Friday, November 2, 2012


Moving In to a cabin in the woods, some time in the 19th Century

We're inundated with boxes at the moment and we're facing a deadline to get them off the truck trailer that's parked in the drive. Our helpers sort of vamoosed, the way they do, so it's up to a couple of old farts to de-box the truck. We're getting there.

Halloween and All Saints/Soul's Day were a hoot; everything seemed to happen at once.

Two buildings were delivered and set up on Halloween, one to serve as a studio, the other to serve temporarily ("") for  storage. The dude who brought them and wrangled them around the place was one of those folks we encounter in New Mexico all the time, mostly carefree and chatty. We had a great time yakking about everything under the sun while he literally drove the little studio building (on a sort of semi-forklift gizmo with extra wheels at the end of the building) out to the back of the house and set it up and then did the same with the storage building. His name was Scotty and he was from Colorado -- where his family still is. He was in construction until the bottom fell out of the real estate market, and he said he was unemployed except for odd jobs for four years until just a few months ago when he got this gig in New Mexico delivering and setting up buildings like he was doing for us. He comes down here usually twice a month for delivery and set up all over northern New Mexico. He said he likes it -- and he did it well.

Later, when we thought we had plenty of Halloween candy for the trick-or-treaters, we quickly learned otherwise. We're in a small community, and this is the first Halloween we've spent here. In our urban environment in California we rarely ran out of Halloween candy, because there just weren't that many trick-or-treaters coming around. We figured that twice as much candy would serve the purpose here, but within an hour of the first visitors, it was gone. I had to run out and get some more, and by the time the tide subsided, there were literally only two pieces of candy left.

Where did all these kids come from? I don't think the total population around here amounts to the number of kids who flocked to our door. Sometimes the street outside was literally jammed with kids, parents, cars, pickups, police, and what have you (the police were keeping an eye on the crowds). In town, there was a big outdoor Halloween party for the kids, and the stores were welcoming trick-or-treaters, too. We've never seen anything like it for Halloween. And it was fun, too. All the kids were polite, some were very creative with their costumes, their parents were with them and it was great to meet some of the people who are now our neighbors. But others, we're convinced, came from all around the county. There just aren't that many residents here!

Yesterday, we had to call the drain-cleaner service because the sewer line from the house was clogged -- again. It happened much the same way (only it was December) about 3 years ago, and we thought it was much worse than it turned out to be. We called the local people this time, same ones who did the work last time, only this time, they were booked till next week. So it was time for Roto-Rooter out of Albuquerque. They came within a few hours, quite laid back the two of them, having a grand time out here in the country. They cleared out drain -- it's a root problem that happens particularly in the dry fall and early winter, we really can't do much to prevent it. The trees are old and they will find water. But if it's only every three years, I guess it's OK.

At the same time the drain was being cleared, the truck arrived with our stuff from California (that which didn't fit in the van or go in to storage in CA). What fun. We got that set up while the drain people were finishing, and of course just then, the cell-phone people had to call to take care of my complaint about not receiving my minutes for November. Everything at once, as I said.

Eventually, everything started settling down -- whew -- and we decided to go for an Anniversary and Welcome to New Mexico dinner at the County Line in Albuquerque. It was really nice. Close to perfect.

So today we're unpacking the truck trailer, packing the boxes into the storage building, finding places for the few pieces of furniture we brought, and gasping at the wonderful weather, enjoying the beauty of the sky and the trees, and learning to pace ourselves at this altitude.

Meanwhile, the cleanup on the East Coast is looking more and more nightmarish. The aftermath of The Storm is looking far worse than initially believed it would be, and I can only express my profound sympathy for what the survivors must be going through. I've seen a number of "new normal" articles and pieces on the teevee that propose that we are actually past the climate change tipping point, and we will have to live with these kinds of events for the foreseeable future. I have no particular reason to doubt it.  Too late to do anything about it seems to be the operative theory. But when Our Betters start with the notion that "there's nothing to be done" -- as I'm sure they did, just as they did with the problem of unemployment, among many other issues and problems they don't give a good gott-damb about -- then of course nothing happens for the better.

As long as they can profit, Our Betters don't care.

And they are profiting, magnificently.


  1. Che,
    This is a personal sort of note, but I cannot use the email service you provide to email you directly, so I am sticking it here. You may delete it later if you feel it is too much personal stuff.

    You are now in Santa Fe, or nearby, right? I wanted to let you know about the St. John's College campus in Santa Fe. One of my kids went to St J's in Annapolis, then on to St. J's in Santa Fe for his master's. I never made it out to NM while he was there, but spent quite a bit of time at the campus in Annapolis. The reason YOU might be interested in visiting the campus is for the amazing events that they offer free to the public. Both campuses offer art gallery showings, poetry readings, seminars, readings, or talks on a variety of subjects throughout the months, and anyone can attend these. Another fun thing to do is sit in on a couple of senior defenses in the spring. (The seniors have to write a thesis, rather like a PhD thesis at other schools, and then present it and defend it to a group of their "tutors", as they call the teachers. The public is welcome to attend any of the defenses. The topics are as varied as the students.) Oh, and the freshmen (at least in Annapolis, and I assume in Santa Fe as well) are required to be part of the Freshman Chorus - they will have performances throughout the year (Xmas would be a good concert!), although those might not be free. There are also plays performed a few times a year.

    You can check out St J's website here:
    At the top of the page, you'll see a section called "events" to check out. Or on the right-hand side of the home page, there is a place where you can click for info on the Santa Fe campus alone.

    Very cool school, and very good exhibits, talks, etc.

    Just thought that might be a fun thing for y'all to check out. When you are more settled in, natch.

    - Teri

  2. PS: If you click on "events" at the top of the home page, it takes you to a page where the info is divided; Annapolis campus on the left, Santa Fe on the right. You can click on the sub-categories from there (concerts, art gallery, etc.). Also, you should be able to sign up for updates of their community calendar from that page.


  3. I'm reading about Sandy first hand on my Facebook page, mostly posts from my New York/New Jersey Family and friends.

    It's pretty bad up there.

  4. Thanks, teri for the info on St. Johns. I knew there was a campus in Santa Fe, but I have never been there. Now there is a reason to go! Might even be a reason to go back to Annapolis -- one of our favorite cities. Don't know why my email would be unusable. I get tons of email every day. My main problem is trying to keep up with it all (I've missed too many things I should have caught.)

    pws, the situation along parts of The Storm's path seems to be getting worse, at least from what I can tell. There seem to be an awful lot of people in peril, and there seemed to be a lot of denial from some of the official sources about it to begin with. Not everybody could get out of the way, after all.

    Sorry that your friends and family up north are going through such misery. I hope everyone is physically OK. We're getting bits of news from people we know in New Jersey and New York, and so far -- except for loss of electricity and difficulty getting around -- they're doing reasonably well. They feel like they escaped something truly dire, though.

  5. Che,

    There is nothing wrong with your email - it's my old computer, which cannot utilize the email service you have provided. It's a bummer.

    I think if you look at St J's home page, you'll be able to tell right away how different they are from any other colleges in the US. "These teachers will be returning to Saint John's this year - Euclid, Homer, Einstein, Socrates, [...etc.]."