Good Stuff - Julie's Silver World Newspaper column


Life From My View - April 2021 

Being Part of the Solution

Covid-19 Vaccine
Picture by Malinda Mcdonald

March 30, 2021 I received my 2nd COVID 19 vaccination at our medical center in Lake City, Colorado. Bouquets of praise and gratitude to our amazing public health department.  A year into the global pandemic, the worldwide death toll exceeds a sickening 2.5 million. More than half a million deaths have been in the United States. Hope is arriving in the form of vaccines that have persistently shown success in preventing COVID-19. 

I had the Moderna vaccine. This vaccine protects against a potentially fatal illness, and its only proven side effects are short-term and mild for most people. Having symptoms after being vaccinated shows that our bodies are working to be able to fight the disease. I’ve had this experience after other vaccinations. . After my first COVID 19 vaccination, my arm was just the tiniest bit sore. Having heard that many people had a very sore arm, I made sure to rub and exercise my arm and that helped a lot, as did our RN Shawna’s light touch. I received my second COVID 19 vaccination on a Tuesday, exactly 4 weeks later, about 11:30AM. I felt fine until the next morning. I woke Wednesday with several symptoms that continued all day, including a sore arm that rubbing and exercising didn’t help much this time. I had an upset stomach that was helped immensely with crackers and soda water. My mild headache, fatigue and chills were helped with taking ibuprofen every 4 hours (for me, in this situation, ibuprofen worked much better than Tylenol) and I took ibuprofen PM at bedtime. Symptoms were lessening Thursday and Friday and I woke up Saturday feeling completely normal again!

Do NOT take any pain reliever before the vaccine. It's possible that taking a painkiller before getting a vaccine will result in a "decrease in antibody response," explained Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Having brought my vaccination card I received after my first shot, Shawna again filled it out appropriately and suggested I take a picture with my phone for a backup and store my vaccination card with my passport. I also made a paper copy of my vaccination card.

“The (COVID) vaccines have been highly protective against severe disease, hospitalization, and death,” says, executive director William Moss of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Even after you've been vaccinated, though you are protected, it's still possible that you can transmit the virus to others. So you should still wear a mask, practice social distancing, and frequently wash your hands when out and about with crowds. Remember, the mask is about keeping other people safe so we are not continually spreading COVID 19. Scientist say that small groups of vaccinated people can safely gather without mask.

Global pandemic or a cold, prevention protocol for spreading all germs is not about what one feels comfortable with or what one thinks but rather what science has proven. Be respectful of other people. Don’t cough or sneeze on people. Stay home with a fever and 24 hours after you are fever free. Keep your hands clean and away from your face. 

"Without symptoms" can refer to two groups of people: those who eventually do have symptoms (pre-symptomatic) and those who never go on to have symptoms (asymptomatic). During this pandemic, there have been people without symptoms who have spread the Coronavirus infection to others. An asymptomatic carrier is a person or other organism that has become infected with a pathogen, but that displays no signs or symptoms. Although unaffected by the pathogen, carriers can transmit it to others or develop symptoms in later stages of the disease.  

Always and forever – wash your hands. Hand washing throughout the day, is commonsense hygiene to always prevent disease through cleanliness. It’s not about what you think: you use the bathroom – wash your hands.  Before cooking or eating – wash your hands. You come home after being out and about – wash your hands. Typhoid Mary is a well-known, interesting asymptomatic carrier worth googling. She did not have typhoid and looked healthy and felt fine but she spread the disease because she was an was an asymptomatic carrier and would not follow protocol prevention. She was a cook who easily spread the illness typhoid by preparing food with unwashed hands. Corona viruses are spread most often by respiratory droplets; thus the masks and social distancing.

A registered nurse friend of mine who lives in southern Indiana says that she’ll never forget the horribleness of so many people dying of COVID on her hospital shift. Having run out of supplies, she had to cover the faces of the dead with black garbage bags – “haunting.” The Coronavirus affects different people differently. This past year too many people ignored the warning of mixing households and traveling. Some people got sick, some very sick, others died, some were hospitalized and some seemed unaffected - though they could have spread COVID. Some people who get COVID, even mild cases, are left with heart and lung damage and some people are left with sleep problems, mental issues, the loss of taste and or the sense of smell.

Before the vaccine was out, a friend of mine who lives in Oklahoma and her husband, like too many people, choose not to stay home as was very strongly advised and instead they flew numerous times visiting family across the country. Who knows if they spread COVID 19. On their last trip together they ended up flying home separately. Unbeknownst to them at first, the husband caught COVID on his last flight. While still pre-symptomatic he was with his son, daughter-in-law, grandchildren and then his wife when she came home. The family was fortunate that there was only one death. Sadly, my friend marked her 40th wedding anniversary this March a widow.

Be part of the solution – get your vaccinations.





Life From My View - March 2021


Lake City, Colorado

Living the Dream!

 March is International Women's Month; thus a fitting time to congratulate Chef Linda Lovegreen at CLIMB. March 17th is 5 years since she first saw her dream become a reality. Linda and her husband, Jerry Johnson, can’t believe how fast the past 5 years have gone. The couple says that the plan was always to have their restaurant for at least 10 years and that is still the plan.

 “Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?”—Robert Browning 

To achieve anything worthwhile, a person should attempt even those things that may be impossible. Following your dream is an inspirational foundation for happiness that most people find too obscure or difficult to follow. Most people are fortunate enough to have an income providing the time and money for their passion with vacations and weekends to enjoy gardening, photography, travel or cooking. But to make a living following one’s passion, that is most unlikely. Yet Jerry helped his wife Linda achieve that very goal.

 The couple met while she was attending her first year in college,  where Jerry  was working at his first job, shortly after receiving his master’s degree. They married as soon as Linda graduated and celebrated their 35th anniversary last year. Linda says that her husband is a patient man, and she is so grateful that he stood with her in her dream of opening a restaurant.

Linda took culinary classes, restaurant math, classic sauces, modern sauces and such and started working as a cook in Minnesota. She and Jerry discovered Lake City about 20 years ago while driving through Colorado looking for a place to retire. In finding Lake City, they knew they had found their special spot. After building their home, it was too hard not to be here full time. They made the move to Lake City much sooner than planned. Linda worked for a season as a cook in Crested Butte, followed by working for Chef Bruno for 2 seasons in Lake City. By then Linda and Jerry had to make the plunge and open their own restaurant. Linda says that she wishes she had followed her passion sooner as she loves what she’s doing! Initially, the plan was for Jerry to retire. During the first few months, as the restaurant started up, it was clear that they desperately needed him up front! 

Jerry is indeed just the right balance out front in the dining room to Linda’s culinary skills in the kitchen. Jerry welcomes patrons by name, as if they are guest in his home. The man makes it look easy, which is the secret to any great skill. Out of the restaurant, Jerry likes to get away in the mountains with a run or hike; he also works at Gunnison Airport performing ground service work for various commercial airlines.

Linda dreamed about and wrote business plans for at least 30 years before the couple opened CLIMB. It took a full decade from the start of the actual plan of opening a restaurant in Lake City until the actual opening. CLIMB is the type of restaurant the couple missed when visiting Lake City; which seemed like a sign to them. Linda credits their success to her restaurateur Uncle Don. After he begged his niece not to do it  but saw she wasn’t budging, he helped write a business plan and shared his knowledge on how to plan for the successes and failures that would follow.  

Linda and Jerry found out that indeed, it was, just as everyone said it would be, much, much more difficult than expected. Because of the unique Lake City location of their restaurant, there are unique challenges on top of the restaurant challenges. The most troublesome issue is always having enough staff for the summer and their housing, along with having hours for them in the winter. Razvan and Malie have been with CLIMB from the beginning. Linda and Jerry say they can’t imagine their restaurant without these exceptionally loyal team members who are more like family.

Running a restaurant is also much more physical than expected. Yet, it is all worthwhile because of the support Lake City gives to CLIMB.  This iis beyond any expectations; it feels like it was a calling. 

Chef Linda says that a strange occurrence since opening the restaurant is how food for her has lost a lot of the pleasure and excitement it once held for her. On her days off in the summer, Linda will happily eat Ramen or Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup and just relax at home on the deck. But it’s fun to go out for a nice dinner, for inspiration, where the restaurant owners are always critiquing. Vacations spots like Las Vegas and Napa are a favorite because of the food experiences that inspire them and then make it back to their restaurant. Time spent visiting their kids and 2-year-old granddaughter are always on their vacation agenda.

Linda and Jerry truly love bringing people together to celebrate with food and seeing how happy and thankful people are that they are here. High customer appreciation of what they do is everything. Jerry and Linda are very grateful for how supportive Lake City is of CLIMB.

Dreams really can come true!




Life From My View - September 2020


Lake City, Colorado

A Good Place to Live!

The best feeling in the world, a celebration of being alive, that’s today! As I write there’s an autumn nip in the air and despite the crazy weather that delayed the aspen trees changing colors, there’s overwhelming evidence that Mother Nature is giving us glorious color. This is my favorite season!

Postcard mountain views, with an endearing historic downtown area, Lake City, Colorado is a shining star to all initially.  Out of a diverse assortment of people who try to make this mountain village their home, only a fraction happily stay. For some boredom sets in, for others it’s the realization of needing to make a living somewhere else.

By a certain age, we are all expected to take care of ourselves. However, perhaps uniquely, there is short-term help available in our mountain village when something out of the ordinary occurs for locals. Contacting any of our pastors to talk about the need can lead to help.

Nothing worthwhile is easy.  It is not convenient or inexpensive or easy to live here and yet even my hardest days are better for living right here and I am grateful.

I walk a lot. I live inside of nature. Repeatedly we are told that walking is the best exercise. Walking can help us maintain a healthy weight, a healthy heart, healthy bones, balance and coordination and much more. Just as important a role in our health, is nature. Nothing about nature is lazy; it’s inspiring! Time in the mountains helps provide a significant connection to our lives that others reach out for by vacationing here. Being in nature can reduce stress and not only make you feel better emotionally, but can contribute to reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and much more. Living in the mountains provides instant healthy access to walking in nature.

Both after our surprising mid June snow and our very early September snow I thought I must have magic or grace in the garden because while the plants looked frozen, after the sun warmed us, they were all fine! I love when we have these little uplifting mountain miracles in nature!

Studies conclude that after meeting our basic needs and some nonessential desires; making more money does not make people happier. There are reasons to work other than money. Since cheaper, easier, more convenient places to live and work abound, those of us who live and work here know that feeling more than most; especially the many of us who also volunteer for committees and boards. I don’t believe it’s possible to call Lake City home and stay disconnected from the community. Our village and mountains intertwine in creating Lake City, Colorado.

One of the countless groups of people, who care deeply for our community, is the search committee for our new doctor. This exceptionally hard-working team of very busy people met repeatedly, working diligently, to make the wisest choice possible. Lake City attracts some of the best and the brightest, and this search committee was fortunate to have the struggle to choose between two outstanding candidates.

While Dr. Bill Gattis lives in Gunnison, he is familiar with our community. Years ago he worked with our clinic so our medical center could stay open during the transition through Dr. Carr. Our senior PA has worked with Dr. Gattis, being his supervising / collaborating physician. Our former nurse practitioner, Sherry Huisman, also lived in Gunnison and I have been told that the drive from Gunnison to Lake City was not an issue.

Contented people are flexible. Folks who happily make Lake City their home are adaptable. It is easy to find those much needed quiet, alone spots yet walking through town, running errands, saying hello – it’s like the movie; It’s a Wonderful Life—because it is!

I had a micro mini vacation with a girlfriend the other afternoon. We had a picnic up in the mountains enjoying the colorful aspen, a doe with her fawn and a large herd of sheep. It was so much fun to get away for a bit. Living here can allow for easy access to an afternoon escape in deeper nature. 

I disappoint our border collie by telling her there can’t be a walk this evening because the bear could very well be making his rounds. Living here has its frustrations, to put it mildly. Wherever we live, whatever time of life, there are pleasures and problems.  

In some ways of course this town is like any other place with people who think the rules don’t apply to them and they make life unnecessarily more difficult for everyone.  However, in other ways Lake City, Colorado is a most uniquely beautiful place, filled with some of the most kind and caring folks. It’s a good place to live. Healthy living and simple pleasures abound.

There’s grace in the garden.