Ok, I’ve been blogging on my other blogs for over a year now, and I seem to be having a problem knowing just where to start on The High Desert Chronicles! There is so much swimming around in my mind that I don’t even know what to put down first!
I’ve been living in the Land of Enchanted for a little more than a year now, and I really adore it. It is the first time in my life that I feel at home in a state. We’ve lived in many states, moved many times, but we are anchored here and want to set our roots in New Mexico.
New Mexico is such a gorgeous state, from the sweeping mesas to the high altitude mountain tops, it has everything a person could ever want. The temperature is gorgeous year round, even if it does get cold and snow here. I would describe it as “mild” weather in comparison to other states I have lived in. Living in the high desert brings another unexpected delight; it is very chilly in the evenings and warm during the day. I remember living in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan and feeling clammy and hot at night. Many summer nights in the mid-west and on the east coast require an air conditioner during the evening hours or it will be hot and muggy throughout the night. Not so in New Mexico. The high desert brings a cool breezy flow of air that begs for the windows to be opened at night. The fresh air is wonderful and waking up to the crisp dry air is amazing. The mornings here are cool and as the day progresses, it warms up beautifully. I really don’t know how else to describe the weather here! You have to see it to believe it. By mid-day in the winter where we are in the Albuquerque area, it is between 40-50 degrees. With the sun always shining. Snow is mild in the lower elevations and usually it melts by mid day. Spring is amazing as temperatures rise slightly and we start to see flowers and desert plants come to life. Fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants and trees grow well here, and as summer approaches, the weather just keeps getting better and better. Last year was our first summer in the Land of Enchantment, and I was surprised that we only needed the air conditioning on for about four hours a day. The summer mornings are cool and pleasant, and by mid-day the temperature reaches about 80-90 degrees. It warms up from about 12:00pm and reaches its peak (for me at least) of 80 degrees by around 3:00pm. It stays at that temperature until about 7:00pm when all the sudden it starts to drop in temperature as it gets closer to sunset. The summer evenings are cool and always comfortable. Last year in May we had a small heat wave for about a week where the temperatures were 95 degrees, but then it cooled back down. We got a pool thinking that we would be able to enjoy it during the hot summer…but in actuality, it didn’t really start to get warm enough to go into the pool (after that heat wave) until mid August. Because the air is so dry here, the warm summer temperatures tend to feel cooler than they actually are. So if its 80 degrees, it feels more like 70. In states where the climate is very humid, the opposite is true. 80 degrees on the east coast will feel more like 90 degrees and it feels like you are wearing a sweater in the heat.
Right now we are in search of land to settle down and homestead. As I move forward with this blog, my hope is to chronicle our journey in finding our perfect location. There are hundreds of factors that slightly complicate our search, but in the end, we hope to have those factors worked out. We’ve been searching online for property, and we have seen everything from “very very remote” to “up close and personal” in an urban setting. Taking our family’s needs into consideration we have narrowed our search for property to a few areas. It has been great viewing all the properties, because it allows us to problem solve. I put myself onto the land in my mind and think to myself “well…the land is about 45 minutes down a dirt road and up on an inactive volcano, is this the place for us? Its 2 1/2 hours from a major city and the main airport for the state! Hmm? Will this work for us?” LOL The more remote a piece of land is here, the less it will cost. So the next question is, “Is this land worth it?” We don’t want to be so far from a small or large town that it is almost impossible for others to want to come and visit, nor do we want to feel that it is too much trouble to go and visit others.
Another very pressing factor with our family is that our grand child can not be too far from a hospital. We need to be at most 40 minutes from a proper medical facility since she has very severe food allergies and also requires speech therapy, occupational therapy and a few other things that require assistance. Being so remote that a therapist can not come, or we have difficult time getting to a proper facility will work against us.
We also have four people in our family that work outside the home, and if we are too remote, it makes driving to work a real chore. We don’t have any romantic notions that we will be self sufficient and living on the land where that is our only means of income right away. We don’t envision that happening for at least 6-7 years…maybe more.
Here is a short video that always makes me cry when I watch it because it was so beautifully made. It is about New Mexico: