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March 27, 2009

I spoke too soon about the coming of spring. The 10” of snow on the ground speaks otherwise. I’m thrilled that Colorado has decided to give me a proper send off by turning the mudhole of a ranch into a winter wonderland again. I’d been lamenting the loss of my winter, but now everything is back to as it should be. The winter storm that rocked Denver gave us just enough snow to cover everything in a clean, smooth blanket of white. Pines just look so much better with little white mounds adorning them. The bare patches are covered, I can no longer see the dirt road, and everything is sparkling and fluffy again. Morning temps are back to single digits. This is how I like it.

Then I get to go back to California where I get to enjoy coastal weather, rolling green hills, and farmer’s markets that are already in full swing.

And by the time I get back here, the snow will have melted, the ponies will have shed, I’ll have an arena to use, and good friends to see.

I’ve been thinking about why I sometimes resist returning to California. California is not bad. It’s a big, gorgeous state, with plenty of natural beauty to rival Colorado. Sure it’s expensive and overcrowded in parts, and the attitudes leave something to be desired, but all in all, it’s a very desirable state. So why resist? Other than the fact that I love love love Colorado, I think it’s because returning to California seems to negate the experience here.

Know how when you return home after a long trip it seems like it never happened? You slip right back into the routine and your trip seems like something that someone else experienced. You can only remember it through the pictures on your camera.

That’s what California does to me. It’s hard to de-program 21 years of routine. As much as I deny it, California with its crowded freeways, overpriced gas, frantic merging, and urban dystopia character is a huge part of me. Although I’m constantly running from this fact, it’s home, and whenever I’m there, it seems like the other chunks of my life never happened. I slip back into the routine. It feels like I never left.

And I hate that. It happened with Amsterdam. It happened when I went home in November. My life’s best  and most treasured experiences were reduced to memories of memories and pictures on my computer. It still feels like I was never in Amsterdam. I KNOW I was, but it doesn’t FEEL like I was. The memories I have seem to exist as memories of a story that someone else who experienced it told me. They aren’t my own. It was like California stole my experiences and replaced them with the routines and practices that have always governed my life. Drinking chai tea on Halverstraat turned into watching tv the way I always do on my sister’s bed. Morning roundup turned into driving to the grocery store the way I always do.

Does any of this make sense? I’m rambling, even to me.

To sum it up, I don’t want to go to California, because it takes away my Colorado. Only California can do that, because only California is home.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2009 3:47 pm

    I love California specifically for the “attitudes”, but that is probably because my point of comparison is Indiana. I’ve never been to Colorado, but I’ve lived in Ney York, California and Indiana, and California makes me smile because of the hippy liberal attitudes. But I definately get what you mean about returning home and feeling like the other chunks of life never happened.

  2. March 27, 2009 9:19 pm

    I left Oregon 22 years ago. I grew up in Southern Oregon and spent most of my 20’s there. When I came to my dream state of Arizona I came for good. Been here… yep 22 years and never went back to Oregon. Arizona is my home, I lived my dream, and now I will return for 4 days to Oregon on a vacation. I feel no real draw to Oregon other than a few friends I plan to see. Then I’ll be off to make Colorado my new Home. The key… Never look back. I can understand your delima between Colorado and California, when I leave Arizona not looking back will be a very hard thing to do.


  3. goamwat permalink*
    March 27, 2009 10:59 pm

    I’ll give California a year or two more of my life. Mostly for other people.

    But I’ll be back. Colorado is my home. California just makes more sense (and I say this very grudgingly) right now.

    But I’ll be back

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