by Bob Pofahl
I’ve been thinking a lot about retirement lately.
Like many Baby Boomers, I’m a workaholic because I love what I do. My kids like to joke that I will retire when I die.
My father is about to turn 91 years old. When he retired at the age of 64, after working for 40 years for the gas company, retirement meant a future of puttering in the garage and playing dominoes at church.
I can’t see myself embracing retirement any time soon if that’s what’s in store for me (sorry Dad).
C.S. Lewis once said that, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” That’s the vision I have for my retirement.
When I finally grow-up and retire… someday… I want to be like Picacho Mountain community member Steve Jarvis.
Meet Steve Jarvis
Steve and his wife Moana first discovered Picacho Mountain when they were planning for Steve’s retirement. Steve enjoyed a long and successful career, but he’d put many of his dreams and passions on-hold during those years as he focused on his career and raised a family.
As he neared retirement, Steve was ready to turn his focus back to some of his old passions and some new dreams as well.
“My dream in all my years of working was to live in a beautiful home with a beautiful view, and still be able to walk, bike and jog from where I lived. And you can do all of that here at Picacho Mountain. It’s just perfect,” says Steve. “This is all I ever wanted.”
Pursuing Lifelong Passions
When Steve and Moana relocated to Las Cruces in 2009, Moana decided she wasn’t quite ready for retirement and took a job at New Mexico State University.
Steve, on the other hand, was ready to jump into retirement with both feet.
“I’m a hobby guy,” says Steve. “I was career manager at General Electric, but I think I most enjoy my life when I am able to do my hobbies. I was never able pursue my hobbies at my fullest. That’s what I love about being here, at Picacho Mountain, is that I can.”
“First and foremost, what I love about Picacho Mountain and Las Cruces is that the weather lets me do that,” says Steve. “Cycling is something I want to be able to do for the next twenty years. That is far and away my most important interest and hobby.”
According to Steve, you can bicycle all year long in Las Cruces. Having lived in Ohio for many years, with harsh winters and humid summers, year-round cycling was one of the most attractive things about Las Cruces.
“Cycling was a passion of mine and I wanted to do it more than just seven or eight months of the year,” says Steve. “And truly you can, you can cycle all year long in Las Cruces. I also think the terrain is great for enthusiast cyclists like me.”
But cycling isn’t the only hobby that retirement has allowed Steve to rediscover. In his late twenties, Steve first discovered he had a knack for painting. Unfortunately, he got away from painting for about forty years while he focused on his career.
Once Steve and Moana settled into their new life at Picacho Mountain, Steve’s began focusing intently on painting and has shown a great talent for art.
“I just relish being able to do it again,” Steve says.
In addition to the peaceful seclusion, Steve says that the majestic views from his Picacho Mountain home of the Mesilla Valley and the Organ Mountains help to inspire him as he paints.
“I think Las Cruces and New Mexico are a wonderful resource and inspiration for art,” says Steve. “It really keeps you motivated. There are a lot of galleries I enjoy going in. I also enjoy going to Santa Fe. That is a true asset of Las Cruces. Three or four times a year we love to go up there and get inspiration at Canyon Road.”
Another passion that Steve has pursued in Las Cruces is bird watching. The popularity of bird watching has exploded in recent years. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service there are over 51.3 million “birders” in the U.S. alone.
“I discovered it about ten years ago and got obsessed with it for a while,” says Steve. “One of the many reasons we came to Las Cruces was because it’s near some of the sky islands.”
Steve tells me that Sky Islands are high-altitude mountains that are isolated by surrounding lowlands of a dramatically different environment. Birds from Central America and South America come to the Sky Islands located in the Organ Mountain range. For many of these bird species, this is as far as they go in the winter. So Las Cruces is a fantastic portal to see birds you won’t see anywhere else in the U.S.
“I used to fish, but you’re always looking down at the water,” Steve laughs. “When you’re birding, you’re looking out at everything. It’s something you can do for a long, long time.”
Dream New Dreams
While Steve has spent the last several years rediscovering some of his lifelong passions, he’s also taken some time to come up with some new dreams.
Cooking, gardening, wood-working and walking are a few of the other new things that Steve is enthusiastic about in his new “retirement” life at Picacho Mountain.
“I’ve really embraced gardening and the different plants that grow here,” Steve tells me. “I love that you don’t have to mow, weed and water so regularly. I have joined the Picacho Hills Gardening Club and I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve met at the club and at the local nurseries.”
While some people imagine the desert to be drab and colorless, Steve, like many other local residents, has found desert landscaping to be full of vibrant color and life.
Fostering the Imagination
No matter what stage of life you’re in, life at Picacho Mountain fosters the imagination and inspires you to pursue your passions.
According to Steve, the best part of Picacho Mountain is the total quality of the lifestyle.
“When I was a kid dreaming of my life, I don’t think I could have imagined anything better than this. I remember saying that I want to live on the side of a mountain or hill with a fantastic view, yet I still want to be able to jog and walk in an area that is level and not terribly hilly. At Picacho Mountain you have the Million Dollar View, yet it’s a gradual terrain going down into the valley so we can walk, bike and anything we want to do. We just look out our window and thank heaven we are here. It’s all we could ever want.”
Steve says they know they’ve made the right choice because Picacho Mountain is the type of community where they want to be. “The people we’ve met here are just wonderful. We think the people here are kind of like us; they are high-quality, interesting people. There is much more of a sense of community here.”
That sense of community, coupled with the quite seclusion you’ll find here at Picacho Mountain, make this the perfect place for you.
Call us today at 575-523-2500 to find out why Picacho Mountain is the place to find your home and begin pursuing your lifelong passions.