Sunday, July 17, 2016

spent part of the summer making this little cabin more habitable - making a little space for our boisterous family, getting stuff we needed to live better. sometimes i think it's foolish to fill social media with stuff about how you're not home, but, it's almost over - we're going back tomorrow - and, by the time it was almost over, we'd pretty much decided to make this our home. for what it's worth, we're laying out the intention to move to a small town in the high mountains of south-central new mexico.

i spend the rest of the time on the front porch, with my navajo tea - cup after cup, so that, basically, i pee all night. i have about six or seven large cups of coffee in the day - those are also out on the porch - and at night, i wash them right through with all this tea. navajo tea is herbal tea, made from greenthread, which i have not figured out how to grow successfully yet, but it's quite delicious, and i'd be happy to be a navajo tea distributor as it can only be found in a limited number of places, but is really really good.

i also play banjo on the porch, this because i have nobody to play fiddle with yet, and the porch is a good place for banjo. clouds come by and dump rain on us sometimes - this is actually quite unusual for the southwest - and the rainy, mountain feel of the place makes the banjo sound bounce off the pine trees and the cabins just so - i think, downtown, they can hear it, but perhaps not too clearly. downtown is only a block or two away - i can actually see a little corner of it from the porch, if i try - and our view is mostly the very peaceful back side of the downtown. that and a ridge, and beyond that, another ridge, and beyond that, the white sands. the sun rises and sets on the white sands every day, and the mountains beyond and in front of it kind of frame its brilliant white-sand glow. nothing better than looking out at the white sands - though i know some people look directly at the forest, or the bears. i'm fine with the white sands.

so there are a few dogs in the neighborhood, and those dogs and our dogs sometimes go at it, vocally that is, and we have to run ours back into the house. i like a peaceful porch, sun going down on the white sands, and sometimes it's disrupted, by either ours or theirs, but that's ok, i'm sure some people feel that way about the banjo.

so why are we staying? main reason is, kids and school. the sooner the better for them; if there's switching over to be done, let it be now, when they can adjust and get themselves a new, smaller, hometown. this one will have only ten or twelve kids in a class; they'll be mountain kids, with lots of different perspectives, sure, but we think it will be better for ours. our immediate problem is 1) we just decided to do this, and 2) we don't have other jobs; we still have to work back in the city. so we'll work. this time next year, we'll be ready to spring.

i have a lot of good friends back in texas, and i'll miss them. i defend texas when people knock it, mostly because i love my friends. they've been good to me. i'll especially miss the music, and the general friendliness of everyone. but the same doesn't go for my wife. she's in a dicier position and a more stressful job, and the prevalence of guns has pushed her over the edge. she has the same feelings about this place being better for the kids - we agree on the small town thing, at least for the moment - but it's more urgent for her as a health thing, to get out of an unhealthy thing, no matter what the cost. and this is a thing she's worked a lifetime to build up. the question is, exactly how is she going to get out of it? i don't know. my inclination is to work at the skating rink and let the world go by, balanced or unbalanced, whatever the case may be. and get me my own pair of skates, so i can go off ice skating into the sunset. ciao

Friday, July 15, 2016

the village of timberon is about forty miles south of cloudcroft, but it takes over an hour, because the roads are windy and you can't go too fast without endangering yourself. there are other ways to get there, but those roads are even worse, so people very rarely go from timberon to any other town, like pinon, or alamogordo, or perhaps down to el paso. but these are the towns that surround timberon in their own kind of way. in the region, but virtually inaccessible.

they created timberon in the 70's with plans that it would catch on as a retirement-resort area. it had lots of sun, beautiful views (down to the valley with el paso in it), and they put in an airstrip, a lodge, a pool, and a golf course; then, they got a post office outpost. at that time, some of the other roads, to el paso, or to pinon, were still open. now, apparently, they're not.

people did move there, and they set up mobile homes, and built second homes. there was a huge network of roads and hundreds if not thousands of property lots were angled off into this kind of remote, cactus-filled scrub mountain valley. from a sun-belt, snow-bird perspective, it should have caught on. it had lots of sun, and it had amenities. many of the people who sought out such a place didn't care if it was remote, as long as they could get motor homes in there. some people bought property and let it sit there, unable to sell it, or unwilling, since lots always had potential in an expanding world.

the area had a crippling drought - maybe ten years with no rain - and then a wind came through and knocked over a lot of trees. when we saw it about a year and a half ago, our first reaction was that it was a tinderbox, dry sticks hanging around the hillsides. but a worse problem was that we never actually found the lot that was for sale. there were hundreds of gravel roads curving around going every which way, and although they were marked, it wasn't always clear how to get from one to the other. we drove around roads and curved back around, and every once in a while, we'd see a motor home or a van tucked back into the dry brush. lots of times the roads were steep or in bad condition.

down at the lodge/swimming pool/post office, there was a kind of center of town. you had to know it was there, then you could walk or drive down there and look around. some people were clearly taking care of the place. i had to imagine what it was like being surrounded by scrubby, dead brush on very sunny mountainsides. they didn't seem to mind. they were ever hopeful that someday people would come and occupy the place.

so the other day a fire caught in the place, and quickly, burned a firetruck that was sitting outside the community center. as far as i can tell, it didn't burn down the whole area, but it quickly spread from the center of town to the west, toward the golf course, and burned 30 structures and 300 acres fairly quickly. they talk about 'containment' but admit that they don't really have containment; it has too much territory to burn, and it's a slightly windy day. different fire fighters were mobilized and sent down there. the cloudcroft high school was turned over as a shelter for people who'd lost their homes.

the questions i have are: does a massive fire in the dry brush 40 miles south of here post a threat to us? (doesn't seem like it)...did everyone lose everything or was just a section of the "town" wiped out? (far as i can tell, just a section)....is this the end for this 'town' experiment, which, after all, never quite caught on?....is this now going to become a ghost town?

guess we'll have to see.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

pokies in the meta

only one of the four kids remaining at home is totally obsessed with the new pokemon game, and fortunately, he's the white one, because they say it can be deadly for colored kids to go around latched onto their phones and walking into places like police stations not paying attention. in this small town, where we are, the two main pokey places are the library and the post office, besides the convenience store, but we see kids walking up to each. at the library they're trying to get pokey balls, apparently, which they can use to catch pokemon once they're out there. at the post office, that's a pokey gym, apparently. my son doesn't need to go there, yet, he says. he's not an expert but he's caught a few pokeys here and there.

so we took a walk out to the meadow (pronounced 'meta') this morning and he checked his phone at the trailhead signs. you find pokeys at the signs sometimes, he said. they try not to make the pokeys fly way out in the woods, but if it's a well-worn trail, a common place, they might have them there, he said. so what do i know, it just looks like mountain path to me, i wouldn't know if it has pokeys or not, and, though i carry my phone, i haven't started in on this pokey game yet so wouldn't even know what value a pokey would be, if i would happen to encounter one.

but, way out in the mountains, there are other concerns. there could be bear out there, or elk, or even deer - one day we saw about five deer, and the black lab about had a cow. on this particular walk, we took a chih-weenie, who being part chihuahua is totally fearless and would easily attack a bear if he even saw one. this would not actually be a wise move, but wise is not part of his vocabulary. he's a faithful dog, and very alert, so i felt that whatever we'd encounter, he'd be right on it. with the exception of pokemon, of course. he's not much for augmented reality. it's all he can do to manage the reality he's got.

the other dogs are pretty much the same way. you could tell them about the pokeys, but they wouldn't believe you, unless they had an actual smell, or made some kind of noise that wasn't clearly born in the phone itself. you'd think you could train them to discriminate - the good pokeys from the bad ones, for example, or to alert you if there's a pokemon anywhere....my son says that he leaves his phone on, and the dog is with him, and no pokeys will come around for hours at a time, then other times, they'll come stomping in, right in his little basement room there, all at once, no reason whatsoever.

which bring me to the intent of the gamesmaker. it could be that they're going after my son - they want him to take a walk down to the meta - or, they want him to know where the library is....if so, that's a kind of cruel humor, to make him go, and stand in front of the library, and play with his phone, when all the pedophiles and armed robbers know he'll be coming around and not paying attention. i could alert the librarian, but she's already a little down on these phones, and the lack of general awareness they cause among the populace of kids under twenty. no, instead i alert him, because he knows what a pedophile is, and he knows what's happening to people, and he actually reads quite a bit too, and under better circumstances, might even go into the library, if they would carry the certain books that he always devours. no, he doesn't really want me interfering, and he admits the game is addicting, but, he willingly goes along on mountain hikes now, and says that the pokey game has probably done more to alleviate child obesity than eight years of michelle obama's programs. there you have it. kids are walking around, in the fresh mountain air, and every once in a while they stop and swipe their phones, and even teens and pre-teens can get involved, though hopefully his younger brother and sisters will shoot right past it to some other ridiculous game. and pokemon go is definitely the story of july. this town, 9000 feet, tucked away in the high sacramento mountains of south-central new mexico, is just as full of this pokey-chasing as any other. it's what they're doing. and if they walk right through a weather-caster's television production, not noticing because they're glued to their phones, perhaps catching a pokey, well, i guess that's part of the weather. weather or not there are any pokeys around.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

a fourth of july report, more or less, from the entire weekend, is forthcoming. gratefully i am in a place with very few fireworks - the high mountain communities strictly forbid them as these are the dry high mountain communities, and even an errant cigarette or bolt of lightning can wipe out an entire valley. down below, about six thousand feet down, a local desert town is so dry that they also fear any errant firecracker and strictly forbid most of them, though as you get out to white sands and the far desert, you could catch a bush on fire, but it wouldn't go very far. they do have them, people sell them, but things were pretty quiet on the fourth.

i did however run out of navajo tea, and had to go to white sands anyway, as that's the only place that has it besides ruidoso. now it so happens that white sands is a federal government outpost, and federal government has mixed reviews in the far mountain west, although i must say it seems they employ almost everyone, from the forest service to the air force, and even probably the missile range and all the cars with out-of-state and military license plates. but i like them out there at white sands, and they seem to care about the vast gypsum fields and the little neon lizards that live in them, and nature with the sun beating down and the moon coming out so wide and beautiful, with purple mountain ranges way on either side. and sure enough, when i got there, this was actually sunday, day before the fourth, there was a fantastic display of native american pottery.

one painted ceramic bunny rabbit stood out to me. he was bright red and had a fantastic painted design on him. the reason he stood out was that, a few days back, coming from a hike in desert country, an enormous jackrabbit had jumped out in front of my car, and i missed him fortunately, but didn't quite get a good enough look at his coloring. the coloring, of course, would not have been bright red, but it was black and gray, and brownish and light tan all at the same time, and i thought, well that bright red represents those colors pretty well. and, stands out, so people know how you feel when they enter your house.

it was actually my quaker principle, against investing in ornate symbolism, that got me to leave it there. my sister is down on kokopelli and all appropriation of native american symbols, and i'm not so opposed to simple appropriation, a kokopelli or a zia or whatever seems ok to me, but it's drawing myself into have things represent stuff that i have a problem with - crosses, flags, etc. i just don't. so my fourth of july contribution was to leave it there.

but then, today, another trip way through the desert, starting with the steep decline into the desert town first, and an unusually long time trying to find glass recycling. the two missions of this trip were meds and car registration, but they were in el paso, eighty or ninety miles of harsh sunny arid and empty desert. and right away i picked up a hitchhiker. he was going to dog canyon, about ten miles down the road, a cutoff right there in the desert. he was already sunburned from standing out there, but claimed to be in the air force, a doctor, trying to get home to visit his mother, who was dying slowly of cancer out there in dog canyon.

when we got to dog canyon it occurred to me that he could have told me about anything, and i would have believed it, and perhaps wanted to get me off the main road where anything could happen, out there in dog canyon. on the other hand, i probably could have given him a ride way out there on the assumption that all that would be true, and i wouldn't get lost, but alas, i was already nervous about time and just let him off at that desolate corner, with the road to dog canyon shooting out from that desert road, and the mountains ahead maybe two, three miles off the road. he may have had a walk, but also, there were plenty of people living out that way, and i though it was likely someone would give him a hand.

the whole road is border-patrol patrolled, with several guys staring at me at various places, and big white unmarked sedans passing me every once in a while. it goes straight to juarez, once you get down there, and in fact the entire city of el paso seems to sit there and look out at juarez, which is also on a hill. it's like, right there, we look across at each other a lot. and i'm not sure if that's good or bad, given where this country is going. if some dumb rapist comes along and tries to build a wall, who knows. but for the time being, this is the usa, i'm proud of it, and at some point, i got my meds and car registration, and turned around again for the mountains. in the barrios people fire their guns a lot, and i saw two honkin firewarks barns, so obviously they sold quite a bit, but up in the mountains, it was quiet, and that's where i plan to spend the rest of my fourths. a happy independence day to everyone!

Friday, June 24, 2016

i opened up the webcam to see if i could see myself walking down to the post office - but the webcam seemed to be showing that it was raining hard, and closer inspection showed that it was stuck at 6:00 am. apparently it was raining hard at 6:00 am. i myself was sound asleep, but when i woke up, i could see evidence that, indeed, things were pretty wet.

we are working out details of getting around and getting what we need with as little traveling as possible. if our town is 78 and rainy, and the entire southwest is 100 and dry as a bone, why should we move? we work carefully with the post office of the village to make sure they know who we are. we got a post office box and it looks like we'll be able to use it. let the post office, the fed ex, etc. drive around the desert and up the steep canyons. i've begun to think about ways to stay around here forever, and just refuse to budge (i guess vacation does that to you).

it's a little tourist village, less than a thousand permanent residents, rain and clouds often if not all the time. one idea would be to open a scottish apparel - kilts, bagpipes, etc. - store - though i wouldn't get much business, i could sit around this fine cloudy downtown doing what i want - listening to scottish music. i could also serve fine coffee, although i think one can get that elsewhere in certain parts of town. and, of course, i could stage a scottish festival once a year.

a more realistic possibility would be a print and copy shop, like a mailboxes. as it is one has to run down the canyon twenty minutes to the desert, where it's always at least twenty degrees hotter, just to get a copy. and in fact, we did that the other day. so i could save on my own gas, for starters, just by having a place with a copy machine nearby. this is one that could work, though it would require substantial investment.

i take every opportunity to drive through the mountain ridges, forty miles north, through the mescalero reservation, and go to ruidoso. now that's a beautiful drive. high green pastures, pretty well-taken care of woods, little gravel roads up into the mountain ridges - I don't think i've ever seen countryside so beautiful. i had an earlier plan to work in ruidoso - perhaps as a fiddler. but one thing i've learned is that 40 miles can take an hour, and at the same time be a little dicey. yesterday the tribal police came up behind me with their red sirens flashing, and the problem was, the ninja turtles were on the van dvd and had sirens of its own - but there was no traffic, and i think they could see that, so they just went around. something was happening way out there on the res - and i was glad it wasn't me. my own car handled the windy twisted roads very well - didn't see any elk, or deer, or mountain lion either. seems that depends on when you're driving.

it had rained up there too. it rained here at night and is most likely going to rain again. i think, in the entire southwest, we're one of the few people who get the rain the minute it falls. before they get to put roundup or whatever, in it. i think that's what i like best about it.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

audiobook!

Do Unto: A short story and twenty others


















Now available on audiobook
Try it!
left cloudcroft this morning for a forty-mile ride up to ruidoso, hoping to swim, van full of kids. that road goes northeast out of cloudcroft for quite a ways, then in the mescalero reservation cuts sharply northwest until it gets to seventy, the big road cutting up into ruidoso. that road cuts over apache peak, gives you a good view of sierra blanca, and goes past two large casinos before coming into ruidoso.

i'm fascinated by the mescalero reservation for several reasons. one is that they appear to be taking better care of their forests than we are, though they clearly had a couple of mountains that burned down and are starting over; these are near the main highway. so, their forest is prettier, healthier, more alive, yet the houses are a little dumpier, certainly not fixed up like the anglo ones. it could be that the anglo culture emphasizes putting the pretty stuff out front; i know most of the anglo families i knew were like that. most of the trucks driving through the area were newer, in good shape; they had money, money enough for trucks anyway. their lanes in some cases snaked up into beautiful mountain countryside, and you couldn't see what they had back there, it was out of sight, and i imagine some of those dirt tracks went back miles. it's a large reservation and covers mountainsides in every direction. why not take the best mountain vistas, covered with beautiful healthy forest, high in the mountains, and live forever? it seemed like paradise to me; i've never been in a more beautiful place.

our other trip is down to el paso; that is coming up this thursday maybe. to get to el paso you drive straight down through an enormous empty desert. at one point a road cuts off to the right, at a town called orogrande; this town has a single bar, and almost nothing else. but because that road goes off to the missile range, i imagine that bar is a pretty wild one. the soldiers come off the base...they have money, but they've been isolated for a while...the place just oozes wild times, even on sunday mornings. el paso itself is a huge and sprawling city, built around the little areas where there is not enormous mountain, where the enormous mountains squeeze the rio grande, and you can imagine that some folks like to be right up in the downtown, where you can literally look across at juarez, and others like to be back up in the mountain canyons, set back a little, enjoying the only shade in the area, that caused by the enormous mountain peaks. the downtown is old, sunny, charming. their minor league baseball team is the chihuahuas. we intend to try it out.

our routine, up here, is the mountains. we avoid the festivals, avoid the people, avoid the tourist traps. we have some high mountain air, and a great sunset, and we go for walks every day, along the ridge, or down to the meadow, but somewhere where it smells good. slowly, i'm beginning to feel high mountain pine as the default, the most natural thing to breathe. and i don't want to breathe anything else.

Friday, June 17, 2016

any time i get frustrated, too much kid-noise to concentrate, i pack up my creative projects and just blog. times are good - it's the one month i get off entirely from esl, and i can really work on my writing - but with the kids being around all the time, and sometimes very around, sometimes i get less than i'd like. today, i look out over the white sands, which are still a little hazy - earlier today, i noticed that probably the large fire in central new mexico had brought some smoke and haze our way, because we could no longer see the sharp whites of the gypsum fields reflecting in the morning sun. now it's late afternoon; the sun should be setting; but, we should also get a clearer color difference between the light blues of the mountains and the bright white of the sands.

once again we didn't make it down the hill for groceries. the walmart is two or three thousand feet down, twenty or thirty degrees hotter, and much sunnier; you really have to be prepared for that. i asked a local how they do it, and she told me, early in the morning, which made sense. and, as little as possible, obviously. our goal now is to be up here and stay here. 105 in roswell, 103 in lubbock, but 70/70/70 here, and we're loving it. when in doubt, make a cup of navajo tea and go sit on the porch.

suddenly, for some reason, i wrote a whole lot more haiku. they're easier these days; i need three a day, but wrote over ten today, at least three for the carbondale collection and the other seven for e pluribus. this will help tide me over on those dry times when i don't force myself to write anything at all - if it's not coming, just move on, i like to say. and i have absolutely no problem with making that tea, and just sitting and watching across the tularosa valley. my one weakness with the haiku, that i'm feeling now, is that, in 1974 or wherever, i was not very in tune with the actual physical things: the flowers, the vines, the trees. haiku wants me to know what blooms, where, and when, yet i kind of feel that i'm making claims about what blooms, on the roadsides of, say, nebraska, when in fact i went through nebraska several times, and still couldn't tell you.

i remember lots of other things about the countryside - the vast expansiveness of places like nebraska - the feeling i got of being a visitor in a wide and expansive country, confident in itself, comfortable, gracious, generous. i can express this kind of feeling and will. but to actually work in the physical details - i have some trouble with that. i simply can't remember them. even when i saw them, i didn't know the names of anything - didn't care - so that, now, i am left asserting that some kind of wildflower was out there, on the road - and it probably was, somewhere - but i have to figure out how i can make these empty assertions more grounded. for example, if i put a flower in a city, i have better chances of having there actually be one of them, there, somewhere - whereas, if i put it at a certain intersection, i could be so wrong!

two other things i've done here is collation, to the point of almost finishing, my autobiography (actually, to be more precise, i am probably still not close) - and typing some of the crinkly personal stories of my ancestors - so that my crinkly copies are not the only ones around. my goal here would be to have some authentic historical documents to mix in with my own writing, in a volume that would track the leverett side all the way back to the governor. i would mix in my own commentary on who they were, what they were like, the times they lived in. the one i just typed, the guy moved out to quincy illinois in about 1830or 40, set out to farming and pioneer-like activities, and then noticed that the mormons were just being evicted from quincy right as they lived there. but he barely commented on it; he was either so absorbed in ploughing, getting by, and raising various children, or else he was so political, that he knew that once starting to even mention it, there would be no other way but to go on about it, until it was fully explained. there was the story of how some guy stopped him and implored him to vote for van buren, but he'd made up his mind toward harrison, and chose not to discuss it.

then, sure enough, i got a biography of lincoln - actually my son checked it out of the library, hoping to get the true story of john wilkes booth's demise - but it didn't have it, and i started actually reading it, this being vacation and all, and there was van buren and harrison right in it. lincoln was around in those days, and also in southwestern illinois, and so there was a certain interesting parallel there. a sudden, intense look at the 1830s.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016

6-8-16

tonight, my mother’s birthday (she would have been 88), we had homemade chocolate chip cookies – that was fitting. i don’t generally make a big deal out of such anniversaries, but i did remember this one – partly because the youngest of the family is turning eight tomorrow. now that’s a much bigger deal, when a kid picks up a year, and that will of course change the balance of power since now she’ll be jealous of them for an entire year, with the mild interruption of the holidays, until it’s her turn again. in a small cabin like this one, we become a little more familiar with the jealousies and tribulations that are part of life as a kid. and they don’t have a whole lot of other friends, yet, to dilute the passion.

for my walk at night I leave my cabin, at about 8900 feet, and walk straight uphill to the very top of the hill, which is probably 9200 or something, and it seems like there are more stars up there, but it could be that we’re just a little more out of the light up there. it’s a steep hill and it tests the degree that i’m out of shape. my knees, my ankles, my feet, all still sore from my barefoot-walking days. up at the inn, at the top of the hill, i simply turn around and walk down the hill on a gravel road that has a number of cabins tucked away in the forest – yet it’s a city street. it’s called “wren.”

on that road, which comes back into the center of town, where cabins are tucked away in the forest and many are dark and quiet, one woman (i think) has an unusual display – it’s like branches twisted around to make a kind of altar – and she has lights shining soft light on it. it’s like an altar, a crest, or a sign, all in one. kind of a wild place.

the town itself has less than a thousand – full time residents, anyway, probably a few more once summer gets started. people like us fill up the quiet and empty cabins, of which there are many, and also come up for the ski season. they refer to us as “texans” – which is generally what we are. the pressure is on for us to just move out here, so we can be normal, and never look back – which is kind of like what they do.

the other day the police shot an elk – it was a controversial incident, and made the papers in all the local towns. the problem was that she was a mother, and her baby disappeared, which was probably just as well for the baby. she was acting surly and threatening people who got anywhere near her baby – which was natural, if you think about it. the police felt bad about it, but it was kind of like the cincinnati zoo incident – people get a little too close to the animals, or even feed them, as the case may be, and bad things happen. their worlds don’t really go together.

i’m writing a story about that very concept, which you will see soon. I am also writing a quaker play about africa, redoing boxcars on walnut and finishing just passing through: true stories from out there, much of which appears on this blog. it’s a busy time, but I’m deluged by kids, and we’re also having an interlude in ability to get online. i’ll put this online in my little window of time online, and otherwise i’ll just stick to writing (one of my projects is copying my great-great-grandfather’s journal) – things i can do without getting online. on my little phone, i can still figure out that the cavs won, and the usual blather fills up the political arena. happy birthday, mom – it’s probably just as well, that you slipped away when you did.
new story
Goodbye Tiger Island
enjoy! comments welcome!

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

6-6-16

at a point where i no longer want to ‘go to town’ – in our case, now, it means going down a spectacular canyon, about twenty minutes, to a town that is twenty or thirty degrees hotter, very sunny, and tucked intensely against the mountains we are staying in. i want to stay and write, but the family has returned, making six people in the cabin, and opening the door to the back porch, which is empty and cool, lets in a handful of moths, and we have a couple of kids who still get nervous about moths, I’m not sure why. You can get rid of moths by turning lights on outside, if you have them, and then turning them off inside, and leaving the doors open. The air is fresh here, piney and wet, cool. i’d like to keep the doors open all the time, but now there are too many dogs. the dogs feel like they have to defend us from all the neighboring wildlife.

five deer crossed our path the other day when we were giving the black lab a walk. the lab tugged hard at the leash; she was dying to go chase those deer. Not sure what she was planning to do if she caught them, but there she was, in a mountain meadow, with a powerful itch, tugging at the line. i held tight; i didn’t want to lose her.

the ‘meta’ is my favorite place on earth, just a short maybe half-mile hike from our door. our path goes past a house or two, and on a rocky old road, but the ‘meta’ is the real thing, an open place in the middle of a mountain forest. no wonder those deer wanted a piece of it. lots of good things for deer to eat out there, and no end of beautiful days to go get it.

finally had to go to town today – we were after a birthday present and some other supplies – and so i did, and sure enough, twenty degrees hotter, sun beating down, and people, I swear, are much different down there. more serious, maybe, or having a harder time making it. a couple of them engaged me in conversation – i felt like i was making their day, just being so different. up here, on the mountain, a policeman pulled over, just to introduce himself, really – wanted to know where i lived. i told him. in a town of less than a thousand, what do you expect? I had a wide smile. Just leaving my door, we’re on a kind of ridge – we look out at white sands, we see a hilly mountain road cut up across the highway; we can see the clouds coming up through the high mountains, as the town basically sits in them. the cool cloudy breeze feels so good after two years of texas. on the hill, now, and feeling like i don’t want to come back down.

new story

new story:
your dead
comments welcome!