Never Too Far Away

Submitted by: Natalie S. (Rockwell) Pierce

Spanning the Generations

Brooktondale , NY

My mother started coming to the hot springs with her parents in the 1960's. She continuned the tradition throughout the 1980's, 90's and 2000's with my brothers and I. She was a single mom who saved her pennies and vacation time so we could spend the night at least two times a year.

My first memory of the springs was when I was a two, I can remember it being winter and the snowflakes felt like little needles on my nose.

When I was six, I remember my oldest brother pretending to be a shark in the water, me hanging on to the ledge scared, I slipped off, not able to touch the five foot bottom and I could have sworn I was drowning. An older woman in the pool helped me back up then taught me how to bicycle in the water to stay a float, then how to swim, be able to touch the bottom and come back up.

I moved to New York in 2003 and miss the springs dearly. Every time I visit I make a point to come to the hot springs. This past summer I brought my son who was six at the time. And just like me he learned to swim there. He was hanging on the ledge and said I'm going to swim to the other side. My hands were guiding him, however he wanted no part of that. After a few tense moments he was out of my grasp and into the waters swimming free from help. I started to cry, knowing that we both shared the same experience in the same place. After he swam across the width of the pool once he was ever so confident, having his uncle toss him in the air, landing in the water.

The waters of the hot springs are healing and the memories they help create are irreplaceable. I am so very lucky to be a Colorado native, though miles away in distance, my memories are never too far away.

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