March 30, 2012

The ALR...

When we were first considering retirement to this area, Mrsfabp and I had lots of discussions about what we wanted to do here. There were things like exploring the desert, visiting museums, hanging out with friends, going to restaurants. These discussions never included a dog (sorry Skippy!) and never included the ALR. What is ALR? I’m glad you asked.

ALR stands for the Academy for Learning in Retirement. It is a joint effort by New Mexico State University and Dona Anna Community College to provide interesting discussions on a variety of subjects. I never thought I would be going back to school but in reality that is what we did. Our friends Bill and Clair, have attended several of these discussions – one on mathematics, last year and after attending a class in January on the history of Las Cruces and the Centennial of Statehood, they invited us to attend the rest of that program. Presented by John Hunner, a history professor at NMSU, it was a fascinating stroll through the area’s history and all the issues surrounding New Mexico becoming a state as well as the development of Los Alamos and its effect on the area. He was witty, knowledgeable, and well spoken as he acted as our guide. It was exciting to hear and learn about our new state.

Next up was Dr. James E. Shearer, Regents Professor of Music at NMSU. He was witty and extremely knowledgeable as he explained the origins of Jazz, the development of the various styles, and the people who are the cornerstones of this musical form. He played hundreds of sound clips and videos to help all of us get a further appreciation of this art. He is a performer too and invited us to hear him at the opening of a museum exhibit in town. Although the exhibit was wonderful, I found myself preferring to listen to him and a friend play jazz tunes from the past.

(Thanks Google images...)

In March there were two different presentations; one by Dr. Jim Peach, Regents Professor of Economics, NMSU, about the economic issues in the country and New Mexico. He made a difficult subject interesting and was not afraid to express his opinions or beliefs to us all. The second two classes were presented by Dr. Don Neidig, Emeritus Astronomer, National Solar Observatory, where he gave us all a star map of the heavens above us and talked about the constellations and the universe in all its glory. He showed wondrous pictures taken at the observatory and by the Hubble Space Telescope and led us all through the immensity of the Milky Way Galaxy and other nearby galaxies like Andromeda, (if you can call 2.5 million light years, close by).

(Thanks again, Google images...)

They say that you need to keep your mind active, as you get older. I have been reading and writing and working on some photography projects and just having fun for the past four months but must admit that these classes have really stretched my mind and taught me a thing or two or a hundred. I am glad to go, learn and keep the neurons blinking…

March 16, 2012

Driving thru History…

One of the things Mrsfabp and I really enjoy is driving through the neighborhoods in Las Cruces to see the different areas, home styles and get a feel for the place. We did it when we visited twice before and have continued to do so since we moved.

As I will talk about in a new post soon, we went to a history of the area series of lectures and became fascinated with the process of change that New Mexico has gone through, especially Las Cruces. Well, while returning from breakfast at Nellie’s one Saturday (our first NM tradition), we took a detour through the neighborhood often called “The Alameda”, and while driving around came to the realization that you can actually see the history of the area through the home styles and set up of the neighborhood.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. While driving, we see a large original adobe home, just beautiful looking, but it is surrounded by several homes of different styles, especially craftsman homes. You can just imagine that adobe having been surrounded by a large tract of land that was sold off to a developer who put up the craftsman homes in a tract, probably sometime in the 20’s or 30’s. Another thing we saw was a pair of craftsman homes separated by a rather nondescript brick home. It is not too hard to see that the craftsman’s homes were there on a larger chunk of land and part of it was sold off and developed, possibly in the 50’s, after the war.

But my absolute favorite was a very large adobe on a corner with the traditional adobe wall surrounding it. There was an irrigation gate in its back yard, But there is no farm there, no land at all around it. What surrounds it is a series of smaller, newer adobe homes on one side and several craftsman homes on the other. You can just picture a large, beautiful farm, overlooking the mountains, with fields of vegetables and fruits. Then some land was sold off and developed with the other nearby adobes and then later on, more land was sold and developed and a bunch of craftsman style homes was built.

It is this patchwork of homes and neighborhoods that makes Las Cruces so interesting and a great place to live.

March 3, 2012


You may have noticed several changes in my blog over the past few weeks (and noticed I haven’t been writing as often /cheers from the family!) so I thought a quick update is in order.

First of all, I have been busy. I know - retirement is when you’re supposed to have some extra time on your hands. Well I have learned a little chemistry and physics recently – retirement is like a gas, it expands to fill a container. I used to think retirement was a time to sit back and relax but instead I am busier than ever. The things I do with my days have expanded to fill my days up. I will fill you in on some of the things I have done in some subsequent posts, but just realize I have been pretty busy and have not had time for this blog stuff.

Secondly, I am in the process of getting geared up to work on some photograph and jewelry projects and again, this just fills up any free time I have.

Finally, I am sort of upgrading my blog site. It has been the same for well over a year and CollegeBoy pointed out how much it hurt his eyes to look at so some changes were made and more are planned. Again, more on that in the coming weeks.

Thanks for your patience, thanks for your support and thanks for only harassing me a little bit. Talk with you again soon!