Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Check-In at Solstice

A belated Happy Father's Day and Happy Solstice to everyone as the summer officially begins (here in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway).

On Father's Day, Mary kindly took me on an excursion to Cochiti Lake, where we swam in the lovely waters and watched families at play and rest. When the late afternoon winds whipped up a dust storm, we bid a hasty retreat from the beach and somewhat wistfully drove through the campground where we happily camped in our rig this past March. Cochiti Dam is a very large structure whose construction inundated hundred of acres of tribal lands, however the tribes have since negotiated a legal settlement for irrigation rights from the waters of the Rio Grande, and the nearby pueblos still farm the land surrounding the lake. (Click here to read my original post from our first visit to the pueblo.)

The high desert is an interesting place to be in summer, and we do sometimes feel homesick for the lushness and moisture of New England. We remember well those summers of biking to the local swimming hole and Amherst's "Puffer's Pond" for a luxurious swim, but we also remember the wretched humidity and hordes of mosquitos that frequently ate us alive. For now, we bicycle to a local municipal pool that's somewhat slimy with sunscreen and warmed from the sun (and the urine of excited children), and we'll frequent Cochiti Lake and a few hot springs that are all generally within an hour's drive.

Meanwhile, I have managed to secure two nursing jobs here in the Santa Fe area, and I will be working for two agencies that both provide care to various homebound populations, including injured uranium mine workers. (If you'd like to read about my experience of being fingerprinted innumerable times since coming to New Mexico, you can read a recent blog post on my personal blog, Digital Doorway.)

As far as our lives here at The Commons on the Alameda cohousing community, we are adapting to our new lives, attending community meals most Mondays and Thursdays, pitching in where we're needed, and getting to know our neighbors and fellow community members. We've taken a shine to several of the children here at The Commons, and we enjoy sitting on our diminutive patio and making small talk with passersby. Here's a photo of Mary and Tina enjoying dinner in the placita (small plaza) nearby our casita.....

Tina is slowly adjusting to life off the road, and she even has several canine friends with whom she enjoys brief playful interactions before she gets tuckered out. She's had a few play dates while we've been out on the town, and several young girls are always willing to sit with her when we're in need. Tina is making progress and can now spend up to three hours at a stretch alone at home, but she still freaks out and shows signs of separation anxiety that continues to discourage us. Hopefully, this will improve with time.

Mary hasn't written on the blog recently because she has been busy completing a training to become a Certified Professional Coach specializing in holistic life coaching. She is now creating a website (stay tuned!) and is offering a free introductory session to anyone who might be interested in finding out what coaching is all about, so feel free to email her at rives59@gmail.com!

We are still exploring the environs of Santa Fe thanks to our kind son who has loaned us his car for a month (a car that we originally gifted to him last year!), and we hope to continue to explore by borrowing a car from a community member who is not currently able to drive. We are hesitant to purchase a vehicle just yet, so being able to borrow a car is a blessing indeed, and we are very grateful for the ease of transportation that this enables us.

In terms of our rig, it is currently undergoing some basic maintenance and repairs, and will most likely be going up for sale some time later this summer. We fully recognize that our journey is indeed not over, but we are feeling pretty clear that a new rig is in our future, and this one will have to pass to other hands sooner than later. The other day, we stopped by the mechanic's place to pick up a few things from the rig, and I had a good cry as I realized that this phase of the journey with the white beast is over. It's a bittersweet moment, and one that is taking some time to fully digest.

This blog is an important venue for us to continue to feel connected with our journey in search of a new home and intentional community, and whereas it may not be as robust as in previous months, we will certainly be posting at least two or three times per week to keep you all abreast of how we're doing.

We wish everyone a happy and healthy summer, and send our love from the dry high desert of northern New Mexico. 

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