One Month Walks and Whistles

We are one month into our new adventure in El Paso, Texas. It feels like we’ve been here for a lot longer, mainly because we both started work a week in and have been working full time ever since. Hubs has already been out of town for work once, with a few upcoming trips already planned. We’ve settled into a weekday routine and have done a pretty good job of planning our weekend like normal people.

For a while back in The Middle of Nowhere, we both had wildly different schedules from the norm, so if we did anything for fun it was any night of the week. It’s kind of weird to be back on a schedule that involves waking up at the SAME TIME every day and going to bed early on week nights.

One interesting discovery is that the small dog can whistle. At first it was a whine. But, as each day went by with us waking up at pretty much the exact same time and me taking them out for a good long walk, it developed into a full blown whistle. Now, if I hit the snooze button EVEN ONCE I can hear the whistle wafting up from downstairs, on the other side of the house. It’s obscene.

She really likes those walks.

one month walks | sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com one month walks | sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com one month walks | sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com one month walks | sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com

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New Lights, Big City

We have successfully made the move from the middle of nowhere to the “big city” of El Paso, Texas.  

 

There’s a trail into the foothills (of the mountain range that splits the city) RIGHT around the corner from our house. The dogs and I have been out walking almost every day. We meet the sun in the morning or watch it set at night. Some desert lizards have had a bad time of it but otherwise it’s kind of like hiking near the edge of heaven. 

  
We have HUNDREDS of restaurants within 15 minutes. Eating dinner at home is a real challenge! After living years with Applebee’s as our ONLY choice for dinner, we are overcome with food-happiness. 

  
Our house is one of those things I’m scared to love too hard. It’s that good. Above is a picture of an outlet IN THE BATHROOM. First, we have three bathrooms. Second, they all have outlets. I can dry my hair right there! LAP. OF. LUXURY. 

In all seriousness this house is nicer than we expected. This is the kind of house we expected to be in as we approached our 50s. It’s surreal every time I drive up and realize the house is ours. 

 
New job is just so good. I’m the creative one, the square peg, the “outside the box” person, which delights me to no end. And I get to do that in an industry that I LOVE, that makes so much sense to me, and that I appreciate on an intellectual level. It’s outstanding. I’m only three days in and I am sure of the fact that it’s outstanding. 

Overall, things are awesomely excellent at the moment. Just wanted to share. 

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*Posted from my phone. 

Changes

So, we’ve had some changes here in our little bubble. Hubs’ work is transferring him to veryWest Texas (El Paso). Strange to live in a part of the world where moving 8 hours away keeps us in the same state! The turnaround time is pretty short so we have kept busy packing, cleaning, showing the house, and (for me) wrapping up local freelance projects.

El Paso | sundriedtomatoe.WordPress.com

Both of us are excited to soon be living in a city, rather than two hours outside of a city. We both grew up in cities, met in a city, spent our first few years together in the suburbs of a big city. Since then, we have been living in a bit of a rural oasis – big enough for us to get by (we do have a movie theater!) but definitely not what we are most comfortable with. Social interactions are distinctly different in a city suburb vs. a rural town. So are work opportunities…

And can I just say I am psyched about the opportunity for a career reset. While the last year has done wonders for my peace of mind and mental health, I miss a regular schedule, I miss someone else dealing with billing, I miss long-term goals and organizational movement. I miss the camaraderie that comes from daily work with other people. I miss a regular paycheck.

Man, do I miss a regular paycheck.

In other things to look forward to, we get a one-two punch on the foster/adopt front. El Paso is in a different CPS (Child Protective Services) region than San Antonio, so we might have better luck with the central office red tape. That’s not a sure thing, but it is something to look forward to. AND we will be LIVING within a few minutes of the central office, and all its centralized training and processing. This means we won’t encounter the weird limbo netherworld of rural foster care that we struggled with here. I’m excited about that.

And then, again, if all that doesn’t work I will be gainfully employed somewhere and we will be in a better financial position to pursue private adoption if we decide to go that route. So that’s another good thing.

All that being said, there’s some ambivalence about this move. Three years ago I was in a “get me out of here!” mindset and would not have looked back. That had more to do with my emotional and mental state than anything else.

I’m in a different place now, brain-wise, and it shows in how I’ve settled into this life we’ve built for ourselves. Life is quieter in some ways, but I’ve made more connections in the last 2.5-3 years than I did in the previous 10. Things just aren’t as frantic or as painful.

I guess I’m not trying to run away as much.

Unlike every other move in my life (there have been many) I feel like I’m leaving things behind, not just going somewhere new. There are people I will miss, and places and parts of the community that I will regret not having in a city environment. Three years ago I would NEVER have said that. Now I’m trying to figure out how to coerce people to move out there with us…

Just when that starts to get to me, however, I remember that now we will be within only a few hours of this:

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta | sundriedtomatoe.WordPress.com
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

And an easy day’s drive to this:

Breckenridge, Colorado | sundriedtomatoe.WordPress.com
Breckenridge, Colorado

And a weekend visit to my new niece who also happens to live here:

Las Vegas, Nevada | sundriedtomatoe.WordPress.com
Las Vegas, Nevada (from lasvegas.com)

And I can dip my feet in here on occasion:

Pacific Ocean, California coastline | sundriedtomatoe.WordPress.com
Pacific Ocean, California coastline (from kpbs.org)

I think we’re gonna’ be okay.