As I go back through what I hope to be my final (final) edit of my book I find the precious moments I so hope to share. This is one of my favorites and stark reminder of what I hope to restore to my life!!!!
April 20, 2010
Indian Divide, New Mexico
Utter Bliss (For Charlie Gerrald)
The sky was filled with fog this morning, masking the mountains and shadowing the trees into a mystical fairy land with the haze of moisture being a rare and blessed event. What that it is nearly the end of April, 45 degrees at daybreak and I still have a fire going in the woodstove! I dressed for work with every intention of getting in a few hours before I prepared for my son’s wedding. They had planned a modest ceremony for now so there was no need for too much preparation but I finally came to the conclusion I needed the day off. I worked Sunday so I don’t feel pressured and the fog has yet to rise, it is likely raining in Nogal so I am safe. What is more important is that my heart is full of happiness and the thoughts are meant to be recorded and shared, weighing even further in my favor.
Yesterday I hurried across the Stephenson Ranch as best I could. Given that for fifty miles it is all dirt and rock roads the top speed of 20 mph is a risky one. I watched the clouds build and billow across the mountain peaks, breathed in the awesome coolness the rains bring to the desert and knew I shouldn’t dally. That seems simple enough but the ramparts of the ancient lava flows and the complex geology make it difficult, even in familiar territory! I have traveled this road several times but the thrill shall never fade from the views and the vistas it takes me to. It is the Land of Enchantment in its fullest glory! Every twist and turn reveals some new overlook and as if the scenery isn’t enough there are other wonders as well. The water filled cholla cactus are trying to burst at the seams and are twice as big around as last year when they were shriveled with the drought. The wildflowers are already in bloom lest they miss their chance and the mama cows appear with their bright new calves. Too, there are the bulls, dangerously handsome and best left alone and the gopher and the bull snakes sunning themselves on the roads, indistinguishable from each other until approached. The bull snake is handsome and docile but the gopher snakes feign the rattlesnakes and are even more aggressive for the effort. They will strike at the least provocation and even chase after you if provoked!
Such are the wonders of my job, coupled with the self imposed solitude of the effort. I could have brought a companion but wanted to go alone and it was hard to hurry. Even as the storm loomed above me to the south east I had to pause to savor the moment as I found my knees to take a water level measurement. Such was the reverence I felt, surrounded by the utter peacefulness of the remote country I was traveling through. The cool breeze took me further yet and I had to say a word of thanks before I moved on. I find it all but impossible to describe the feeling that comes over me in such moments except for perhaps to say it is utter bliss. There are no other requirements in such instances and time could stand still, which it does, slowing ones progress for certain! In all truth I paused for just a moment and hurried on, knowing the scope of my work would fill the day.
Leaving the Nagel Well the dirt two track turned to the east and dropped sharply off the hill into one of the bigger arroyos that encompass the roadway. I perused the conditions before I drove into it as the water is running this time of year, carrying the spring flows of melting snow and making it a challenge to travel through. The tracks of the ranchers’ truck from the previous day were my only assurance and it proved passable if still risky! I bounced back up on the dry road grateful for the versatility of my truck as well as my own driving skills and continued on my way back over the hills and through the still dry washes. I arrived at the Finley Well by noon and after taking water samples had to let it rest and recover as it had been pumping all day. It gave me a chance to take a brief walk once my paperwork was done and a little more time to take in the day, even if the clouds were starting to get serious! My work finished there I took the road back down off the mountain and caught a glimpse the eagles as they were sailing on the thermals, falling through the sky from atop the cliffs and quickly disappearing as I rounded the bend.
Late afternoon took me to the Brownstein Well and over to Niccum’s Ranch with another water filled arroyo to cross. This one had turned me back previously as it had appeared too treacherous to risk as the road takes a brief turn across it and the current runs strong, coming straight off the mountains here. There is such a wealth of moisture now after a long winter full of weekly storms. The snow is still clinging to the high peaks as it hasn’t done in more years than I have counted, fifteen perhaps if my memory is correct and maybe even more! Once again I had to trust that the tire tracks from the day before were proof it was passable and I headed across. I hurried once again as the rains were only twelve miles away and could easily contribute to the current. It seemed like this was the day to live dangerously, crossing flooded stream beds, coming a little too close to big bulls and playing with snakes, but then life is too short to do otherwise, isn’t it? Not to be outdone I made the four mile dash across the last of the sandy roads. I slowed to drop through the steep banked arroyo, grateful it was dry and on across the flats to my final well for the day. This one required an e probe to obtain the water level measurement, fortunately, and only took a few minutes to measure. A brief dwell to affirm the reading and I was off again, now driving into the wind as it carried the rain in my direction.
Dust billowed just a few miles to the north as I drove back towards the highway which runs just the other side of the arroyo, though it was near as it is far with the rain so close. Raindrops splattered on my windshield as I hurried across the flat, dust flying from beneath my tires, the pavement a stones’ throw away but well beyond reach for the moment. I arrived at the arroyo and it looked to be running higher already so I stopped briefly to switch on the four wheel drive low. I caught second gear at the bank and drove through the water as quickly as I dared. I scooted up on the far bank just five feet from the gate, as the water comes up that high, and then I was through. I turned and took a picture and texted it to my son to let him see where I was and to let him know I was safe. He texted me back with an expletive and told me to be careful, not realizing I was already across and that the arroyo has a firm bottom, not nearly as dangerous as it appeared.
I thought to hurry on, I could see the rain and dust coming and after a full day I felt pressed to keep going, but I stopped myself. The pavement was right there and even if the road gets wet it is within easy reach. I stopped, backed the truck up and parked it before walking back to the railroad trestle. I found a spot against the concrete base, sitting in the gravel under the bridge, and I laughed! Laughter, yes, for making it through the day as well as for the memory of the hitchhiker I had met just a couple of days before. He was standing in Carrizozo at the crossroads and I then met him in the store as I ran in to get change to give some money to him. I slipped a five dollar bill in his hand and our eyes met, and we even visited for a moment. We were kindred spirits from years past as I had lived the same as he. I spoke briefly of my own travels and the nights beneath railroad bridges. “The train will likely scare the hell out of yah tonight but you’ll be dry” I commented as he said he was thinking of sleeping under the trestle, the rain close then as well. Yes, and there I sat beneath my own bridge for a moment, thinking about the day, gazing at the cloud filled sky and listening to the water run. It is such a sweet sound in the desert, joyful laughter indeed! As if in answer to the warning I had shared with the traveler a military jet flashes by leaving a sonic boom in his wake and scared the “hell’ out of me. Go figure! More laughter ensued…………..
The word reverence comes to mind, for there is no other way to describe what one feels at such moments when God must be so close. What more could I ask for but to have spent such a day as this, running ahead of the storm the whole day through, watching the clouds skim across the sky and climb ever higher above the Sierra Blanca (White Mountain) Peak. The mountain is still snow covered and majestic, framed by the blue sky and surrounded by huge gray clouds, barely visible through its storm filled shroud! One might laugh at a woman like me and wonder what has brought her here to this place where she can be pleased by such simple pleasures and think even that she might be quite mad, but she is not. This is all the part of her which defines who she is. She sits there beneath a railroad track laughing at her good fortune, wanting little more and thinking of her new friend. She is wondering and hoping he sees in her what she so wants to share with him, the pure joy of the beauty that surrounds her, and the absolute pleasure of it all. It is hard to describe, this feeling that comes over me in such moments except perhaps to say it is utter bliss…………
June 24, 2017
Vera Cruz, NM
If I Stay
Though I planned to return to Fort Sumner last night a phone call bade me to stay. My doctor’s appointment for Monday is in Alamogordo, much closer than Albuquerque where I thought it was. I planned it that way, but as quickly forgot. Fortunately I was reminded before I departed and instead will stay for the weekend. It is blessedly cooler today as the rains are trying their best to make a showing. I will welcome any storms that come to visit as even one drop of rain is a respite! Having been trapped in the grasp of heat and drought any offer of moisture is greeted with joy!
I needed to stay, though the tension has yet to leave my shoulders. I am confronted once again with a barrage of choices, none which I care to make at the moment. I am content to listen to the wind and the soft coo of the mourning dove. I wish to surround myself with the same and wrap the cloak of serenity around my shoulders. If I would rather seek adventure change is the constant here! Jackson Brown’s words echo in my mind at this moment. “Don’t confront me with my failings, I have not forgotten them.” (Fountain of Sorrow). There are so many ghosts I can summon at the thought!
Still yet, there is a serenity which I have not forgotten either and even in the throes of change it prevails. It met me at the door last night and as exhausted as I was, it won out. Where I might have hoped to sit and relax, there were things to do. The only automation here is in myself, as the actions are, for the most part, automatic. I had to start the generator to charge my phone and for the lights. I opened the back door and a window to let the cool breeze flush the heat from the house. That done, I lit the stove to heat my bath water and then put the kitchen in order, as it has been neglected. It has been five and half years since I have lived here, even if I have visited and stayed often enough. By then the water was hot and I took a quick bath by the stove. I still need to sweep the cobwebs from the bathroom and clean the tub, as it too has been unused for too long.
If it all sounds like much effort, it is a part of why I live as I do! Each action, as always, is a reminder of the simplicity I require, and have surrounded myself with in my life here. I want to go through the motions, as much as I wish to build a fire for that selfsame reason. Give me the breath of wood smoke and I will breath in the same serenity it has to offer. I would have built a fire this morning if not for the wind, and was instead grateful I have propane. It is all relative in the end! There are as few frills as there are distractions and I am grateful for the absence of both. I need to let the serenity surround me and free myself of the press of humanity with threatened to crush me even just yesterday. I have yet to recover.
I should go walk in the wind before it heats up or rains. The howl of it says it just might rain. My life here has been ruled as much by those elements as by any other, for it means I live outside as much as I do in. That is the beauty of it, the out of doors is that close, and sometimes one and the same. If the roof isn’t terrible, sometimes it leaks. If the windows remain, two of them are broken and need to be fixed. As always there is a draft when the wind comes from the east, but I have learned to live with it also. If I can overlook those in passing they become personal when I stay, and it looks like I may stay, at least for now. It is as good to know that I can as it is to know I don’t have to. With all the times I have come and gone I have to wonder what my life might have been without that. I am happy not to know. Having had the options has averted many a crisis in my life and this is no exception, though I was far more prepared than I have ever been. If I have accomplished anything I am most thankful for that!
The wind will not abate and I wonder what to do. It is good to have the choice and no pressing commitments, I need a break from those. This will be my day to do as I choose, a simple requirement for my stability. If the serenity has yet to encompass me, it is closer, and the hillside offers much of the same. If there is work to do it can wait, there will be plenty of time for that, if I stay…………
June 22, 2017
Vera Cruz, NM
Those who don’t know me might laugh when I say I need to retreat. I am back in Nogal at my simple perch on the mountainside, the sweep of the valley pocked with but two houses for next many miles. They would ask how much further away I wish to get, and what else I am willing to live without. There is only the generator here for electricity and the windmill has failed so I carry water. I do have propane, though I looked longingly at the hearth this morning and I want to build a fire.
Still yet! I want to be where there are no houses and I could build a fire and not worry about smoke. Of course the wood here is dry and the fire is so small that even when there is a burn ban I can still heat water. The hearth is secure and the stove pipe has a 90 degree bend so there are no sparks, and the fire is quick and hot as I burn walnut there. That is not the concern though. If Fort Sumner has a 50 mile buffer against the crush of humanity and even here I feel safe, I want the wilderness. I need to forget for a moment that there is anything else except the trill of the wild bird and the sun and the sky. I want to kneel on the earth with no witness but God himself and thank the universe for this life. I need the reverence of such moments……….in utter solitude.
I know now why I love the wild places so much better. I can feel the freedom of the same and even here my step is a little longer and my muscles more taut. I want to restore all of that, and never again release it. If I am still bound by some measure of necessity to work and live as I have, I am also freer to retreat. Even as I mingle with those of my stocking trade and teach classes for the same I am seeking the counterbalance against it. Not in a negative way, but rather one which offers me both aspects of a life well lived. I can always return for a day or three, so long as I can leave for the same.
The drain leaks in the kitchen sink so I wash up outside, though I ought to fix it. I stood in the morning breeze as I brushed my teeth and listened to the sounds of the dawn. I splashed water on my face from the tin bowl and wet my hair carelessly. I let the rivulets drip down my neck before I dried my face and laughed at the pleasure of it. I looked out across the mountains and breathed in the stillness, yearning for more of the same. I felt the wildness start to course through my veins and wished I could walk up the hillside. I will return here soon enough and wander deep into the hills, it is what I love about this place. If I am careful to avoid the plowed roads and instead follow the arroyos and the rougher slopes, I see no signs of modern man. I could walk for days if I chose, and never cross a road. And then from there, I could retreat.
I return to Nogal, six years after I penned this and still filled with the same dreams and hopes for adventure, though I think I might take my camper……….
June 21, 2011
Indian Divide, NM
I woke up with a hangover this morning, having drank a huge dose of night sky before I went to sleep. It was so intoxicating I could barely draw myself away and nearly spread my blankets on the porch so as to savor its richness, but I did not. The wind and the sun discouraged me. I am selfish with my rest as it determines the quality of the day to follow. Instead, I slept well and awoke wrapped in the warmth of my own bed and my own happiness, speaking words of thanks before I arose to meet the dawn. I am, perhaps, back to the habit of greeting the day as it walks across the hills, first light. Still yet, the feel of the night sky remained, as pervasive as the feel of too much to drink but with the opposite effect. It stirred my blood as only such things will and left me restless and yearning for more.
The night sky, moonless and brilliant in the darkness, the stars standing out in utter clarity, the planets glowing in kind. The light was as crisp as the Muscatine wine I tasted a day ago, the aftertaste as rich as the fruit it was made from. The cool stillness that surrounded me encompassed my spirit and drew me beyond the mundane worries of the day. It set me free, opening my heart to the eternity of the universe, endless and ethereal, and I took flight. There is no other way to describe such moments for they are as the wings of the hawk or the eagle, setting sail on the thermals and making the long sweep on the wind, the effort forgotten in the thrill of the flight. I stood out there for a long moment, drinking in the feeling, filling my cup to the brim before I pulled myself away.
Then there is this hangover, pervasive and insistent, begging to be addressed in ways I cannot possibly accommodate. It begs me to follow its lead, to shelf anything and everything that stands in the way of bringing it to fruition. Yes, that fruit thing again, for it is like a wine that is fermented carefully to produce such a pleasing result, tempting for even one such as I who lives so easily without intoxicating beverages. I prefer the clarity of the purist, drinking a gallon of water a day in its stead. They joke and call me the ‘Water Lady’ at the bar as it is my trade and tradition! This is an addiction that goes beyond the usual, one that surpasses all of the habits and weaknesses I have overcome in the past, and one stays with me. In all truth it is the most wonderful and the most terrible of them all for I cannot purge it from my spirit, nor would I choose to even though the dangers are tenfold in comparison.
If I could do one thing this morning I would roll up my favorite sleeping bag and a small tarp and tie them onto the backpack frame that I still have stored away in the closet. I would choose two sturdy pairs of jeans, a few shirts and a jacket, my best undies, a light towel, soap and shampoo, a cup and a small pot, a new spiral notebook and a few pens to take along. I would pick out the best walking stick I have and make sure my knife was sharp, take the brass bell off of my rearview mirror in my truck and grab a few strings of leather from my stores. I would oil my good boots, check to be sure I packed a toothbrush, hair brush and a couple of lighters, grab a gallon of water and lock the gate as I left. I would walk back to the house to get my Rand McNally Road Atlas, the one of the whole United Sates, not just New Mexico, and I most likely head to Rapid City, South Dakota to surprise an old friend and to finally meet his wife. I would walk back once more to get my phone charger and on the way out call someone to let them know where I was headed, and then lie to my son and say I left with a friend. I could tell him about the venture when I returned.
What keeps me from going? This is why I have a horse and grow a garden. I have a ranch to look after with irrigation which requires a constant presence and I should have already moved the water this morning. I am writing a book and it begs to be finished before I start another adventure for it will be noteworthy as well, when I do go and I have already started to plan. I have even thought about getting a sponsor, as someone else did years ago when he ‘Walked Across America’ and it is completely feasible that I might do so! They paid someone to ‘Eat, Pray and Love’ and she has nothing on me except that she has already been published. I am a truly seasoned adventurer, the American spirit at her best, my mentors being Jack Kerouac and Sissy from ‘Even Cowgirls get the Blues’. I was weaned on that stuff! I am the girl who read James Baldwin’s, ‘Another Country,’ when she was thirteen years old and understood it even if I had not yet experienced any of it. I knew his pain and his restlessness and I left home at seventeen to hitchhike to California. I never got over it!
Before this summer is over I will take another long awaited trip. It has been too long since I hitchhiked any further than from here to Ruidoso or Capitan. The last journey I can recall I hitchhiked back to Tucumcari from Nogal in 2008 and made almost as good a time as if I had driven it, and had even more fun. I caught a ride on a tractor trailer and flew up the highway as I had for so many years, it was a pleasure. Before that I think back to 2005 when I returned home from Oklahoma, hitchhiking back to Stillwater from Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico to bring back the last of my trucks and belongings. That trip took three rides and went smoothly as well. This time I will do what I have yearned to do for years, in spite of the risk and the hardship, and go as far as I can possibly go. I want to see my friend in South Dakota and if I am still game will head north from there, over to Montana and Wyoming. I will go back to the Snake River and look for jade, and then maybe Idaho if I am so inclined. If I am still up to the effort I will thumb my way back also, drop down through Utah if I dare and back through Arizona if it hasn’t all burned by then. I will return fit and well weathered and brimming with adventure. Will I then be satisfied? Likely not, if anything I will find myself yearning for more of the same, but then there will also be another book to write and maybe I will do that first.
Just think, all of that fell from the dark night sky last night and it is no wonder that I got drunk! I guess I will just have to live with the hangover.
June 17, 2017
Fort Sumner, New Mexico
Some Semblance Of Order
If there is some semblance of order in my life there is also the unknown. I have busied myself with the completion of the camper, an in depth effort if it is to be done nicely. If I wish I could finish the side walls today and call it good, I want something more than that. The possibility that I might end up living in it for a time makes this more crucial. Though I require few comforts it is nice to have a comfortable space. There is also a measure of vanity I suppose, coupled with practicality. If I am to fall back on the uniqueness of my lifestyle as a possible source of income it should have a good flare to it also. If I am to illustrate to the rest of the world the wonders of such freedom and mobility, so it should shine. Many years ago I lived in a 1959 Ford Pickup with a homemade camper and even then I lived quite well. It only makes sense that I do justice to the latter version of the same.
That said, it is hot here! The temperature went well up into the 90’s yesterday and when I made my way to Clovis the sign at the bank still said 101 at sunset. How lucky I am that I am heading for the mountains, though it is wicked dry there. I have grown to love the river valley here and I am endeared to the Village as well. Even with my freedom in hand I have yet to hurry off and instead busied myself with many other things. In fact, I need to prepare to move my camp, as important as the effort of the camper. I seem to not be in a hurry, ducking the effort I suppose, but I am moving forward. I might well make a list of things I need to do, I’m just not there yet! The must do’s and wanna do’s are all tangled up for the moment. If there is some semblance of order it will have to ‘do’ for the moment.
What I need to do is to call Jeff Daily and make a commitment to the ranch work. If I am aching to escape to the road I also need to work and that place offers the same. It is hard work, but I love it and with David close by I will be ok. He has a lot of work lined up but I can pay him to help me also. I even just now called Jeff and left him a message, I need to return there for financial and spiritual reasons. The work will be restorative for mind, body and spirit. A return there is not a measure of failure but rather one of success. I have spent some of my best years working there! If going back to Nogal brings some sense of concern there is endless potential. If I have yet to fulfill the grandest of my goals the opportunity to meet them is also close at hand.
If there is a conundrum it is this, a lament I have expressed far too often in my musings! If I have come so close to the ideal right there in my Nogal House on the Vera Cruz, neither have I found true happiness. At times yes!!! There and in the Capitan Gap I have kissed the dream and lived it to full measure. Ronnie and I had it all, we just failed miserably to maintain it! I look back and wonder what it was that made us miss the glory of our holdings, though I begged him to recognize that. He was never content, never satisfied with his lot, and in the end it killed him. That I saw the potential of that 140 acres in the mountains and tried to honor it with my efforts was never quite enough and the drugs and the alcohol robbed us of the rest. Not that we didn’t have our glory days, our children, the garden, the horses, the cabin and the cows, because we did, it just never was enough. Now that I am older and wiser I might have done better, but he is gone, and we will never know what might have been………..
I have lived the same dream at Nogal, though I have done so alone. In all of the fourteen years I have lived there I have only once, briefly, shared the house with a partner. He was a partner, but his bitterness and anger defeated the potential. Otherwise I have always been with someone somewhere else. If I have been happy to be alone most of the other times, the house has some high lonesome to it also. I have touched the dream many times from that very spot, with my garden, my art, my writing and many an adventure. I have never been lonely, though at times I felt alone. I have come to believe that if I am to live the life I truly wish to live, I need to seek it somewhere else. That has been as much of the reason I have left as any other, though finances have come in to play as well. I can make a living there but I can do better elsewhere if I want a full time job. Now I return hoping I can do so while maintaining my freedom. It is, as I well know, as much a mindset as it is location and if I am happy with myself everything else follows suit!
As always my freedom is hinged on my finances, and the same will guide my plans. For the moment I am set, there is money on its way from several sources and I can hold my own for a while. If I play it smart and no great jobs present themselves I will have the summer for myself. If I am truly innovative, by the end of the summer I will not need a job but will instead have an income from my own efforts. I have dreamed and spoke of this for years and if this wasn’t a planned event it is certainly a timely one.
The sun climbs higher in the sky and there is a load of materials in my truck, waiting for me to use them. The camper, while not a necessity, is also a key factor in my plan. It opens the door to freedom, opportunity and adventure, a wonderful mix! If I want to retreat to the wilderness for a few days I will be free to go. If I want to do a walk about and sell some artwork, the wheels will turn. If I want to wander the highways and sell my art on the roadside while I sit and make more, explore festivals and flea markets, there I am. If I decide to go back to work, I have a sound shelter. The possibilities are endless. Somewhere in the mix I will have more time to write also! I had best put things in order!!!
June 11, 2017
Fort, Sumner, New Mexico
Day One Hundred Sixty One 2017 Threshold
I am now standing on the threshold of my next adventure. I woke to the familiar comforts of my current camp, the electricity the most appreciated element for the moment. I will retreat to Nogal soon enough and the generator will suffice, though I will forfeit refrigeration. If I am contemplating a solar charger for the camper it will serve me well in both respects as I can have it at home as well. If not there is always ice but in the end it becomes costly. Where we once bought block ice for $1.00 a block (Or less? It was in the 1990’s) and had a 100 gallon Coleman cooler in which it would last for days, now it would be an almost daily purchase of cubes for $2.00. When I add that to fuel for the generator, roughly a ½ gallon per day if I am writing and home for the evening, I am looking at around $100.00 a month. I am paying around $50.00 for power now so not so bad, but to invest $300.00 or $400.00 (I am guessing) into a dependable power source which I can carry with me is ideal. Of course I still need a refrigerator but perhaps the small ones would work?? I will find out soon enough.
Mine will now be a lesson in simplicity, taken to another level of practice. If I have been wishing for this opportunity for years and have been preparing for the same, I have now arrived. As with so much in life “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” What that the origin of the phrase was from a Robert Burns poem “To A Mouse On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough ” from 1786, which he penned as an apology (How little we know of history these days before we look for the answers. Here is but a part of the poem, well worth reading its entirety! See Wikipedia for a lovely story.)
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane (you aren’t alone),
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley (often go awry)
An lea’e us naught but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy.
The parallel with John Steinbeck’s, “Of Mice and Men” is also obvious, and ties back to “Travels With Charlie”, which so inspired my original adventure. That I will name my new camper ‘Rocinante II’ is no coincidence either! Somewhere between Steinbeck’s adventures and those of Don Quixote’s, coupled with his ‘tilting at windmills’ brings it all into perspective! That I may venture forth with a goal, yet somewhat aimless also, and could well fall back on my water measuring skills to sustain myself, tightens the ties. I hope to write of the adventure with enough skill as to make it pay and if I was wise would become my own reality show, though I cringe at the prospect! Better others live vicariously through my stories rather than observing my life!
Still yet I will follow in Steinbeck’s footsteps once again and if his camper must have been a magnet of curiosity back in the 1960’s so my camo colored bus is much the same today. Though Winnebago’s might be a dime a dozen and you can rent a Cruise America camper also, my basic living is still, and will always be, a novelty. Though I have never capitalized on my lifestyle beyond sharing it on my blog, now I may decide to get creative, and share my message as well. If it has always been possible to kick over the traces and go our own way there are so few of us who put it to practice. It comes at a cost of course but at this moment it could prove beneficial! What that I could sell my wares as I travel about and share my story also. What better time to publish my books and sell my stories to passersby……….Just a thought!
I met a young Amish man in the desert of Arizona many years ago. He had a horse and buggy, the latter which served as residence and photo booth. He posed people on the buggy, took their pictures and sold them back to them after he had developed them. I wish I would have had the money to purchase one but I was penniless, stranded in my camper working for someone who cared little to share his wealth in spite of my efforts to please him. The point being is if I hate to make a spectacle of myself I have so much to offer by doing so, and much to learn in the process. If my hitchhiking days are well behind me (thank you son David for insisting on that, LOL) I could have much the same interaction by simply stopping along the way! Everyone wants to hear the others story and contribute to a freedom they wish they had themselves, and to share their dreams as well. Having a product to share, along with my story, makes it even better! Not a bad thought! Couple that with my water/wastewater skills which every small town would welcome in passing???? Maybe I should finish my handbook!
If I teetered on the threshold as I sat to write now I am standing more firmly. I was not prepared for the transition but it arrived in perfect time. If I had other plans, well, we know how that goes! If I have always have faith in divine intervention I have never seen it full scope as this, and will invest my faith in the same. I have always felt I had a purpose in life and have done my best to fulfill it. If so many people have touched my life I have tried to do the same and the time I have spent here was no exception. If not for the financial gain I had by contracting here, and the subsequent transition away from Mescalero I might still be trapped in that place, and a pattern I needed to break. If I hadn’t have received repayment from my son (thank you!!!) and sold my horse, bought the head start bus and cashed in my retirement I might well be stranded here after being dismissed from my job. Instead I have been vindicated and by standing up for what I knew to be right I gained the respect of my friends and the community and have been granted a rare freedom I desired for so long.
I don’t know what I will do, but my plans are better than they were! If I needed a respite it has been granted. If I have ached to pursue my dreams in more rapid fashion, here is my chance. If I needed only to be reminded of the things I want the most, wish fulfilled. If the Mayor thought he was going to hurt me, he only hurt himself. If I cannot forgive his foolishness I can leave him to his lessons with few if any regrets. If I want to return here I may well be able to do so but in the meantime the choice is mine. Summer is in full swing and what better time for adventure than this? I have ranch work if I want it, mobility when I don’t, a craft I can sell in reasonable quantities and the materials to create more as I go. I have enough inventory to get started and a ready market at wholesale as well. In fact, my greatest concern would be my ability to maintain enough product to perpetuate the effort, not a bad thing at all.
What I need to do is to print some books, my handbook and my poetry to start, my memoir as well, and soon! I have money in the bank and more on the way and if I qualify for unemployment which, if not a sure thing, is a good possibility, I have enough income to pay my bills and survive for now. Without any immediate commitments!!!! other than my own self, there is opportunity for everything, a rare and wonderful moment in any life as mine. I feel the need to be worthy of the same, for such gifts are priceless in more ways than one and meant to be fulfilled to their fullest. What can I best do for myself and others that I may fulfill such a promise? Where I was once what I felt to be an “Angel of the Highway” perhaps I am again being called to the same. Such a threshold I stand upon today!~
” My apologies to my faithful followers! Its been a rough couple of weeks but the way forward is clear. Life is good! Thank you, as always, for looking in on me. I hope you are all doing well! It should be fun from here! Tally ho!”
June 6, 2017
Fort, Sumner, New Mexico
Day One Hundred Fifty Six 2017 Time Of My Own
My time is once again my own and I am beginning to appreciate it. Now that the initial shock of my dismissal has past and my routine beginning to return I find myself content. Certainly I am unsettled, there was no plan in place for this, but neither was I unprepared. The timing was impeccable. I have to tip my hat to providence and I am well aligned with the ensuing freedom. Not only do I have money in the bank from my son’s repayment of a loan, I also sold my horse and with the extra hours and payments from work have yet another windfall. In addition I just purchased the much hoped for bus to make a good camper out of, which is well along in the process. What might have taken weeks is being done in short fashion given the time I have to do so. The prospects of adventure grow closer every day!
To think I had hoped for a few days off this summer to travel! Now I have weeks if I so desire and my art inventory is growing daily. I literally have a stack of hides to work with and now I have the time for that also. I have been writing daily, doing some leather work, and working on my bus. There is a street fair this weekend in Fort Sumner, ‘Old Fort Days’, and I have rented a table to sell from. The opportunity to make cash sales at retail price should be fruitful and I am looking forward to it. I have my unemployment claim in the process and feel quite confident that will come to pass, though I won’t know for certain for another week. If that fails to work my plans will change rapidly but I am not concerned for the moment. Worst case scenario I will need to get a job but I would much prefer the chance to make things work without one. I am poised to market my artwork and if it takes off I could sustain myself, at least for a while.
It has been five and a half years since I have had such freedom, and I am far more prepared for it now. There is no pending crisis and instead I am weighing the possibilities. If I have felt a sense of destiny since I arrived here I now see it as a stepping stone. I am free of the burdens I had in Mescalero and the distance serves me well. I have new sense of mobility with the camper in hand and hope to secure a safe place for my dwelling. I have no plan to return here to stay but it will be a comfortable retreat if I want one. I still have Nogal, and will return there soon enough, perhaps for the summer and longer if I wish. I will also return to Quemado and venture to Gallup along the way. The possibilities are endless for the moment.
The most important aspect of this is myself, and the return to the same. My focus has largely been outside of me rather than my personal needs, even if the intent was quite the opposite. I took on a lofty task when I arrived here and put more into it than I should have, but such is my nature. The reward was my dismissal, though the appreciation I received from my coworkers and the community was ample enough. Now I return to the most critical aspect and if I devoted too much of my time to my work I am now free to take care of myself. Just waking in the morning with the day to myself is huge, and the possibilities are endless. I have surrounded myself with my artwork and delve daily into my book with no pressure to do anything else. I will go to Clovis later today for materials and if time allows go for a walk, something which is much in the order of the day. If I am still waiting for my exuberance to return I am on the path to the same. In fact, if I am wise, I will go for a walk right now before it gets too hot. I have failed for too long to take care of my own needs and I have to realign with the same, now is my chance to do so. That I have been given every opportunity for that is providence for certain, I should not waste the time! After all, it is my own.