Tomorrow is a day off for me, and unlike today, I will be staying on “the hill.” What a relief! What is staying on the hill? A day that I will not be leaving the friendly environs of our house and the little town of Nederland to drive down to Boulder or any other plains city. The other day, someone asked me about feeling isolated up here in the mountains, and how I must enjoy coming down to Boulder. Quite the contrary! In fact, if I didn’t have to come down to Boulder for work or for doctor’s appointments, I probably wouldn’t. I can feel quite content going days without leaving the mountains, and usually only do so because I’m forced.
It’s strange, because the drive to Boulder is relatively short for us because of the shortcut on The Summer Road. Most days, depending on traffic, it is only a 20 minute drive to Boulder. But once down there, there is traffic to deal with, lots of people and it all just seems so…..exhausting. Even though, it still takes 10 minutes to get into Nederland, it just doesn’t seem as daunting. The drive is an easy one, not full of curves, and there is hardly anyone on the roads. If I’m not working, I will do just about anything to avoid the drive down to Boulder. There have been times when we literally have nothing left in our fridge or pantry, and I’ll scrounge to find something to eat, making some eggs and cooking up some rice, just so I don’t have to deal with going to Boulder.
Don’t get me wrong, Boulder is a pretty cool town, for a city of more than 100,000. It has some great restaurants, fun shops, and a great music scene. Pearl Street Mall is a great pedestrian mall to wander around, grab a cup of coffee, and just plain people watch. But compared to the quiet of our neighborhood, it seems very busy, excessively so. So in an attempt to combat getting an overload of city life in Boulder, I tend to combine errands like grocery shopping, or doctor’s appointments with work days, so that I can keep my days off to mountain days, days of quiet, hiking or just plain sitting on the deck enjoying the view.
The other day, a visitor asked me what it was like living in Nederland. I described the quirky vibe of the town, the climate and weather, what our house and neighborhood was like. I think they were trying to decide if this kind of town would be a place they could live. It’s interesting to see people come and go in our neighborhood. Why do they leave? What makes people stay for the long term? Thinking of how happy I am that I don’t have to go to “town” tomorrow, but can instead just hang out up here, helps to clarify what that “it” is. As I mull it over, I think perhaps the greatest determining factor is whether you are one of those people who feels content, even happy, to stay on the hill.