There are certain things that will always mean “vacation” to me.

Since I was born and raised in Phoenix, heat & cactus don’t do the trick for me. (For some folks, this might trigger visions of pool-side time and getting away from it all.)

Our family used to go on vacation to the lush, green places. The cooler places, with actual water in the creeks and that dark, loamy earth with a primitive smell. Places with broad leaves on the trees, deep shade, and gentle humidity after a surprise rain shower. Places with glittering snow, quaking aspen, carpets of pine needles and soft green grass. Places with so much green, it couldn’t be contained – bursting into life on the side of the highway, flowering like mad in the spring, bursting with berries in the summer.

I often say that I have a crush on Denver. This might sound silly – but it’s so true. All of those special smells, sights, sounds & feelings are where I get to be every day. There’s a blessing in that, and I am charmed all over again when I catch one of those moments. (Even something silly like walking up the stairs to our apartment – something about the sun/rain on the wood is another special smell.) I’m smiling right now, because a few weeks ago – the weather was just magic. It was mild and slightly overcast, a little humidity that hinted of some rain… when I came back into the apartment, I found Alan and excitedly told him how incredible it smelled outside. He immediately answered – “It smells like vacation!” Awesome. :)

This morning, I had raspberries as part of my breakfast. We picked berries on vacation in Oregon when I was a kid. I remember being astonished that these berries just GREW on bushes outside my aunt’s house – and you could pick them and eat them! The sweet, tart, special taste is a reminder today. To look at where I am and really see.

We made a big leap coming here alone. It’s often hard. There’s certain things that stay the same no matter where you are. But even on those hard days, I know with clarity that we’re right where we’re meant to be. We CHOSE to come here – not everyone has that opportunity. I love Denver, Colorado, and all that it affords us to do as individuals and as a family. I’m reminded to take a moment to participate – these moments are what makes up our life. Rushing, errands, texting, worrying – these have their place. But it’s not what stays. It’s not what surprises you years later when you smell the breeze coming off the water. Or the special way the sun breaks through the clouds.

So glad we made the change. So wish we could bring everyone here, but realistically I know this isn't the right place for everyone. (Except my Dad. He should move here immediately, if not sooner.)


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