|Sunrise over the Organ Mountains|
Well, anyone who has ever lived at 4000 feet in the high desert knows that heat is pretty important--keeping the outside heat out during the summer, and keeping the inside heat in during the winter. Since Beez had stayed behind in Clovis to finish up a job before retirement, my sister and I moved into the unheated house in early November. Although it was warmish during the day, the nights were pretty nippy and it wasn't long before we started burning packing paper in the fireplaces, then torn-up cardboard boxes, and then fallen tree twigs and branches from the yard. As soon as we found a good source, we got some real firewood delivered and learned a lot about making fires in the two kiva fireplaces.
Kivas are wonderful. If you get a good steady fire going during the day, the adobe mass radiates stored heat into the room during the night. Of course, we eventually got a shiny new wall heater installed in the front part of the house and a heat exchanger in the back part of the house. However, my sister and I both have some fond memories of our times huddled around the adobe hearth.
You will notice that even with our new heating systems installed, we still do not have central heating. Silly me, I grew up in a brand new [mid-century] suburban house and thought that all American houses had central heating. Apparently not in New Mexico, where the traditional adobe houses have no duct work. Because the adobe brick walls are thick and solid, even our electrical outlets are not set into them, and the electricity between the outlet boxes is sent along some kind of external wiring conduit that I'd rather not think about.
|The dining room, complete with cat on table. Say hello to Gracie!|
But you can't beat our house for that cozy cottage feeling. Our wood floors (found under the carpeting that we couldn't wait to rip out) are properly creaky, the windows are set into thick adobe walls, the rooms just glow with lamplight, and the place smells deliciously of the fragrant juniper wood burning in the kiva.
My heart is very happy here.