A POINT OF VIEW

It was my last evening at my summer home in Colorado, and I was sitting out on my deck taking in the view one last time and wondering how the last three months had gone by so quickly. My dog, Nina, was lying beside me, but she had different thoughts as she eyed the ground squirrels.

I've spent the last 15 summers here, but leaving to go back to the East Coast doesn't get any easier with practice. Oh, the packing and preparations have become routine now, but my psychological mood and perspective still have a difficult time adjusting to the transition. I donÕt think 50 summers here would make my departure any easier.

The mountains have great appeal and evoke many memories. Just driving the 30 minutes into town is a process of viewing many picture-worthy vistas of snow-capped mountains, streams, forests and 40-mile views. Most of these views are connected with memories of places I've explored, things I've done and good times I've had with my horse, dog and friends. Each time I get in my truck and drive somewhere it is a trip down memory lane. Back East, when I drive to work or to the store, there are no vistas or memorable views. Driving there is a mundane task required to go from A to B. Driving here in the mountains is like looking at a photo album of the last 15 summers of my life.

From my deck I could see the eight acres on a distant hilltop that I sold a few years ago. I could also see several peaks where my horse, Black Jack, and I had explored in the eight summers before she died. In the valley below was the spot where I had taken 85 truckloads of dead trees to be burned.

Serenading my nostalgic moments were about two dozen humming birds eating at the three feeders above my head and several species of birds fighting for prime spots at the five grain feeders. The ground squirrels scurried around under the feeders picking up the spillage. Back East I don't sit on my porch because there is nothing to look at except my neighbors or the cars going down the street. At night here I can sit out on my deck and see the Milky Way quite vividly. There are no sounds except for the occasional owl and the howl of a coyote.

Beyond the near hills I could see the WilliamÕs Fork Range, the Gore Range and Ute Pass. Black Jack and I had explored much of this terrain in years past and each of the many trips were unique experiences to be savored. I know that next year this time I'll be back here again – wondering where the summer went, and giving thanks for all the great memories and good times.

Don't get me wrong. I actually like being back East. Being back east for nine months a year is like eating a nice meal in a cafe. But coming back to the mountains is like eating my favorite dessert in my favorite place. It is variety that makes life the most enjoyable -- which is also why I'm single.