Wednesday, July 09, 2014

the hippies in this town look vaguely familiar. of course the hippie era is what, forty or fifty years past, and back then, i didn't even pass through here, really, though it was all the same people, and some were bound to end up down here, in a remote mountain outpost, the southern part of the rockies, the sacramentos of south-eastern new mexico where we happen to be vacationing for ten days. we are yuppies now, to some degree, with a new car, a "chalet" with wrap-around porch looking out at the mountains, enough money to eat at the restaurants. and they, fifty years on, have houses, or businesses, or some kind of gig, if not retirement and way to hang around, living in the high mountain pines and shopping at the same places i do.

to us new mexico is a welcome break from the flat hot sunny lubbock that we left behind. i'm dying to advertise it all over facebook but i consider it unwise to tell 700 friends that i'm out of town, somebody is bound to tell the wrong person. my friends are all over the world, following the holande-argentina match, traveling themselves, sending in pictures from whatever outpost they've chosen to spend july in. but i just figure, with my fiddle locked up in lubbock, even though most of our computers are here in new mexico with us, oh well, it's just time to spend some private time, not even share what the family is doing, resting and breathing in high mountain pine air.

riudoso is a kind of tourist town, but, four days into vacation, and i've only got about sixteen license plates, the vast majority that i've seen were texas with a handful of oklahoma, arizona, colorado. people don't know about ruidoso unless they ski, in which case they come here from places like lubbock a lot. the high mountain dryness makes a good kind of snow, but most people don't know about it, and that makes it a good place. in the summer it's best for just getting out of a hot flat dry place like west texas, and getting some perspective on the world, at about sixty-six hundred feet.

life slows to a crawl as i get my wife to watch the kids half the time and i actually get to read, rest, keep up on the world cup; it's a vacation, and the last one i'll get for a while probably. the holande-argentina match was a good example. so many of my facebook friends who are from latin america got wrapped up in the cup, particularly colombian friends, that i couldn't help but get wrapped up in the results and see it from their point of view. i didn't really have a dog in the fight - though i knew people from argentina, and know people in the netherlands as well, in the end i wanted argentina only because i thought all of south america should have someone in there, once brazil was so dramatically ousted. but really i kept track of the match mostly because the moon was rising on a high mountain valley, and i was out on the porch outside breathing high mountain pines, and i'd scrolled pretty much completely through my facebook, having read virtually everything of interest.

i have two books, one about the dust bowl in the depression and another a murder mystery, and i'm almost done with the dust-bowl one, but the other one was kind of disturbing so i shied away from it a little. rather read about dust coming in the cracks, in the windows, piled up at the fencerows, and six years of drought corresponding to economic hardship that meant there was no money, no jobs, no where to go. it gives a person something to compare the modern high plains to - where there's plenty of work in some places, but whole swaths of the country are hurting for work or meaningful economic activity, and everyone slipping further and further into the quicksand of slow economy. i can't imagine sitting around a dust-surrounded mud hut, for six years, waiting for it to rain, but, since we've found a way to tap the aquifer dry and we've hit our own six years, we'll soon be left with no aquifer, and a somewhat similar situation. except that a whole plains full of cotton fields is surely different from a whole plains full of tilled grassland, where wheat was supposed to be planted but in fact never was. that plains blew away, millions of square feet of topsoil, but the one we've got now, well, it's got tenuous soil but at least cotton is growing on it. not that i'd know a dustbowl, it could probably hit me in the face before i'd even know what i was looking at.

i've put much more of my spirit into music today, what's left of my writing is right here. my novel, almost done but put aside. e pluribus haiku - published, but not even advertised on my template here. my other books - shelved for the moment. writing doesn't go with the intensive childcare i've been doing, nearly as well as crazy-making fiddle. i'm trying to learn the fiddler's role of calling the songs, and knowing how they start - maybe even singing a few, and i will get started on this though it may take a while. meanwhile, i sit on the mountain porch - a moment in time, a deer placidly watching me, this deer lives nearby i'm sure, and is somehow convinced i'll feed it. i will not feed is not supposed to do that, i believe. they've declared thistle illegal in town, but i found some of it and even took its picture. why is it so bad? i'm not sure, i know very little about it, i don't even know if i found the kind that's illegal. it was quite bright in the morning sunlight though, so, i got it. whatever it symbolizes, i'll figure it out, as soon as possible. and maybe learn that song about wildflowers being free, and not having to care about our cultivating efforts.

in two days, off to white sands, and las cruces, to visit my parents. the license plates, they'll pick up down there at white sands, as it's a national monument visited widely by many tourists. this on the other hand is a remote, isolated outpost, and i like it that way.


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