Thursday, July 15, 2010

One journey ends...and another begins

Well folks, it is now official. We will be moving out of the rv and into a rental house as of August 1st. We had already recently decided that we want to stay here and try to make some money. Riki has a fantastic opportunity to hang his photography in a co op gallery and we've heard nothing but satisfaction from others who sell in the galleries. Even in the winter they do pretty well with the ski tourists.

So why move out of the rv? Well..we can't stay in it through the winter here because it would be too harsh. We could have waited until the winter to actually move into a house but I decided that if an opportunity presented itself sooner that we would go with that. Plus, with the cost of gas and camping the monthly rent of $550 isn't much more than we would be already paying. This goes with my whole "seeing what the universe brings our way" kind of thing. We've met a lot of people and made some contacts. Some have panned out, some haven't but this one seemed to be drawing us in.

We couldn't ask for a more unique area to live in. It is on a hill in the flatland/mesa surrounded by mountain views. It is a little passive solar two story cabin guesthouse next to an earthship with lots of open land around it. In our area there are lots of interesting houses from yurts to domes to unusual earthship creations. This is the sort of place we only dreamed of in Florida. The landlord didn't even ask us to fill out an application and she was okay with having a garden and chickens if we wanted. This is soooo different from where I come from. I'm still in culture shock..but this place is constantly like culture shock for us.

Why do we like it here in Taos so much? You know, I used to say that I wanted to live someplace in the country or mountains where I wasn't too far from town and I could take the kids to the library, park, or go out to eat without sacrificing a rural life. People laughed at me. Family said it was impossible, that I was living in fairytale land. Well, I'm here to tell you all that places like this do exist and this is one of them. Our new house will be about  15-20 minutes from town...and I emphasize town, not city. I have always been torn between city and country because there ARE things in the city that I enjoy like coffee shops, kitschy restaurants, health food stores, and activities for kids. The great thing about Taos is that it has all of those things without being a "city". Cities have lots of traffic, big box stores, pollution, and a fast paced lifestyle. Taos has all of the perks I enjoy in a city without it actually being a city, and without being pretentious about it I might add.

There are things about this place I still can't get over. Regular diners feature organic beef. They have nurseries here that are specifically for organic gardening. There is no Home Depot, no Lowe's, no Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, Best Buy, and the list goes on. There is one Walmart and an adobe McDonald's, haha. Otherwise you have all local businesses.

They have an awesome shangri la type of playspace here called Twirl. They have a website. It is hard to explain because I had never seen anything like it. It is a gated play area with everything from enclosed padded jungle gyms to a "pond" with waterfall the kids can splash in, a treehouse, along with table and chairs for parents to sit back and relax. Oh, and it's donation only! Wait, there's more though. There is an attached toystore with the best quality open ended imaginative toys and they have classes in the moroccan style building. Willow has been taking ballet (I say this very loosely because it is more of a creative dance class) for only $6 a class. Ellery was able to take an African drumming class the other day from a nice man from Mexico. They have hoop dancing classes...the list goes on...and all for very reasonable prices.

Oh, and did I mention that I started taking yoga for $6 a class as well? This isn't your economy ymca yoga either, but a beautiful large studio space with bamboo floors, natural lighting, and hindu statues. This is just the tip of the iceberg. This weekend we are going to a free family friendly music festival in the park.

So that dream place everybody said doesn't exist does...and I'm sure there are others like it although it is hard to find them without going on the road like we did.

I anticipate many reflective posts to come. Despite how much I like it here I still wonder if we are making the right decision instead of moving along. The thing is that we have limited resources at this point so we have the choice of either draining them on the road or trying to settle somewhere and find work. It is a hard choice. If the winter makes us so miserable we can't stand it our lease is up in January and I keep joking that I will be ready to go down to Baja if I hate it that much...

but like I was just telling my mom in an email. There are always tradeoffs. Will the winter suck? Yes, I'm sure it will but sometimes wonderful places mean that you have to put up with a crappy weather. In Florida the weather may be beautiful but there is nothing there for us. It is not the land of opportunity for our family in many ways. So at this point I'm willing to suffer some harsh weather to integrate our family into a place that better mirrors our values...and this is it for now.

The longer we sit still the kids fight over their personal spaces which are obviously limited in the rv. Ellery is a great age for this kind of lifestyle but I must say that it has been a challenge with Willow at the age of three. I will post more about that later. With the school year approaching I do look forward to a space where I can do some planning, Ellery can do some building (maybe a chicken coop), gardening, and we can better integrate those type of experiences into this year's curriculum.

That doesn't mean I don't feel a sadness though. I do. It doesn't have to be over. We will park the rv and wait and see. Wow. What an experience though. I can't wait to post about how much this has influenced my view of how people measure success, accumulate things, and place so much value/fear on monetary wealth. We are absolutely living a life outside of the mainstream, in a bubble if you will..and I am 100% happy with that.


Mouse said...

Congratulations on finding such a lovely place to live! I can't wait to see photos of the area & where you will be living.. it sounds amazing!
I absolutely agree with you about the way the towns are in NM.. we used to live in Las Cruces about 10 years ago and it was a 15 minute drive into town where you could find nearly everything you'd want and take it back to your secluded home in the desert. When I was doing craft shows I did a women's solstice festival in the mountains near Santa Fe and I loved the people there! They were so welcoming & open!!

Little House On Wheels said...

Thanks Mouse! I appreciate you reading and saying hello every now and then...

plus I forgot one of the best reasons for being in a colder climate...oh, all the things I can now knit, lol!!

Diane said...

Sounds like a wonderful community to settle down in. Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures in a new town.

The Valentine's said...

Amy, a journey's a journey wherever it leads! So excited for you to have found somewhere to settle, if only for a little while....or maybe longer! We loved NM - Alamagordo was bigger but so many people mentioned that they moved to the mountains in the summer, and the skiing was appealing to us, sounds as though you've found a great little location. All the kiddie oriented things sound wonderful too.

So exciting, enjoy!


PS...all those wonderful National Parks in Utah, CA, OR and the northern states aren't going anywhere, you can enjoy them at a slower pace ;)

Show Us The World said...

It sounds like a really cool place with incredible things to participate in. Can't wait to see/hear more about it as you settle in.

Anonymous said...

I have passed through Taos and it does look like a great place to live. Congratulations! Maybe that is why you were having RV problems, the universe wanted you to stay there and explore. Best of luck to you and your family. Looking forward to reading about your life there.


Jenna Gayle said...

Congratulations!! I'm also excited to see pictures and happenings there! Good luck! :)