Andy and I lived in Toledo, OH for the first few years of our marriage. I was teaching fifth grade and he was a mechanical engineer for Johns-Manville. We had just bought a house in nearby Waterville. Then came some exciting news. The entire company was moving to Denver! Andy was put in charge of relocation for families in Toledo and New Jersey.
So we headed west and purchased a brand-new home in Aurora, near Andy's office. The tri-level house was unusual. that the bedrooms were on the lower levels and the high-ceilinged living room, family room and small kitchen were on top. There were so many families with young children on East Bates Circle that we jokingly called it "rabbit row." We had lots of friends and started a gourmet group. There were trips to the mountains and jaunts downtown to enjoy Denver's rapidly burgeoning restaurant and museum scene. Alison and Hannah were born just 19 months apart.
Then the company built a new headquarters (big as the Empire State Building lying on its side) west of the city in the valley between what's known as the Hogback Ridge and the Rocky Mountains, a beautiful area with red rock outcroppings and wildlife. JM also developed a community called the Ken-Caryl Ranch, named for the original property. So we moved there so Andy could be closer to work. At that point, there wasn't much development and the nearest grocery was six miles away. Once again, we found ourselves with many other young families and quickly made friends. I had transferred my membership in the Junior League, so I had volunteer work (made possible by a babysitting co-op) to keep me from going insane caring for two toddlers. When our youngest was only about 18 months old, I was slicing mushrooms at a friend's house and became instantly queasy. That's when I knew our son Peter was on the way, giving us three children in less than four years!
It was an exciting time in our lives, filled with possibility, and we soaked up the excitement of a growing city. Eight years later, Andy took an East Coast sales territory and our family moved to Berwyn, PA to spend the next sixteen years. More about that in another post!
P.S. Our daughter Hannah had a recent business trip to Denver, so I sent her our former addresses and she took photos of both homes.
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.