Second home subdivisions are lonely places this time of year, full of
ghost houses in woods where bear and deer shuffle around at night and elk
squeals echo. It's getting cold and there's been snow in the high country. The summer people are mostly gone. Not me. I'm stuffing wood into the gaping maw of this open fireplace that sucks more heat out of the Whitelodge than it radiates.
"Outdated" is what some would call our subdivision. That's real estate code for fifty-year old snow-beaten second homes on narrow rutted roads. They call it "charming" too. Properties don't sell fast. That's if you can get warring family factions to agree on selling in the first place. The old places, built by someone's granddad, are always entangled in trust ownership. Things like replacing a roof takes years of haggling with distant cousins or stir old seething resentments and memories. Charming takes work.
There are newer subdivisions in Vallecito* with new shiny houses indistinguishable from those of any upscale California, Florida or Texas neighborhood. No complications of place and history entangle their finance and construction. New owners bring all their toys and stuff garages with ATV's and snowmobiles. They've brought their politics with them too.
Bereft of charm.
*Little Valley is what the Spanish called it. The Ute name was something like crooked water. Some insist on the misprounciation "valley-cito."