The house my parents live in is the same house that they moved into just after my birth. (That’ll be 36 years in April for those counting. *winks*) It’s a farmhouse on the eastern plains of Colorado, where on a clear day you can see the Rocky Mountains from the back porch and at night the coyotes serenade you under a million stars sewn into an absolute black tapestry.
I have watched the sun rise, coloring the sky like a painter’s brush with this unreal palette of mauve, pink, and gold. I have seen thunderstorms come sweeping down from the west with their angry blue-black clouds, and I have witnessed the terrifying swirl of a tornado touching down. That roar is something you never forget.
At 18 I went off to college, moving out of that house to Boulder and from there I was on a great adventure. This girl who lived in the same place for 18 years managed to move 19 times in 17 years. The last move, of course, was just last year into the gorgeous house my husband and I bought in July.
Moves number 12 and 13 were the only two that crossed state lines. I moved to Alabama to be with my husband and then a year and a half later we moved back to Colorado.
I’m brutally honest when folks ask me about that year and a half. I wasn’t happy with Alabama. I hated the humidity, the cockroaches, the bigotry, and the horribly obvious division between the rich and poor. It was a shock for this western girl and to be quite frank the state didn’t treat me all that well and I was more than happy when we drove away for good.
Ironically, my single “good” memory of my time there is when I attended a counter-protest of the Westboro Baptist Church when they were protesting the Southern Poverty Law Center in downtown Montgomery. I’m grateful for the opportunity to join with other good people (I do know they exist in AL, so you don’t have to send me letters or reprimands about that. 😛 ) to stand up against hate.
Moving home though… *shakes head* …it was what I wanted. I am very much a western girl. I love the mountains. I love the definite seasons. I love how <i>active</i> everyone is here. I love the 360 days of sunshine and the fact that sometimes in January I can be wearing short sleeves one day and a wool coat the next.
When my husband was still in the military, we talked about the other places we’d like to live – England and Japan were on the list. Also D.C. and California. We didn’t get the chance for that and now with this house purchase I think the chances of us moving elsewhere for a long while are pretty slim, but I know we’ll travel because it’s something that both of us like to do.
I’ve promised to take him to England (as I’ve been once already) as well as Scotland and Ireland. I want to go to France to see the beaches of Normandy, and to India to see as much as possible. I wouldn’t mind seeing the white nights of St. Petersburg and St. Basil’s Cathedral.
There are a number of places in the States we still haven’t been, especially back east. Not to mention that Macchu Picchu is on my Bucket List, so I’m sure we’ll head south at some point in our lives.