Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. John Muir
My life sometimes feels like it’s been “a long, strange trip” and at other times, I feel like I’ve been the poster child for my generation. Or maybe that’s the same thing.
A baby boomer of the 50’s and 60’s, I remember great changes in the South: segregated schools, KKK meetings in downtown parks, “colored” drinking fountains. But I also have fond memories of our Negro maids and my black roommate in college.
My first time on an airplane was a trip to Europe with my best friend Linda to visit her aunt and uncle in Copenhagen when I was 17. We camped throughout Scandanavia with them before setting out on our own across the Europe with Eurail train passes for two months. The ultimate "Innocents Abroad." The next summer I worked as a missionary with the Aymara Indians in La Paz, Bolivia. My love for travel was unrequited!
In college, I marched on Washington to protest the killings at Kent State and the war in Vietnam. Like most girls my age, I was the consummate Beatles fan and saw them perform live from the third row at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta. I spent three days in the scorching sun at the first Atlanta Pop Festival listening to the rock groups who would go on later that summer to play at Woodstock.
After Law School, I took the advice given to Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate and went into “plastics”. Through a combination of the Puritan work ethic of my generation and lots of luck, I made enough money on stock options in a leveraged buyout of my company to allow me to retire very modestly at the age of 43. I immediately set out “on the road again” and headed West.
During my tenure as a lawyer, I had used every bit of my vacation climbing and trekking all over the world. I continued to climb and trek and added volunteering to my passions. I landed first in Idaho for almost five years. Beautiful state but I had difficulty finding active, older folks to play with.
Then I headed to Boulder where I had heard that everyone stayed active forever. And the rumors are true. At first I hoped that I would be as active as my new friends when I got to be their age. I quickly changed my desire to be able to do what they were doing now at MY age. I couldn't begin keep up with those ten years my senior.
And to my surprise and delight, I’ve discovered that Boulder suits me politically and spiritually. I’ve become involved in the city and county Open Space programs, the Sheriffs Office’s Restorative Justice Program, the County Public Health Department's Medical Reserve Corps disaster response program and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers to name a few of my favorites.
In addition to my volunteer work, I've found a new part-time career-retail. For the past four years, I've been working for and managing reatil stores for a Boulder based outdoor apparel and gear company GoLite. This company was started 13 years ago by a couple of Harvard MBA's who couldn't find lightweight backpacking gear. They had a vision to make simple, high performance equipment that was also light on the planet.
I started working at their three-day warehouse sales to get the employee discount. Last year I worked full-time for seven months managing stores in Lakewood and Boulder. Seems that I have a problem saying "no". But now I am very happily working part-time as an Assistant Manager at our permanent flagship store on the Pearl Street Mall. Nice to make the extra money to fund my adventures!
And best of all, the people of Boulder are amazing. I’ve found the best friends I’ve ever made in this city. Of course, quality people who share my interests are drawn to this area.