long drive home


A friend graciously let us stay at their place in the mountains for Spring Break. My husband loves the mountains and has the facial hair and 4 wheel drive to prove it. I love adventure.  And I like the mountains, but to be honest would pick the fruity drink in my hand and sand in between my toes.
My husband is much happier when he gets to breathe in that low oxygen mountain air at least once a year. So we headed north. The home we stayed at was literally up the mountain. Several winding, icy, muddy unpaved roads up. Not everyone’s vehicle could make it to the house. Since our car had 4 wheel drive I was often the shuttle, from their cars parked near the highway to the few miles up. Straight up. 

I hardly minded, because every time I turned a corner (which was every few seconds) there was a view more majestic than the next.  I mean how could you not be impressed. The snow. The aspens. The mountains. Maybe it was the thin mountain air, but day after day it didn’t fail to take my breath away. Occasionally I even hung my camera out the window and took a few pictures.  (which may not be something I’d recommend doing while you are driving up tight winding mountain roads).
I made that trip several times a day, each time praying I wouldn’t get lost or stuck in the snow or the mud…but I swear…I mostly just rolled down my windows even though it was freezing outside and wondered if the people who live there ever get used to the view. How could they? If I lived here I would never get anything done or watch TV or read books. I’d just drive around staring out my windows.

I wondered if seeing that kind of amazing day after day, on the way home from a long day at work. Or making a run to the store because you forgot the milk. If you stopped seeing it.
If the beauty ever got old. Or so mundane that you stopped noticing.

And then. Just like that.
I felt this nudge. This questioning in my heart that was asking what kind of beauty was I missing every day. What kind of amazing breath taking things have I gotten used to?
The freckles across my daughter’s nose.
The intense brown of my son’s eyes.
The sound of my husband’s light snoring as he sleeps and ability to fix most things broken. Including from time to time my own heart.
My dog barking to be let in. Again.
The pink and purple sky as I get to watch the sun sneak over the horizon on my way too early morning drive on my way to work.
Sometimes I see these things of course, but 90% of the time I look straight past them.

We are headed home as I type this from the front seat.
My daughter has asked to stop at every single McDonalds we have passed and fought with her brother over the ipad. My husband has taken over the radio.
My son has gas that could clear a room in 2 seconds flat.
The mountains have long since left our rear view mirror.
I have spent very little time staring out my windows because the landscape is brown and flat with the occasional windmill. 
The punch of reality hit with each encroaching mile.
The mundane of work, bills, to do lists and forgetting to buy the milk at the grocery store.

It is a long drive from the mountains, with a time change not in our favor. 
So even though we left early in the morning while every one else was still in their pjs scrambling around the kitchen for a cup of coffee or breakfast, we did not exactly make it home before the sun.
Right as we hit the city the sun started to sink just below the horizon.
Pink and orange and all kinds of pretty.
Thankfully I wasn’t driving because all I could do was stare out my window.
Taking in the beauty in front of me. In my own zip code.
Wondering, if the people who live here ever get used to this view.
Deciding right then and there to do my best not to.


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