After two and a half days on the road and enduring the long, exhaustive stretch of pavement through Nevada, my wife and I made it back to Sacramento this week. It is refreshing, odd and feels a bit Back to the Future-esque all at once. Boulder is nice, clean and has a sense of academia that isn’t as apparent in Sacramento, but as a California born and bred kid (for the most part), crossing into the golden state always brings a sense of relief and comfort.The odd thing is that we came back to California to experience winter.
The prevailing thought of most people outside of Colorado is that winter is harsh, cold and you have to dig yourself out of feet of snow. However, what you quickly learn when you live there is that this preconception is reserved for the small towns tucked away in the mountains – not for Boulder, Denver or most of the central and eastern parts of the state. Boulder, in fact, has over 300 days of sunshine per year and on average gets LESS precipitation than Sacramento! Granted, that may not account for the drought, but in the time that we have been in Boulder, it is a rare thing to have rain and snow. When it hits, it definitely hits, but then it’s gone before you have enough time to put on your $200 North Face jacket to brave the cold (the $200 jacket that I would get for $10 at Salvation Army).
All that said, coming back to California, we aren’t coming home…technically. Yes, we have a home, but because of our temporary housing situation in Boulder, we are allowing a friend to watch over our home while we’re away. Translation, our house is occupied. So, we’re staying at my wife’s folks’ house (the in-laws…duh duh duh), just like we would have done when we were 20 and home for the holidays from college. The exception is that we’re married and “grown up.” Of course, that doesn’t change that we feel like kids at the house, despite being almost 15 years removed from college. I’m sure most people of our generation can relate.
There’s something about coming home, to the place of your youth (or in this case for me, that of my wife) that instantly transforms you to the kid you were last time you were at the house. To me, that’s what’s so great about coming home. It reminds you what was great, and challenging about being a kid at home with your parents. The one significant difference is that being older, you now have a bit more appreciation for your parents as individuals, and can glimpse, even if slightly, just how annoying us kids were…or, are. Hopefully we can be cute and charming, like we always assumed we were to them, and they can endure us for a couple weeks, like I know is not easy now.