I am a native of California. I was born at St. Francis Hospital in Santa Barbara. My father’s family emigrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania, my mother’s, from Germany to Michigan. During the Great Depression, it seemed that everybody headed for the fair weather land of plenty, Hollywood, warm sunshine, lemons orchards, and work. My father and mother met and married, in Santa Barbara, beginning and ending the rearing of their family in that paradise on Earth. For some time in the middle, my father decided to build homes in the Lake Tahoe basin, but we moved back to the beach when I was 13. I dug my heels into tar speckled sand and found the song of my soul in the thunderous Pacific. I struck gold every time I spied brave clumps of poppies tacked to sun burnt hillsides and felt unspeakable reverence standing amid giant Sequoias. From LA to Big Sur and deep into the Sierra Nevada, California became my classroom, my church, and my own personal movie.My father never went to college, but he was a student of history. He rejected television, in an age when families gathered raptly around the first color sets, opting instead for recitations from books about the history of the Golden State. I grew up knowing the land, the people, the plants and snakes, the fishes and furry inhabitants. There wasn’t a roadside historical marker at which I had not stopped to read and wonder. We belonged to all of the nearby museums. He bought a sailboat made of wood and tacked into the channel on warm Santa Anna winds. California has been my homeland and I have spent 55 years of life tracing the footprints of her fabled past; embracing her super charged present.
Three years ago, I moved to Colorado. It was a job opportunity that drew my husband here. We no longer had children in school. We were free to say yes to the adventure that put itself in front of us. We left everything we knew behind so that he could pursue his dream. He flew out early and was already working for the school district that had beckoned him. He flew back to Sacramento in June, when I had finished my own contract, and then we drove for 23 hours; through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and down the Front Range through Denver. He brought me home to a rented house in Falcon, on the plains outside of Colorado Springs. I was fresh from tying up loose ends, renting our home in Grass Valley, packing up what I thought constituted “us” and arranging for my horse to ship ahead of me. I didn’t have time to be sad, or thoughtful. I was going, not leaving.
In the time since that summer day in 2007, I have been more than thoughtful. I have been homesick. Displaced. I never realized I could feel so lost. Not a good place to be. And so, on the last day of 2010 I made a decision. I live in Colorado. I need to find Colorado in order to make it my home. It isn’t a place – it’s how one comes to know a place that makes it special. My job can be consuming, but I need to do more than work. My goal for 2011 is to make the time to get to know the place where we live. I hunger for the romance of connection. This is it, Colorado! I choose you.
Today is Sunday January 2nd and it has been breathtakingly cold for three days. My husband and I were going stir crazy warming our toes by the fire. We hit the road, icy as it was in shady neighborhood spots, to explore just a little bit of Colorado. We have driven through Old Colorado City, on the way to Manitou, but we have never stopped to spend time. Today we walked the ice crusted sidewalks of Old Colorado City. Some stores were open. Some were not. We saw some amazing photography, funky gently used and artistically arranged consignment items, jewelry, and mittens. We passed on the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory’s 50% off sale of all things Christmas. (You do know that this is THE Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – the first store!) We settled, instead, on Pizzaria Rustica http://pizzeriarustica.com/location.html for lunch. My my my! Such amazingly good pizza!!! It was billed as Neapolitan and I was not sure what that meant. It had no tomato sauce, which might be a part of it. The pizza had a chewy wonderfully browned crust, from a brick oven. That might have been the other part. White truffle dipping oil. Primativo wine. Most excellent. This is a place to go again. Warm, friendly, rustica to be sure. The 10 inch pizza was plenty for the two of us. The wine was superb. Prices reasonable. We left smiling. Time to go home to write my first blog. Many more explorations of Colorado to come. Follow me if you like. I am determined to make this place my home – to fall in love all over again. I can feel the twiterpation coming on. Gosh, Colorado, I think I love you, isn’t that what life is made of?
"I Think I Love You" (As recorded by the Partridge Family/Bell) TONY ROMEO I was sleeping and right in the middle of a good dream Like all at once I wake up from something That keeps knocking at my brain Before I go insane I hold my pillow to my head And spring up in my bed screaming out the words I dread I think I love you I think I love you so what am I so afraid of I'm afraid that I'm not sure of a love there is no cure for I think I love you isn't that what life is made of Though it worries me to say that I never felt this way I don't know what I'm up against I don't know what it's all about I got so much to think about I think I love you! (c) Copyright 1970 by Screen Gems-Columbia Music, Inc.