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.
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.
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
Everyone’s gone here — and I have a few days of solitary contemplation. And some errands. I had to call Triple A yesterday to come and put the spare tire on the Subaru -a visiting handyman pointed out to me that I had a flat. I am so glad I was relatively motionless, and not on the freeway. Today I go over to Eagle to hopefully get the flat one patched. It’s a pretty new tire.
I also, the ex informs me, got called for JURY DUTY. (Date to report is the actual day of the eclipse!) Sheesh. So I wrote a letter that will hopefully explain my absence from California, possibly for good. Have to get that mailed today.
Perhaps it was writing that letter, or being alone, but some of the demons have returned. Just wondering how this will all turn out. Meanwhile, reading, walking, dreaming. Watched When we were Kings , the documentary on the 1974 Ali/Forman fight in Zaire, which was excellent. Obsessively explored all 1000+ channels on the TV here, and found 1000+ channels of crap. Back to reading my own strange stuff, thanks. There’s a chamber concert tonight: $50. I should probably go.
To Dixon, NM (south of Taos) on Saturday, the day after tomorrow.
Ford Amphitheatre, Vail, CO
It’s hard for me to believe I only left a week ago Saturday I’ve seen and experienced so much. I have decided to stay here until August 5th the before heading south to Taos. How could one turn down a chance to spend a few days in such a beautiful place, especially alone? (Says the introvert.) This is the off-season in Vail, which of course is primarily a ski area. (Vail was founded by a member of the 10th Mountain Ski Patrol, who trained here in WWII and were subsequently able to get a jump on the Nazis in the Alps.) I know nothing about skiing, but I’m impressed by the large network of lifts and the towering slopes all around us. There is a perfect, Disney-ish feeling here – tons of money, for sure, but the magnificent landscapes and plants are real. Saturday night, we attended the opening night of the Vail Dance Festival – excellent. Right next to the amphitheater is a garden of Alpine plants. California’s wildflowers peak in May but for the high mountain country (we’re above 8000 feet here) it might be now.
The opening programme was a mix of ballet and modern and featured a new-ish Los Angeles Company I didn’t even know about. LA Dance Project. I will be sure to see them again if I can.
It was a long drive through CO backroads from Vernal yesterday. After tons of warning signs, I finally really did see a cow walking along the road! And then a deer, a prairie dog and a jack rabbit. I was happy. Lovely country and some exquisite little towns near Steamboat Springs. I-70 a mess, as it has been on every trip to the Denver area. I put it in the category of RTFYUs (Roads that fuck you up — along with LA’s 405 and other traitorous thoroughfares).
I am fortunate to be here. Vail is just unbelievably green and gorgeous. Many of the same plants I grow at home but because of abundant water and FOOD IN THE SOIL, they are triple the size. The shasta daisies! The hosta!
It was just me and my SIL C. yesterday until almost midnight when the San Diego contingent arrived. So we got to have a long walk along the creek and a deep conversation about our respective marriages. My brother is a great dad and an excellent businessman, but a Trumpist. C. says it’s ripping her apart. It’s like having a family member fall into the hands of a cult. My theory, and C. agrees, is that he lacks some essential critical thinking ability. C. has sufficient resources to consider getting her own place — she feels the need for more space, so we talked about the dangers of a marriage with parallel tracks. This was a phrase that my ex and I often used. It turned out that I meant ‘parallel’ with strong if indistinct connections, and that he wasn’t so aware of those connections.
An IDY friend writes: “you are literally moving on with your life”. I just love that!
So, the marriage of almost 25 years ends abruptly, and I am about to leave this suffocating little town where everyone knows my business. It will be a quest for a new home, but also an exercise in Being Here Now. I will write every night, promise.