100% Telluride Inside
Everyone knows my white minivan. It is the standard suburban working mom mobile. At least it is all-wheel drive so I can make it to the local ski slope and distinguishable from the multitude of other white minivans only by the flames that adorn the quarter panels. My flames are my little rebellion against the soccer mom image I now embody.
Oddly enough I drive a minivan by choice. Yes, yes, I realize this surprises you, no one actually chooses to drive a minivan – except me. My reasons are simple; it is the one vehicle into which I can load all (and I mean all) of the necessary toys for a family of four. Bikes, surf boards and kayaks can go on top, skis, snowboards, wake boards, skim boards, appropriate foot wear, coolers and all of the necessary apparel plus the four of us can fit inside. The kids even have enough room so they aren’t killing each other along the way. It all makes my life in Pittsburgh tenable.
That is another choice that some may question. How does someone so committed to the mountain lifestyle find herself in Pittsburgh…by choice? The answer comes in a package that is about 6 feet tall, dark hair and bedroom eyes – and now the father of my two children. Having lived in Colorado for longer than I’d lived anywhere in my life I found it hard to understand why anyone would want to live anywhere else. When Greg told me he was from Pittsburgh I said “That is a great place to be from.” Little did I know two years later I would willingly pack all of my belongings, my cat and my dog to move here.
I had moved to Telluride to live with my father after returning from living in Europe. I needed to re-ground myself and figured some high mountain air would be just the thing. Attending the University of Colorado was the next step and ultimately where I met my husband. Half Austrian and raised on skis he had matriculated to CU to ski for the varsity team after graduating from GMVS, a ski specific boarding school in Vermont. It was his unique upbringing and commitment to the mountains that provided a natural connection.
Of all of the moves I had made in my life leaving Colorado was one of the hardest. I felt that when I left I would be leaving part of myself there – that I would never be whole again. What I realized was that I wasn’t leaving part of myself there, I was bringing part of ‘there’ here. I’m not talking about my Gorman collection or my Native American dream catcher I’m talking about those values that you develop when you connect deeply to an area. One author called this Land Memory. It is the idea that you carry within you a mark left by the land of your birth, or in this case a land that has touched you deeply.
Living in a place like Telluride changes you, it imprints your soul. It is a state of mind, a sense of values. For me this manifested in the sense of inner strength that I found as a result of soloing 14er’s, it is the sense of community I developed from working in the community, playing softball, running a show on KOTO and hitting the slopes with the rest of the locals as often as my schedule would allow.
In the end the most powerful aspect of my time in Telluride is the commitment it fostered in me. It is the commitment to the people, the way of life, to nature and to my health, which is a key component for me to be able to enjoy the rest. I have come to realize that living in Telluride shifted the focus of my values and my approach to life – and that is what I was able to take with me to superimpose onto my life here in Pittsburgh.
Now I am a die-hard Penguins fan but I am still 100% Telluride Inside.
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