Sunday, November 11, 2007


OK, so now we're really going... We're packing this week, and I'll be scarce on the computer because of that, um, "distraction." And then, a week from Monday we're loading the trucks and heading east, over the Rocky Mountains, back to the farm on the high prairie.


I've been saying goodbye to my beautiful valley for about two months now. We had the option of moving in September, but my husband, because he's a kind and thoughtful man and he knows his wife's heart, postponed the move for me to see the fall color in my valley.

Isn't he wonderful?

And we did get to see the aspen change in the mountains and hills that surround us here. We got to go through the corn maze up on the mesa behind us, and taste the fruit of the orchards around our town. We've had the pleasure of watching the yearly procession of deer that meander down from the hills in herds to fatten on the leavings of the farmers' fields before the winter cold draws them back in to the high country. They come early every morning and at dusk to check for fruit under our fruit trees, and follow the river south to the harvested fields of hay and alfalfa just beyond the town. Though we see them often, the deer are never commonplace to us.

While on a rosary drive last week, just as we rounded a slow corner up top of the mesa behind our house, a grand, three-point buck stepped out of some trees, walked majestically into the road right in front of us and stopped. He looked at us, as we slowed almost to a stop. Then, out of the woods, leapt one beautiful doe. She cantered across the road and into the field opposite, and was followed by her "husband," her crossing guard. We were awestruck. My goodness, God has made a beautiful world, and filled it with such wonder and grace!

(Not the actual deer, though a reasonable facsimile...)
Though we'll be glad to be closer to our family and old friends, we're sad to have to leave this place. After two and a half years, we're only just now getting familiar with all the geographical placenames: Grand Mesa, Garnet Mesa, Sunset Mesa, Peagreen Corner, Shavano Valley, Tabeguache Trail, Log Hill... And we've only just begun to explore the vast forested wilderness of the Uncompahgre Plateau.

We're absolute suckers for a beautiful view, and there are plenty here, in every direction

But it's not just the natural beauty, we've fallen in love with. It's also the slower, country pace. Though it's growing to be rather a big town, with a population of over 16,000, Montrose still has a small town heart. One day I watched rush hour traffic come to a dead stop on the main road through town, the highway that connects the rest of the world with Telluride, in fact. A little old man had inadvertently stranded himself on the center median, as he was very slowly crossing from the grocery store. He was not even at an intersection, but traffic stopped for him. Not a horn was honked. In fact, many people smiled and waved at him as they proceeded past him after he'd crossed.

You understand, I grew up in the suburbs of large cities where this would never have happened. It brought tears to my eyes. I half expected Norman Rockwell to appear with his pipe on the steps of the courthouse across the way.

Everything here in this tucked away little corner of the Rocky Mountains feels like a shadow of another time rests upon it. It's a modern town in many ways, with a super Walmart and even a good handful of popular restaurants, but more than half the local businesses are closed on Sunday. The only two drive-in theaters in Colorado survive here in this one valley. And cars full of little kids in pajamas fill them up on warm summer evenings. The carefully preserved Egyptian Theater in the next town over still employs ushers who walk the aisles during movies with little flashlights, and fuss at you if you have your feet on the seats or are talking too loudly.

Strangers ask you how you are and are interested inyour answer. And they don't stay strangers long. Friends congregate in the aisles in the grocery stores coffeeklatsching and the check-out clerks make a point to know you. It's unusual for the driver of a car passing on the side roads not to wave at you as they pass. Neighbors look out for all the neighborhood children and expect you to look out for theirs. Life revolves around the football games at the local high schools. And everyone, Catholic and nonCatholic, knows and loves the sisters that teach in our little Catholic school.

Our teaching sisters. We'll miss them so much! And our sweet little chapel with the cherubs all over the altar. And the school children at weekday Mass in their neat blue-plaid uniforms and navy blue berets. And the friends we've made here.

So I'm saying goodbye to my valley. Goodbye, at least for now. I've taken its chin in my hands and looked it in the eyes with you, somewhat sentimentally here. I hope you understand that love has smoothed over the faults and is fondly forgetful of any troubles we may have had. And it's not like there aren't many beautiful places in the world, and many we've been to and enjoyed thoroughly. But this is a place that's touched my heart; I'll always think of it as "my valley."

We'll be back, if nothing else, just to vacation and see our friends. We hope to retire here someday, if God wills it. But right now, He's got His hand on our backs and is moving us back over the mountains to the farm. There must be something important there that He wants us to do, or that He wants to do for us. You just never know.

And if He wants it, it's good. That's the only thing we can rely on in this life.

So, we'll be up to our elbows in packing boxes this week and physically moving next week, then settling in the week after that.
I may be scarce here on the blog for a while. But, I'll take pictures and pop in when I can. I'll have to see what everybody else is up to, if nothing else!

Blessings to All!
And, please, pray it doesn't snow next week!


GrandmaK said...

God be with you! Packing and moving is an emotional event. We always took "farewell" journeys with the kids before each of our moves. Hoping the children would make their own "mental" scrapbook. I know we were successful when we share those times together and one says, "Remember...?"
Your pictures are beautiful and have caused me to open my "mental" scrapbook. Thank you!!!

Marie said...

What a moving post! And a beautiful place to live.

Marie said...

Do the sheet thing anyway! I'm sure plenty of people missed it the first time around, it's a great skill to share.

This week I'm doing a tutorial on how to make rolled cakes.

Lisa said...

Oh,now there's one I'll check in on, Marie. I've never had success with that!

Mama to much! said...

Lisa and Family,
I'm sorry that things didn't work out to stay in "your valley" You are all an inspiration to follow God's will with obedience. I know too well sometimes its awfully hard to live somewhere, that you aren't in love with and with that...many graces come too. I commend you all on following God's will and accepting his grace!

SuzyQ said...

A really touching and beautiful post.
God Bless and peace be with you during this move.