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Home (bitter)sweet home

By Robin Dearing
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. But before you decide to hate me because I was born in California, you should know that my mom grew up in Colorado. My gramma and two of my mom’s sisters and her brother and their families all live on the Front Range. So, I’m not even a generation removed from this great state. As much as I love California (and by "California," I mean Northern California) and miss the Pacific Ocean, the Sierra-Nevadas and the culture that a major metropolitan area has to offer, I love raising our kids here in the Grand Valley. When I moved here 10 years ago, I never expected to grow so attached to this valley. But I do. I have to admit that sometimes I get a little misty when we walk downtown for the festivals, farmer's markets or just to have brunch at the bagel shop because it's so quaint and charming. I love the view of the Mesa, the monument and the Bookcliffs. I love that we have so many wonderful friends who are from this valley and across the country and we run into them at the grocery store or at the park or a parade or when we're just walking down the street. I love that my kid learned to ride a two-wheeler on a tree-lined street where our neighbors would stop to cheer her on and congratulate her on yet another accomplishment. I love when the peaches are in season and I love when the leaves turn yellow and red. I love it when we get a dusting of snow and my daughter gets on her hands and knees and eats it like she’s a snow cow. I even love it when it gets hot and we can walk over to Lincoln Park Pool to cool off. I love that my kid’s school is a half-block away from our house and that not even a full-year into her first year there, everyone seems to know her name and that I belong to her. I love that we have the best neighbors we ever hoped to have and that they’ve become some of our favorite friends ever. But there’s one thing I hate about living in western Colorado and this one thing has made me consider moving away from the valley that I love on more than one occasion. And that’s the fact that my parents and my brother live in California and my extended family lives on the Front Range and that Bill’s entire family lives in and around Buffalo, New York. But we are lucky that we can talk on the phone and we visit with my parents at least once a year. I make videos so Margaret’s grandparents can see her in her school productions and I send pictures in e-mails. But it’s not the same. No matter how wonderful our adopted family is here, it’s not the same as having my own flesh and blood close by. I miss them. Desperately.