I hear that it’s about zero degrees at Trail’s End, and pipes are freezing all over town. Well, that’s better than twenty five below, which is what it was a couple of years ago, but I guess pipes don’t care how cold it is, as long as it’s below 32. When we first looked into Trail’s End as a place to live, we heard that the average winter temperature was in the twenties, and there were light dustings of snow occasionally. Well, the first year after buying the house was the cold one mentioned above, and last year we had two feet of snow just during the ten days we were there, so I think we were misled! When we are there in cold weather, we have to have the water running through the faucets in a dripping fashion all during the night. It drives me crazy, because I am so concerned about the waste of water, plus it’s darn noisy. Next time I’m taking ear plugs. However, we do catch as much water as we can in pans and buckets, and then we use it all day long for all our activities, from brushing teeth to washing dishes. The only time we run the water during the day is to flush the toilet or take a quick shower. That relieves my conscience a bit. I also think, that at this time, we are saving water during all the months we don’t live there, so that’s not too bad.
But water is the resource of the day, and right now there are battles going on over water rights that will affect our little town. The “bad guy” is an Italian, rumored to be tied into the mob, trying to get water rights to an underground source that will drain all the little tributaries that give water to the wells and to the town. His petition keeps getting turned down, but he keeps re-applying with minor changes. Many people are up in arms, but others look at the money that he offers to get rights to their resources and realize how much better it could make their lives (at the present moment). New Mexico is known for droughts, and I can see that this will be an ongoing issue. We bought a cistern to put under the drain pipes when we move there. We figure if we can catch the rain from the summer thunderstorms, we can use it for watering a garden, or water for the dogs, and who knows what else.
I minded the cold when I lived in Minnesota, a terrible bitter cold that went way below zero with wind chill, and caused me to permanently scrunch my neck into my coat. So I worried about how it would feel in New Mexico, my home of choice. After all, the summers are hot but not too hot, dry but with exciting rainstorms, and perfectly comfortable to my arthritic body. So I bought some great coats on sale, dug out the old silk long underwear, found some boots, and knitted scarves and hats. Everything worked wonderfully, because it turns out, if you dress appropriately, you can be comfortable, even in the cold! I’ve never been too cold there, and in fact, feel more comfortable than I do in California when it’s many degrees higher, but damp and cloudy. Even the house stays far warmer than the California house. Adobe, plus 2 little propane heaters, plus a great little wood stove, equals warmth that lasts, throughout the day and the night. I have central heating in California, which works well when it’s on, but the house seems to retain and sustain the cold when it’s not.
There is another reason however, that the cold does not bother me in New Mexico, like I thought it might. That is simply because I am knitting up a storm and making lots of sweaters and can’t wait to be able to wear them all winter long. I have pullovers and cardigans and vests of all colors and weights, and will have to practically build a new room to hold them all by the time we get fully moved there. Of course that is my absolute joy at the present moment, knitting and trying new patterns and styles, and eventually I will be giving away more than I am keeping, but for the time being I’m still learning and shy about giving things that are much less than perfect. And that will be the intro to my next post…