Alice Chavez, of Pagosa Springs, turns 80 years Aug. 28. Downtown on the first block of Lewis Street, you will find the home of Alice Cora Chavez. Out front of her home, you will find her “huerta alegre” (happy garden) teeming with life she has nurtured for the last 40 years. My mother, daughter of Mary T. Archuleta, grew up in Pagosa Springs as Alice Archuleta and graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 1959. She moved shortly after to Albuquerque, N.M., where she met my father, Luis Chavez, and over the next years, gave life to nine children while living in the Nebraska area. She returned to Pagosa in the early ‘80s to raise me and my two sisters as a single mother. She was employed in various capacities around town until she landed at the U.S. Forest Service for 25 years, retiring in 2006 after a bout with colon cancer. Over the past 15-plus years, her retirement has included time in her garden and many adventures with her children and grandchildren. She has and continues to serve the Pagosa community as a 4-H leader, Food Coalition volunteer and translator at San Juan Basin Public Health, among many other activities in the past and present. When she’s not in her garden, you can find her walking the Riverwalk or at one of the many thrift stores around town. Please join me in wishing her a happy and healthy 80 years young. Those inclined may wish her happy birthday by sending her an email at alichvz@gmail.com or snail mail at P.O. Box 592, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.