Home, home on the range

How would you like to own 10 acres in West Texas for only $2,000? Does such an offer sound fishy to you?

Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.

I have been searching high (prices) and low (parcels) everywhere around Texas over the last month. I am trying to find a place to call my own. I am not looking for a piece of land and a house with great financing and reasonable city taxes. I am searching for just a relatively small parcel of land where people won’t tell me that I need to build a certain style of home in so many weeks that must conform with the home owners association standards for which I must pay  $3,000 per year.

The last picture show. Well, I don't guess any area landowner near Sierra Blanca, Texas, will watch a cowboy movie with a big bag of popcorn. Library of Congress. Carol Highsmith photo
The last picture show. Well, I don’t guess any area landowner near Sierra Blanca, Texas, will watch a cowboy movie here with a big bag of popcorn. Library of Congress. Carol Highsmith photo

The truth is my friends, I don’t have much money stashed away and I won’t be making much money in the future because I face disability down the line. Unless I write a hell of a money-making best seller at some to be determined time, I will see a life full of macaroni and cheese, maybe with a bit of Spam. I actually looked at a can of Spam today in the grocery store. It wasn’t that intended to buy the mystery meat. Rather, an old college friend — a Filipina-American — was on vacation in Hawaii with her boyfriends and they showed pictures of Spam and eggs, both a traditional breakfast in Hawaii and the Philippines. When in Rome …

Getting back to West Texas. The particular property I have just discovered on a particular website is 10 acres and only a few miles from the largest city in that area, Sierra Blanca. The city is actually the unincorporated county seat of Hudspeth County. The place, with a population of 553, although that population reportedly fluctuates during certain times due to the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint a few miles west on Interstate 10. The stop has become a notorious location in which people with drugs are sniffed out by police dogs resulted in arrests for the “snifees.” Famous folks from Snoop Dog and Fiona Apple to Willie Nelson have been busted there at one time or the other. Those arrested had been taken to Sierra Blanca on county changes. Although, the outcomes have been different in recent times.

The Sierra Blanca area features mountain ranges surrounding the property. Sierra Blanca is one such mountain range. The realty website says that electric and  phone lines run along the state ranch road that borders the property, though there is no mention of water and sewer. Perhaps one could dig a well with an old-fashioned windmill to power it. And there is plenty of room to build a constructed wetlands for sewerage, providing such a contraption would work at that particular property.

I have seen other ads while searching for my own little piece of heaven that offer 5-to-10 acres of desert land in West Texas that offer great stargazing plus the “kick” of one owning a few acres.

If I could make such a place work for me, I would look closer. The problem is I am 60 years old, I have a few health issues. El Paso is the nearest place with a VA hospital. A cursory look shows a medical center about 40 miles away.

Other than the difficulties of building some sort of place out in West Texas is that most of my friends live hundreds of miles away to the east. I do have a close friend who lives in El Paso who I seldom get to visit due to the miles.

I will look back one day and I doubt I will be looking at this blog post while sitting under the shade of, whatever one can find for shade, in Sierra Blanca. But one never knows. Some day I could have 10 acres of home, home on the range.

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