Thursday, August 28, 2014

Yes...Yes, We Live in Boulder...

So begins a series of posts about life for this Bronx girl in Boulder.  It’s been 7 years of Boulder living and fairly interesting.

“You’re not in Boulder!” someone told me (still a Boulder newbie) with passion and gusto when we first moved to our neighborhood,  which is northeast from the central part of town. 

Our house sits in a cul de sac in a neighborhood that is surrounded on three sides by open space (aka fields, pastures, lots of grass and few trees).   A creek runs along side the neighborhood.

“Yes, we are,” I would say. 

“But where you are is not Boulder!  That’s Longmont!”

I shake my head.  “Not according to my address,” is always my light-hearted answer.  Both address and zip code are in Boulder.  We are in a neighborhood next to a section of town known as Gunbarrel.  At times, people put us in Gunbarrel, which is fine, though officially we aren’t in that section.  Sometimes it’s just easier and quicker to say “Gunbarrel”. 

Gunbarrel is a section of town that is a combination of two cities/counties:  Boulder and Longmont.  South of the main dividing road in Gunbarrel contains Boulder, north of that same main road is considered Niwot/Longmont. 

In moments I give this explanation to those “in-town” Boulderites and out-of-town Coloradans who question the validity of my living address.  In other moments, I just nod and smile.  Sometimes it’s not worth the energy to go into details such as these.

 “You’re in Boulder County!” another person exclaims to me in one huge epiphany as she tries to rationalize how I could be in Boulder but don’t live directly in town.  “That’s it!”

“Yes, yes, I am.”

“So this is not Boulder but Boulder county!

Um…actually it is both.   The Boulder rural property taxes that we pay tell me so.  And because thankfully to a real estate friend of ours, we discovered Boulder is divided into three sections on most real estate maps: Boulder West (next to the mountains, in the hills), Boulder (in town) and Boulder Prairie (us).

“It’s all Boulder,”  he concludes.  

It’s what happens when people move out from the town and set up roots in the rural area surrounding Boulder because of the desire for more living space, which happened in the late sixties and seventies.  Hence an extension of the existing Boulder community was born amongst vast fields and open space.

 Oh, and let’s not forget, the address is a big indicator, too.  I am sure if we lived in Longmont, my address would actually say that.

Welcome to the country. Some look at as “suburbs.”

I cringe, no offense to anyone who lives in them.  They’re awesome but rural Boulder is not the suburbs. 

It is open space and farmland.  Where the prairie dogs live and where in moments, coyotes roam, with your occasional mountain lion. Not to mention field mice, foxes raccoons, skunks, and bunnies.  In moments, it really does feel like the prairie.

It is countryside and for this city girl, it was a faraway land like several of my in-town Boulderite friends viewed it.  A no man’s land and so far (like in 15 minutes from downtown Pearl street far). 

Sooo far.

But now living in this no-man’s land for six years, I get that it’s an amazingly special place.      

We get to pass by cows, horses, sheep and alpacas on our way into town everyday and have the quiet of the country right on our doorstep.  You can literally hear the engine of a pickup truck as it goes by four streets away.

There is the community of our wonderful neighborhood of 1,000 families.  Because we’re surrounded by open space we’re all we’ve got…until you drive out of it and go across the street to the Twin Lakes neighborhood (actually in Gunbarrel).  We’re a naturally gated (via open space) community of friendly people of all types.

After a time of listening to the naysayers, I started to doubt myself.  Whenever we drove back into town along Highway 36 (Boulder-Denver turnpike)  I’d find myself looking at the gorgeous view up ahead of Boulder, trying to spot my neighborhood in the distance and wondering out loud, where is the dividing line?  Do we really live in Boulder?

My husband, driving, next to me would just shake his head and smile. 

Duh?  His facial expression would read with a ton of endearment following it because he was confident enough and right enough to know (before the explanation of our real estate friend) that the answer is a resounding “Yes!”.

Yes…yes, where we live is Boulder, too.  No need for an identity crisis, sweetie.  It’s all good.

Months later, at school, a fellow Mom exclaimed to me, “Oh, you guys moved!”

Flustered I said “What?  What do you mean?” 

“Well, I was looking at the school directory and noticed you have a Boulder address.  Weren’t you guys in Gunbarrel?”

Out pops my characteristic smile.  “Oh, we still are,” I answer.

Her forehead crinkles. “But you have a Boulder address.”

I inwardly sigh and launch into the explanation, “It’s Boulder. The southern part of Gunbarrel is Boulder…”

And it goes on... :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Here's The Truth...

Here’s the truth.

I am not ready to be back in the frenzy that is the new school year.

I am not ready for laid-back summer to be over, where we are not on a schedule or pressured to be anywhere early.

For other parents, this is the most wonderful time of the year.  The kids are back in school and they get a little more freedom and a break.

I still want to wake up and wander around the house with the kids, pull them close to me and hold them on a weekday morning, while we’re hanging out in bed, with no where pressing to go or be.

This is not to say that I am not excited for their new school year – and all the new things that they will learn and do.  I am ecstatic and can’t wait.  

And I am very happy to reconnect with the Moms and Dads who are part of the school community.  It’s good to see everyone again. 

However, at times with the school year comes complexity and stress and worries and pressures: is the oldest having good experiences today?  Are the kids being nice to him or is he again being ignored, rejected, and teased by some?  Is he maintaining self-control with his body and his emotions or is he having another meltdown? 

Multiply the above frets by two as it applies to his two younger brothers as well.

With summer – for us at least – we could just be.  A freedom to just spend time with each other and be ourselves.  Not have to face weekly injustices or attitudes from others. 

The school year. 

It's a part of life, I know.   

An important part of life for the growth of my children and myself even as a person.

I just can't help but love my season of summer and all that it brings.  

And with all the busyness and sometimes complexity our lives become during this school time, summer is always a welcome friend.  

Pouring my heart out today with Shell
 at Things I Can't Say

Friday, August 22, 2014

First Day of School (aka "Summer Break is Over!")

Yesterday, the new 4th grader (on your left) and 2nd grader (on your right)
had their first day of school.  
(Goodness grief, they are growing up so fast!)

I still can't get used to August school starts having grown up starting school in September. 

The first day of school ends our  wonderful summer break. 

I'm excited for the boys but sad that our break is over.  

I was missing both of them with a fierceness yesterday.  I had grown so used to them being around during the day with their Xbox game playing and their Lego building of towns and stadiums whose names they made up.   

Their presence was comfortable and reassuring 
(even with the moments of shouting, yelling and bickering). 


However, I still have this little guy below.  The 4 year old. 

He doesn't start preschool until September 2nd 
so I am not completely alone for at least a week and a half. 

"It's Mommy and me time!" he shouts to his brothers yesterday.  

Yes, yes it is. 

He was eager to get home yesterday and today so that we could have our home alone time, just me & him. 

And I am going to soak it up as much as I can
in the midst of my grownup responsibilities. 

September 2nd can just take its time coming around.