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[The WIND was started by Emily Hesse in February 1974. In April of that year I was in Allenspark, recuperating from the loss of parts of three fingers on my left hand in Southeast Asia as a result of my service in the United States Air Force.. In June I left for a new assignment in California. The May issue was Vol. 1, no. 4, and it was the first to carry the now familiar WIND masthead. Emily wanted to start a column called “Why Allenspark?” and I was asked to write the first contribution. I did not write another for 11 years. In the light of subsequent events it seems very naive, but it is the first piece I wrote for the WIND, so as a sort of artifact, here it is.]
When your family has owned property here for 55 years, perhaps the only proper answer to “Why Allenspark?” is “habit.”
I doubt that either Edward A. or Richard M. suspected, as they walked along Big Owl Road toward the property owned by a man they knew only as “John” that anyone in the family would ever actually make a home here. For more than 40 years after that 160 acre purchase, no member of the family set foot on the property between October and May.
A number of our friends have reasonably wondered why Mary and I decided to turn the largest of the summer homes into our permanent, year-round home. Our answer has much to do with the word “home,” and what it means to us.
Portland, Oregon was my home for many years but when I visit it now I barely recognize it. My work has taken us over most of the world and for the last few years we’ve had no home of our own. During that time we’ve seen all manner of progress, and while we have no objection to change, we wanted our home to be in a place where the changes would be mostly natural, seasonal ones.
Home for us is a place that changes as you change, relatively unaffected by outside influence. Home should be a place of great beauty and of peace.
Our home is a few steps from Roaring Fork, underneath Big Owl Hill. The earth abides and for as long as we are allowed to do so we will happily abide with it, at home.
© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner
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