30 May 2008

Why leave Santa Fe?

Kind Reader, you may be asking yourself, why are the Youngs moving to Floyd, Virginia? If you have known Russ for very long, you might rightly have assumed that he would live out his days here in the high desert.

The Answer is complex but probably begins when Russ was in diapers (no, it has nothing to do with potty training) and lived on one of his Grandfather's three farms. More to date, our time in Scotland re-shaped our perceptions and left us wishing for (literally) 'greener pastures.'

The Santa Fe that Russ so loved in the 1970s is as much a thing of the past as bell bottom jeans. It has become something else entirely and although not a bad place, it isn't THE place it was in 1978. The population has boomed, prices, especially real estate, have become fantasies (the median price of a Santa Fe home is over $350,000), and the Southwest has been in a long term drought. Gardening has gone from difficult to requiring divine intersession (yesterday, for instance, the wind was gusting to 25 mph, the humidity was 7%, and it was 75F- the leaves were burning on their edges because they could not replace the moisture as fast as the wind carried it off). Much of the state was under an "extreme fire alert" and the day before, the northeast quadrant of the state was under a tornado watch; a super-cell spawned near Moriarty lasted five hours as it drifted towards Texas and produced hail 2.75" in diameter. Yes, Dear Reader, the climate here has become far less hospitable in the last thirty years.

The little dirt road we live on hasn't changed much- the county's lack of maintenance insures that in dry weather the washboards that form will shake your fillings loose. The neighborhood has changed drastically, however, since Russ built this house in 1986. The newest house, at the end of the road, has a single man living in 4,800 square feet- and he is now building a major addition (the construction traffic is amazing). The house next door, which is the oldest house on the street having been built in 1968, has changed hands four or five times in a decade (I'm not exactly sure as the real estate signs sprouted like dandelions in a city park). The current owner is a contractor and as has been adding on to the 2,000 square foot original house for 18 months now (it is a joy to live next door) and it is now 4,000+ square feet and ugly as sin incarnate. The neighbors across the street are building a large, free-standing garage and that is now about 90 days into the project.

There may be a terrible downturn in the national housing market but you couldn't tell by looking at Camino Tetzcoco. What was once placid and rural has become a dumping ground for the terminally chic and their bottomless pockets.

No comments: