I spent the morning in the passenger seat of my Jeep while Patrick drove us up Mt. Herman, down the backside and into a little town over the mountain called Woodland Park. We ate lunch, headed home and I had some time to think. No kids. I could smell people barbecuing and saw families out and just like a certain song or t-shirt can bring me back, that smell brings me home. To Texas home. So in this moment with my hands swinging out of the topless Jeep and me so happy I could cry because being on a mountain is freaking amazing- I was thinking of Texas. Or home. Or Dad. Or family. Or something.

It was just that smell. We used to BBQ on our back porch when I was little. And we’d most often spend long Holiday weekends at my grandparent’s lake house. On the boat, in the lake, skiing, sitting in lawn chairs late at night swatting mosquitos and taking sips of Dad’s beer. And that was home. HOME. And there are times I get a twinge of sadness for home. And I wonder if it’s Texas I miss or my Dad or my family or my youth or maybe just a little of each.
 I cannot express the happiness I have on a mountain. It is indescribable. I did not know until I was 40 years old that I belonged there. And I have guilt when I say Colorado feels like home. I feel like it upsets my Mom or makes me a “traitor” or whatever. But I cannot help it. I feel I have two homes. And I could not be more lucky for it. My roots, my history, my family, my youth, my heart is in Texas. And on Holiday weekends it is difficult. More so than regular days. Because my Mom, sister, nieces, brother and some friends are not here. I can’t run to their house for dinner, or go swimming or grab a beer in the driveway when stopping by a friend’s house there. I don’t hear the sound of 10 Harleys riding up the street as my Dad’s friends stop by to visit. I miss those things.
We were driving home today & there was THIS sign. A big old billboard for Coors. And I realized…Im never really far from home. I guess when I ask for a sign the Universe is pretty literal ;)-
I think that HOME is a word that can be felt in different ways. Home is a song, a feeling, a lawn chair. Home is a mountain you climb continuously. Home is old friends and new friends and wherever your kids are. Home is Coors and sweet tea and a ride in a Jeep. Home isn’t so much about a place. Its about the people that make it so.
I will forever be a Texas girl. Forever. But I cannot apologize that something called me. Called us. To drive west and plant my ass in the mountains. I have a peace I never knew I could feel. I have a calm and a sense of myself and am so very happy. I am a mountain girl. And thats ok. No apologies.
My heart is with those today that cannot be HOME. Whatever and wherever that is to them. And to the tough girls (and guys) who take the shitty hand they’re dealt and make the best out of it. Life isn’t meant to be lived in one place. Not for me anyway. Who knows where I’ll be in 10 years. And that is so damn cool.
I hope all of my friends…old and new, ones Ive spoken to recently and ones Ive lost touch with, ones who knew me and ones who know me…have had a wonderful Holiday weekend. Here’s to being HOME.

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