Friday, October 06, 2006

Beyond FRIDAY: Scouting for…Colorful Memories

In Colorado, the aspens get all the attention come fall. They turn bright yellow, and a stand of golden aspens against a bright Colorado sky is truly breathtaking. This fall has been stunning here in the Denver area; thanks to some extra rain this past summer, we’re seeing colors we usually don’t see even this time of the year. Streaks of red and orange provide stark contrast against the typical yellows; my Autumn Blaze maple out front is just about to turn and I’m hoping for a good show from it. As a native northeasterner, I was spoiled growing up. I thought everyone had a backyard that bordered on woods, that an annual riot of fall colors up and down every street was the norm. I remember the huge raked piles just waiting to be scattered, the smell of leaves trampled underfoot. I remember my grandmother tossing leaves into the air and letting them fall all around her as she laughed. My grandparents always came to visit in the fall. And on Columbus Day weekends, my parents would pile their brood into one of the motor homes they rented through my dad’s U-Haul business and drive into New England “to see the leaves.” I loved those drives and I know my brothers and sisters did, too. My parents, now in their 70s and owners of their own small RV, just e-mailed today that they’re heading out for a couple days of sightseeing. They’ve traveled those roads many times over the years; they know the best paths to take. There are more than a few of us who wish we were going with them. I’ll just have to settle for a quick scenic drive into the mountains of Colorado tomorrow, followed by a neighborhood picnic in the park down the street. Somehow I don’t think my kids will mind and I’m sure the views will be beautiful, but I have a feeling my heart will be somewhere in New England, cherishing the autumns of my childhood.

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