Archive for August, 2017

Reggae donkeys

August 7, 2017

Here’s a story you might appreciate.

Two donkeys browse the field next door.  Here’s a picture of Pancho & Sarah.

They are in the midst of enjoying their morning snack of crabapples.  A tree grows on my side of the fence, but they can’t reach it.  So I fill a bucket and toss them out on their side of the fence.  My initial intention of feeding them apple-by-apple in a picturesque manner was revised the moment I saw the mosquitoes covering the poor asses’ hides.  I managed to toss the apples and make a break for it, barely escaping the swarm.

I’d been feeding them at my leisure, a schedule that didn’t suit them.  Their aggrieved complaints became apparent to me the other day when a series of seesawing “hee haws” drew me to my kitchen window.  The two had come up to the fence line and were letting me know it was high time to be fed more crabapples.

Now that they keep a close eye on my comings and goings, it’s not just the mosquitoes keeping me inside but Pancho & Sarah who keen when they see me water the garden or hang laundry.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy feeding them but that the supply of crabapples is dwindling.  I still have a week or so left and I don’t want to have to buy some bags of apples at the store to satisfy them (although as I write this, I can see myself doing just that).

Lately I’ve been playing Bob Marley in the morning.  I start my music with “Wait in Vain” and the next song is “Redemption Song.”  Bob sings the refrain plaintively,

Won’t you help to sing these songs of freedom?

‘Cause all I’ve ever had

Redemption songs.

The other morning, walking down the red dirt driveway to satisfy my friends’ demands, I shifted the lyrics, singing out to the morning sky,

Won’t you help to sing these songs of donkeys?

‘Cause I’ve ever had.

Donkey songs.

Finishing it, of course, with a loud “hee haw.”

This morning, watching those persistent two move from the lower pasture where they’d tried and failed to capture my attention, I knew they’d be up at my window very soon.  As I grabbed my bucket and headed out to the crabapple tree, I thought of how they were singing their own version of another great Bob Marley song.

Get up, stand up!  Stand up for your rights!

Get up, stand up! Don’t give up the fight!

I’m going to miss my New Mexico mornings and my reggae donkeys.

 

Double rainbow

August 5, 2017

I’m scheduled to give my first (and only) Evening Program at Bandelier’s amphitheater tonight which means it will be a long, long day.  If I decide to come home afterward, once I’ve successfully managed to dodge the elk and mule deer on the road over the Jemez Mountains, I won’t fall into bed until well past 11.  Then I need to get back on the road by 8:30 for Sunday’s shift.  I did manage to get some sleep last night but was awake by 4:30.  Combining a persistent low level exhaustion with the fact that my Evening Program isn’t anywhere near completed as I type this, I think it’s safe to say that a very interesting day lies ahead.

As I prepare to wrap up this part of my life and move back to Virginia, so many thoughts/plans are running through my head.  Adding to all of the usual miseries of relocation, over the past 45 days or so, my car has been having issues that have only within the past 2 days been diagnosed:  a leaking head gasket.

I have a rental car reserved for my cross-country drive, but there’s a part of me that thinks the leak is not too severe since the car never overheats.  So I’m going to try one more fix:  a product that seals leaking head gaskets.  Sure, one issue that’s inspiring me to try one last fix is money, but I also have this feeling that this car & I are not quite at the end of our relationship.  Arguably silly, I’ll agree, but I’m just not one to buy into our disposable culture.  Plus I tend to anthropomorphize inanimate objects; it may be a genetic thing:  to this day my mom acts as if she coax her car into lasting longer by not driving it often.  As if one can bargain with a car!

So this morning while I’ve been researching the gasket lead and repair possibilities on-line, I’ve also been roasting a chicken for the week ahead.  (the best recipe https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015182-marcella-hazans-roast-chicken-with-lemons)

As I was walking in and out of the house, running the car engine, noting the white smoke blowing from the tail pipe, checking the fluid, etc., the tantalizing smell of a roasting chicken filled my adobe’s airy rooms.  The sun struggled to rise above the bank of clouds hanging low in the east as a few sprinkles fell.  Standing over the car engine, coolant in hand, I looked up and saw a double rainbow.

My thoughts have been busy unpacking that dark closet full of all the things that could go wrong, and I’ve forgotten to appreciate all that has gone, and is going, right:  a job here and one awaiting me in Virginia, long-time friends who are looking forward to seeing me again, more adventures on the horizon, a black cat who manages to hang on regardless of what happens next, a sweet little home, a car that (still) works, money in the bank to cover (some) emergencies, a chicken roasting in the house, and much, much more.

Just as that double rainbow – just a simple trick of light – has reminded others of what holds their lives together, it arrived to arc across the New Mexico sky and remind me.  It won’t make all those dark problems, today’s and tomorrow’s, go away, but it does tell me I have the strength to endure and the capacity to enjoy.