Wednesday, June 27, 2012

memories of a sparkly green motorcycle helmet.

This morning I found out that my aunt and uncle's home in Boulder, Colorado is in the path of an out of control forest fire. They have been put on evacuation notice, and at this point, all anyone can do is pray the wind blows in their favour and the water bombers do their job. Besides praying for their safety, I am also praying that their wonderful home is spared. It is a place that I have always loved. Mostly for the people under its roof, but also for the times I spent there as a child.

When I was quite young, my Aunt Lynn's parents, Joe and Cecile lived there. My mom tells me that they built this home to live in for the rest of their lives. It was their dream home. I remember laying on their family room couch, my new head gear causing me much pain. Cecile fed me frozen m & m's to help my mouth feel better. I don't know if it worked, but I sure liked the m & m's.

The house is situated on a very steep hill, and when the infamous Colorado winds are blowing, it is hard to open and close  car doors. In quiet moments, you can look out the window and find at least one deer staring back at you. Back in the day, the garage was (and I imagine still is) filled with motorcycle parts and artist supplies and all sorts of fabulous things little kids have no business getting their mitts on. The ceilings are vaulted high with wood beams, and the windows stretch across every wall making it feel as if one was a part of the outside, while still being sheltered.

One of my favourite memories is my uncle Gunner taking me and my cousin Dana on a motorcycle ride. Dana had a sparkly red helmet, and the spare kid helmet was sparkly green. In recollection, he had no business putting two little girls on his motorcycle. But damn was it ever fun. My uncle Gunner also had a cockatoo named Lester, who was allowed to roam free. Lester, a female (this was discovered after she was named), was in love with my uncle Gunner. While he may have always had the soul of a grumpy old man, he is also an artist and has a dark, Danish sense of humour, so who could blame her? She would stalk anyone and everyone and pretend to play nice with my aunt Lynn so she could get close enough to bite her. When I heard Lester had passed, I shed no tears.
I always imagined that I would return to Boulder as an adult to visit my aunt and uncle and sit in their living room and enjoy a glass of wine (without the company of Lester). One of my favourite friends from college lives there as well and has a daughter Cammie's age. It has always been my intention to return, and I'm annoyed with myself that I have waited this long to make my way back. One of my uncle's etchings of a viking ship hangs in the entryway of my home. I think of him every time I see it, today especially.

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