Laptop replacement is definitely on the boards. I am lucky I have this somewhat funky Bluetooth iPad auxiliary.
I decided that since it was somewhat boring (to me) country I was going to be traveling through, I should make it an Interstate day and just see how far I could get. That proved to be Ft. Smith, Arkansas. I will see if I can put up a picture later, but it is so lovely here. And a shoutout out to southern Oklahoma too. Rolling beautiful green.
It’s not lost on me that I am entering the Deep South at this time of national tension. As it looks like I’m bound for Birmingham today, I will try to visit something appropriate. Just to let them know that there’s a half-Jewish commie Berkeley-grad in their midst and all.
Palo Duro Canyon
The first part of my drive yesterday, from Dixon through eastern New Mexico started off gorgeous through the high ski country and got a bit depressing by Tucumcari. Downtrodden, boarded up hotels. Route 66 ruin porn.
Palo Duro was as beautiful as <jnfr> says, though the trails are all closed due to storms and some of the roads washed out as well. It’s been a very rainy summer here, apparently. Last night was a Violent Thunderstorm that I was glad to be out of. (3rd story external wall instead of 1st floor internal as the weather alert instructed, but I made it 🙂 Canyon, TX is a prosperous looking town with large homes on broad green lawns. A&M campus here. Starbucks. Probably a few people like me. Somewhere. OK for my one stop in Texas.
Today I have to face the fact that I haven’t decided on a route to Atlanta. I DID want to get to Austin, but it’s 7 hours almost due south of here, and doesn’t advance me very far East. I have always been told that Norman, OK is a great college town – probably the easiest choice. But a future driving day will have to be a long one if I stop there tonight. (I should get to Atlanta by the eve. of the 17th as Em has plans for me on the 18th). Push on to Shreveport? Hmm.. that Vegas vibe. Yuk. I’ve been to Memphis, which is the next logical stop after Norman, and I should stretch to see new places. And Chattanooga is on my list as well.
Great news! My Bay Area brother wants me to house sit at the end of September when he and his wife go to Japan. That’s really excellent timing.
I haven’t checked in with the ex by text as I did at first. No complaints from him. I sure hope he packed up my mail and sent it to Em. Bet he didn’t. I feel myself separating, with fewer moments of missing him. I was struck by this paragraph cited in a review of Madeleine Bourdouxhe’s “La femme de Gilles” about a woman whose husband is cheating on her.
For the first time in your life you cannot draw on Gilles’ love, you must stand up for yourself as if you were quite alone in the world. No one can help you, least of all Gilles. You are alone with the greatest pain you have ever known.
In the car I’m listening to the third Karl Ove Knausgård tome. You really need to immerse yourself in his world, and the long wide spaces work well.
Yesterday there was an open house here (sorry, but I hope it never sells and I can come back here) — so after making sure everything was staged to the best of my ability, I went off to Santa Fe for the day, another walk around the Plaza, one side of which is the Palace of Governors: ” the oldest continuously occupied government building in the US”. Native American artists have some kind of ancient covenant to sell under the portico. I coveted earrings, but bought none. People watching until it was obvious a thunderstorm was on its way. And it was a doozy. I also visited the Georgia O’Keefe museum. She was famously crabby, ferociously talented. Her art speaks to me. This painting was there. Death and resurrection. Her husband liked New York, but she liked it here in northern New Mexico. I will be going to another place she lived today.
I was melancholy yesterday. I don’t want to leave. W and I have been pretty compatible housemates. I think we’ll align again in the future. (Putting down shallow roots with the slightest invitation.) Still fuming about the land sale, though it’s in escrow and it will greatly improve my financial situation. W pointed out I cannot discuss any of this pain with my daughter. True. So I must be myself here and not so much elsewhere.
I have 4 days or so to get to Atlanta. Today, to Canyon, TX. I will check out the second largest canyon in the US, which you can apparently drive through. Cool.
5 h 3 min (336.2 mi) via I-40 E
I am happy to see that I can get to Canyon via some backroads (so route shown is approximate) and don’t join the I-40 until late in the drive. Downloaded more books to listen to.
I was truly expecting to experience more heat and uncomfortable humidity here in New Mexico, but even in the low 80’s the sun has been mostly blunted by clouds and today there was rain a good part of the day. More due tonight! We visited the D.H. Lawrence memorial outside of Taos today – an elegant white building set into the Sangre de Cristo mountains (they Always seem to be dark and misty) near the cabins that Lawrence and his wife visited several times. Apparently they had a utopian community in mind. A British artist, Dorothy Brett, was the only one of their friends who was into it. We saw her tiny cabin and TYPEWRITER — she typed Lawrence’s manuscripts because he couldn’t. Frieda, (Mrs. Lawrence) obtained the ranch land in return for one of her husband’s handwritten manuscripts. On the way back, I saw the Millicent Rogers Museum – stunning Native American pottery (so adore the shiny black-on-black stuff) and jewelry and she was a gorgeous and interesting woman. I think D. Brett might have been rather stuck on her, actually.
As I left the MRM, there was a stranded woman next to her non-functional car in the parking lot, so I gave her a ride into Taos. Very nice woman who comes to Taos every year, but lives in Austin. She was staying at a co-housing area: Valverde Commons, so I got a glimpse of that. Interesting, but when I checked out the website later, kind of pricey.
W. has gone off to Colorado for his mediation mission, so a couple of nights alone here. Got through the ex’s birthday yesterday, with a few twinges. (Somehow, he got away with “Trixie” for a mini vacation, when he never found that possible with me.) I just texted birthday greetings, though with no emojis. I would have lost by not acknowledging it at all.
Just loving New Mexico. We’ve taken jaunts to Taos and Santa Fe and some of the back roads from Dixon. I have learned about acequia irrigation and incidentally about substandard house wiring. Weather has been very mild — it rained last night with exciting thunderstorms. I’ve been well. Internet here is crappy unless the 3rd visit from Very Flaky ISP goes better than the first two. Even then, they only promise 15 Mps — makes you want to cry. Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to earn my keep with weeding. They shoot up OVERNIGHT, I swear, in this rich, damp soil.
The property is still going back and forth with counter offers and I don’t want to say a word until the deal’s done.
I am thinking seriously of going on a trip to Mexico in November with a group of friends. New Mexico is half way there already, culturally. So why not?? It wouldn’t be that expensive and I want to check out the expat existence.
Dixon, NM garden
I have arrived at this beautiful, eccentric estate (4 acres) on the Rio Embudo (“funnel”). The aesthetic is an odd combination of Southwest and Hindi, but it has a serene effect. Dixon (pop 926) has a coop grocery and health food store, but both are closed today. W and I will attempt to figure out why the blu-ray/TV is not connecting properly (I suspect a poor internet connection) and then take a trip to Santa Fe for supplies and possibly see a museum exhibit.
My real-estate/emotional knot of yesterday was resolved after I successfully played the bitch in texts. This, I think I can say with honesty, does not come naturally to me. My hands were shaking as I put my foot down, and it enraged my ex, I know, that I was putting up any kind of fight at all. He accused me of undermining my daughter’s financial security and other stuff. Bullshit of course. However, less than an hour after I went off on him (and her), she cut her commission in half. So, out in the middle of nowhere, with my phone’s internet connection and this funky laptop, I e-signed the papers for the counter offer. I will be glad when the property is in escrow. The whole incident made me realize just how icy relations have become — and I haven’t even been gone a month. I think I will start preparing to divorce. There is nothing left. I didn’t feel this way even 48 hours ago. But his behavior has been revealed to be dishonest and definitely not in my interest.
Meanwhile, I will enjoy where I am very much. I want to help in the huge garden here. New Mexico is a place I could live, there’s no doubt. The light, the expanse of the land, the jumble of poverty and elegance, the Spanish culture. I do love it.
Vail has been so quiet and peaceful. As far as I can be right now, I am restored. I walked further along the creek this morning.
Saturday morning: on to New Mexico. Dixon is just a bit south of Taos and about an hour from Santa Fe. My stepbrother is helping to look after a large place there and is considering moving to the area. I know he wants to show me around — and I want to see. He’s got problems with connecting a TV to the internet, so perhaps I can be of use. It will be hotter! I’d kind of forgotten about it being, you know, August. I have spread out here and there’s a detailed list of things to do when exiting. I think I’ll pack up everything I can tonight and make as early an exit as I can in the morning.
We have an offer on the property we put up for sale a couple of months ago. However, the agent is the Other Woman. Yup. Still. This was after the ex promised we would use another agent. So I get edocs from her to sign and she gets the commission. I am so f’ing mad. The funds will mean that we can pay off a few key loans, increasing monthly cash flow, and making my travels feasible, or even put a sizeable down payment on a new place, should I find it. But right at this moment I feel so alone and vulnerable and out-numbered. I am not signing right at this moment. Let the conspirators worry a bit. I am packing and cleaning and just doing other stuff.
Vail, CO to Dixon, NM 5 h 57 min (282.6 mi) via US-285 S