Moon rising on the Grand Valley

Friends

I was relieved when I got back to the farm house. It was still early November. Classes were busy, the air was crisp, the days were shortening and snow had already fallen on the surrounding mountains. Winter was settling in which creates the effect of intimate seclusion from the bustle of summer activities. The farm house was a great find for me and my two friends from the University. We had been looking for a place away from distraction of student parties but also a place to have our own parties when it was to relax. This was the perfect solution to our quest! The closest house was a 20 minute walk and separated by fields for cattle grazing and farmland. We were allowed to farm our own produce of spice and vegetables including wild asparagus which was so good and popular we could sell it on the roadside with our spices and vegetable for a nice profit. Summer was very busy and a farm takes work in the spring to setup and the fall harvest but through the growing time it takes care of itself. Life was great. With our root storage and freezers filled and winter settling in it was desirable to come home each day to do the work necessary for University projects. There was no truck or car in the grass by the barn! I had a research project to start and I have the house all to myself. Flipping through the vinyl stack I found the Little Feat record, “Waiting for Columbus”. When it is possible, I play it loudly and sing along, note; my roommates don’t appreciate my finely tuned Tom Waits voice. Today it was loud enough to hear from the neighbor’s house. I went up to my room and collected my supplies. From upstairs I have a direst view of the barn and the fields. With the window open the scent of hay and the musk of the compost warmed my own senses. Alex stayed in the room directly across from me at the top of the stairs. His door was always closed because he does not have the same appreciation of the dry cool air with the scents mixed in. Jack had the room directly below mine and he was not affected by the scents. At the bottom of our stairs was the kitchen which opened out to the back of the house. Our dog, an English Sheep Dog named Duff of Dundee, came and went through the swinging portal in the door made for him. The kitchen is large enough for us to cook, entertain and sit to eat simple meals. Between the kitchen and the front living room was a dining room which became our study hall. Not a large house but it was a fit for our lives. Looking out of my window in the light of the setting sun the Grand Mesa was crowned by the fire glow of the reflected sun setting in the clouds. Our sunsets were often like this and I had a ringside seat through my window. The Bookcliffs Mountains run along the side of the Grand Valley that lead directly to the Grand Mesa are also in my view. The Grand Valley is like a heaven on Earth with the prominent Colorado River roaring through it. It is the fruit growing produce center for Colorado and surrounding states. I have a rocking chair in the room but I leave it on the far side of the bed to use for reading by the bedside table light. Even from there I can enjoy the view outside my window. Being in the back of the house I cannot see lights from cars coming down our driveway or driving on the distant road that feeds the farms. Gathering my supplies, I returned downstairs to the study room. The side of the album was done playing. Spreading out my supplies …I stopped. Did I just hear something? What was it that I heard? Had I made a mistake? I walked to the front room and looked out to the driveway and did not see Alex’s truck or Jack’s car nor could I see anything on the usually empty farm road. The dog was on the couch yet he was alert with ear points raised. Opening the front door he ran out and I stepped out to see if he was running after a deer or some other animal. I yelled for the guys, in case I had missed their vehicles or they had gotten a ride home. I got no response and Duff would not return.
-Continued Later-
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