The Most Colorado Thing That Happened Today

We live in an area that is currently being developed southwest of Denver. It’s a part of town that up until now has been characterized by small, family-owned ranches. Little by little, though, the landowners here have been cashing out as Denver has expanded and housing costs have skyrocketed. We moved out to this new development from Denver last year because we wanted to have a little more open space and a little less traffic congestion and street noise around us. We were thrilled to buy a house that backs to a natural ravine, which is characterized as open space as we have no one living directly behind us. In the past year, we have seen deer and coyotes in this open space. One day there was even a moose spotted further up the ravine. Today, though, we were fortunate enough to witness something different.

The people who own the development put on a cattle drive through our neighborhood. Since Denver was originally a “cow town,” it was fitting today to get to experience a little of that history. The cattle were driven up the open space behind our house to a pasture behind the neighborhood where they will graze for the winter. The beauty of this is that we were literally able to stand in our yard and on our deck to see this spectacle. While many of our fellow neighbors who turned out for the event had to find a spot along a street from which to watch, our yard was within feet of the ranchers on horseback who were herding the cattle up the ravine. Even our three-month-old corgi puppy enjoyed the experience, barking at the cattle he felt compelled by nature to herd as they jogged on by.

It’s a privilege to live in Colorado every single day, even if driving here can be a nightmare. On this particular Sunday, though, it was epic that there was no Broncos game so the only traffic we had to deal with was the four-legged kind moving briefly behind our home on the way to better pastures.

Get Off My Lawn

I pay attention to dreams. I believe that, at least in part, your dreams are meant to help you work through issues you are struggling with in your waking life. I do remember most of my dreams when I wake, if only for a little while. Sometimes, though, they are odd enough and vivid enough that I find myself telling someone about them. Those dreams often come on nights when I take a melatonin or Benadryl before heading to bed.

Last night’s dream started out normal enough. Steve and I were returning home after a trip. It wasn’t the home we live in now, but it was supposed to be. This house was an older, two-story Craftsman-style home, that had been renovated inside but still retained its period charm. At any rate, we recognized it as home and were glad to be there. I carried some of my bags upstairs and grabbed the knob on the bedroom door. It turned, but as I pushed the door to open it, I felt resistance. Someone was on the other side blocking me from going in. I put the bags down and pushed again. It gave enough for me to see that there were people inside the room. Rather than being frightened by this, I was puzzled. I pushed again, and the door opened enough that I was able to recognize one of the individuals as a former owner. I also noticed that none of our belongings were in the room. The room had been returned to the way it looked when we toured it, complete with their bed, dressers, lamps, and knick knacks. What the hell?

“What are you doing in our bedroom?” I asked, more annoyed than concerned.

“We decided we want our house back,” came their reply. “You can’t live here anymore.”

“Ummm….we own this house now,” I said firmly. “You need to get out or I will call the police.”

“We never wanted to leave this house,” they said. “You tricked us into selling it and now we are taking it back.”

At this point, it occurred to me that I needed to get Steve. I walked down the stairs and told him to come up. I turned the handle again, and this time they let us both in. We had a back-and-forth conversation that went much like the previous one, but at least now Steve was up to speed. I was getting quite angry at them for being in our house. I mean, we’d been paying the bills and the taxes and who the hell were they to just say we couldn’t be here anymore? This was our damn house. I escalated to threats.

“You need to get out or I am going to start moving you out myself. It would be a shame if I dropped this,” I said, picking up a Lladro figurine of a woman in fancy dress.

“Go ahead and drop it,” the previous owner said. “We’ll just add it to the lawsuit we’re filing against you.”

“You can’t sue us. We own the house. You sold it to us. The title is in our name, and your signatures are on file.”

He said, “We never wanted to sell. You tricked us.”

“That is not how it happened. We told you we liked your house and asked if you would sell. We told you to name your price. You did, and we paid it and the sale went through.”

“We want it back. We’re not leaving.”

At this point, Steve and I looked at each other and then walked downstairs, completely perplexed about what to do with the squatters in our bedroom. I suggested we call our realtor, Andy, as back up. We did and went outside to wait for him.

When he got out of his car, he was on the phone. Realtors are always on their phones. He ended his call, and we told him what was going on.

“So, what do we do now?” I inquired.

“I have no idea,” he said, sounding as confused as we felt. “I’ve never had something like this happen before.”

I told him he had better figure it out. What the hell do you do when someone who used to own your space has moved back in without violence? It was a conundrum, but I had no doubt they did not belong there and must go.

About that time, I woke up. I told Steve about my crazy dream, not really thinking about what it meant. A couple hours later, though, it came to me. Yesterday, I was talking to Steve about how I am feeling more powerful and capable of standing up for myself and making my choices from a place of what I want, rather than what is convenient for or desired by someone else. This dream is a perfect representation of that. I wasn’t afraid for my safety when I found them in my house because I felt legitimate claim to my space. I didn’t want them there and I knew they had no right to be there, so I had no plans of letting them take from me what I knew was rightfully mine. I merely had to determine the proper way to oust them. That is progress for me. In my past, I’ve too often let others run roughshod over my wishes, but I’ve been working to stake my own claim in my life and realize that my personal choices and mental well being matter more than keeping the peace with others. It’s a good place to be. I’m on the right path at long last.

Now I just need to get those people out of my house and then off my damn lawn.