Still Waters: Family, friends and neighbors

I had the rare and wonderful opportunity to go to Denver last weekend to be with my two sisters. Very appropriately, we attended “Frozen,” a story about sisters, at the Buell Theatre on Sunday afternoon. I had not been in that theater before, and it was a wonderful treat, courtesy of my sisters.

The special effects were “cool,” with the stage turning to “ice” as Princess Elsa unleashed the powers she previously tried so hard to contain. Of course the signature “Let it Go” song was part of the musical repertoire as well as a couple of newer songs created for the pre-Broadway show.

It was neat to see so many little princesses dressed up in Anna and Elsa costumes. My sisters and I weren’t in princess costumes but coordinated our outfits with blue blouses. With their husbands along for the Frozen ride, my sisters and I soaked up the vibe of live theater from the first row of balcony seats. Of course we snatched up a few Frozen memorabilia items after the show. A sucker for magnets, I got a fairly large Frozen magnet commemorating the event.

It’s interesting that this Disney feature has sustained its popularity over the last few years and apparently hasn’t thawed out yet, as the show we saw on Sunday is ultimately bound for Broadway.

Of course any time I get to spend with my sisters is special to me. I am so grateful that my sisters Beth and Kristi are my best friends. I have heard of other sisters who haven’t spoken to each other in years and may go to their deaths without reconciling. It’s a shame they don’t realize what a blessing they’ve wasted. My sisters and I don’t waste those precious moments together. Of course food is a big part of our gatherings, and we enjoyed a meal out at Black Eyed Pea. We spent Saturday night watching a comic on TV, Tom Papa, I had never heard before (I think his appeal is his humorous take on everyday life, very funny), and watched a movie Beth had brought to share.

I was glad to spend a little time with my folks in Pueblo on the way back, too. Every moment with my family is so very precious.

The reality of how quickly we could lose our family members hit me Monday night when the lady who lives two doors away from me lost her home in a fire. She very well could have died in the fire, but she was rescued to safety.

I was still at work when the call went out, and I realized the fire was on my block. I went as a neighbor but also as a reporter chronicling the history of my community — good, bad, unfortunate and miraculous. This was one of those unfortunate events, especially since it was not an accident but was the result of arson, but was also one of those miraculous times where life was spared.

As my neighbors and I stood in the cold in the middle of the night, we felt a connection. We shared sympathy for the woman who now no longer has a home. We felt admiration for those who came to her aid. We felt respect and gratitude for the emergency folks— from the fire and police departments to the ambulance attendants — who responded when and where they were needed. We are so fortunate to have such skilled responders in our community, most of them volunteer.

I am grateful I not only have a wonderful birth family but also a wonderful neighborhood and community family that holds each other up through the fire and the ice.