Do we want to grow or not?

After living here in rural southern Colorado for the past few years, I am often struck by my ambivalence towards attracting more people to this area. One thing is for sure, they are coming!

Each summer I see more people coming here to vacation and look for land or homes. The general trend is lots of Texans seeking a cooler place to summer, but I am now seeing more cars and RVs from other states, even as far away as New York!

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And who can blame them? With sunsets like these, and towering peaks just a few miles off of Interstate 25, with rolling hills full of wildflowers, and cute little towns like La Veta, this place is some kind of paradise for nature lovers.

It’s not just me either. I checked with a local realtor this morning. She said the past few years have been “fabulous.” Our local water district reports that after  five years with almost no requests for new water taps or hookups, they have received twelve requests in the past two months.

The 2008 recession hit this area very hard. Huerfano County still has one of the highest unemployment rates in our state, so it’s good to see things picking up and new businesses opening in Walsenburg and La Veta. My only fear is that too many people will move here and ruin our rural, relaxed atmosphere. Our saving grace seems to be how many choose to go elsewhere for winter.

I met a very interesting woman here a few months ago. She has lived in Aspen for the past forty years, and she cautioned us about telling too many people about this place. She hates to see what happened to Aspen, with a median home price of $1.5 million. I understand that kind of caution, because I first moved to Boulder in 1966. I saw so much change there over the decades, and most of it not good.

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I cannot see Walsenburg turning into Aspen any time soon, but I would hate to lose the natural beauty and quiet that makes this such a great place to call home.

Did you ever wonder what it feels like to move to a very culturally different place to live a very different kind of life? Here’s what that feels like….

Enjoying a Celebration of Never Moving Again!

moving Day June 2014Today marks two years since we left our perfectly nice home in suburbia for the adventure of a lifetime. It may not sound like such a big deal to move to small town USA to build a custom solar home in the southern Colorado foothills, but it was for us at age 60!

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We moved to Walsenburg on June 17th 2014, to sleep on the floor of this hundred-year-old rental, moving in the next day and staying there for 13 months…
IMGP3203…while our new home was forming far too SLOWLY  20 minutes west of town at 7,000 feet. Mike worked as the contractor and purchaser of all things when we found the builder was not taking competitive bids, but just hiring his local friends.

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Then on July 30th, 2015 we moved into our new home, HOME AT LAST!

For weeks after that move we just sat and stared out the window, mesmerized with the awesome views out our front windows, too exhausted to do anything else. We finally made it to our goal after many, many challenges and so many days of absolute stress.

Why did we do it? Our trip to Pueblo yesterday answers that question quickly. Being in cities always ruins my day. We need to go there occasionally to buy certain things, but the stress, the heat, the traffic, the bad air and bad manners of other drivers always convinces us we will never live there again!

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We have no patience with cities anymore, and why should we when we have a magnificent place where we can escape them?

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champagne_toastToday we will drink a toast to surviving all these many changes and challenges, and also to never moving again! Instead we will try to get our patio finished this summer, enjoy the great wildflower displays everywhere, the cool mountain breezes each evening, and offer encouragement to others who have found their new home in this small slice of heaven.

Want to learn more about our experience of moving from the city to the country to live a quiet, relaxed life? Check it out here!

How do we choose what to write about?

writing penThis morning I found myself wondering why we find some topics so worth writing about, while others would never make the cut? Why, when I’m sitting around thinking about nothing in particular, will I mark one idea in my mind as something to go back to when I’m writing, and all other thoughts aren’t worth mentioning?

How do we choose what to write about next?

The only answer I could come up with was personal taste. Sometimes I simply say to myself, “That’s an interesting thought.” or “I’ve never looked at things that way!”

Internal thoughts like these actually do determine whether readers come back, because they find my choice of topics or thought processes more interesting than others. But why? I can only surmise that my readers and I share certain values or views on life. Perhaps they find me curious, or in some way similar to them.

I decided a long time ago, when I first started writing a blog, that if a topic was interesting enough to me to cause me to research and write about it, than there certainly must be other readers who would find it interesting.

I started out writing about my own midlife changes. By writing on this topic I met others who had also discovered what a perfect time midlife was to take a long look at your life thus far, and then perhaps change a few major things, before it was too late. Do-overs before it’s all over!

With research I learned exactly how healthy midlife change can be. Who knew? Not me when I first started suffering through a divorce, job/career loss, etc. I thought this was just my own personal hell. Not so!

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Somewhere over the rainbow…

Midlife crisis is the gift that keeps on giving! I went from my sad and lonely, unemployed position to finding love, a new career I love, and moving to a fantastic solar home in the southern Colorado foothills.

How’s that for some serious do-overs?