The last three years of my life have been interesting, moving to Colorado is not something I whole heartedly embraced for many reasons but I followed my husband because not supporting him and following where ever he may lead is just not something that would ever enter my mind. We have moved 20 times in 22 years now. We have lived in States all over the Mid to Western United States, and most of the time the move has been job related although sometimes we have just moved houses for the betterment of our family while working in a town.
Colorado was the move that I can say honestly and whole heartedly has been the hardest move of all.
It has never been difficult for me to move or adjust. Getting involved or making friends in any town we have ever lived in has always come easy for me and our sons, until Colorado. In the beginning with little ones I would always find the MOPS group in a town and join or go to the public library and get involved in a children's story hour, meeting many wonderful women and some amazing men. I am still friends with most of the people I have met that way in my earlier days of raising kids, and when the kids got older I got involved with public schools and volunteering, teaching or coaching around whatever work or school schedule's I had. Through every move and every town I have met some amazing people. These people have taught me or befriended or just supported me in so many ways over the years. Many times I refer to them when I am talking about one or another in the past " My Angels" because I honestly can look back and be so blown away at the impact they have left on my life.
Colorado is a culture shock. In more ways then I can even tell you, but not all Colorado is that way, I feel perfectly at home in Denver or Grand Junction or even Silver-Thorn. People are friendly in all those area's smile and will greet you. I have gone to games and concerts and been surprised that the people from the competing teams will talk to us more and be more friendly then the people we see every week in our own town. This little area in the far North Western corner of Colorado is a foreign land. (and having lived in Germany after high school I can say it didn't even feel as foreign as here) It isn't only the language, because yes, they speak a language I don't always follow out here, and I used to own and ride a horse for goodness sake but their ranch talk is something to behold and I don't always understand, even the country girl I am being raised on a farm. It isn't the form of dress, although I will never understand cowboy boots and huge belt buckles, but they look good on some of the folks around here and they wear them with such pride its hard not to smile. It isn't the food even, I am adjusting to Elk and Antelope burger, it's not my favorite and the venison is nothing like the white tail I grew up on but it is edible and some is actually good. It isn't even the huge Greek or Mormon presence here, they are sweet people for the most part even when I don't agree with some of their ideas. It's not even the Buddhist although they make me wonder how they can doubt the presence of God in such a beautiful place.
I have thought and tried to put my finger on what it actually is, because I have yet to figure out or pin point the one thing that makes this area so foreign, and I still have not been able to put my finger on it.
It could be the way everyone is so cautious, friendship is not something they give easily. To be fair though most of the people around here are related to one another in some way and they have such a vast support network of family they really have no need for new friends. Maybe its the way the mud or snow comes and everyone hunkers in and waits it out, or the vast miles and miles of road between towns that stretch endlessly with no cell service or sign of another human being. It isn't like other farm communities I've lived where every 10 to 20 miles at the farthest you have a farm stead, here the wilderness can stretch for 40 to 70 miles between places. The stark wild beauty could be a factor because I know I have never been as awestruck or as blown away by the view as I am here.
Well, whatever it is I will finally be able to say after the last year is fading into the past and I have met a couple people that feel as foreign here as I do, that I am glad I moved to Colorado and had this experience. I can not promise that I will always be here because if my husband came home tomorrow and asked me to move somewhere else I would pick up and go without but a couple tears. Those that I would miss will always be with me though and there is a few that I would keep in contact with just like a have from the other States we have left behind. Do I see our journey ending here in Colorado and settling down to live out my days here? No, of this I am certain. Do we have another couple years here? Yes, of this I am also certain. We will stay and let Caleb graduate high school, Jonathan finish college with a Colorado permanent address per his scholarship rules, but as for the other two... they are anxious for that part to move quickly so we can move on and be off on another adventure. I keep reminding them we go where God provides a job for Daddy and a move up, and they remind me that our adventure isn't over and God has and will always provide for us no matter where we live. They would like to move tomorrow and miss having and making friendships like they were used to. I too miss this, but am extremely grateful for people from the Midwest transplanted to Colorado just like me. Even if she is struggling I am thankful to no end she is here and I am here to make the struggle less then what I experienced and to befriend her.
What a great reminder. Friendship is precious and we all need friends of all different ages and sizes and likes and dislikes, because without people like that in our lives we would miss out on such fun and exciting new experiences! If I could ever say Colorado has taught me something it would be this, I will never be afraid to reach out and befriend anyone who needs a friend in life. I will never watch someone be so alone and not walk out of my way to make sure I smile and tell them to have a good day. I will never watch someone be alone without making an effort to make sure they know they aren't.
Thank you for that lesson learned Colorado!