Blazing a new trail upvalley |

Blazing a new trail upvalley

April E. Clark
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April in Glenwood

In life, there are settlers and there are trail blazers. Some people like to stay put, while others seek the newness of change.

I fall somewhere in the middle.

I spent the first 30 years of my life in the same state I was born. I went to college in Indiana. I married in Indiana. I built a house in Indiana. I divorced in Indiana. Then I hit 30, in Tampa, Fla., and realized maybe someday I might venture out of Indiana.

This was a hard decision when it came to leaving my friends and family. I also had a tough time departing a fantastic company that treated me well, with co-workers who were true friends in and outside of the workplace.

“The Office” had nothing on us.

I won’t go so far as to say I was a trailblazer when I picked up and moved to Colorado. I had a little help from a childhood friend who had already blazed a trail here. Plus the I-70 stretch between Indiana and Colorado had been around for quite some time before I ever headed west. Oh, what it would’ve been like to make that first trip ever.

Probably much more trailblazing than my experience in a Jeep Liberty.

Like many people who are timid about moving to an entirely different environment, I was nervous about the life change from the Midwest to the West. Since there weren’t many journalism jobs open when I first moved to the valley, I wasn’t sure how I would make a living. Freelance writing paid some bills.

Some is the operative word there.

I temped at some offices in the valley – one way to keep things interesting. I really needed a permanent job though, to make this Colorado thing work. The career position wasn’t instant, but I eventually made my way to the Post Independent by way of writing many obituaries and wedding announcements.

There’s a joke in there somewhere.

And throughout my time making it as a journalist in the West, I have moved several times. Before moving to Colorado, I also moved several times.

Divorce can do that to you.

Divorce can also bleed you as dry as a vermouth-infused martini. Moving can do the same. It can be expensive not to stay put. But settling can also be hard on the type of person who revels in change.

And I don’t mean that extra 15 cents in pennies at the bottom of my purse.

I mean the type of change that provides a new perspective on life. I need that. Often. Like the female version of Daniel Boone – would that technically be Daniela? – I require a bit of change of scenery every so often. I by no means foresee myself living out of a backpack anytime soon.

Oh, do I have a lot of stuff.

But I do like to befriend new neighbors and mix up the view from my windows every now and again. Luckily, my new view involves a Mount Sopris view.

Everyone should have a big mountain in his or her life.

In Glenwood Springs, I have rented the house I’ve been moving out of this weekend for about two and a half years. For Colorado mountain town renters’ time, that’s almost a lifetime. Of course the longer anyone lives in a home, the more possessions they collect. The more attached they become.

“It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye…” from Boys to Men just popped into my head.

In the two and a half years I’ve lived in that 100-year-old red-and-white house on Bennett Avenue, my life has changed in so many ways. I started a new job. I bought a Wii. One of my twin dogs died. My long-time boyfriend and I broke up. I lost a Wii.

I acquired several new chairs. I officially became a comic. I dated a firefighter. I stopped dating a firefighter. I turned 39 – a mean trick life plays on women who have yet to procreate. I cut my own bangs. I hosted a toga party.

And then, I said goodbye.

I couldn’t have done it all without my friends and my mother, who traveled here from – where else? Indiana. She became sort of a bit of a trailblazer herself just trying to make it here.

Like mother, like daughter.

After both a flight from Denver to Aspen and then a flight from Denver to Eagle-Vail were cancelled, she shared a rental car over Vail Pass with three valley folk named Drew, Alice and Paula. Coincidentally enough, Drew was a native Hoosier, too.

We are everywhere.

Mom arrived at my100-year-old house on Bennett eight hours later than expected, at about 3 in the morning. Within eight hours we were blazing our own jam-packed trail of packing, cleaning and moving. The process has been far from boring, and that has a lot to do with that newness of change that keeps me going.

Sometimes staying put isn’t as easy as it sounds.

April E. Clark would like to thank everyone who helped her with the big move – especially her mother – and her mom’s new airport friends for delivering her safely to Glenwood Springs. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@yahoo. com.

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