Cathy Walton-Smith: Why we’ll never move away
Why we’ll never move away
It has been quite awhile since I’ve sat down to write a column for this newspaper. Writing my weekly column “View from the Lake” was an enjoyable highlight of my week for over 15 years. But, due to circumstances beyond my control, I needed to give it up four years ago. Over the years, you have heard many stories about the antics and mishaps concerning my husband Michael “The General” Smith.
A little over four years ago The General was taken down by an auto-immune disorder, transverse myelitis. It damaged his nervous system and left him completely paralyzed from his chest to his toes. Initially, no one knew whether he would survive the attack to his system. He spent over five months in the hospital, and since then has been back more than once due to complications. But the old gunfighter has never given in to feeling sorry for himself and continues to meet life head on. Today, he appears to be quite healthy and doing well.
The outpouring of help from our community has never stopped. It has saved our lives in more ways than one and has allowed us to remain in our home in spite of the many hardships. But, suddenly, it seems, our home had begun to look very sad. We bought most of the house paint last year, but never got the job done. By this spring there was hardly any color left in the wood siding and none left on the decks. If you saw the posters that went up in August for the “Paint Mike’s House” event, this is what that was all about. And Peter “The Grand Painter” Esmonde was the instigator and grand organizer behind this event.
The pre-event started early in the week when Peter’s helper, Dave, spent two days power-washing the house. Mother Nature also helped by holding back the rain for all the days needed to get the job done. On Sept. 13, the day started early with Judy Tumblin showing up to make coffee and set up food and drinks for the large group of volunteer helpers.
In addition to Peter, there were two other painting companies supervising the volunteers and donating their supplies, equipment and expertise: Jim Peterson of Grand Design, and Bob’s Decorating. There was a ton of food donated by Sagebrush BBQ & Grill, Sloopy’s Grill, Doris Braun-Neukom, Circle 3, and Mountain Food Market. The friends and neighbors who turned out to get the job done are too numerous. But each and every one was truly appreciated, and with so many hands at work the job was completed by early afternoon.
To all of you, from The General and I, our thanks and appreciation has no bounds. Your generosity is priceless! This is why we will never move away. We could never leave all the love that continues to come our way.
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Grand Lake is still standing one year after the East Troublesome Fire, and the town celebrated the people who helped make that happen on Saturday.