Living here in the foothills is a little like being in the land that time forgot. We do have a handful of neighbors, and we even know a few of them, although we don't have much in common.
One of the ranchers told me that she's accepted here only because her father's father's father's father used to live here. Others have said pretty much the same thing.
"I've been here for sixty years, and I'm still considered a newcomer," I've heard more than once.
Due to some official paperwork a long time ago, progress isn't allowed in these parts. Either way, I don't mind too much. With the water situation being poor, it does discourage folks from putting up new construction. I've become accustomed to the peacefulness of country life, and I don't expect Hornitos to be a real metropolis anytime in the near or distant future. It's part of the trade-off.
We left the hectic pace and expense of the big city, along with the convenience of having everything close by. Now when I buy groceries or plan a home improvement project, I double check my list, because food and painting tools are half an hour away at least. If we forget something, we either do without or use up the good part of a morning to go back to town.
Late last year a little house down the road lost its inhabitants and was put on the market. It sat there empty for quite awhile with a "For Sale" sign out front. Like an orphaned child sitting on a street corner, asking passers-by if somebody would take her home to live with them. But people kept walking.
When finally the sign came down, we noticed activity--construction activity. My daughter and I wondered expectantly what was going on, and soon it was obvious. The construction guys were remodeling inside and out. Off with the rotted boards and on with the new; old doors and windows were replaced; a new water heater, new paint, a truckload of gravel and fresh cement. And now a bench sits on the front porch, just waiting to be enjoyed.
It actually didn't take them long to fix up the old place. And we were thrilled to watch the progress they made. With too many places around here neglected and falling into disrepair, it was refreshing to see that someone cared about a house, enough to make it worthy of being called, "Home."