Why I Don’t Want to Move to Las Cruces

In the previous post, there was some mention of reasons to move, and not move, to Las Cruces.  Today would be a perfect example of why one might not move here.   It’s sunny, about 80 degrees F, no sign of moisture in the area.  A cold front will be coming in, lowering those temps to (don’t all gasp at once now) the low to mid-60s.  Hey, it’s March.  Gotta expect some of that cold weather to get the flowers ready to bloom in spring, right???

But , back to today……It counts as one of the 350 days of sunshine because it’s clear skies, as in not overcast with clouds.  But that doesn’t mean you can see the sky.  Preceding the cold snap is a wind event. Wind speeds should average around 28mph today into this evening.  Gusts should tip the old anemometer at around 60mph.  That’s high gale wind speed.

This is an agricultural area.  It’s after harvest but not yet time to fully plant the fields.  Ground lies somewhat plowed, dry from the lack of rain (this is the desert still)—perfect conditions for dust storms.  And that’s what we are in the midst of.  The sky looks like the sky over a Los Angeles freeway in the middle of the evening rush hour—-a sickening shade of brown.  None of the mountains are visible, all obscured by blowing dirt.  Air quality is rated “Extreme Unhealthy.”  As we drove to our lecture series this morning we saw people “walking” their dogs—as in, the humans walked with the chihuahua in their arms so the little beast wouldn’t blow away………..

So repeat again, “I’m NOT moving to Las Cruces….[repeat 3X or until it sinks in]” and enjoy your winter weather, even though most areas haven’t had that season yet.  We’ll think of you next time we watch the Weather Channel and you are getting hammered while we are in shirtsleeves and in the middle of a cold snap at 60 degrees…………

Lessons of Retirement

So it’s been about a year and a half since I pulled the plug, or should that be cut the umbilical cord, with participating as a productive member of society to bask in the glow of retirement.  So…….

I imagine there are some lessons I’ve gleaned from my past 18 months.

The primary emotion I experience is joy coupled with  amusement.  Every time I read on Facebook about my daughter catching a train or plane at around 5:00AM, great peals of laughter resound about my study.  Sorry, but that emotion pretty much extends to my attitude aboout all the worker bees.

It’s well worth the extra dollars for a Sam’s Club Advantage Plus membership just to be able to go there before the general public.  The lines are shorter and the atmosphere is generally less hectic.

Tasks that are required don’t need to be performed immediately.  Manana doesn’t mean “tomorrow”; it means “not today.”  And any chore or choice of activity can expand to take up more time.  When time is no longer wasted being “productive”, the choices we make in spending time become more deliberate and fulfilling.

Common wisdom suggests that as one ages it is necessary to continue to challenge one’s mental faculties in order to avoid mental deterioration and its accompanying dementia.  For some people, this means becoming Sudoku or cryptogram addicts.  My choice is re-learning the electric bass and guitar played during my frivolous wasted youth.

And, believe it or not, attending lectures.  A major perk to living in Las Cruces is New Mexico State University and its Dona Ana Community College.  The DACC operates the Academy for Learning in Retirement which offers lectures in the auditorium of an assisted living community in the city.  Normally the lectures are an hour and a half each and run in a series of four lectures on a topic.  Past lectures have included mathematics, history of New Mexico, and the recently concluded series on jazz music.  Upcoming series titles are “Economic Policies and a Tour of the Heavens,” “Narco Violence in Mexico,” and “Torture and Intelligence in the US War on Terrorism.”  These lectures are usually presented by professors expert in the field.  For example, the jazz series lectures were given by a performing musician who is well reviewed.  Check out the ALR website for more information.

But whatever you do, don’t retire to Las Cruces.  Too much traffic, too windy, dust storms block views of the mountains, the students jam up all the clubs and restaurants by the university;  you do not want to be here.  Keep repeating that to yourself……….while those of us already here continue to enjoy the 350+ sunny days and the spectacular Organ Mountains.