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Signing in for the long haul September 17, 2012

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

I decided to pull over along the I-76 roadside to document my arrival. Most of my journey to Colorado took place along I-80.

The old-timer on duty at the Welcome Center’s information desk was happy to greet me. “What brings you to Colorado?” he asked.

“I’m starting my new life as a Colorado resident,” I said proudly.

“Wonderful!” the volunteer replied, and then he directed my attention to the guest book at his side. “Let’s tell the governor.”

He said this without an ounce of sarcasm, so I couldn’t help but oblige. I doubted the governor of Colorado spent much time thumbing through the state’s various registries. And, as I signed in, I wondered, “What kind of new resident am I anyway?” After all, I didn’t even know ‘my’ governor’s name.

The visit to the Welcome Center became the final pit stop on my 3-day journey across much of America. I left Rochester around midday Friday, but not before one final walk-through of my beloved suburban house—my sanctuary for more than eight years. Standing in the sunroom, overlooking the backyard, I lamented over what I was leaving behind. In that moment, I allowed the emotion to overtake me.

But in boarding my car and beginning the trip westward, I found my thoughts transitioning forward, and my excitement mounting. New opportunities, new relationships and a whole new way of life await me. And along the way, the beauty of the American landscape helped to frame my reflections. My spirits soared!

I have since arrived at my destination. Although in my new apartment, I have few possessions close at hand. The rest of my things are likely a week or more behind me. Until then, sparse living conditions will certainly prove challenging.

Thankfully, I begin my employment with the University of Colorado Boulder today. I will direct a lot of energy getting accustomed to my job, getting acquainted with my colleagues and getting familiar with the campus culture. I’m excited to get underway.

I will always remember how my Colorado story got started at that Welcome Center. And after pulling away, as my car zoomed along I-76, it wasn’t long before the Rocky Mountains began taking shape in the distance. The intensity of what I can only describe as their ‘pull’ enthralled me.

I knew then I was arriving home.



1. marielang - September 17, 2012

Good luck on your first day, Paul! I miss saying hello to you in the mornings! And FYI, from Google: “John Wright Hickenlooper is an American politician and current Governor of Colorado. A Democrat, he was previously the Mayor of Denver, Colorado from 2003 to 2011.”

2. Scotty B. - September 17, 2012

I can’t wait for some pictures with more elevation. It looks so flat! Also, the governor is John Hickenlooper. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hickenlooper

3. Ziva McCabe on FB - September 17, 2012

So thrilled you have a JOB!!! Colorado is spectacular! Congratulations!

4. Chuck Lamb - September 18, 2012

Wander over to Residence Life/Housing and say hello to Deb Coffin!

5. Cathy - September 20, 2012

Yeah Paul! I am wondering about your cat (to be expected from a crazy cat lady wanna-be). What’s his story?

6. paulstella - September 20, 2012

Theo has remained behind as a house guest of my niece Lori. I’m hoping to bring him back with me in the next few months, after I get more settled. I miss him! Thanks for asking Cathy.

7. M. Sharon Baker - October 1, 2012

Great, I fly to Rochester, and then drive to Geneseo, as part of my relocation and think I’m going to reconnect with you, while at the same you are driving west passed my family as they drive from Seattle east.

Congrats on the New job Paul! You will love Colorado and the west.

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