Monday, July 18, 2011

I Left My Heart in Boulder County

I've spent the last two weeks visiting my mom and dad in Colorado. While there, my mother and I engaged in some high-altitude shopping training. Because, after all, shopping at sea level is for sissies.

It's dangerous shopping in my parents' neck of the woods, a place where adults still wear Crocs and hiking boots are a splendid choice for daytime and evening. I often come home with ankle-length skirts with bells on them, tie-dyed shift dresses, and one time, regrettably, a hemp necklace.

Confession? I love it. I love every crunchy granola bit of it. From the Camelbacks in the airport to the Five-Finger running shoes in the grocery store, it feels like home.

The snow capped mountains framing the prairie grass. Thistles bursting with purple light. The tamales, oh Lord help me, the tamales.

Each morning, the boys and I took my parents' dog on a walk. Owen ran with her, a blur in the bright sunshine. Elated. Free. Prairie Dogs popped in and out of  mounds on either side of him. "I love it here, Mom!" he cried.

Me too, Buddy. And I would do almost anything to have you grow up here.

I have to remind myself of the bad things---the snow in May and October, the pathetic excuse of a newspaper, the strip malls, the ugly political advertisements, La Casa Bonita.

But then, I see Owen ascend a climbing wall, clambering up the sides like a spider monkey, beaming with pride. I watch Joel and my father holding hands, sharing a secret smile.

And I blink back the tears, and dream of what may be someday.

When Mom and I went shopping, I bought leopard print ballet flats. So East Coast. A kicky complement to a skirt, or a fun explanation point at the end of a pant leg. The anti-Croc, one could say. (Although if there is a leopard-skin Croc, my mother will find it.)

I bought those shoes to remind me that life is full of whimsy and moments of catch-your-breath beauty. The circle of friends here in Maryland who know my heart like nobody else. The moment when yellow melts to violet as the sun sets on the Chesapeake. My hydrangeas, purple and pink orbs, floating around my doorway, and welcoming me back home.

No matter where I stand, I will bloom. And while doing so, I will be wearing fabulous shoes.


Anonymous said...

This is the best shoe post ever.


TKW said...

Boulder County misses you, too! It's true, the place has it's quirks, but it has a good heart. Loved this.

Jenny said...

Awwww....darn...I wish I could give you a hug. What a poignant post. I wish you could have stayed longer.

Anonymous said...

Precious. This brought back sweet, sweet memories. A few years ago we spent about a month and a half north of Denver and then in Colorado Springs. Our time there was magical. And often quite crunchy (first time I ever peed in the woods and very near a mountain summit).

Thanks for the memories and the inspiration to bloom, right here. And to go buy new fabulous shoes.

Ms. Moon said...

Our hearts do get torn, don't they? Well, as long as we're wearing the correct and coolest shoes, we'll be okay.

Coby said...

I dare say the shoes will help you bloom even more so!

This was lovely.

Julie said...

Yes to the blooming.
Wherever you stand.

And cheers to catch-your-breath beauty and whimsy and home.


You have more than one, that's all.
(and also fabulous shoes. so.)

Anonymous said...

"No matter where I stand, I will bloom." <--- Love this! I do know the magic of Colorado. I lived in Colorado Springs for 11 years and todate, it is the best place I ever lived. Each season is so uniquely and clearly defined...unlike the Nevada desert where you have two seasons, White Hot Summer and Almost Summer, but cold as hell at night.

Glad you enjoyed your visit!

Accidental Expert said...

You were in my neck of the woods. We live right outside of Boulder. Great place to live, I have to admit, but not without its drawbacks. Funding for special needs sucks here, so do resources. but what great shoes, huh?

AudreyO said...

My sister lives in Denver. We were there last month. We had so much fun shopping and eating out. Even their Costco was way better than ours LOL

Anita said...

Nice to get away. Just as nice to get back home.

Glad you enjoyed Colorado and seeing your parents.

Shoes are important, aren't they. :)