Gathering: A Breath Of The Southwest

Day 3-Gathering

What was the most memorable event/gathering that you attended or held in 2012?

When my parents approached me about going with them to Colorado over Labor Day weekend, I (literally) jumped at the chance. I was not about to go through another weekend of winding up completely exhausted (my freshman year) or crying a bucket of tears on my bedroom floor (sophomore year). I was feeling that itch to get away from the chaos of campus, as I often do when student life becomes stressful.

But this wasn’t just a simple getaway; we would be primarily going to visit my brother at the Air Force Academy since it was his parents/family weekend up there. Along with that, we would also be officially celebrating my grandparents fiftieth wedding anniversary.

It was my first time being back in two years; the last time we took a little mini-vacation so that my brother could do an unofficial visit at the Air Force. I was kind of nervous that the wildfires (back in June) had swallowed up the majority of the natural elements that surrounded the place. There was some truth to that, but not from what I could see.

While my siblings and I occasionally have our differences, I had missed mine very much. Seeing my brother for the first time in two months was amazing. I don’t mention this a whole lot, but that kid is like my twin, even though we technically are not. We just have strikingly different personalities, almost to the point of being completely opposites. But he is the reason I have been able to physically accomplish as much as I have; without having him as an example, I might not have gained the motivation to crawl, walk, and a lot of other things, particularly when I was little.

We spent a lot of time doing activities related to the Academy and the wrestling team, which I didn’t mind; it was interesting to see how things worked around there, and made me appreciate the things that I have at my school (although the lack of structure can be tempting). There were a few instances where I teared up, such as the fly-over during the cadet parade. I felt so proud to have a sibling that is serving our country and that he gets to do all these things. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had uncles and grandfathers that have served as well; but for some reason, it didn’t hit as close to home. Probably because I never got to see them in the uniform or see the kinds of things that they did.

This may sound silly, but another part that I genuinely enjoyed was the car rides back and forth to different places. Mom would always know to turn on the Country music station for me, and I’d sit back and watch the different mountains go by as we passed them. Hearing Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, and while taking in such incredible views, everything felt a little bit easier. It was relaxing. It was simple.

It reminded me of what you’re able to see and experience when you stop stressing out and just sit back and enjoy life. 

The end of our trip culminated in having dinner at Cheyenne Mountain Resort for my Grandparents wedding anniversary celebration. Not only was it remarkable to be able to toast to such a milestone (especially today given the divorce rate) but we did so in a place filled with incredible natural beauty. 

I was a little depressed on our way to the airport; there’s something about Colorado (or maybe the Southwest in general) that is peaceful and uncomplicated. I can’t say that I would like to live in the country because of how spread out everything is. However, if God allows it, it would be wonderful to have a little place to go and just get away from the craziness when I feel the need to. 

Ultimately, the main reason why that weekend was so special because I had practically everything that I hold dear to me in one place: family, love, and the simple things.

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