Wednesday, December 04, 2013

the road to las cruces from here is a single highway most of the way; it goes through brownfield and plains, across the new mexico border to lovington, across the oil fields and down across the scrawny pecos river to artesia, and then over a wide, open, endless plain with a huge sky. finally you come to some mountains and go up to 8800 feet, where the air is thin and there are pine trees and lots of rain and snow, then quick you shoot down these intense dry mountains past some ancient caves, into the wide dry tularosa basin, past white sands, and then once again, over some high, dramatic organ mountains and down into the city. going there we had tom and jerry movies. i thought, i should really make the kids watch the scenery, and there are some places, they probably did. most times i was really glad i had the movies; they got to choose, really, since they watch the scenery anyway. to them it's about as good as it gets, watching tom and jerry, and going through the stunning scenery.

don't have much to report about the family; i never do, only that my parents are doing fine, and my sister is out there with them, soaking up the wide new mexico sky and learning her way around the mesilla valley. the boys like the trip, in spite of the fact that it's long, lots of driving, my parents live a slowed-down life, and we of course don't know many other people in town. grownups tend to talk a lot, that's a given. but they still had fun, came back with stuff to talk about.

tonight, a "carol of lights" celebration here where the band plays christmas music, everyone stands out in the square, and all the lights come on at once. i went down there alone this year, surrounded by a sea of students, a warm night, as most are, so everyone's just standing around listening to this band play. kind of reflective, that christmas music. you only hear it once a year. might as well take it all in.

couple months ago, this bizarre story unfolded in lubbock. ten foster/adopt children were taken from a house, they hauled them all away. the neighbors had noticed something not right over there. they had money; they got it from taking in the children in the first place, and from social security, but they weren't spending it well on the children, and bad things were happening. one girl stopped eating and lost many pounds. this was the tipoff, gave them the reason to go in there. she was twelve, but was down to fifty-seven pounds. in desperation, she broke apart the whole thing. now the kids are scattered to the winds. they are still looking for homes for some of them; others have gone to amarillo, dallas, houston. the parents are in jail.

why do i know such things? truth is stranger than fiction, i must say, but, the best i can answer, i'm doing research, you could say. these kids, life's victims, more valuable if they're branded as somehow needing more state funds. they find homes of dubious value. it's tough times, different things get called "home"...the state gets involved, because it has to. the foster parents, it's tough for them too. they figure they can do this, and get some money, it will feed them too, and they know they have to keep their eyes open, but that's hard, with ten kids. for these two, there may have been more problems, more distractions. who knows? the ten kids in a nightmare-house, now that's what i'd call out there...

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