Friday, November 29, 2019

it's a bleak friday; i take no joy from shopping or going to town on lousy roads. i sit at my chair on this rainy, icy day (see below) and try to relax. it's not so bad, really. my wife is hobbled by pins in her hipbone and has trouble getting around, so i have more responsibility in going to the different buildings on our place and making sure the kids are ok. doing laundry, for example, and getting garbage out of here are two ongoing chores. she kind of wants to cook, and actually did, most of thanksgiving, but now we're both resting; most of it is put away, and dishes almost done.

so the rainstorm that came through, and is still coming through, is part of this pacific bomb cyclone event that dumped some snow in southern california and is in general making life miserable, up through colorado and into montana and idaho. the east will get it later, no doubt, and, way down here in southern new mexico, it's barely a shadow of what it is up there. we were prepared for it: we stocked up, got our supplies, came home and watched it snow about three inches. but it was supposed to be fifteen, and be followed by solid ice, or accompanied by it, and at this point, it has generously stayed above freezing for much of the time, and we're just getting lots of drizzly rain. We kind of like that out here, because rain is so rare and so little, as a general rule, that what we have is soaked up by the trees and everything just seems to be much healthier.

so the usual blazing new mexico sun, which can give you a sunburn even in winter, is muted, with an ongoing cloudy sky and drizzle which is easily confused with water dripping off the porch. we make a shopping list for the next time we go into town; we've run out of a few supplies. but the truck has a "check engine" light and that makes me nervous, fills me with a certain kind of dread, a fear of the ice and the cliffs and the frozen snow.

one night i was on my way to town to pick up kids that had come back from a basketball game. the car started simply not pullling itself. it was smelling bad, slowing down, and making funny sounds. the shoulder was icy and wasn't really a car wide, anywhere, and the road was solid ice, too. but worst of all, the two kids were waiting for me in town, and town was still about five or six miles up the steep icy hill. finally the car just started to choke up, not going anywhere. i tried to pull into a pullover on the left side of the road and the car didn't make it; it stopped in the middle of the oncoming lane.

a car came the other way, and then another, and graciously stopped with blinkers, to get out and help me. we pushed the car off the road even though it was kind of into a snow bank of snow maybe six or eight inches, which had been plowed off the road. it wasn't far off the road and when the policeman came we decided to get it a little further off the road. the people who had stopped offered to take me to get my truck, which was way out in the country where my wife had fallen off the horse, and i took them up on it. the policeman offered to tell the school to hold on to the kids.

i would have been more than an hour late picking up the kids, if someone hadn't offered to simply give them a ride home. the ranch where the truck was was out of the range of the snowstorm, totally dark, and it took me a while to find the keys and get it out of there. i was traumatized by the time it was all over.

i rest, still traumatized. the drizzle is kind of nice, as long as it doesn't freeze.


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