A long, long time ago in a magical place called Denver, two people met. In a seedy bar. It was not romantic in any way, nor was it a place one would imagine meeting their soul mate. It was, however, a convenient place to work after my very small children went to sleep so that I could be sure to be home with them all day.
And there he was. So easy going, so funny. He exuded a sort of quiet confidence without being conceited. He was cute, and sweet, and a gentleman. After years with someone with zero confidence and an abusive spirit, this man was a brilliant relief. We had such easy conversations even though we were complete and total opposites. He was Jewish, I was Catholic. I had been married. He was still single. I had three children. He had none. He was a Democrat (folks that know him now would be a bit surprised to know that) and I was Republican. I was also a seemingly towering five inches taller than him. Plus heels. So, there was never a thought of romance, just friendly banter.
Which turned from evenings to email and chat. Then to breakfasts at 2:00 am after work. Then to phone calls. Then, as he says, I came over and never left. And that was that. We simply could not imagine living without each other.
We had three children camped out in his living room in a one bedroom condo. We began house hunting. A daunting task. He worked for a software company in Colorado Springs and needed to commute. We needed an affordable house. We ended up moving to a lovely house in a wonderful suburb called Parker. We were in love, getting married, he adopted the kids, and we now had three bedrooms and a yard. We put up window boxes, raised beds and grew our children in that house.
We did not see that the house had been patched together so that it would sell. Nor could we have ever imagined the intensity and speed that it would deteriorate in materials and value. At the beginning when the housing market was great we refinanced to its peak. Trips to the Caribbean with the children, credit cards, new car, new life, a successful young couple with everything.
We built raised beds out of cinder blocks and fenced them off from our new greyhound. We tried to grow many different plants. We forgot to water though and everything died. I tried my hand at canning with a fair amount of failures. We were just beginning our interest in more natural living. We stopped taking pharmaceutical drugs when our dear brother-in-law who was a popular doctor, a young forty-nine years of age, died of cancer despite all of the top of the line treatments he was offered. We had already started our journey into herbalism by then. We stopped using chemical body products the more we read about ingredients. We stopped using household cleaners. We just stopped. We wondered where our life was heading.
Doug was now working in a job he hated. He was overweight, unhealthy, and depressed. I was no better off. Teaching dance in my two dance companies, tired, overworked, and wondering what we were missing. We figured it was money. We went about our daily life thinking that was all there was. All the time gaining interest in homesteading and becoming more self sufficient. What would it be like to not have so many bills? We were about to find out.
The balloon rate on our house was coming up. It was jumping to a ridiculously high rate that would put our mortgage payment way out of our already stretched budget. We tried to refinance. Our house was worth almost a hundred thousand dollars less than what we had taken out on it. Houses everywhere in our neighborhood were foreclosing daily.
Doug’s nervous breakdown at work was our final straw. I was tired of having a husband that came home every night so depressed he just went to bed. The house was falling down around us. We were broke. We were not happy.
Nearly eight years after moving into the house we decided to move. I decided we were moving to New Mexico…