks, “Do you ever stop to think about what you’re eating and where it came from?” I do. Although unseemly haste is among my flaws, I try to allow space at the beginning of each meal for a moment of gratitude. Food and drink, in all their astonishing forms, are truly…

In praise of cool deeds & local heroes.

International climate talks were going on in Paris while I was editing this magazine. As several local voices featured in this month's articles reminded me, climate change threatens many aspects of our Roaring Fork lifestyle, ranging from farming and ranching to fishing and skiing, not to mention real estate values and income from tourism. As my Carbondale neighbor Robert Hubbell…