All I can say is lucky me |

All I can say is lucky me


Recently the Daily’s own Erma Bombeck, Linda Stamper Boyne, wrote about our amazing summers. Linda certainly got it right, but as wonderful as our summers are, sometimes it’s easy to take both our surroundings and the folks who live here for granted. So I thought I might relate a few stories to illustrate how very fortunate the denizens of the valley really are.

I usually buy a new car every 150,000 miles. So when my Toyota Highlander was about to reach that magic number, I began shopping for a hybrid SUV. After demo driving several vehicles, I settled on the Lexus 450h. Frankly, I never thought I would own a Lexus, but the car was the perfect size, the dealer used Costco’s pricing, the vehicle got great gas mileage, and it had the guts to get up the hill without any problem.

However, the one stipulation I had before making the purchase was a commitment from Kuni Lexus to pick up my car and deliver it back whenever it needed a major service. When the Lexus driver drove up here to drop off a loaner and take my car down to Denver last month, I of course thanked him for making the long drive. He responded, “No problem, I love driving up here, it’s so peaceful and beautiful. It’s one of my favorite aspects of the job. I wish we had more customers up here.”

My wife, Bobbi, began buying our fruits and vegetables from Door-to-Door Organics, a Denver company. Bobbi places our weekly order online and every Tuesday morning fresh organic fruits and vegetables are delivered to our front door.

I was home on a recent Tuesday when the delivery truck pulled into our driveway, so I thought I would greet the deliveryman. But the driver didn’t walk straight to our door. Instead this middle-aged gentleman exited his truck and walked over to our lilac bushes and lingered for a moment, taking in their fragrance.

After a few minutes, he came to the front door with our weekly box of organics. I thanked him for driving up here, to which he replied, “Are you kidding me? I love driving up here. It’s gorgeous and a welcome relief from Denver.”

When I was with the ski school, I always felt I was more of a teacher who skied than a skier who taught. The fact is I love teaching. So I consider myself most fortunate to be given the opportunity to teach a non-credit photography course at Colorado Mountain College.

My experiences at the college have been more positive than anything I could have asked for. The morale and culture of an organization always starts at the top, and while I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting “the powers that be” at CMC, every staff member I’ve come into contact with has been both welcoming and helpful beyond expectations.

To say I’m not particularly computer literate is an understatement, so I was dreading having to transfer my extensive slide presentation, as well as student photos onto CMC’s computer in order to use their state-of-the-art projector.

It was a needless worry. Everyone from Adam, Pete, Jeanne, Kim, Ming, Luly and a host of others whose names I’ve forgotten went so far out of their way to assist me I was almost shocked.

But it wasn’t just the helpfulness or friendly attitude that impressed me. It was what I would call their “proactive competence.” I’m used to experiencing friendly incompetence (usually in restaurants), but these folks knew what they were doing and went above and beyond to assist me.

These things don’t happen by accident. People live here for a reason, and I believe our surroundings and pace of life is conducive to the responses and attitudes I’ve described above.

I like it when I receive follow-up phone calls or emails from medical professionals to see how I’m doing. I like the fact that every time I’ve had a dental issue, such as a loose crown, my dentist Shelley Raichart says, “Meet me in my office in half an hour.”By the way, every dental emergency I’ve had over the past four years has occurred either on a weekend or on a holiday such as the Fourth of July.

I’m most appreciative of the fact that each time I’ve needed something from the county, the county employees who assisted made me feel as if I was the county’s only citizen. And it speaks volumes whenever I’ve had to research matters about the school district for one of my commentaries that Phil Onofrio has been Johnny-on-the-spot to assist.

I could go on, but I think you get my drift. Waking up to our spectacular Colorado mornings, walking or hiking in places people in other parts of the country can only dream of are privileges that I hope I never take for granted.

And most of all, I like being able to say, “Lucky me!”

Quote of the day: “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles not tears.” — John Lennon.

Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes regularly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at

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