04. January 2014 · Comments Off on 6 Months in Colorado: 6 Things I Love Here & 6 Things I Don’t Love Here · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:
I can't believe we've been here six months!

I can’t believe we’ve been here six months!

As of December 24th, Dave and I have been in Colorado for six months! The time has seemed to fly by so far, mainly because we’ve been busy: Dave with his physics classes at USAFA, and me with juggling contractors for the basement finish job. As you’ve been reading, we’re really getting out there and getting to know Colorado and we look forward to many more outings.

I’ve made pro/con lists before about other places we have lived, so let Colorado be no exception.

Presenting: Six Things I Love About Colorado and Six Things I Don’t Love About Colorado.

Six Things I Love

  1. The Scenery. I can’t argue, mountains are gorgeous! We picked a house with a view and I don’t think I will EVER tire of my view of Pikes Peak every morning (unless clouds and fog are obscuring the view, of course). The mountain’s personality changes daily. And if I want to enjoy the plains, all I have to do is look eastward from some of the higher points in my community. I feel like I can see Kansas some days.

    The view from my house. I enjoy it every single morning!

    The view from the Master Bedroom, May 2013. I enjoy it every single morning!

  2. The Health-Consciousness of the Community. Everywhere here you see people walking, biking, sledding, etc. We see the same neighbors walking their dogs at the same time each day. If you drive on the roads here, there is plenty of space for bicycles. You can always find a road race to run every weekend and there are fitness centers everywhere. We had three to choose from within 5 minutes of our house — we chose the family-friendly YMCA, the closest of the three. I love that we can take family hikes at the drop of a hat — with gorgeous views everywhere! Dave and I are looking forward to attempting Pikes Peak this coming summer.
  3. Pet-Friendliness. Pets are welcome at many businesses, from the local Home Depot to our local full-service car wash. Pets are welcome at most any restaurant with outdoor seating as well. The day we arrived here, June 24th, we picked up our house keys in downtown Colorado Springs, then ate lunch at a fancy creperie on Tejon Street (which sadly has since closed). We sat outside in the early summer warmth, and the server even brought Howie a water bowl.
  4. Gateway to the West. This is the furthest west Dave has been stationed (I’m not counting Korea). We are excited about taking trips to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and possibly even California while we’re living here.
  5. Having Four Seasons Again. Florida is fun and all, but winter simply isn’t winter to me without colder weather. I grew up in southeastern Virginia where we rarely saw snow (perhaps once per year). But to me, winter will always mean wearing long pants, warmer shoes, and cold weather cooking such as soups, stews, chilis, and cocoa.
  6. Skiing! I love skiing! The last serious skiing I was able to do was before Jacob was born (April 2002), so to be in this area with some of the world’s best skiing just a day trip away is such a blessing.

Six Things I Don’t Love

  1. Being Far From Family. This is the biggest negative to living here. It’s nice that our families are but a non-stop flight away, but it’s still expensive and two time zones.
  2. The Arid Conditions. I love the four seasons, but it’s so dry here. If you set out a slice of bread on the kitchen counter, in 30 minutes you’ll have toast. The low humidities impact our skin, hair, and woodwork (such as my violin). As a corollary to this, things get pretty dusty around here too. However, I have to admit it’s nice for drying laundry and dishes.

    To see tumbleweed rolling around in my community is downright comical to me!

    To see tumbleweed rolling around in my community is downright comical to me!

  3. Crime. Colorado Springs is probably the most crime-ridden community we’ve lived in since Seoul. You can expect 2-3 murders per month, and dozens of burglaries. We have to be sure to lock our house and vehicles.
  4. Fire and Flooding. The environmental threats here are real. It was heartbreaking to hear and see the accounts of the Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012, and then the 2013 Black Forest Fire struck just a couple weeks before we were to move here. Then not long after the Black Forest fire was under control, an incredible record-breaking rainy season followed. The flooding throughout Colorado was similarly heartbreaking. The way the communities here pull together to help out those in need is something I “love” about living here, but it’s also important to be aware of the threats of Mother Nature.
  5. The Politics. Without getting too involved in politics on my blog, I just want to say that the incredibly wide spectrum of politics here is pretty crazy. On the one hand the state is legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and legislating the number of bullets in a weapon magazine, on the other hand Colorado Springs is the home of some of the most influential evangelist organizations in America. Being assigned to the Air Force Academy we hear a lot of the news about both sides of the political spectrum trying to influence the school’s religious and LGBT freedoms. It’s pretty interesting listening to the state- and local-level news here.
  6. I’m Out of Things I Don’t Like. Guess what? We really really like it here! I’ve told people for many years that our three years in North Carolina had been our favorite in our 18 1/2 years of marriage, but Colorado is quickly catching up.