Having left New England at the end of October in the midst of autumn's waning splendor, we realize that we have now entered the fourth season of our time on the road. Four seasons have delivered us through more than twenty states and over 10,000 miles, and we find ourselves spending the glorious summer (or longer) in the beautiful high desert of northern New Mexico.
Our little casita is still comfortable, and life in community offers what Mary sometimes refers to as a "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" experience. The kids play noisily and happily outside the window (with the occasional errant spray through our open windows from their water guns). Neighbors walk by and say hello as they pass. Other neighbors care for Tina while we take care of business or have fun, and we attend community meals, go for walks, bike around the neighborhood, and continue to get to know various aspects of Santa Fe, be they maddening or wonderful. For me, I am more or less adjusted to life off the road, although I still hunger for adventure, novelty and the excitement of travel.
And while we consider what to do with our rig (which we will most likely sell and replace with a different travel-ready vehicle), we are using a neighbor's van and bicycling whenever we can, avoiding purchasing a vehicle for as long as possible.
Meanwhile, I have begun working as a nurse, caring for an older gentleman injured by years of mining uranium. Injured mine workers are common here in the Southwest, and I am happy to provide care for someone who worked for decades underground without knowing that his health was being compromised in the interest of our collective national desire for cheap energy and dangerous weaponry.
Tomorrow is the day that Mary and I joyously celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary, and we will do so here with old friends who are visiting Sante Fe from Washington, DC. Next week, we'll celebrate our son's 27th birthday with him and his wife, enjoying the happy proximity that allows us to see them both so frequently.
And as we continue to test the waters for longer-term living here in New Mexico, we keep our purchases to a minimum and choose to accumulate little that may weigh us down if we do indeed decide to move on. Keeping it "light enough to travel" is indeed the motto (stolen from a song by The Be Good Tanyas), but even so, we make the most of our time and continue to dive head first into life here in "The City Different".