Cathy Walton-Smith: The marmots are awake – but they aren’t waving back |

Cathy Walton-Smith: The marmots are awake – but they aren’t waving back

Cathy Walton-Smith
View from the Lake

This year, I am my own best “first of spring” spotter.

Either no one else is paying attention, or just not in the right place at the right time. I narrowly avoided a squirrel while driving down County Rd. 41 last week. And the marmots are awake. Their burrows have warmed up enough to wake them from their long winter’s rest. This week, they’ve begun their summer patrol. I saw three of them lined up alongside Highway 34 with their backs to Lake Granby. They stood at attention and watched the cars go by. I wonder if they are counting the cars or perhaps they’re guarding the lake or more than likely they are guarding their own nests. I wave to them and say “Hi” as I pass. I thoroughly expect them to wave back. Maybe one of these days they will.

Earlier this week, the Town of Grand Lake lost our mom. Evelyn Schnittker lost her battle with leukemia. Evelyn has taken care of and nurtured Grand Lake since before I moved here 20 years ago.

When I met her, she owned the Big Horn Lodge. Over the years, she has worked tirelessly for Grand Lake through the Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Board. She was always there when needed, keeping the Visitor Center open, organizing parades, setting up craft fairs and walking up and down the boardwalk answering questions asked by tourists. Throughout the many years of Chamber troubles and political issues like gambling, Grand Lake was always first in her heart. She will be painfully missed. A memorial service will be held at Stillwater Chapel on Hwy 34 on Wednesday, April 30, at 3 p.m.

Tomorrow, Caroline’s Cuisine celebrates the melting snow with a Four Stem Gourmet Wine Dinner with master of ceremonies, Phil Laramore. The menu includes Smoked Salmon Tian with Lentil Salad, Lobster Bisque laced with Cognac and Creme Fraiche, Beef Tenderloin En Croute with Fois Gras and Wild Mushrooms in a Truffle sauce, Chocolate Lava Torte and several great wines. Oh, my. Reservations are required. Call (970) 627-9404. Dinner will be served promptly at 7 p.m.

This Sunday, the Lariat Saloon will host the 15th Annual Hearts Tournament at noon. If you love to play Hearts, this is your game. Join Barky Lew and the gang for a fun afternoon. You can sign up any time at the Lariat, or just show up for a good time.

All you bargain hunters out there ” here’s the deal of the day. Check out the Forever Stamp at the post office. Postage on regular mail goes up to 42¢ on May 12, but between now and then you can buy the Forever Stamp for 41¢ and they’re good forever at that price. Think of it as our government’s way of having a sale. Just think, if you still mail out your bills and birthday cards, you probably mail about 12 items a month. And over a year’s time that could amount to a total of $1.44 in savings. Get them while they last, I bought 100 this week.

Our Grand Lake post office has just announced they are now offering guaranteed overnight mail delivery to limited major cities across the country. You must have your mail in by 11:30 a.m., and of course it will cost more than 41¢, but ” welcome to the 21st century, Grand Lake.

If you’re planning to appear in this year’s Cabin Fever Follies, get your name in today. Please contact Jan Sears at (970) 887-0339 or Linda Carlson at (970) 627-3895 right away, Shake off those mud season blues and come watch your friends and family ply their talents on stage in the Cabin Fever Follies on April 26, 7 p.m., at the Grand Lake Community House. Adults $10, children under 12 are $5. Don’t miss this wonderful and funny talent show presented by the Grand Arts Council.

On April 27, we will all be gathering at Pancho and Lefty’s at 3 p.m. to help out our friend Kristy Hoff. Kristy was severely injured in a motorcycle accident in March and faces a long recovery. In addition, she is faced with huge medical bills. There will be a silent auction and live entertainment featuring Peggy Mann, Oly, Steve Cormey, 9-Toed Bob and the Stragglers, and John Brown. Donations may also be made to the Kristy Hoff Fund c/o Grand Mountain Bank, P.O. Box 749, Grand Lake,CO 80447.

The Grand Lake Nifty Niners Club is excited to get this 2008 golf season underway. This is a Nine Hole Golf Club open to any woman who would like to play golf on Tuesday mornings at the Grand Lake Golf Course. The season begins May 20, with a couple of “Show-n-Go”, weather permitting. Annual dues are $50, which includes CWGA fees and handicap fees. For more information, contact Sharon Peterson at (970) 627-8869, or Laura Summers at (970) 887-1281.

For exercise on Mondays and Thursdays, ladies, join the spring session of Belly Dance classes. Learn isolation, coordination and new ways to move and stretch. All movements are low impact and appropriate for all ages and skill levels. Classes are on Mondays at 6 p.m. at the Grand Lake Community House and on Thursdays at 6 p.m. at the Granby Recreation/Senior Center. Sign up for the next 5-week session beginning April 21 and 24, for $40, or drop in on any class for $10. To sign up, call me at (970) 531-3055.

Happy Birthday to Sue Sheriff, who wants no one to make a fuss, and won’t say how old she is.

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