Rociada East is the name we have given our home. (Julian's family is in the habit of naming their houses; we both rather like that.) Rociada was the name of the ranch owned by Diane's family in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico. The word is Spanish for bedewed.

Rociada passed out of the family when Diane's father was a teenager, but many of the towns thereabouts bear names associated with the ranch and the family, including the towns of Rociada, Pendaries, and Rudulph. The ranch house burned to the ground in the 1960's, but the grist mill and many of the other ranch buildings still survive.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Oliver LaFarge wrote about life at Rociada in the book Behind the Mountains, originally published as a series of essays for The New Yorker. The Baca family of the stories were Diane's great-great aunt, great-great uncle, and their children. (Jean Pendaries, who purchased Rociada in 1875, left the ranch divided among his three daughters, Emilie Pendaries Rudulph (Diane's great grandmother), Marie Pendaries Dunn, and Marguerite Pendaries Baca. Oliver married Consuelo Baca, Diane's father's favorite cousin.)

We have some remarkable photographs Diane's father took of the ranch when he was a teenager, some her grandfather took of the family there, and some her father took on trips back in later years. At some point we'll get them scanned and up. There are also some old documents, mostly signed and witnessed by the the family patriarchs, who seemed to run everything around: Jean Pendaries, Milnor Rudulph, Jose Baca, and Vincente Trujillo. There's also a nice blog entry here from a visitor to Rociada, although she seems to have gotten Jean Pendaries' wife's name wrong. She was Mathilde, not Marie. Marie was the name of their middle daughter.

Rociada is really just a myth to us now, a set of tales of a time when my family lived what I think could be described as a feudal existence. No one now alive remembers that time.

All we have left are the stories.

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