Friday, April 13, 2018

the wind is howling out there and has been, so long, that i suppose people get used to it. mid april and it's dry as a bone, and people are scared to death of the fires, because if the fires catch the wind is going faster than we can drive. they're pretty good at fighting the fires up here; they're ready, and every able-bodied man, it seems, except maybe me, is on some crew and running off to capitan.

capitan, it seems, has a fire, or maybe two of them, and they are raging out of control, or pretty well in control, depending on who you talk to. who knows? capitan is way over past ruidoso; you go north to ruidoso, then through ruidoso, then up past sierra blanca, the big huge monster mountain of the southern sacramentos, and way out there, past a couple of hillsides that burned up a few years back, is the town of capitan, where there is some flat and open area, and another mountain, capitan, is within sight.

there are no fires around here, that i know of, except my little woodstove, in our freezing little cabin, and i thought, it's so cold, the wind whipping through, all the cracks in the doors are whistling, what we really need is a fire in the woodstove. knowing full well about capitan, and about any lit match being possible armageddon for the whole village, yes, but i was careful, and just lit the darn thing. the fire is now glowing away and keeping me warm as i write. an added bonus - the teapot finally started its whistling, on top of the stove, partially neutralizing the girls' high pitched squeaking in the other room.

meanwhile the sun sets gently over the dusty, windswept white sands, where you can practically see the wind picking up the white sand and blowing it up the mountain.

a summer ago or so, some guy shot a bear; it was a sad situation, because the cubs were on the porch, the guy had let his dog out; the dog went after the cubs; the mother went after the dog, and the guy had to shoot the bear mother. someone took in the orphaned bear cubs, but, eventually, time came to let them out. she took them up by capitan. my question really is if there is a lot of forest up there, and, if so, how happy those bears would be. how similar to here, i wonder, and, would fires like this endanger bears like that. we live with that tenuous kind of possibility around here all the time.

this history teacher in the middle school took a bad fall, and lost part of his memory and ability to speak. i had a short but lively gig replacing him for a while; i taught some genuine american history, and the eighth graders did their best to treat me as a sub, lowest of the low, bottom of the food chain. they weren't overall much into taking my advice, or teaching, or anything. they are all of thirteen and have much more important considerations. but in the end, i enjoyed it; for one thing, i was actually teaching, instead of just sitting there. they were doing war of 1812, lewis and clark, andrew jackson. mostly they caused trouble. next week it's back to the high school.


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