Hitchin A Ride

October 14, 2004

It's said that the nickname for New Mexico used to be "The Sunshine State," and it's also said that there are possibly more art galleries in Santa Fe and Taos than in Paris.

It's also said that artists flock to the state for the light, and some of you may or may not know, that I am attracted to the light.

We had to rise long before dawn to head on out there just over a week ago, and I was lost in a book when Mrs pointed out the sunrise to me through the airplane window. It's kind of rare to watch the sun come up from below you; at least it’s rare in the Midwest’s flatlands.

I've not got much time to write, but I wanted to jot down a few words before time slips through my fingers.

My whole decision making process was started over the Labor day weekend when we headed up to my parent's house in northern Michigan. While we were there my mother said something that really caused me to sit up and take notice.

She pointed out that in a few short months she will be 75, and although her cancer is in remission, it could easily rear its ugly head at any moment.

I did some mental math and thought to myself, that's only 22 years from now for me.

Twenty two years.

Blink and they are gone.

I blinked once and I was married with children.

I blinked again and all the kids were grown and off to college, one of them is even married and graduating from law school.

Maybe I get one more blink?

So I've been thinking, why should we stay in a climate that confines us indoors for just about 6 months out of the year?

For the first two days I was not really sure that Albuquerque was the place for us, it just was not clicking for me.

Sure the balloon fest was something to behold, but I was looking around to try and decide if I would like to LIVE there, not just visit.

On Sunday we told the realtor that we had been hooked up with that we had done some looking the day before and we wanted to check out the east side of town, even if it was a little bit of a commute.

It reminded us of Colorado and I commented as we stood on the drive of one of the houses, "I pay good money to go on vacation in places like this. Why wouldn't we want to live here?"

It's the green side of the mountain, and yes they do get some snow, but the houses are surrounded by pines and the air is crystal clear.

Throw in 310 days (or 340 depending on who you read) of sunshine and that should about do it.

As we walked out of the last house we visited that day I asked the woman why she was selling such a great home.

"Well" she said, "My husband died suddenly in December. He was only 65 and this was our retirement home. At least we lived here for 5 years, but now it's time for me to move closer to my friends and family."

Yippee, 65, that's like 12 years away for me.

After we got home and had the written offer in hand, I turned to Mrs and said "We loved it there. Let's do this."

And so we will.

Meanwhile, just after we got back, and before we knew that it was truly a done deal, one of my clients called me from Florida. He asked me to come on down and help with the hogs, so I will.

I've got three days of Hawging to do and I'm off for the Rattlesnake run.

Throw in a quick trip across the state to meet with one very "famous lady" and that takes care of 5 days.

Blink and its over.

As soon as I get back, the packing begins in ernest and I'm hitching a ride on Mrs's train all the way out to the sunshine in the west.

Gallery of Albuquerque 2004 International Balloon Fest