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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Coming Home at Last

We made it to New Mexico! After two days of driving 10 to 11 hours a day, and with multiple stops so the dogs could stretch their legs and get some water, we arrived in Rio Rancho a week ago. Our household goods were delivered the next day.

The area was experiencing a heat wave, which limited our outdoor time. But my daughter and I, and our dogs, love it here already. As I type this, I am looking out my office window at a blue sky and gorgeous mountain range (the Sandias). A couple of times, a road runner (the state bird) crossed the back yard. We are visited regularly by quail and rabbits, and one morning, I saw deer tracks in the dirt of a nearby road.

Our house is so large and so beautiful I can't believe it is mine. It is nearly twice the size of our house in California, which is now on the market. The architectural features of the new house are amazing: a kiva fireplace, vigas, Pueblo style, an enclosed front courtyard, Mexican tile flooring, lots of light, fabulous views that I can enjoy even when in the huge shower, and lots of quiet. It is so very different from our life in California.

I can't believe I am actually living here, and I am amazed when I think back about how I found this house. I sometimes looked at houses in New Mexico on the Internet, and one day I found this house. It grabbed me immediately. It had everything I was looking for, from the 1/2-acre lot to the Southwest interior details and the views. I contacted a Realtor in Albuquerque with whom I had previously signed up for monthly listings of homes for sale. I sent an e-mail, asking whether he could show me that house. After checking his availability against mine, I chickened out and decided this was just too much of an impulsive thing for me to do. A few days later, I again contacted the agent and set up a date to fly to Albuquerque. I got the first flight of the day, at 6:30 a.m., he picked me up at the airport, and off we went. I looked at five houses, then revisited two of them a second time. I got home around 10:30 that night.

Although I really liked the house, I was concerned that I was acting too impulsively, which definitely is not my nature. After discussing this with a friend, I decided to make a gigantic leap of faith and make an offer on the house a few days later. It was just too good to pass by. I contacted my agent in Albuquerque and told him I wanted to make an offer. So the wheels were set in motion.

The sellers made a modest counteroffer, which I accepted, and then I stipulated my requirements for the purchase. There were no show-stoppers, the inspections were completed and minor repair work done, and the deal was closed. There was just one problem: I now owned two houses, and I was responsible for two mortgages and two insurance and property tax payments.

Over the next few months, several things auspiciously happened to move my retirement and relocation forward, and everything fell into place. Soon I was making arrangements with movers and getting my California house ready to go on the market. It truly seemed that although making a decision based on emotion is totally out of character for me, this move was meant to be.

God, the fates, karma, whatever the reason, I believe I am meant to be here in this beautiful place. My daughter and my dogs love it here, too, although for quite different reasons. I sometimes walk into the back yard and gaze at the mountains, still finding it hard to believe that I live in this wonderful place.

Finally, I feel that I am home.