Home, Finally

 

“Wherever I hang my hat is home.” That’s not exactly true for me–I’m a very place-centric person tied to the natural range of big sagebrush at the foot of the Rocky Mountains–but today I hung my hat rack in my bedroom here in Santa Fe. So I guess it’s official: I am home.

As I said in my last post, Wanderings, I’ve wandered a lot in the past decade, in search of where home is in this final turn of my life. I’m 66 years old, closer to 70 now than 60, and I feel the pull to root and stay.

I thought I had found that place when I bought my Paonia house, but I reckoned without considering my age, which means I no longer want or need a house or yard to tend. Also, without considering my need for good healthcare, part of which is a need for nearby wild that I can easily walk to every day. Walking is my medicine, the therapy that helps me live well with Lupus and its associated conditions, Raynaud’s Syndrome and Sjogrens (often called dry eye).

All of that plus some other personal factors brought me to Santa Fe, to this beautiful and light-filled condo with views of the mountains in the neighborhood where I used to live.

The Sangre de Cristo Range after the last snowstorm.

This space makes me happy. I’m a story above the ground, overlooking a bit of wild piñon-juniper woods. The sun streams in the large windows during the day, supplying free heat in winter. The architecture is spacious, yet cozy enough to feel welcoming.

Come take a tour:

To the right of the garage door (yes, Rojita, my red Toyota Tacoma, has a garage to live in!) where I can admire it is the double column of glass prayer flags I’ve moved to five homes in the past, um, four years. We’re both settling here.

My Greg Reiche glass prayer flag sculpture, back in Santa Fe at last.

At the top of the stairs, my front door is graced by a Northern New Mexico chile wreath with dried garden flowers, made by a lovely Hispanic lady from Alcalde. I bought it at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market.

Chile pequin arranged around died yarrow and baby roses.

Inside is a small foyer. Turn right, and you enter the front bedroom, aka my office, where I am writing this blog post right now as sunset flames the western sky. (The photo at the top of the post is the sunset from the west deck, off my office.)

My office with the west deck beyond. (Note my saddle in the left-hand corner of the room!)

Turn left from the foyer and you pass the kitchen and breakfast bar, and enter the “great room,” the high-ceilinged dining/living area with its huge south-facing windows, and tall sliding doors leading to the east deck.

The great room with evening light and its east-facing deck. Welcoming, comfy, and totally me.

The kitchen is off the great room as you first come in, an easy connection with the dining area.

The kitchen is compact, but the design makes it comfortable to use. And I do eat breakfast at the breakfast bar.

Turn around to look back at the foyer from the living area.

Did I mention that Arabella has her own south-facing window? She’s a happy Christmas cactus.

The east deck has a view of the Sangre de Cristo range in the distance, over the ridge that hides Highway 285 from view. The main bedroom, also facing east, shares that mountain view.

Nothing to see here–just the mountains rosy with sunset.

I really did just hang the hat rack. I’m home.

Hats on the rack and all.

I am fortunate, and grateful to have found this place that feels just right for the “home stretch” of my life, as the Guy calls this time.

And what of my Paonia house?

That sweet place with its shady yard is still seeking someone to buy it and love it! Please help spread the word by sharing this link to a restored 1920s house in an artsy and progressive town surrounded by organic farms and orchards, at the foot of the West Elk Mountains in western Colorado.

This flyer is just a teaser; the full details are online at the link above.

Thank you, and many blessings to you and yours!

34 thoughts on “Home, Finally

  • Your home looks cozy and warm. Thanks for sharing it. Good luck wit finding the right buyer for the Paonia home. Maybe it’s just waiting for that person.

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Thank you! I am sure the right person is out there, and I need to find them before I run out of money to live on. I can’t afford to own two houses!

  • Vi and Ron Cauthon says:

    Your windows! and the views from them must have made the decision. I do not care that windows might leak heat or bring cold in; their must be windows. Thank you for sharing your home, Susan. You have an artist’s view for color. Our best wishes for your writing in such a calming space.

    • Susan Tweit says:

      As you can imagine, it was the windows and the light that caused me to decided this was my place (despite the cost requiring every cent I had plus a small mortgage on the Paonia house!). I am fortunate to be here, and am looking forward to simply writing once I finish up a ghostwriting job I am currently engaged in and sell the Paonia house so that I can afford to stay here!

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Thank you, Nancy! I’ve been “re-storying” houses for the past eleven years, and after living in and finishing and moving from nine renovate/build projects in that time, I have a lot of practice in settling in and making a space my own. With this one, though, I am going to stay.

  • So full of light and space, Susan. It’s a lovely spot and the views are wonderful. So glad you feel at home!
    ❤️

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Thank you, Susan S! I am very happy here. I just need to sell my Paonia house to be able to afford to stay in this place. 🙂

  • Tyson Greer says:

    Thank you for the tour, that will hold me til I come back to Santa Fe. All your amblings behind you, there is so much to look forward to. And what a view.

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Tyson, I look forward to seeing you and Jim in Santa Fe! And yes, there is much to look forward to, including the changing light on the mountains every day. 🙂

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Sarah, Thank you! I’m fortunate to be here and will be greatly relieved when my Paonia house sells, so I can afford to stay in Santa Fe. 🙂 I hope all’s well in your world, and that you’re enjoying your beautiful place there in the Springs. Congrats on your Sarton Award, and your latest WASP book!

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Thank you, Julene! It’s always a treat to “hear” your voice here. I am fortunate to be here, and hoping my Paonia house sells soon so I can afford to stay in Santa Fe. I hope all’s well in your world, and you are finding home where you are. Hugs, S

  • Jacque Fisher says:

    Hi, Susan–
    I always marvel at how you manage to make every home your “home, sweet home”! But your newest–and “final” place to land and settle looks especially inviting. The views, both inside and out, are marvelous! Congratulations! I’m certain the right person for the Paonia house is out there, and the two will come together soon.
    Warmly,
    Jacque

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Hi, Jacque, I thought of you the other day and wondered if you had retired from the classroom. I hope so, and that you’re enjoying yourself. Thank you for the congrats–this is absolutely the right place for me, and I hope to have many satisfying years here. Keep those good wishes going out of the sale of my Paonia house–I need them! Hugs, S

      • Jacque Fisher says:

        I did indeed retire at the end of last school year. Scott retired, as well, after his family sold the ski shop in December of 2021. It has been an easy transition. We are both homebodies and enjoy simple things like cooking, reading, going for walks, and, for Scott, gardening. That being said, we are planning a trip to Scotland in the fall–something I’ve long wanted to do, but couldn’t until I retired! Closer to home, I’d love to spend more time in New Mexico, so perhaps one day we’ll take a little NM road trip and stop in to see you! Take care, Susan, and all the best to you!
        J

        • Susan Tweit says:

          Oh, I’m so glad you’re retired now, and can enjoy your quiet life with Scott! That’s great news. And I’m delighted to hear that you are finally planning that trip to Scotland for this fall–I hope it’s an absolutely splendid time. If you do get to Santa Fe, let me know! I’d love to see you and catch up. Hugs, S

  • Darlene Morse says:

    Santa Fe is such a lovely big town to live. Congratulations on making it your home. We have many friends there and each time we visit, new discoveries are made. Wishing you years and years of discovery!

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Thank you for that kind wish! I’ve lived in Santa Fe before, and in fact, in the same area where I live now, and have always loved the place. It’s good to be back, and my friends are thrilled to have me, so I have community to come home to. I’m fortunate, and I know it. 🙂

  • Alice Trego says:

    This home is totally you, Susan! I loved taking the virtual tour of your corner of Santa Fe, inside and outside. I also found my forever home at age 67, in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, and I am content.

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Alice, Thank you! I do feel like this condo is more “me” than anyplace I have lived in my wanderings, and am grateful to have found. I am so glad that your wonderful place at the corner of the Olympic Peninsula is your forever home, one that sustains you and contents you. We never know where those blessings will find us, and you and I are both fortunate that we were able to take them in.

  • Finding your just perfect place is the most joyfilled and satisfying feeling. I rejoice with you in your new abode and wish you many long days of beauty and adventure.
    All the best
    Kathleen

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Thank you, Priscilla! As another friend said, “This place looks more like you than any of your other homes I’ve seen.” I agree. It feels just right, and very good. I just have to sell the Paonia house before I run out of cash…. Fingers crossed and all that.

      • And Arabella! I’ve been meaning to ask how she survived that blustery blizzardy trip—looks like just fine. I hope she’s ready to settle down too. You’ve been her way of seeing the world!

        • Susan Tweit says:

          Arabella is definitely flourishing with her big south-facing window. In fact, I’ve had to jury-rig a shade for the sunny days so she doesn’t get too much sun. In January and February, the days are short enough that too much sun isn’t an issue, and come May, the sun will be high enough overhead that it will be indirect until the end of summer, but we’re in that in-between period of long enough days and low enough sun that she needs a bit of a screen. I’m pretty sure she’s done seeing the world, especially if it involves being carried in the back seat of a pickup through winter blizzards!

  • I love every word and image.

    You amaze me.

    I especially love the image of your bedroom with that huge window looking like a painting of Santa Fe. So beautiful.

    Welcome home, dear Susan. And a big hug for the GUY too.

    • Susan Tweit says:

      Thank you, dear Sharon! I am thrilled to be here, and doing my best to not worry about the financial limb I have climbed out on. When it stops snowing in western Colorado, and the Paonia house sells, I will be very, very relieved! I’ll pass on the hug to the Guy, if you and Jeff will hug each other warmly for us! xo, S

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