A Tale of Two Cities


Six Miles Northwest of Pie Town, New Mexico

I’ve wished many times I could live a life of contentment like my paternal grandfather lived. He was born on a Missouri farm in 1878 and passed on some 88 years later, still residing there. Forty years after his death he sleeps with his father not a quarter-mile from where he lived his life. Among the many things of which he could boast, he cherished the fact he’d never worked for another man.

By the time I was 13 I was ineligible to be counted among his peers.

Instead, I grew a restless soul, never content with any one place or any one thing for very long. Instead, I was blinded by what the horizon might reveal.

Not until this morning, when I read the suggestion to choose two cities in which I might find equal contentment did I consider only two places.

I have two places:

Pie Town, New Mexico
San Francisco, California

Nearly twenty years have passed since Barb and I purchased our 11 remote acres occupying the spine of the New Mexico Rockies. The altitude of our hideout nearly 9,000 feet above sea level. It has no water, no electricity, no automobile traffic, no crowds, no cell phone service.

Certain things are required when we visit our place: tent, port-o-potty, propane stove and gas, a 75-Watt solar panel, two deep-cycle batteries, an amateur radio and antenna capable of HF so that we can participate in the Nation Traffic System (a ham radio network that accepts and delivers personal messages.

Oh, we also need water and food. (A trip to Walmart is 70 miles each way.)

San Francisco is perhaps 180 degrees out of phase with Pie Town. When we visit there we enjoy the bay, people, cable cars, coffee shops, fog – an entirely different pace. One additional benefit is Alcatraz. On a clear day I can see the island and the buildings. Though it is no longer a prison it still reminds me of how fortunate Barb and I are to have freedom of movement.

After these explanations why do I live near Dallas, Texas?

Don’t ask.

3 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Cities

    • Scott says:

      I’ve heard two or three stories. The one I choose be believe is a about a lady who owned a bakery in Socorro, New Mexico. For reasons that never came with the story she was moving everything to Springerville, Arizona – about 140 miles +/-. By the time she reached the summit of the Rockies one of her horses was in bad shape and died. Without enough cash for another horse, she set up a temporary bakery. The drovers and passersby kept her going, but she never made enough for another horse. She spent the rest of her life in “Pie Town”.


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