Meredith C. Carroll: Kudos to Aspen’s kind buds
The world is horrible. People suck. We’re all going to die.
That about sums up 2017, which, by comparison, makes the a__hole that was 2016 now seem as ironically chaste as the Lawrence Welk musical family’s perky rendition of “One Toke Over the Line.”
However, despite the looming decimation of civilization, a handful of bright spots managed to poke through even the darkest moments this year in Aspen. While the ink spilled on bad stuff is ubiquitous, the good stuff deserves a little more attention, including, but not limited to:
• Aspen Valley Hospital’s mighty emergency department, including the EMTs, physicians, nurses, physicians’ assistants, technicians (special shout-out to the ones we forced out of their beds during the devil’s hour) and on-call surgeons and anesthesiologists who have cared for my family swiftly, professionally and compassionately during the dozen or so visits we’ve made over the past dozen months.
• The OrthoAspen staff, AVH physical therapists Katrin and Ellen, Drs. Zimet, Nagle, Murphy, Goodstein, Becker, Harris and Hahn (and their empathetic and accommodating staffs), the MRI technicians, and, of course, AVH admissions ray of sunshine Nell Arthur, for their highly skilled and non-judgmental treatment.
• Drs. Guggenheim and Nelson, who’ve nurtured my daughters unwaveringly from birth until, well, what time is it right now?
• The Aspen-based crew of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology of the Rockies (Laura! Sara!), who poke with love.
• The Pure Barre Aspen team who may LTB cruelly, although never maliciously (and my 7:30 a.m. compadres who always save my favorite spot).
• The (very, very few) snowboarders on Snowmass Mountain who understand that, with only a few trails open, riding cautiously past a 6-year-old skier is the right thing to do. (The rest of the X Games wannabes need to stop. Seriously, just stop.)
• The Aspen Art Museum, for rising above the noise while continuously elevating the level of cultural discourse.
• The folks on Roaring Fork Swap who rallied quickly and generously to keep a homeless man warm and fed over the weekend.
• The Aspen Police Department, who protect valiantly and listen compassionately.
• The grounds crew at Aspen Meadows for keeping the hills lush and views unobstructed.
• The Wheeler Opera House’s free family events that magically occur exactly when they’re most needed during offseason.
• City Market’s John Hailey, whose bottomless capacity for grace and patience, especially this time of year, deserves a major award.
• Community members who care enough about the community to speak up, even when their opinions are unpopular, in a thoughtful, productive and articulate manner.
• Community members unafraid to voice their vile, sexist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, classist, ageist, arrogant and uninformed prejudices — out loud and in print. (Because knowing thy enemy is helpful in avoiding awkward exchanges.) (And because while they may lose their voice one day, print lasts forever.)
• Neighbors who become friends that turn into family.
• Friends who pass down their children’s old ski gear, especially when you (OK, me) wait until the day before skiing to try on your own kids’ now-too-small equipment from last season.
• Friends who call for me to come over, walk or mahj with zero notice.
• Friends who know when to listen, and when to tell me to shut up.
• Friends who know when to text (and not leave voicemails, because 2017).
• Friends who know how to pour.
• Aspen Elementary School principal Chris Basten, who’s clearly in it for the right reasons.
• The Aspen Elementary School staff, for whom no topic is too small to sacrifice their Tuesday nights leading free workshops so parents can be reassured that we’re all in this together.
• Katie Fox, Becky Oliver, Jill Pisani, Kelly Obranovic, Tana Rinaldi, Julie Wille, Marnie White, Elise Dreher, Kadi Kuhlenberg, Miss Mare, Mary Paula Daly, Tammy Baar and all the teachers whose work never ends when the bell rings at 3:15, and who don’t stop caring just because June rolls around.
• Allison Daily and Pathfinders, because apparently God wants us to know there are angels among us.
• Parent-Teacher Organization President Alyssa Shenk Genshaft who’s spent years volunteering her time and talent to ensuring AES teachers, staff, administration and students are well-supplied, well-fed, well-funded and well-loved.
• My family in New York and Louisiana who, despite being far away, love fiercely enough to make the emotional distance surmountable. And my husband and kids in Aspen and Boulder, who fill my whole heart.
• 2018. Because enough already with 2017.
Follow Meredith Carroll on Twitter @MCCarroll. More at MeredithCarroll.com.