A dusting of new snow reminds us here in rural New Mexico that we are indeed living on the high chaparral where weather can change from day to day and for this recently transplanted California beach lad, it is a wondrous world indeed.
Sure its colder than I what I am used to and you don’t go outside without your boots, leather insulated gloves and heavy, durable jacket, what I am now in love with here is a new world of beautiful landscapes and many new experiences. I have recently explored alone some amazing spiritually charged Indian ruins, pristine hidden waterfalls, picturesque valleys filled with apple and plum trees along with the majesty of our snow covered mountain forests.
There is a quality of life here that simply must be measured differently than my life long love for Santa Barbara and the life of a coastal community visited by tourists from all over the world. Life in rural America has taken hold on my spirit which is now filled with learning and personal growth that perpetuates a new, unique awareness of life.
A big part of living on New Mexico cattle ranch at the 7,000+ foot elevation is planning any of your exterior home improvements or new construction when the weather is in full cooperation.
Just a few days ago was such a day in early February as it was clear, sunny and warm with only a cool, calm breeze which is very rare here in the midst of winter. You would think that most ranchers would take advantage of wind generated energy, but they have told me that it’s simply not cost-effective yet.
Life here is tied firmly to the ways things have always been done with implementation of solar and wind energy at the individual ranch owner level some years in the future.
If you build your home here from anything but stone, steel or large timbers the harsh conditions will limit the lifespan of your dwelling severely. The high desert winds that can reach sixty-five to seventy-five miles an hour with winter temperatures dipping into the single digits have a huge effect on whether your roof stays in tact.
The high cost of building materials has taken a big toll on the construction industry everywhere though skilled labor is relatively inexpensive with many out if work skilled laborers looking for jobs.
Being from California where there the approval process to build anything that can take years, an amazing lack of regulation and required supervision is very apparent here. Build it strong and secure and no one has an issue with your plans to improve your property.
It’s good to have such an expert crew and with mother nature’s cooperation working for us from time to time we make significant progress on two projects in the middle of winter. Definite progress yet the new snow will delay things a bit as we wait for warmer days to continue the build of a beautiful new patio covering to be finished inside with recycled old barn wood of aged oak.
My inspired to learn spirit is alive and well as I introduce myself and my new love of a rural life to the residents of the Moutainair community as I continue my passionate pursuit of forty acres in the foothills of amazingly affordable ranch land in the foothills of the Monzano Mountains just 13 miles from town.
Most recently I have been invited to join a group of horse lovers who have offered me the opportunity to ride one of their Andalusian horses in the nearby mountain trails.
To say that I am excited to associate closely with these wonderful new friends and their elegant horses, promoting my love of learning horsemanship and to potentially connect with the western rodeo life here is certainly an understatement.
I am living a dream and though I miss my children dearly who are doing fabulously well in their own lives back in California, my new life here is truly amazing, my smiles are huge and my heart is filled with wonder. My connection to nature and a simpler lifestyle has me captivated and enthralled.
My top ten wish list items now include a Stihl Farm Boss chainsaw, a used 4X4 pickup, a comfortable western saddle and a pair of Australian Cattle Dogs is far different from my life back in Newport Beach.
I have quickly fallen in love with life here and the list of potential new adventures is long and amazing. Stay warm my friends!