I remember Sunday afternoons running through the trees. The sound of fall leaves being crushed under my tennis shoes as I reached the big flat rock I knew so well. It was part of the mountain, but so barren and grand it looked out of place. I felt the sting of the brisk air as I ran up the side, slowing only to drop to my hands and knees as the slant of the rock reached towards the heavens. With the grand rock behind me, and my goal reached, I stood on the edge looking down. Not knowing how blessed I was to see the beauty of that untouched valley below me. The sun setting and my stomach growling, I turned back to look towards the house. Closing my eyes I could see the chili simmering as the game of trivial pursuit was being put away. I raced the sun running back down the mountain, Again, slowing on the huge rock as I looked like a crab climbing down. Reaching the house, I opened the mud-room door, the smell coming from the kitchen making my mouth water as I kicked off my shoes. The chili warm and spicy, mellowed by the honey dripping corn bread filled my rumbling stomach.. As I half listened to the stories being told, I let the voices turn into a calming white noise.. I was content, I was safe. Years have passed. The calm voices are long gone and the beauty has been touched by greed. But, I will always be blessed to have known, and now be able to, cherish the memories of our Valley Verde Sundays.