12 Years

January 4th, 1994, was the day we arrived in Denver.

We had decided to move here after a road trip around the country where we went south to Florida, west to Dallas (what were we thinking???), west to the Grand Canyon (truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen), northeast to Denver via the Rocky Mountains, and then back to Maryland via I-70. There was flooding in the mid-west during that time (yes, Julie, the mid-west really is further east than Denver)… so it took us a while to get home.

But we were hooked. We immediately started making plans to leave.

Bryan’s sister was way pregnant at the time and we were waffling on whether to leave or wait for the baby. We decided if she was not in labor by New Years Day, we were going. She was not and we left. Our nephew was born on January 7th. (It makes it easy to remember how old he is since it coincides with our move to Denver!)

We headed out and immediately got caught in a raging snowstorm. We sat on a highway in Pennsylvania all stinking day. We got the very last room at the Inn that night and were only fed because we agreed to sit at a table with a bunch of strangers. There were exactly 3 staff people running that hotel that night… the night clerk, the cook and the 75 year old hostess who had to try to be the waitress too. When she came to take our order, she said, “I have beer and spaghetti, that’s all.” We had plenty of beer and a little spaghetti that night.

Also, sadly, the next day, our goldfish Irgo passed on to the great lake in the sky. We buried him in a snowbank in Pennsylvania. He must have been freaking out as much as we were.

We had bought walkie talkies to be able to talk to each other while Bryan drive the moving truck and I followed him in my little Mercury Tracer. The moving van had only radio, no cassette… so I often sang to him through the walkie talkie to entertain him. Until of course, I got yelled at by a big rig trucker to clear the line. Oops.

We trudged on … and you don’t know trudging till you drive through Kansas… and we hit the big lights of the city. And when I say big lights of the city, I mean the moderate skyline that is Denver. We left the truck on the outskirts, because we had rented an apartment sight-unseen. I was scared shitless.

But we found out apartment and giggled to each other when we realized that our idea of a bad neighborhood (as in Baltimore and D.C.) was definitely different than a Denver realtor’s idea of a bad neighborhood. We settled in. The funny thing is, we have never lived more that 20 blocks away from that 1st apartment in all the 12 years of living here.

Everyone thought we were nuts. We had no jobs, no money, and very few friends in Colorado. We didn’t care. We were getting the hell out of Dodge. And Denver felt right.

What a good decision that was.

12 years later, we have careers, a house, a child, and a ton of friends here.

It really is home.

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