We had cause to drive to Longmont to look for homes.
All the places we could afford were sad looking. Crummy is the word. Someone had bikes on their roof. All manner of trash and debris in the yard. Mr. Vesuvius looked at me and I wordlessly shook my head. I pretended I was on MTV True Life. I could imagine the camera following behind us. Close up on the peeling paint and threadbare love seats sitting on the tiny porches. Then it would close up on my face and all the world would know my pain.
(That was me being dramatic).
Then we made a terrible mistake. I spotted some tiny but promising houses tucked behind the restaurants and shops on the cute Old Town street. We drove back for a closer look.
Cheery homes, yellows and greens, a park, an abundance of flowers. Women with babies in bjorns and golden retrievers trot trot behind. Everything gleaming in the sun. Shoot. I began to cry.
Then I told myself I was being silly. Who is completely happy with their home? Who wouldn't trade up, if they could? Even the rich people there would probably trade up for a Villa in Italy. Which just shows you how ridiculous it all is.
Mr. V steered us toward a little bungalow. "Is it yellow?" I said.
"I don't know if it's yellow. What does it matter if it's yellow?" said Mr. V
"I keep picturing a yellow house. I thought maybe if it was yellow it would be a sign. I believe in signs now. It's my new thing."
The bungalow was not yellow, but it was perfect. Sweet block with sweet little homes and massive storybook back yards.
No longer available.
There was nothing else to do. We hit the road. Took a spin through Lyons where everyone looked up to see if we were someone they knew. Kept going straight on to Estes.
Estes. There were elk in the park. We had a look. Walked to the river. I thought of my dad. The girls bounded about on the boulders. Such an excellent and satisfying exercise. Brain plus body. The mountains surrounding were all snowy and cloudy. All pre-Aslan Narnia.
We procured ice cream. We headed for home. The gas tank warning light ding-ding-dinged. I told Mr. V to stop for gas. Surely there will be a place along the way, he said. I raised my eyebrows.
There wasn't. But you know what?
We made it on empty, all the way down that mountain. Made it exactly as far as we needed to go.
--Over and out.