I’m sitting in a plastic airport chair surrounded by the bustle of LAX, headed for Santa Fe. The man next to me is mumbling to himself about going to see “The Clan.” It’s 6:00 a.m. on Sunday and I’d rather be sound asleep in my bed, miles from this madness.
This is the second turn-around trip in as many weeks. It’s what you do when trying to buy your dream home out of state.
How many houses have we looked at online (hundreds); how many in person (dozens)? And always we’re comparing them to “the one that got away.” Quirky, but almost 3,000 square feet, in the forest, on nine acres, with a guesthouse, artist’s studio, workshop, and chicken coop. I could imagine playing in that kitchen, walking among those pines, feeding those chickens. We hesitated (I hesitated) and then the owner pulled it from the market – issues with permits and well rights, supposedly.
The house is called “Ranchito de los Suenos” (The Little Ranch of Dreams), but we call it “Smiling Moon” – the street name. I wanted to name the guesthouse “Casita Estrella” (Star Cottage). A perfect place to begin a new chapter – among the moon, stars, and dreams.
This morning I’m traveling to see a different house in the woods; this one with an unworkable kitchen, and even whackier floorplan, to see if we can somehow make it into a home – and another, almost five acres in the lowlands with the scrub and pinon typical of Santa Fe. The kitchen needs finishing, a blank canvas waiting for me to build my dream playground, but this abode lacks the saltillo tiles and viga ceilings with tongue and groove that scream “Santa Fe.”
This is a new chapter for me, a new slate, and the setting must be the perfect spot for a baker and a writer – as well as an artist and mountain biker, all wrapped up in a bit of Santa Fe.
Post Script: We fell in love with the second home in the lowlands and immediately made an offer followed by an impassioned “love letter” to the owner. We were out-bid by an all-cash offer. Who are these “all-cash” buyers who can so easily rob the rest of us of our dreams? Today, I am heartbroken.
No recipe today since I spent the entire Juneteenth weekend on planes, buses, and automobiles without an hour to myself in the kitchen. If I were to post a recipe, it would be a comforting soup made from my salty tears. 😉