Tuesday, November 1, 2011
My First Blog Post from Why, Arizona
Wow, I am so far behind on blogging. Or I guess I would be if I had publication deadlines, which I don't. But I have tried to blog every week or two since I left Eugene, Oregon, on February 14th of this year.
The last few weeks were harried--well, harried for a marginally employed, basically lazy, gimpy old gal like me. I gave notice on my apartment in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and needed to be out by the end of October. Steve and I decided to head up to visit friends in Santa Fe and Taos before leaving the state, so we went on vacation the week before I planned to vacate my apartment.
We visited Steve's friends (and now they're mine, too!) Dusty and Arnold, who have homes both in Santa Fe and Ajo, Arizona, which is the town of 4000 people that's 10 miles from Why. They'll be heading to Ajo after Thanksgiving to spend the winter, so I already have friends here.
We also got to see Conrad and Susan De Jong. Conrad was my favorite undergraduate music professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in the mid-70s. We had a delightful lunch with the De Jongs at the O'Keeffe Cafe which, unfortunately, was going out of business a few days after our fabulous meal there. It was very fun to catch up a little bit on the many years since I'd seen Conrad and to meet his wife, whom I just missed meeting when I was an undergrad--she started teaching at the college right after I graduated. They have very active lives (tennis for him, dressage for her) and are a great example of how to live happy and healthy.
We spent one day driving up to Taos to meet Bridget Boyle, a friend I've known online for several years, initially through Sparkpeople.com and more recently through FaceBook and our respective blogs. Bridget and her husband are retired school teachers from Southern California who now own a ranch outside of Guadalupita. They are growing organic vegetables and trying to keep their small herd of cattle out of the crops. Always an adventure to read Bridget's blog! And it was a pleasure to finally meet her in person.
We did a few touristy things on our trip...visited the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, looked at Indian jewelry at the Santa Fe Plaza, saw the Kit Carson House in Taos and the Taos Pueblo. But really the best part of the trip was the people and also the beautiful drive between Santa Fe and Taos, where we saw some nice fall colors along the Rio Grande.
It was very relaxing and rejuvenating to go up north for a few days, and I came back feeling ready to really get some work done--which was great, because I had a lot of work to do! I had one more mosaic project to do for La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa before leaving TorC, plus I had to pack up The Guppy and clean the apartment. Fortunately one of the La Paloma housekeepers came over for a few hours and cleaned all the major surfaces for me, leaving me with only the smaller jobs such as cleaning the oven.
We left TorC last Wednesday morning, drove to Tucson to spend the night at Steve's sister Mary's place, and then drove the rest of the way to Why the following day. I didn't see much of Tucson--we mostly just ran a few errands while we were there--and, again, the best part of traveling was meeting Mary, who made me feel very welcome.
When we arrived at Coyote Howls, I was a little freaked. It appeared to be a big flat spot with just a scattering of mostly older RVs. After I'd been here a little while, it still looked like a big flat spot with a scattering of old RVs, but by then I'd also found out how quiet, relaxing and beautiful it is here. The night sky is amazing--I have never seen so many stars in my entire life. The sunrises and sunsets are wonderful, too. I woke up one morning to see a wild burro walking past, and I hear coyotes playing at night.
Since arriving here last week, I've been pretty busy getting acclimated. First we did some cleaning because Steve's 32-foot 5th wheel (which doesn't have a name!) had been closed up for six months or so, and a pack rat had been in here. Then I started fitting my clothes and other possessions into Steve's place. Now I'm back working on my eBay business, which I'd shut down for a few days during the transition here, and I'm getting acquainted with neighbors and with the amenities in Ajo. Today I am taking the bus from Coyote Howls to the Ajo Library for a drawing class that will run every Wednesday afternoon for six weeks. I will be in town all afternoon (the bus only runs out to Why three times a day), so I'll arrange to get a P.O. box and take time for coffee at the Oasis Cafe, which is on the beautiful little plaza in Ajo.
Life is very relaxing here. I've started work on some multimedia art pieces that I've had in mind to work on for a long time. I'm reading a lot. I spend time cooking slow food such as chili from scratch, including soaking and cooking the beans. Sometimes I sit and do very little at all. I think it's going to be a great winter.