Thankfulness, clarification 

 Dear Editor:

Beloved Pagosans:

I know that this letter is coming at a time when most of your attention is being placed outside of Pagosa — on our nation’s evolution, which I commend you for.

I apologize that I am not more involved yet, here at home, we’re still processing our own family evolution and trying to find our way in it — and I would like to assist all of us by sharing with you some clarity concerning what occurred to Dylan.

But first, I would like you to know that we recently acknowledged Dylan Weber Burkesmith’s birthday on Oct. 10 — he would’ve been 17 years old.  We honored him on All Soul’s day, then shared his story as a testimonial during Red Ribbon Week at Pagosa Springs Intermediate school — where the school is communicating with the children about living safe, drug-free lives.  Needless to say, Dylan continues to be strongly on our hearts and our minds, at this time especially.

I would like to clarify for you (clarify, especially for the sake of Dylan’s siblings left behind) that Dylan’s passing on July 20, 2008, was a mistake, an accident and a bad choice. 

We continue to appreciate and inwardly acknowledge all your support, prayers, thoughts and understanding, which have very much assisted us through this bereavement process.

With love and gratefulness,

Margaret Burkesmith and family

Sincere respect

Dear Editor:

Veterans Day is a day of recalling memories, both good and bad, of friends who have gone on to the final formation, and events that have been both rewarding and very humbling. Also, it is a chance to remind myself, and others around me, of all the wonderful things that we as Americans have and can do, that we would not have if veterans had not fought for it.

As I walked my dog on the ridge behind my home this morning, enjoying the emerging sunrise and a fresh, crisp mountain breeze on my face, I began to think about our military personnel stationed in combative positions overseas. I wondered what these brave men and women were thinking each day as they, too, watched the sunrise and possibly shared that same fair breeze. Certainly, their husbands, wives, children, homes and life experiences are foremost in their minds as they ready themselves for another day that, for some, may be their last.

Unknowing, dedicated to their duty, they proceed, as countless thousands of Americans have before them. It is a humble sacrifice that in my opinion demands our sincerest respect, thanks and admiration.

Veterans Day is a time for me to recognize this sacrifice. It is shamefully ignorant that so many Americans take the freedoms for granted that have been earned through the hard-fought, bloody sacrifices of our military.

A profound salute and thank you to all who have taken the stand of soldier, airman, sailor, Marine, coast guardsman. Uncommon valor is their common virtue.

Thankful then, now and forevermore: every day is Veterans Day on my mountain.

Jim Sawicki

‘Me’s’ together

Dear Editor:

It was over two years ago that we moved to Pagosa Springs, a beautiful mountain oasis with a view of the San Juan Mountains in our backyard. This was to be the answer to our dreams, the result of over 41 years of hard work, anything and everything that anyone could hope for. The friendly people and the ever-changing scenery made each day something to look forward to.

But the “we” became a “me” and I found myself alone in Pagosa Springs. The oasis had “dried up,” and the dream disappeared. The prospect of being alone, especially during mealtime was daunting. How do you learn to shop for one — how do you prepare for a meal when you don’t have an appetite?

Ever since I can remember, I was in the kitchen helping first my grandmother, and then my mother. My dad passed away when I was young, and so I needed to help out. While I was helping, I was learning. This learning still goes on — I recently completed two cooking courses at the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

I know that I am not the only “me” in Pagosa Springs, and the thought came that other “me’s” might be interested in joining together to form a Singles Gourmet Club to meet informally at first to discuss the possibilities of meeting and sharing thoughts and ideas, as well as good recipes that we could enjoy together.

If you are interested, call me at 731-3973 or cell (954) 612-4552, and we can plan an informal gathering to share common interests. I look forward to hearing from you.

Larry Schwartz