I hope you are good. Sorry for being a lazy blogger recently. I hope you will forgive me. I don’t really have an excuse.
What I do have however, is an exciting story about what I am going to do in the summer that will make you all seethe with jealousy. Enjoy.
Every three years I attend a family reunion in a little place in the US called Meeker, Colorado. July 2013 is the date of the next reunion.
The Smith family are related to my grandfather, whose aunt married into the family during the second world war. Meeker is a quiet, tiny town that is home to one bar, two hotels and lots of lasso wielding cow farmers. It is a beautiful place most famous for the Meeker Massacre of 1879 – a horrendous bloody battle fought between Ute tribesmen and American government soldiers. It was a literal fight between cowboys and Indians which marked the death of government official Nathan Meeker, after whom the town was later named.
Meeker is full of farmers, cowboys wearing real-life cowboy gear, and teenagers who know how to lasso a cow from the back of a horse. All of this of course means that I don’t really fit in. I wore high heels to a restaurant in 2010 and have never been so gawped at in my entire life. And not in a good way. Of course, six years ago my mum ensured that I would never fit in by making me wear my purple jodhpurs when going horse riding with the American cousins. They are all cowboys. They don’t wear jodhpurs! They don’t even know what jodhpurs are! They wear jeans! I explained this to my mum. At the age of fifteen though, I was powerless to her word. I wore the jodhpurs and am still remembered as the silly little British girl whose mother was determined to embarrass her. She loved it. Luckily though, my older brother was enough of a wally to wear shorts when horse-riding there and he has never lived it down either. Winner.
So, I am going back to Meeker in July but will also be travelling around Colorado on a three week road trip. I will be tubing down lazy CO rivers, horse-riding (in jeans) and even having a look at some incredible dinosaur remains in Dinosaur. I am so excited.
Whenever I go back to Colorado, and Meeker in particular, I feel a sense of nostalgia – the feeling of a place almost frozen in time. The town holds so much memory.
Below are two pictures of an old Smith family bedspread. It was created over the course of several generations by wives who married into the family. Each quilted section details the name of the new family member and the date in which she arrived in Meeker.
I find this so interesting. I am a history nut, but I hope you will agree that this is something special.
What makes this story even more indulgent is the fact that last summer I spent all the money that I had in the world on a road trip in California. I don’t know why I am doing it to myself again really. I still don’t know how I am going to afford it, but I am determined to find a way.
The UK weather is too atrocious at the moment for me to even consider not going. During the arctic Easter weekend that I spent in Swindon of all places, I had a look through some of the US pictures from last summer. Remembering the heat of the Death Valley desert, I tried to make myself feel warm again. The below photo pictures me at the hottest I have ever felt in my life. Temperature wise. This picture is from a distance for a reason.
Roll on the summer!!