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Westward travel

By Robin Dearing
Like the Clampetts, my family and I have packed up and headed west to California ... for vacation. But instead of Beverly Hills, we stopped in the Sierra Nevadas and are staying in the town of Truckee. Truckee is kind of like Grand Junction in that it's a town that many people have passed through on their way to some place else. Or they come to Truckee to enjoy the outdoor recreation that the area has to offer: skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the winter, rafting, camping and hiking in the summer. We drive the 800 miles across Utah and Nevada — not so much to partake in what the Sierras have to offer, although I'm glad to be out of the heat for a while — but to visit my family. After my parents retired, they sold their house in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to the mountains. It was a logical move since they had spent the majority of their vacations and many weekends enjoying all that the glorious California gold country has to offer. I've made this drive numerous times since moving to Grand Junction in 1996. We've spent many of my precious vacation days visiting my parents. We have a good time together. And a lot of that is because of my husband. He's gets along very well with my mom and dad. He was the one who planned this trip with my mom while he was visiting with them last month. That's right, my husband visited my parents while he was working a consulting job a couple hours from Truckee. I was at home; he was playing blackjack at a casino in Reno with my mom. I know that I am a truly lucky person. I mean, really, how many spouses do you know would voluntarily spend time with their in-laws? This relationship between my husband and parents makes me wonder what kind of relationship I'll have with whomever Margaret chooses to spend her life with? Will we be close like Bill and my mom and dad? Will I even like the person who will be closer to her than I ever will? I realize that I have many years before this becomes an imminent issue. But I wonder what my parents did that made me see them now as not just parents, but as friends? How can I make Margaret's husband love me like Bill loves my mom and dad?