Thursday, October 26, 2023

Microstory 2004: Colorado

For most of their lives, my grandparents weren’t able to go on vacations. My grandpa was so poor, if he ever had a day when he wasn’t working, he was trying to do other things for work. He would paint a neighbor’s fence, or help out at the local gas station. Anything he could find to save money, he was doing it. This continued for many years, even after grandpa got a better job in Wyoming. They occasionally went to places nearby, but nothing that anyone would call a family vacation. In 1981, which was five years after the new job, grandpa was experiencing something that my dad calls burnout. That means his job was really hard, and he wasn’t taking care of his mental health. He had recently gotten an even better promotion, and he was working all the time. His wife made him take some time off so they could go on a real vacation. They chose Denver, Colorado. They chose it because it was in a different state, but also not too far away, so they were able to drive to it in a day. My papa was about to become an eight-year-old, and it was the summertime. He had a lot of memories of this period in his life, but he couldn’t remember much about this trip. He knew that he was at some kind of sports game, and also that they went hiking. He thinks they probably spent one of the days shopping too. What my grandma said is that my papa’s father loved this trip, and it changed how he saw the world. They would start going on more trips from now on, which is what helped my papa to end up going to all fifty states in the United States.

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