First Steps on a New Journey


Virginia HawthornHello Everyone,

Here I am, Virginia Hawthorn, a retired woman with grown children and grandchildren. Time to settle back in my twilight years, maybe travel a bit, work on some hobbies, get back to my much-neglected passion for genealogy, write the Great American Novel. Right? Wrong! I’m just getting started on a new journey, one more time and step by step.

I recently moved to Beso del Sol Farm in the Rio Grande Valley of central New Mexico. The farm is owned by my daughter and son-in-law, who have worked to get this 4-acre piece of land into shape for several years. They finally reached the point where they could quit their day jobs and focus on making a go of actual farming for a living – my daughter’s lifelong dream. Since I was living in Albuquerque, some 70 miles away, it made sense for me to move here to the farm and do my part in this effort by keeping the books for the business, as well as helping out here and there wherever I can. It’s good when families can work together like this, and in future blogs you will meet our menagerie of feathered and furred animals and get a look at our many projects in various stages of completion.

Sunflower and pasture
High Summer on Beso del Sol Farm

As we go along, you will find that New Mexicans speak, read and use a mixture of Spanish and English quite freely. For one thing, Spanish speaking people have been here since the 16th century, and most of our natural features and towns, as well as some of our favorite foods, have Spanish names, or often freely mixed names. Hence, Rio Grande Valley: the “Rio Grande” means Great River in Spanish, while “Valley” is tacked on in English – a hybrid. In Spanish it would be more correct to call it “El Valle del Rio Grande.” We did the same thing in naming this farm. Beso del Sol means Kissed by (or Kiss of) the Sun. As time goes by, these Spanish words and combinations will pop up fairly frequently, and I will try to remember to translate as I go along.

But first, it seems appropriate to give you an introduction to New Mexico in general, since there are so many misconceptions about this state, or even whether it is a state at all. For as long as I can recall – and that is a long time! – New Mexico Magazine has been running a column called “One of Our 50 Is Missing,” where people send in their experiences with statehood denial: “Sorry, but we can’t deliver outside the United States.” “Do I need a passport to cross the border?” “Do they have phone service there?”

9/5/2014 8:11:39 PM

Hi Ginny – This is a great start and a wonderful blog about living your dreams. I, for one, can still recall the taste of fresh green chile on my cheeseburger, and I look forward to another taste the next time I’m out your way. – All my love the family there, Stan B.

9/2/2014 11:23:13 PM

Hi, Virginia. I see you are off to a good start. Looking forward to reading more. MJ

8/26/2014 6:03:01 PM

How wonderful for you! I had plans to do this, but got sick. While if I already had the land I could garden, take care of a few animals and sustain myself, I can no longer acquire land. But happy for you!!!

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