A year ago this past February, I was living in Albuquerque, happily puttering along when the unthinkable happened: I lost my job. As a middle-aged woman on her own, I initially panicked--an ordeal of 3 days where bourbon drinking and under-the-covers hiding were the main activities--and then I began to apply for jobs. I applied for one in Eugene, Oregon, one in Cincinatti, and the third in Charlottesville, Virginia. I had decided that Charlottesville was the place I was most likely to be happy because it was a small university town, and after my interview last April, I became enchanted with the place. The azaleas and rhododendrons were in full bloom, the temperature was mild and the humidity low (as it is most of the year, surprisingly), the University of Virginia and its medical center absolutely rocked, and I was in awe of the architecture, along with a different component of American history than represented by New Mexico. There are reminders everywhere that these hallowed grounds are where brother fought brother in the gruesome and torturous Civil War.
Lucky for me, I was offered a job in each place I applied, but UVa was where I wanted to be and now I'm a resident of C'ville, as it's nicknamed by the locals. I love it here, but at times when things don't seem to be going right, or when I feel all alone, my heart aches for New Mexico. For the first 4 months (I've only been here 7 months), I cried every day while driving home from work. I cried when I closed on my house last month; the house that I had imagined living out my days in. I will always miss it.
And for a little Albuquerque deja vu: It snowed last night in C'ville. It reminded me of the first spring I spent in my house in Albuquerque when it snowed in April, covering the blooming purple pansies that had survived the winter. Now I'm in this house, it's my first spring and a late season snowstorm has come my way again, also blanketing the blooming purple pansies that survived from last September.
I have two acres of wooded yard; mostly tulip trees and pines. I have birds galore. It rains here. It's beautiful and my house is almost on top of an old east coast mountain. Further up than my house are other homes and an intriguing plant nursery that looks as mysterious as some of the plants planted around it. Much to be happy about, for sure, but then I'll get a snippet of a memory where I'm driving down Golf Course Rd. on a warm Albuquerque summer's eve, the car windows down and the breeze blowing across my face. In the distance, the beautiful Sandias, set against the bluest skies in the whole wide world, radiate their pinkness. Another heartache.
I don't know if I'll ever live in Albuquerque again because as I've learned, your life can change in a minute. New Mexico will always be home, though, and I'll be able to keep up with everything about Albuquerque thanks to DCF.
Here are some pics of C'ville: