Ah, the days are warming up and life is budding all around. Soon I will see bluebonnets dotting the hills. The gorgeous riot of wild flowers are a wonderful sight to see. I couldn't live in a place that didn't have color. As a kid growing up in Connecticut, all I saw were varying shades of grey. A lot of asphalt and dirt. To be fair, the lawns in West Haven were present, but few and far between. When my family moved to Pennsylvania, I discovered more green pastures and forests. Winter stole most, if not all the color out of the countryside. Being happy half the year, while sliding into a funk for the other two seasons is no way to spend a childhood.
Then I came to El Paso, Texas. Several life long friendships sprang out of my tenure out there that endure to this day. Two things motivated me to move away and search for a new place to hang my hat.
One: the spartan landscape. Mountains that appeared to have been shaved and stripped bare for all to see.
And two: The god awful sand. Few things are worse than being sandblasted in the face while walking home from school. It's been said the constant sand storms have driven more than one person crazy and I believe that. It took me a few weeks to figure out what was missing: trees. Trees that stood more than 20 feet tall.
A few hours driving distance from El Paso are some beautiful forests that saved my sanity. The Lincoln National Forest has some of the most wondrous evergreen trees and great skiing in the wintertime. Head west to Silver City and you'll find the Gila National Forest. For a camper and hiker like myself, it's pure heaven. Exploring the cliff dwellings there fired my imagination like few other things can.
Now I live in San Antonio. Forests, fishing, hiking, and camping are all short drives for me. A weekend getaway is very easy to put together. Just thinking about it makes me want to plan a fishing expedition with my friends.
It might be a good time to get out of the house. All my daughters are about to start their monthly cycles. When that happens, it's not pretty. I just throw a large bag of M&M's into one corner while I grab my fishing gear and make my escape.
That's not being mean, it's survival. Sure I'm the Dad, and it's my house, but I just live here, drowning in a sea of estrogen.