Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Day 13: My Commute To/From Work

I have the best commute. I wasn't crazy about moving out of my hometown, but Jay convinced me to give it a try. His argument was that the scenery on the way into town was amazing. He was right.

It's hard to leave our little slice of paradise each morning, but knowing I get to come home to it each night makes it easier.

We live right off a dirt road, that when dry, is one of the best roads I've ever driven on. When saturated because of rain and snow, like today, is treacherous. Digger has mentioned more than once that Salome is much more of a bad ass car than most of the perfectly shiny 4x4 trucks that run around town. I tend to agree. My poor Salome will get a bath in June to get rid of the mud, and she'll stay mostly clean until September or so.

The morning drive in is spectacular, especially in the spring, when everything is fresh and blooming. The snow-capped mountains set my mind at ease about the potential for wild fires. The years when there is little to no snow visible are the years that scare me. The Rocky Mountains run in my full field of view from left to right and I consider myself blessed that I get to see them each morning.

Just off the highway, to the south, is a piece of property that I just love. I look forward to seeing it each morning, just as I descend the rolling hill by the dump. The property is lined on it's north side by trees, but there is one lone tree (Russian Olive, I think) smack dab in the middle of the property, standing sentinel over the growing crops. For some reason, I love that tree. It stands tall and proud by itself through all the seasons. On occasion, I've seen a hawk hanging out at the top of it, looking for dinner.

As I near the base of the hill and look up past that property, I can almost imagine that there are no houses beyond it. For just a second or two at 65 miles per hour, I can fantasize that urban sprawl isn't intruding. For a short period of time, all I see is the green crop, the sentinel tree, and the great snow-capped Rockies beyond. My heart gets very happy.

More and more houses appear as I get closer to the city and my heart breaks a little bit more every time I see new construction. The rural power company recently put in a huge solar farm and I was ecstatic when I realized that it was a solar farm and not another 100 houses. I'm constantly amazed at how many people city planners will cram into small spaces.

Farms that were "out in the middle of nowhere" are being surrounded by urban sprawl. The people come. They demand HOAs and covenants and rules and the next thing you know, there are no more family farms.

I'm no longer tense and angry when I cross I-25 into the city, but for the first two years I commuted back and forth, the minute I crossed into city traffic my blood pressure sky-rocketed and I became a road rager. I think the anger came mainly from seeing how much the city has changed from the small, agriculturally-based town into Boulder, North.

In fact, I was talking to a friend last night who spoke to someone who was touring "Ag" colleges and CSU was on his list. He came, took a look at CSU and immediately took it off his list - CSU is no longer an "Ag" college. It bills itself as one, but has lost its way, which breaks my heart.

The drive home calms me, soothes my soul. As much as I loved my hometown, there is next to nothing I recognize of it. It's gone and I'm beginning to come to terms with it.

I'm not a naturally poetic person, but living in our little slice of paradise is good for me. It truly does soothe my soul. Jay and I are so blessed to live where we do.

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