Marolt: Life’s been good to us so far
We have it good here in The Village. Our wars are waged over which is better, skiing or snowboarding. The biggest thing we have to defend is Snowmass’ reputation as the best ski area in the world. The greatest disaster in our history is Base Village or Village Market getting replaced by Clark’s; take your pick.
We have no traffic. There is little crime. The shuttle bus comes practically to your home when you call for a ride.
If the bartender doesn’t know you at your favorite restaurant, it’s probably because you don’t drink, and the lack of recognition at the bar is more than made up for by the waitstaff. The people at the post office get letters with the wrong address written on them to the right people, eventually. The guys at the gas station like to talk about cars. The local police wave with two fingers as they drive by on our clean streets.
A big fear of parents is that their kids won’t be able to afford to live here when they head out on their own. But, the angst over this is only because they have forgotten to be grateful we live in a place so desirable that the kids want to move back in the first place. What a luxury it is to find it hard to return because you think you can’t afford it than, like in many other places, kids don’t return because they can’t stand it. Where there is a will there is a way, but where there is no desire there is no chance.
We have four comfortable seasons to look forward to; none too long, none too short. We only complain, “it’s too hot” or “it’s too cold” when we need to make small talk or when we have trouble sleeping because we forgot and ordered the coffee flavored ice cream for dessert. We get rain, snow and sunshine in soul-soothing doses. The earth beneath our feet is stable. The wind does blow in earnest from time to time, but usually only up high where it produces magnificent plumes of snow streaming impressively from the tops of the peaks or whips the clouds into formations interesting enough to inspire local poets. I remember a few limbs breaking loose and dropping on cars and once, when I was a boy, our neighbor’s fence blew down, but, again, these are mostly bits of excitement to talk about and can usually be fixed by the inconvenience of meeting your insurance deductible.
The howling of wild coyotes is a romantic tune. Our snakes aren’t poisonous. We don’t have to carry guns and look over our shoulders walking through the wilderness. When you don’t presently have one, even the local mosquito bites don’t seem to itch too badly.
We go to the gym, not because it is the only means available to get into shape, but because we usually know a lot of people there and it’s a good place to catch up and find out what’s going on around town. For serious training we have miles and miles of perfectly engineered and constructed trails through the woods and into the mountains to follow along on our bikes or in running shoes at a full effort. For active recovery days we hike those same trails to take a look at what we missed when we went through previously with our heads down. When we feel like showing off, there’s always skiing and snowboarding. The prevailing attitude is that athletic attire can be acceptably worn for almost any event or occasion, even for working out in.
Politics is easy. A cut from the municipal budget is as rare as a partisan argument in a Town Council meeting. We debate which projects to spend our surpluses on. We don’t elect candidates, just friends and neighbors. A letter to the editor is as effective as speaking up at a public meeting so that shy and humble people can have their say. It is not considered a waste of time to pass an ordinance for which there is no other purpose but to let longtime locals know that their contributions to the community are appreciated.
Like I said before, because life is so tranquil that locals have acquired the habit of repeating themselves often for lack of more urgent things to discuss, life is very good in The Village. I hope this blessing makes us kinder. I hope it makes us more patient. I hope it inspires us to take the offseasons seriously and figure out ways to share our good fortune far and wide.
Roger Marolt is proud to be a Village People. firstname.lastname@example.org