That’s right, I’m not longer a Texan. Because I’m a native New Mexican, and because our old house was literally only a few hundred yards south the New Mexico state line, I only claimed to be technically a Texan anyway. It turns out my job, hobbies and social activities all remained in Southern NM the whole time I technically lived in Texas.
I’ve been quite here on oppo, but that’s because the last week has been busy selling one house, buying another and moving. On the selling side, we moved everything out on the 25th and closed on the sale on the 26th. I ended up renting three storage units in Las Cruces that housed our stuff (one 10x15 packed full of most of the stuff, a second 10x15 that held mostly the last stuff moved out consisting of a few large appliances and pieces of furniture and a 10x20 that housed the racecar and the stuff from the garage and backyard shed). The last night was spent camping on the floor, and closing on the sale felt darn good. I actually sent off the final utility payment in the form of the final gas bill on the place today, so I’m officially done with all ties and obligations to the place.
The next couple of days were spent in a Las Cruces hotel. Because the proceeds from the old place were forming a big chunk of the down payment on the new place, it was necessary to move out of it first and have a couple of days of technical homelessness. On the 29th we closed on the new place and got the keys that afternoon. Friday morning was spent shopping for a new (and additional) sofa. Friday afternoon was the big move with four friends and a large uhaul helping me move everything. I provided ample pizza and quality beer as lubrication and motivation.
I was going to do an oppo review on the 26foot uhaul truck, but taking pictures and writing it up just didn’t happen. It was an older GMC C5500 based truck with the 8.1l vortec and 131k on the clock. With credit to uhaul for their efforts at upping their maintenance game and lowering the age of their fleet, and considering that their older trucks are retired from one-way use and retrained for local rentals, I was surprised at the good condition of it. It had been maintained, and even the front end was in pretty good shape. Ten years ago, one got a much more worn and neglected truck from uhaul than you do today. While I did everything I could online beforehand, even their check-in/check out process has become quick and painless.
Fast forward to today, and we’re about 90% unpacked. Hanging stuff on the walls and unpacking the garage are all that is really left to do. Amazon delivered my new cable modem yesterday, so all systems are up and running. It turns out some of the things I missed most for a couple of weeks/months (stuff put away in storage for showing the old house) were my PC, the old but good Harmon-Kardon speakers and sub woofer for my PC and the my Yamaha audio receiver and surround sound set up for the living the room.
On Tuesday I got the racecar moved into it’s new home. The garage on this house is atleast five or six feet deeper than a standard garage around here, so it is long enough for the racecar to live in the garage on the trailer and still have enough room for another car inside. This was a purchasing factor in this particular house. This setup ought to keep my shiny, red trailer shiny and red a whole lot longer compared to living outside in the Southern NM desert. Since it gets to live indoors now, I took the opportunity to clean up the trailer before plucking the racecar from the last storage unit to my name. Conveniently, the step in the garage floor happens to mark exactly the spot the stop both for the trailer backed in and the truck when pulled in forward on the other side.
As for the house itself, we’re really happy with it overall. It is the right house in the right neighborhood. Speaking of the neighborhood, it is mostly retired folks with a few younger professional/para professional folks mixed in here and there. We were a lot pickier about the neighborhood this time around, and this suits my preferences for order and (lack of) noise just fine. In fact, one of my next-door neighbors in a retired history professor from the university whom I took a class from seven or eight years ago. He’s a super nice guy.
I also really dig being close enough to work that I can almost see my office from the living room (almost, there’s a football stadium in the way). Now my commute consists of four right turns, 1.7 miles and seven stop signs with no traffic lights. In the morning, I leave the house about five minutes before I need to be in the office.
I promised light fixture content, so here it is:
This thing is over the dining table. It’s not particularly interesting, and it isn’t original to the house (1989).
However, I’d probably bet my next paycheck that this fixture at the outside entry way is original to the house from 89. Cleaning it up and finding some LED bulbs for it are on my to do list this weekend. Part of me is curious how much it swings around in a windstorm, but the fact that it is still there suggests it probably doesn’t move around as much as my inner twelve year-old would like to think it does.
The house was pretty fancieh for Las Cruces in the late 80's/early 90's, so it has a few neat details in stained glass windows for the main bathroom, laundry room and front door insert. While I like that they’re there, I have some nitpicknig to do about them (and I work in an academic research library, where out motto might as well be “we leave no nit unpicked”).
In the main bathroom we’ve got the insert above. I dig the Native American style pottery scene, but I take minor issues with the depictions of the red and green chile ristras hanging at the top. While you can have chile ristras of any color that chile grows in, any New Mexican worth their chile knows that red is the only correct color for a ristra unless you’re making a Christmas display. To be honest, ristras are a lot more prevalent in Northern NM than they are in the south. Points for effort, but not for questionable taste in ristra selection.
Next up is this window in the laundry room off the kitchen. The idea is a cow/buffalo skull imposed over a Native American drum with Shiprock in the background. First, while Shiprock is an icon of New Mexico on the Navajo Nation, it’s really a northern/northwestern New Mexico thing. I would be slightly surprised if a significant number of folks in Southern New Mexico would recognize that it’s Shiprock. Second, the imagery of the skull on the drum is a Plains Indian thing, not a Navajo thing. They should’ve picked something Navajo to go with Shiprock.. Again, I guess they get some points for effort, but negative all the points for not thinking about the subject matter.
Finally, on the front door. The yucca plant and prickly pear cactus are great, but this insert features a damned saguaro cactus. I’ve got nothing against saguaro cactus, but they’re an Arizona thing. They’re NOT a New Mexico thing. They don’t actually grow in New Mexico, as we’re too high in elevation and cold for them. That is to say that they grow in the Sonoran desert, not the Chihuahuan desert.
I guess I’m glad the inserts are there in general, I just wish the person who selected/person who made them them had actually known a bit about New Mexico. These feel like they were done by someone who had read about the Southwest in a book back in middle school and certainly not someone who works in a cultural heritage institution.