Monthly Archives: July 2018

ABOUT ASPEN

Every year for 10 years I knew that the end of July and first week of August would be difficult. I sort of anticipated it. But this year it snuck up on me. I guess thats a good and a bad thing. The fact that I didn’t DWELL on such an anniversary is good. I didn’t plan for it or see it coming. And honestly I didn’t plan a trip to Aspen so close to that shitty day. Just kinda happened. Or did it?

 

Aspen is this place for me. This PLACE. Its funny because I run my mouth about the elite, billionaire, fancy pants, big house owning, “keep the riff raff out” group of people. I don’t NOT LIKE them. They just don’t get it in my opinion. Money doesn’t make you blind. It just makes you not have to look. If you know what I mean. So in October of 2014 when I took my first trip to Aspen it was literally just to see the trees changing colors (which is seriously breathtaking- do it as soon as you can) and to see where my hero, Hunter S. Thompson lived and wrote…I didn’t expect to like Aspen itself so much. It was going to be the opposite of what I stood for. Damn hard headed hippie liberal…of course I can’t like “bougie” shit. Its against my code. ;)-
Only I did. I loved it. Loved the $600 a night Hotel Jerome that I stayed in. Its history, the J-Bar that is attached where Thompson wrote and hung out. I loved the vibe, the quaintness, the feel. I loved it. I admit it. I love walking the ridiculously over priced shops in the square on Main Street. I love celebrity spotting. Theres always some. I love the fact that EVERYONE of the locals are healthy and in shape and eat organic and DO NOT allow plastic bags in the town. Love that EVERYONE rides a bike, walks, hikes, and is outside WAY more than inside. I love the tourists from all over the world and listening to their accents in the restaurants when they sit near you. I love the Bob Marley quote spray painted on a billion dollar Gucci Store front. I love it.
And then I found Woody Creek. Hunter S Thompson settled here in 1969. For $15,000 he put a down payment down on what he would call Owl Ranch. A sprawling ranch pretty close to town center and about 10 miles from Aspen. $15,000 wont buy you a hamburger in Aspen now….so there’s that. And at the center of town is a little quirky restaurant called “Woody Creek Tavern”. Hunter hung out here, ate here, probably wrote here as well. His picture is everywhere. On the walls, in the bathroom, on the tables. And so we ate there Saturday. At the table to our left was two couples who looked to be in their 60s. Lots of plastic surgery going on (hey if I could afford it Id be all over that shit), some 20 karat diamonds and some handbags I think were flown in from Italy. On the ground. Outside. This is NOT a fancy place. We’re talking plastic chairs, bird poop and a certain “aroma” in the air. Dude- its Colorado!  At the table to our right was a guy wearing a skirt and dreadlocks and carrying a purse with tons of tattoos on him and everything he owned in a duffle bag. I dug it. The Tavern has a philosophy they post that talks about including EVERYONE. EVERYONE. The richest of the rich, the bougie, the eccentric, the poor, the homeless, the artists, the writers, the people who OWN Aspen, the G- Wagon drivers and the ones who walk down from the mountain. Its so fucking cool I can’t even.
Some may call it a tourist trap. A place to “sell out” the whole Hunter S Thompson thing and make money for “the man” with overpriced hamburgers and t-shirts. Eh. Ok. I see it. But what I take away is a place for everyone. And I couldn’t dig it more. I remember my first time there thinking “I am home”. Its quirky and weird and eccentric and happy and friendly and beautiful.  As is Aspen.
My Dad LOVED Colorado. We vacationed here often as kids, he vacationed often as an adult with his motorcycle buddies. It is where he died…not far from Aspen. So Im drawn there I suppose. Im very much like my Dad. I don’t know if he ever got to see Maroon Bells. I doubt he’d have paid the entry fee…LOL. But as I hiked the Bells for the first time yesterday instead of just staring at it from the touristy shore….I thought of some things. I sure hope he got to see it. And not just SEE it from the shore where the busload of tourists were taking pictures. I hope he got to WALK though it. Stumble on rocks at 11,000 feet, see moose and field mice and flowers that grow WAY up there sporadically and beautifully. I hope he got to see the view of the Bells from the back that very few will ever get to see because they don’t stray off the “tourist path”. I hope he saw a lone buck in the grass eating…and made eye contact and had an unspoken conversation with nature. I hope he stood in a field of aspen trees buried way back behind the lake and thought “god damnit Im one lucky son of a bitch”. Even if he never did…..he has now.
I love you Aspen. I love you Colorado. I love you Dad. I miss you. 12 years is a long time. Of all the things Ive learned in life- knowing that I can sleep when Im dead is the best of them. Go, go, go, go ,go. While you still can. Stray off the path. Fuck the path.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” – HST
38128661_10217090421838667_7339314925145161728_n
Advertisements

AND SO IT BEGINS & ENDS

Im headed to Austin and San Antonio tomorrow. My sister just built a new home in Austin and my Mom just built a new home in San Antonio. The three of us decided that 2018 was the year of building houses. Im bringing Dude with me. And my daughter. And her friend. I can’t wait to eat real Tex Mex, drink sweet tea and see my nieces. One of the reasons we are going is to take an official college tour of UT Austin. Maddie has always loved UT. We toured it with her when she was about 9. And with my family living there I feel like she’d be ok there. Its so far away from me, though. Im very conflicted.
When I left Texas, I get the feeling part of Texas left me too. It’s no secret Im a little lefty looney for Texas. Maybe not for Austin ;)-. I never really felt like my political or religious beliefs jived. Maybe its because I spent way too much time in the BURBS. I really regret not living in the heart of the city when I was younger. Dallas is a pretty amazing city. With art and music and food and a history. And a fucking football team that everyone talks about. I have one grandmother and a brother living there now. In Dallas. Part of me feels like my history is slowly being erased. As I spend less time there, have less family there.
I am emotional about doing an official college visit. She was JUST in Kindergarten. And when those assholes that told me “time flies, enjoy every minute” and I scoffed because my kids never slept, ate dirt, climbed walls and drove me crazy….I TRULY wish Id listened. Really listened. Because time flies. It flies like you cannot imagine. It creeps and lingers and crawls and makes you want to pull your hair out. It makes you wish they’d just sleep through the night. Just eat real food. Just pee in a toilet. Just sleep in their own bed. Just get to the age where they are in school all day. Just get out of elementary school. Just get a license so you don’t have to drive them anywhere. Just. Just.
And here we are. She has one year of high school left. I know how that will go. I barely see her as it is. She is ALWAYS at cheer practice. There will be football season, competitions, golf season, friends, parties, trips. And it will fly by. The seconds, the minutes, the hours, the days, the months. They will fly by. And a year from right now Ill be buying her dorm things. And the things that happen between this moment and that moment when I pack her car are all that we have. And I will soak up, complain about, enjoy, cry through, laugh, plan, and take pictures of….all of it.
Part of me feels like we are going home to visit. Like she may go home to go to school. Like she may be a million miles away from me making new friends, going to class, learning hard lessons, doing some things she shouldn’t, learning, growing, and becoming a person. And wasn’t that the goal?
Despite what some may think….I love Texas in my soul. Its like a sibling, I can make fun of it….you cannot. Colorado has become my home. Love it here more than I ever imagined. I belong here. I will most likely die here. So I take my girl home this week to decide if UT is where she wants to go. And I pretend that its no big deal. That its just a college visit. But I know what it really is. I’ll walk beside her quietly at the tour. I wont interject opinions (as hard as that will be). Because this is HERS. She turned 18 last week. My job as a parent will never ever be done. Ever. But I am acutely aware that my roles have lessened. That I did all I could do the best I knew how. That she’s funny and smart and capable and ready to leave. And as much as that hurts…..its exactly as it should be. Here’s to Austin. Here’s to Texas. Here’s to my daughter…and the choices she gets to make. I hope she knows whatever she chooses that its the right thing. And it will eventually lead her to where she is meant to be…….even if it’s a 1,000 miles from “home”.

 

“Oh very young, what will you leave us this time
You’re only dancin’ on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your dads best jeans
Denim blue, faded up to the sky
And though you want them to last forever
You know they never will
(You know they never will)
And the patches make the goodbye harder still”

CAT STEVENS, “Oh Very Young”

36959403_10216920786517890_29974439319830528_n