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Ten years in town — a love letter

Locations: Columns Published

Dear Carbondale:

Cheers, sweetheart, on our ten year anniversary! Last month marks a decade since I spent my first night on the floor in our new townhome. As you may recall, at the time the economy was puttering along and I was months away from becoming a first-time mom. And, even though my husband and I barely had any furniture, plus a mountain of home improvement projects ahead of us, not to mention not much left in our savings account, we were thrilled to finally own a place of our own.

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Oh, darling town, it’s been such a pleasure getting to know you. Because of you, I have discovered a zip code that feels more like home than any other place I have ever lived. Maybe it’s because you bring out my authentic-self so well.

You coax out some of my hidden hippy tendencies, you inspire me with your creativity that comes through in places like The Clay Center and The Launchpad. You woo me with your mountains and rivers. You charm me with your strong ties to ranching and agriculture.  You tantalize my taste buds with your restaurants, everything from sushi to pad thai, pupusas and Tacos de Asada. You keep my body nourished with cold-pressed juices form Tonic Juicery. You keep my body and mind balanced with your terrific yoga studios and a whole array of other fitness facilities.

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And by holding celebrations like Dia de Los Muertos and Festival de la Américas, I feel you see us Latinos as part of the community.

But, Carbondale, I’ll be totally honest in saying that I didn’t totally get you at first. I guess I had my head too far up my you know what and thought I just couldn’t be happy this far downvalley, as if proximity to Aspen was some sort of measure of overall life satisfaction. For a long time, I longed for Basalt to be my main squeeze. It’s easy to see now that Basalt would have never met my needs, lacking a certain… I don’t know.  Maybe it’s depth I crave. And Aspen, I knew her as a child. She will always be my hometown. We are still friends, but I outgrew that relationship quite a long time ago.

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You see, beloved Carbondale, I had no idea how much you’d grown into your own over the many years that I was away. When I was growing up in this valley in the ’80s and ‘90s I remember making what seemed like the long journey to visit you. As I explored the streets of 81623 I was convinced you didn’t have much to offer me. You grew up and have turned out to be anything but boring, and in my opinion, have become the gem of this valley as far as authentic, friendly, fun-loving, communities go.  From the bottom of my heart thank you, Carbondale, for sustaining me and my family on so many levels for this last decade.

Thank you for providing great schools, safe streets for my kids to play on, a fantastic neighborhood filled with many parks and neighbors that I cherish.  Thank you for all the constant stream of celebrations and an entire colorful community of people that I love so much. I’m looking forward to the next 10 years of our relationship. 

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With much love and affection,


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