Family History Comes Full Circle



Deep in the silence of a Colorado foothills snow storm, I see how the generations of my family are now coming full circle. Soon after Mike and I moved down here, in the foothills halfway between Walsenburg and La Veta Colorado, my father told me his father’s retirement dream was to move to the tiny town of La Veta to set up his own barber shop.


This is a man who had always cut hair in Turner, Kansas, outside of Kansas City, Kansas. Grandpa Carter occasionally drove out to Alamosa in the San Luis Valley to visit relatives. Along the way he found La Veta and loved it. Unfortunately my grandpa died just weeks after his retirement from the railroad in 1968.

I guess it is now safe to say my husband Mike had to do some fast talking to convince me to move down here from busy, expensive Fort Collins, Colorado in 2014. He loved the area, especially for the reasonably-priced lots with their own water district, pinon-juniper woodlands and great solar exposure. I love it now too.

john-carter-2003-with-guitarThis year my estranged brother John, who lives his own version of a Thoreau-like existence outside of Sedona, Arizona, decided to come up to visit us a few times after no word from him in years. In fact, we weren’t even sure he was still alive a few years back. He lives on the land, and a kind forest ranger finally convinced him to contact us. We have all now renewed our relationships with John.

John has not attended our family Christmases in decades, but he is making a point of it this year. My parents are in their eighties and now live in Denver. We will be taking him up there soon.


I feel somehow certain that John would not have come up to visit us if we were still in Fort Collins. He loves the natural setting of our new home. He sits out on the ‘veranda’ every chance he gets, watches nature and plays his guitar, enjoying the lovely silence.

What are the chances that we would all wind up in this lovely place, so close to the town where my Grandpa Carter wanted to wind up? So many synchronicities or “meaningful coincidences” can only be seen in retrospect.

6 thoughts on “Family History Comes Full Circle

  1. Hi Laura Lee….what a “full circle” kind of story. I tend to believe that the best way to rightsize our lives at any age (but especially retirement) is to find that place that feels right on so many levels. So glad you did and thank you for sharing the ongoing adventure of that! That’s one reason why I’ve added you to my 2016 Best Retirement Blogs on my website this week!


  2. I believe in meaningful coincidences and am pretty sure you have been experiencing them with your move and the evolution of family ties. Have a wonderful holiday! See you next year, I suspect. 🙂


  3. Over 35 years ago, my spouse and I decided to try the rural life out in Northwest Arkansas (I grew up in New York City and my husband in a suburb). Our families were aghast – all except my father. Years later I found out that, for part of his World War II military service, before he was sent overseas, he was stationed in Arkansas. I never would have guessed – he had never talked about it. I was following in his footsteps without even knowing it. Loved this story.


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