The Mountains of My Youth

I'm Joining The Slice of Life Tuesday Writing Challenge   you should too!

When I was young I lived in the heat and people filled valley of Phoenix, Arizona. I was born there and lived there until I was fifteen, when my parents decided to move to Oklahoma. I wanted to move to Oklahoma too. I yearned to be closer to family, and out of constant manhandle of the city. I loved the easiness of the country, and dreamed of a small farm filled with horses and animals.
I was a lucky young girl and such dreams did come true. Still today I live in the small town we moved to that spring day so many years before. I married here, and raised my amazing children here.

But there are times that I yearn for the mountains of my youth. The browns and grays of the desert dunes remind me of the dust storms on a hot summer evening. The brilliant purples and yellows of the desert blooms against their sides almost hurt your eyes in their stark contrast.

And then the “Rim” where many weekends were spent; higher in altitude- past the desert blooms, fragrant from aspen and pine, clear in breath and sight. It was my favorite. Past the crowds and cut out campsites, off the path to the secluded spots to camp and fish.  Bent and limber pine tree limbs became my horse, and cool streams my water fountain.  

The White Mountains higher still were for longer weekends and week-long vacations. So high snow could be found in June- a childhood dream come true.  I caught my first lake trout here trolling along in my brother’s rubber raft. I don’t know who was more excited.  Happy Jack the name still tickles as it rolls off my tongue. I think I could have been happy forever there. I probably still could.

PhotobucketI often miss the mountains. It makes me sad. And homesick. But my roots are in the plains. The mountains of my youth will forever be there for me to visit, in my memories, when I can.    


  1. This is a really nice slice. It begins to read like poetry, and I totally understand why you love the mountains.

    "Bent and limber pine tree limbs became my horse, and cool streams my water fountain."

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I agree. Your description here is breathtaking.

  3. Tammy, this is just beautiful, and Mandy took my favorite line already, of all the wonderful words. I love that habitat & have been there several times with family and with my students. It is truly magical, and you have shown us that in your words. It really could be quite a poem if you just rearranged the lines. Thank you! (Read my post about Byrd Baylor books yesterday. If you don't know them, you will love them.)

  4. This is not a poem. It is a picture book. It really is. The poetic language is just stunning. I can see the illustrations in my mind already. It is a Cynthia Rylant, Eve Bunting, Patricia MacLachlan sort of story. Incredible!

  5. ohhh Christy if only I could write like those authors Cynthia is my favorite. Linda I'm headed that way to find out about Byrd Baylor. Thank you all for such nice words.