Before we moved to New Mexico, I believed that –
The state was a huge desert.
There were more Indian reservations than unoccupied land.
We would be as isolated from our neighbors as we were in Colorado.
The school district would be less welcoming than in Colorado.
The student population would be primarily disadvantaged.
Albuquerque is a small town compared to those in which I have lived.
There would be no significant traffic.
One year later, I am pleased and delighted to discover that –
This is a diverse state full of mountains, hills, trees and magnificent sunsets.
There are a number of Indian reservations but traditional residential communities dominate.
Our neighbors have been friendly, communicative and eager to help.
The school district in which I teach is filled with friendly, committed staff.
Many of the schools in which I teach are in advantaged neighborhoods.
Albuquerque is still a smaller town than Denver or San Diego. But it is rich in history, extraordinary restaurants and diverse cultures.
The traffic is substantial but manageable.
We have one of the highest crime rates in the country but our neighborhood is watchful and vigilant.
The Land of Enchantment is a wonderful, place that invites guests and new residents. My new musical endeavor is gratifying and enjoyable. And because snow here is a rarity, I awake almost every morning to brilliant blue skies and a lack of precipitation. The lesson, as always, is that visiting a place can never fully disclose its beauty. Shalom and the happiest of holidays, regardless of what you celebrate.