The Reading Room
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
2012 July
This dwelling is situated in the middle of a grove
Positively Karen
of massive cottonwoods. I've found that if a per-
son lay on their back to look up into the heavens
We have moved to Gateway, CO., another move
through a cottonwood canopy they discover that
Kelly's World
another opportunity to meet new people, explore
the trees leaves never quit moving - silver petals
new lands.
continually cavorting in summer's gentle wind.
Desiring to learn Gateway's history I am deep into
If these trees could speak about what they have
"Oh, it's a dry heat," has become the lament of people
Jean Moores book "Gateway/Unaweep Canyon At
observed from their towering heights over the past
who live in the eastern and southern states to explain
Some Point In Time". The book is a history of the
one hundred plus years, what tales they could tell,
why we westerners can't possibly understand the de-
Gateway and Unaweep Canyon areas including
spair and sense of apocalyptic misery they experience
stories and family genealogy from the descendents
The kitchen window is filled with a view of the
during the warm season in their home states. My
of the settlers of the area. A fascinating read. I've
mighty red sandstone mountain that's often seen in
reply to these laments is that they are correct.
always been, since childhood, captivated by stories
so many Gateway pictures. Went for a ride down
Well, in that there is more discomfort associated with
about pioneers.
river the other evening monumental shafts of
heat coupled with humidity as opposed to our "dry
My Grandparents were pioneers settling on the
Wingate Sandstone stand throughout the canyon
heat", I can't disagree. On two occasions, in two dif-
Kansas plains and living in a dugout while build-
testifying to the geologic history of this amazing
ferent summers, I drove through Kansas City dur-
ing the ranch house. I believe Pioneers are a partic-
ing extreme heat. The first time was when I stopped
ular class of people. They were the ones who went
Alone in the canyon's quietness I was startled by a
at the rest area that overlooks Arrowhead Stadium
first to prepare the way, pathfinders, extremely
large cottontail bolting through the sagebrush. At
(home of the team I like to call "The Chieves"). We
brave, courageous. Would I, I wonder, have fit into
that very moment a coyote song reverberated off
were in the comfort of our air conditioned automo-
that group of people? I have no doubt I would have
stone walls somewhere beyond me. Be careful rab-
bile, stopped to change our son's diaper and that's
had the desire to go explore but not the courage.
bit where you run.
when the wave hit us. Upon opening the doors of the
Lived at the edge of the wilderness for a year at
There was a crow in Naturita. He sat on the light
car, the sensation could best be described as similar to
one time in my life and loved it. But, could drive
pole near our house in the early mornings watch-
how Spongebob must feel when he's forced out of the
out anytime. Pioneers = Extraordinary People.
ing and waiting to see if we were going to put out
sea into open air. Only, Spongebob couldn't possibly
Two weeks here has affected my personality, great-
any leftovers for him. He usually began cawring
enjoy how extreme heat and humidity transforms a
ly. It is doubtful I can get more relaxed. Glanced in
out if he'd not seen my husband by 7am. I think he
toddler's poopy diaper into an organism to itself. It
the mirror as I passed by and wondered who was
followed us to Gateway!
was shortly thereafter when the area was declared
staring back at me. She did not have any make-up
Crow flies,
a Superfund site. Then, of course, I realized my hair
on and it was the middle of the day. As the woman
through the cottonwoods,
had just been exchanged with that of Richard Sim-
touched her face I saw her nails were not groomed
as if he were the town crier.
mons! The second time in Kansas City was when I
and painted and she did not appear as though she
- Karen
filled up the van's fuel tank in a "rough neighbor-
even cared!
(Karen Schafer lives and writes in Gateway)
hood" and the van wouldn't start. Might have been
God's Grocery
helpful to have the diaper from the first occasion as a
means of defense in the event of trouble. (Soiled dia-
pers...the secret weapon against gang-related crime)
As I was walking down
It wasn't until I got married and my wife and I would
life's highway, many
go "back east" to visit her relatives that I understood
years ago, I came upon a
the term "heat index". (I always thought it was the
sign that read, "Heavens
library card catalogue that was sitting next to an
Grocery Store." When
old radiated heater.) Then, it wasn't until I got back
I got a little closer, the
home, here, that I realized we have a heat index fac-
doors swung open wide.
tor, too! How exciting! Turns out the "heat index" is
When I came to myself,
just a "feels like" temperature. For example, it can be
I was standing there
92 degrees in Houston, Texas with a heat index of 106.
inside. I saw a host of
Well, it seems the way it works, here, is that it can be
angels. They were stand-
92 degrees in Cortez, Colorado and the heat index
ing everywhere. One
could be 86! How cool is that?!
handed me a basket and
I will give due respect to those living in humid
said, "My Child, shop
climates. They carry on with life fairly well, consider-
with care."
ing they reside in a sealed Tupperware dish of last
Everything a human
Sunday's unrefrigerated tuna casserole. I don't even
needed was in that
mind them complaining about it... because I do too,
grocery store. What you
sometimes, when I'm there. My issue is when I ask
could not carry, you
"So, why do you live here?" and they look at me like
could come back for more. First I got some Patience. Love was in that same
I have snot dripping out of my nose. "Because it's
row. Further down was Understanding. You need that everywhere you go. I
God's country!" one person proudly proclaimed.
got a box or two of Wisdom, and Faith a bag or two, and Charity, of course, I
"God must have quite the sense of humor, then," I
would need some of that too. I couldn't miss the Holy Ghost; it was all over
mumbled to myself.
the place. Then some Strength and Courage to help me run this race. My
In the Scriptures, I don't find any references to God
basket was getting full but I remembered I needed Grace. I chose salvation for
giggling while watching residents in His country
salvation was for free I tried to get enough of that to do for you and me.
transform from solid to liquid form. No, more than
Then I started to the counter to pay my grocery bill. I thought I had every-
likely, the Almighty is sipping a glass of iced tea,
thing to do the Masters will. As I went up the aisle I saw Prayer and put that
noting that, at some point, there's more liquid on the
in, for I knew when I stepped outside I would run into sin. Peace and Joy
outside of the glass than on the inside.
were plentiful, the last things on the shelf. Song and Praise were hanging
I'm always glad to get back here, where the heat, like
near, so I just helped myself.
my sense of humor, is ridiculously dry. God's coun-
Then I said to the angel, "Now how much do I owe?" He smiled and said,
try...indeed! (Kelly Turner is the station manager at
"Just take them everywhere you go." Again I asked, "Really now, how much
KRTZ-FM Radio 98.7/92.1 in Cortez. www.krtzradio.
do I owe?" "My child," he said, "God paid your bill a long, long time ago."
com and he can be reached at