Tag Archives: CO Native

Did NOT see that coming.

I am a monumentally somewhat cynical person. I know this. I accept this.

So when the chance presented itself for me to attend a local fundraiser modeled after Dancing With The Stars (including prominent local figures paired with dance professionals,) I confess my internal dialogue went right to “um, that’s a little hokey, no?”

But it was presented as an opportunity to attend and then write an article about the evening and the foundation the evening benefits; so off I went in the back of my editor’s minivan, not quite knowing what to expect. Whatever I could have expected, it never could have compared to what I actually found – in the event, and in myself because of it.

It didn’t occur to me that I would see people I knew. Which seems ridiculous to say in hindsight – you were raised here, Keri. You know this town. This town knows you.

I’d forgotten. I had lost that; or maybe thought that all of us had lost that in the passing years. In the warm, genuine hugs and smiles and inquiries of wonderfully familiar faces I remembered again.

Sitting in the dark, surrounded by people who so love this place, people I know, children of people I know, I was overtaken by the sense of community. I hadn’t expected it, and It engulfed me like a tidal wave. I lost my breath.

I Could. Not. Stop. Smiling.  I found it (or rather it found me.) That connection I’d been missing since we moved back. The understanding of where I fit. Of belonging to a place. Of being home.

In that moment, in that space, my heart just swelled up, so fast and so completely full , and broke the internal Grinchy meter of my cynicism.

Oh.

Riding back home in the darkness and drizzle, I looked out that minivan window and suddenly I saw it all again – the bones and the soul of the little hometown I loved so fiercely in my youth. And the good things about what has grown and filled in and taken shape in my absence.

For the first time it didn’t feel like a betrayal to my “Reluctantly Suburban” persona to understand where I fit in the story of my hometown. Or even to be ok with it being my son’s hometown as well.

It didn’t feel like a threat to my love of the city to have a sense of belonging here – not just in my past, but in the present and in our family’s future as well.

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No really, I got this.

It’s no secret that Keri’s first choice for relaxing isn’t mountain recreation.

I confess that when it comes to the purple mountains magisty that is The Rocky Mountains, I tend to take an “over it” attitude. It’s a sin and a shame, but growing up here makes it easy to take for granted.

That being said, I want my kid to have the same experiences that I did when I was growing up – all of the hiking and frolicking and camping (ok, maybe we can skip camping… cabins are nice… walls are good,) and even skiing (NOT with me – HELL NO,) that growing up in Colorado should include.

Then later in life he can go ahead and roll his eyes at the idea of it all too, if he decides to.

That was the agreement – the point of moving way out here away from the city, right? Get Keri out of her comfort zone, get Jr into the crossroads of all the different parts of Colorado, get The Mr (bless his Texas transplant little heart,) closer to the mountains so he could be all, um, mountainy again (gigglesnort.) Check check and check.

Except it has come to my attention that people assume that I am bad at the whole “mountain fun time recreation” thing. Like my distain = my inability.

Um, no.

Keri can hike. Keri can drive the passes. Keri can get on a damn gondola. Keri can drink you under the table at 9000 feet and get up the next day and chase a toddler through tourist crowds.

If you’d like, I can also build you a fire, toast the perfect marshmallow, sing camp songs until hell and gone and splint your hiking injury with my trusty bandana and a stick (ok, I don’t know if I could still do that – but somewhere in my youth I could. Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout.)

The level of surprise from family and friends at the idea that Keri is comfortable in the mountains took me WAY by surprise.

I admit, I have no love for being a passenger in a car driving through the mountains – control freak Keri likes to be the pilot (are there seriously people who don’t though? I can’t imagine!) Andplusalso, in true native style, I am ALL about our state’s booming tourism industry. It is beyond important to our economy. It does NOT make I-70 a place where I want to be driving on a Sunday afternoon. Traffic jams suck. Traffic jams on 6% -9% grades with semi-trucks? There needs to be a new word for that level of suck.

But kind of crummy travel issues aside, what’s not to enjoy? It is pretty and peaceful and things slow down a bit up there.

Last week I marveled at Jr’s 3 year old bravery as he cautiously did his first ropes course in Vail. I watched him squeal with glee on the gondolas, and observe flowers and bugs and rocks and rivers with wide, curious eyes. This momma can’t deny it – the Rockies match her son’s adventurous, open spirit perfectly.

So hide your shock, friends – Keri is dusting off her hiking boots and heading for the hills.

Relax. I know what I am doing.

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Tale as old as time. Just sayin’.

It is snowing again along the front range here in nothing but white, “Colorful” Colorado.

This much late spring snow divides us natives into two camps – those who give the “it snows here, GET OVER IT” speeches and roll eyes and pretend it isn’t kind of starting to totally suck.

And those of us who know that the farmers need the moisture, know that our lawns are getting all happy and green under that blanket of cold white, and KNOW that Colorado springs do eventually dry out into beautiful, clear, sunny, AMAZEBALLS early summers. Those of us who know all of that, and who  are at this point still pretty much openly SHOUTING out the windows of our slush-spattered SUVs that we are DONE-ZO and to please Eff the H off, PRONTO SNOW!!

 

That latter catagory of native?

That’s me, yo.

Just Sayin’.

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