Each day I'm learning something new with this blogging thing. Today, I added a picture to my blog header. It's the view from our new property just north of Westcliffe, Colorado. The mountain range you see is the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Both Neal and I were raised in relatively large cities and we both have longed for more space and freedom than what we've known. When we first moved to Colorado Springs, we could not afford property that included acreage, nice views and trees. We could have afforded 40 acres "out east", but that is more like prairie land - flat, lacking on views, dusty, and with no trees. So, we opted for a house in the city, in an older neighborhood with sidewalks, tree-lined streets and a nice park nearby. We like our neighborhood and our house, but still we longed for the country life and our little piece of paradise.
A couple of months ago, I discovered Westliffe while searching online. I fell in love with the town description, the pictures and the possibilities. I contacted John Johnston, a local realtor who, coincidentally, also owns a bed and breakfast inn in Westcliffe called Courtyard Country Inn. So, we made arrangements to spend a night at the inn, tour the town and look at properties with John. That first weekend we found a 5-acre property that seemed just perfect. John drew up the paperwork and took care of the formalities and we made an offer. Within 24 hours, we received news that the owner decided not to sell and had withdrawn the property from the market. We were crushed, however, we persevered. We assumed the attitude of when one door closes, another one opens, and we met with John again to look at more property.
The second time, in our case, was the charm. We actually went to a different property on the same street first, then drove a little further down the street where we spotted another For Sale sign. This was in February and snow was still on the ground, in some cases knee-deep, but we knew this was it. It's a 9.25 acre lot with views of the Sangre de Cristos, the Wet Mountains and the bluest skies I've ever seen. The property is heavily wooded in some areas, but opens up into a wonderful valley towards the north. Westcliffe is a very small town. There's not one traffic light in the whole county! Most people probably could not imagine living there. But for us, it's a little piece of paradise.