I know a number of people who think they would enjoy moving to Colorado, including both of my daughters. They want to go there for the natural beauty, but others that I know prefer the politics of Colorado to that of Texas, and think that they might be more content in a place with people like themselves. I have to admit that when I visit Colorado it is always fun and beautiful, but I’m also quite happy where I am in Houston, and don’t see much reason to move at this late stage in my life.
I have a cousin who set his roots down there long ago. He has told me that he had believed that seeing the beautiful mountains each day would somehow solve all of his problems. He soon learned that his troubles only followed him and that he was sometimes as miserable in the midst of enchanting scenery as he had been in the flat ticky tacky world of Houston. He would advise anyone thinking of moving in the hopes of avoiding troubles that it’s best to get things in order first, and then make the the trek.
I recently visited Colorado to attend a cousin’s wedding. We spent a great deal of time in Estes Park, Drake, Lyons, Loveland, Fort Collins and Denver. It was gloriously beautiful there and the views of the mountains were breathtaking. I tried to imagine what it would be like to wake up to such scenes every single day. it was quite cold during our visit and on one of the days travel became particularly hazardous because of snow and ice on the roads. The residents mostly drive vehicles with four wheel drives and all weather tires. Our car was not made for the elements that they face, so we had to be even more careful. We were turned away from Rocky Mountain National Park by careful rangers who explained that our auto would be no match for the elements there.
It was exciting to see real winter, something that is so rare in Houston. Still I had to wonder what it would be like to endure weeks and months of such days. The cars were filthy from the snow on the roads and nobody had hair that was styled. In between the wind and the mandatory hats most people just gave up and made few attempts to look well coiffed. My skin quickly became dry and wrinkles that I didn’t even know were there began to show through. I more and more resembled my age of seventy than I do in the humidity of Houston.
I decided to check out the real estate to see what I might be able to afford if I were to make a change one day along with those who insist that they will one day move to Colorado. I soon found that I would have to trade my twenty seven hundred square foot home for one that was built in the nineteen forties with about fifteen hundred square feet, one bathroom, two bedrooms and a dinky very outdated kitchen. Somehow the luster of Colorado wore off rather quickly when I realized how much I would have to give up unless I was willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the present worth of my current home.
Then there was the matter of the people that we met. They were all nice enough but they were actually eager to know more about Texas. They spoke longingly of how nice it would be to live in a warm climate. They imagined days without shoveling snow and grew excited when I told them that they would be able to trade in their small old houses for larger new homes. I was also somewhat surprised by the number of people that I saw smoking everywhere that I went. I suppose that it is possible that they were enjoying some pot rather than indulging in nicotine, but I never asked one way or another. I hardly ever see smokers where I live, so the sight was a bit shocking to me.
Then there is the matter of friends and family. Most of the people about whom I really care live in Texas. I would be willing to follow them to San Antonio or Austin and might even consider Dallas, but moving far away to another state just isn’t appealing. I much prefer just visiting Colorado whenever the mountains call me and I know that I must go. I don’t suppose that I need to be there every single day to cure the mountain fever that sometimes overcomes me.
I will never say never about anything but at this juncture in my life it seems very unlikely that I will ever move from the great state of Texas. It has many problems, but I still love the place. I’ve never been anywhere that has as much diversity as Houston, Texas, and remarkably we all get along quite well. I really don’t want to just be with “my own kind.” I like the great variety that is found in my hometown. Houston is vibrant and alive because of its people. That is truly what matters most to me.
I have many second homes, places that I so love that I return to them again and again. I can’t get enough of New Orleans, and I’m ready to go to San Francisco anytime. I love Boston and New York City and Savannah and Santa Fe. Colorado energizes me and brings me peace, but it is Houston where my heart is and will always remain.