My stepfather's death brought me home to Colorado recently and while the mood was decidedly somber, I did manage to retrace blissful childhood steps, traveling into my beloved, vertiginous Rocky Mountains. Regionalist artist Ken Alstad once said nature's beauty is a mite exaggerated. No where is this truer than Colorado's mountainous western range--tangible proof of God's tendency to indulge in masterpieces.
As children, my father used to load me and my sisters into his metallic blue Camero and drive us into the mountains where we'd buy rock candy and purchase $3 turquoise earrings from heavily-bearded jewelers who operated out of saloon-like stores. It was quality time well spent, father and daughters traversing real and imagined borders, as a fortunate family.
If you visit Colorado, you must lose yourself in the verdant mountainsides that skim the sky's surface. It's downright magical. Idaho Springs or Lookout Mountain are great choices for the briefest of trips. Central City—which despite a casino boom still holds its Old West charms—is a short 30 minute jaunt from downtown Denver.
Speaking of testing one's luck, my stepfather used to drive mother into the mountains where she tried her luck on penny slot machines while he gravitated toward higher-stake pursuits. I imagine she won't travel this far west for a long time, as she will now undoubtedly associate him with the rugged rocky cliffs that are so closely associated with my childhood. In life, and nature, the same thing that draws one repels another. And while life can be tragically fleeting, comforting memories are wonderfully finite.
When she is ready to return to the mountains they'll be just as she remembered them. They are just that wonderfully consistent even if life isn't.
A recovering TV producer, I'm working fastidiously--yet unsuccessfully--on my addiction to politics. I'm a hopeless Miles Davis enthusiast, who enjoys gallery-hopping and Nutella cupcakes. I owe my green eyes and gumbo-cooking talent to my Creole genes. And when I'm not blogging all things chic, me and my fur baby Lola Bean Pod are living it up in Atlanta.