January 12, 2008

paradise lost and found


I once lived in an affluent resort town in the Colorado mountains where the homes were huge, impressive and expensive. Tourists and second home owners outnumbered the locals by about ten to one so most people were strangers to one another. It is so fabulously beautiful in the Colorado high country that - who can blame them - everyone wants to be there, so they come in droves to grab their little piece of an ever more crowded paradise.

A couple of years ago I moved, just one hundred miles away, to a completely different world. I'm still astounded by the contentment I've found in the funky little town I now call home. The pace here is slow, the weather more agreeable and the people are friendly. They smile and look you in the eye and say hello as you pass on the street.

I live in a tiny rented cottage with 70's wood paneling on the walls. Where I come from, little houses such as mine would be torn down and replaced by luxurious log homes, but here, thankfully, they are saved for people like me! I can see the wide blue sky from all my windows and when I open the door to let in the cool fresh air, there is no traffic noise at all, just silence and the chirping of birds (even in the winter!) My neighborhood has an abundance of my favorite things - weathered wood, peeling paint and rust - things you hardly see anymore in the wealthy resort towns.

The most telling difference though is that where I used to live, the freeway that carries all those people from Denver to the mountains, ran right along the edge of town and although the speed limit was 65, most people pushed it to 75 or 80.
Here, on the highway just outside of town, the speed limit is 45, but most people don't actually go that fast.

2 comments:

nataJane said...

That's great! My husband and I live about ten minutes south of Denver right now, but we're looking forward to the day when we can afford a place outside of town... Give me quiteness! :)

The Senate Site said...

Thank you for this sweet reminder.