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Hey, it coulda been worse, and a zucchini soup recipe

Tired of potholes and tired of piecemeal solutions to potholes … we are all patiently anticipating the smooth end-result of the huge project that is the rebuilding of Park Avenue.

All recreation center users: be advised that Park Avenue will be closed to through traffic between Carlee Place to North Pagosa Boulevard Aug. 4-10.

All traffic will still have access to the recreation center, but will need to follow detours.

Be patient. You know how much time and effort something like this takes?

If you wish, you may go to www.archuletacounty.org for updated information on the Park Avenue construction and closure announcements.

Sometimes I think that the potholes have honed “avoidance” skills in commuters, particularly cyclists. My husband and I ride our local roads every day and you would think our “avoidance” skills would be right up there (wherever “there” is).

Last week, Tom and I took a mid-day spin up to Jackson Mountain on one of its awesome trails. An hour into the ride, the sky darkened, thunder rolled in and lightning jacked our “acute risk” (a term borrowed from my friend Sheila Berger) factor up to a 10. The stunning pyrotechnic display from the heavens ended the usual reverie that creeps into my noggin when I’m on my bike. The next lightning bolt signaled the commencement of a flight parade.

We skidded around and made a beeline for the bottom of the mountain. Ten seconds later, a snake jumps out and Tom nails it. In that split second interlude between surprise and pain (the snake’s, of course), Tom lets out an “oh, no.” “Coulda been worse” (CBW). He could have been the snake.

Just around the next bend my tires go into a full skid on the slick-as-snot mud and my brakes aren’t responding. To stop the bike I plowed into the bermed side of the single-track trail, but there was enough momentum to bounce me and bike right out off the track. In that split second interlude between fear and impending pain, I let out an “Oh, Sh—!” outcome: few scratches, lots of mud on the body, gambel oak branches in the spokes, a crooked helmet. Answers to the name “Lucky.” CBW.

When the bell of bike misfortune tolls for cyclists, we come back for more. Reasoning? CBW. I would not bike without CBW. I don’t allow myself to think of the somersaults in rock fields, a broken shifter cable, a piece of a goat’s head I just can’t find in the tire as I contemplate the third flat in an hour with the sun disappearing. CBW. Or the time I impaled my left groin with the brake lever after flipping off a boulder in Moab. CBW. We would not bike without “CBW”.

In last week’s column I promised a great, simple recipe for zucchini. This, by the way, was a recipe that Benny Lohman had given me 26 years ago. She had since misplaced it, and was thrilled when I asked her permission to publish her zucchini soup recipe in my column. She wants it back.

Here goes:

3 cups 1-inch zucchini cubes

1 1/2 cups water

2/3 cup consommé

1/4 cup coarsely chopped onions

2 slices cooked and crumbled bacon

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

grated parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients except cheese. Microwave 15 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly. Process in blender, 2 cups at a time. Return all to microwave on full power for 5 minutes. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Whoever said bacon was bad for you? In praise of moderation, every food has its place at the right time. Benny, by the way, has been a firm believer of using good sense and moderation in her long and rich 90 years of life.