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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Everyone have a good Christmas? Good. Us too. It was terrific, but I took the tree down today and spent the entire day finding homes for millions of little things we didn't know we wanted and probably didn't need. I feel like I've been putting things away for weeks on end. First, I was putting them away to clear the decks for the present orgy. And then I kept putting them away so we could move through the tree-dominated living room. And now I'm putting away a brazilian new things that are as yet uncategorized. Blaa. I'm tired of stooping down and picking up foam darts.
Shall we go back to New Mexico for a bit? Yes, let's! (As if you have a choice.)

Every once in awhile, I get into some country where I think I could live. I get this restless nomadic prospecting gene from my Australopithecus ancestors, no doubt, directly via my father.

My mom could hunker down and stay anywhere as long as it had good schools and grocery stores and she didn't have to move from there. My dad fretted and dreamed his life away, talking constantly about that place in the country he was going to buy. He promised me I could have a horse and chickens when we got it. I think I was the only kid of the five who believed it might eventually happen.

I'm not sure when it hit me that Dad was never going to get that place in the country. Maybe about 1981, when it became clear to me that now and forever, I had a choice about where I ended up. And from then on, it was deep in the country. Sure, it was housesitting and tenant caretaking for a decade, but it was in the woods and fields, where I knew I belonged, where I always felt my dad belonged. Dear Old Dad lived long enough to see us married, and to see us buy this farm in 1992. My brother-in-law said that watching D.O.D (as he always signed his typewritten letters) walk through our orchard, leaning on the cane he'd made, was the happiest he'd ever seen him. "He was plotzing," David said.

Our friend Paul Tebbell recommended we check out a valley near Embudo, NM, for a neat hike. So resourceful and imaginative friend Douglas got out some platte maps and Caroline got out her GPS unit and we caravaned into the most spectacular place this side of Magdalena. It was pretty tame on the approach, lots of orchards, peopled by those magical Lewis' woodpeckers. They were stealing huge chunks of frost-bitten apple and flying off with them. Yeahhh! Here's one sitting in a low apple, the siren drawing us to dash ourselves on the rocks. I'm still haunted by the possibilities of Lewis' woodpeckers amongst luscious apples.Bill and I desperately wanted to stop and capture some images, but we didn't want to get left behind, either, so we reluctantly pushed on. Good-bye, pink and green woodpeckers. We'll revisit you in a future post. This woodpecker is flying left to right. You can just make out his greasy green wings, pink breast and shining bill.
Had we known what wonders awaited, we wouldn't have felt so torn about leaving the orchards.. It wasn't long before we were traversing a valley that tore my heart wide open. It looked like a set Clint Eastwood might have chosen for Pale Rider.
We were looking for a certain branch road to a hiking trail, and we never found it. Well, we found it, and Caroline thought we should turn on it, but we pressed on instead. I just wanted to stop right HERE and stay for oh, say a decade or so. I could paint these mountains, hills, buttes, mesas...I could just look at them.

My fantasy bubble was pricked by the pin of reality when we passed a small driveway with a Sotheby's realty sign next to it. Oh. Yeah. That. I guess it would be expensive to live in a place that looks like a Pale Rider movie set. Duh.

I should have figured other people would be enchanted by this landscape, too.

Before long we broke out into the little settlement called Ojo Sarco. It looked like a place I could live, if I didn't have this neurotic need to grow lush flowers and have orchids on every windowsill. Lush flowers and orchids hate 13% humidity. Like my naturally wavy hair, they lay down and die in 13% humidity.
But a girl can dream, and oh, I do, I do. You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one.Yeah, I'd be puttin' goat skulls on my adobe, and I'd be sellin' crystals by the side of the road. But I would add alpacas.

Another dreamscape. It's the spine of a Stegosaurus, in rock. Take me back here somehow, someday.


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