Archive | December 2018

The Highway That I Knew

Nogal Fog

February 19, 2016

Nogal House

Vera Cruz, New Mexico


The Highway That I Knew


The highway that I knew

Was a long winding road

That led to freedom

And the western wilderness

It wasn’t the harried interstate

Or the fearful journey

That someone might imagine

When they envision

A young woman

Hitchhiking across the country

But rather a shelter

From the storm

Of the threat of humanity

And of the demands it placed on me

From my childhood forward

I was never so afraid

Of the unknown

And the danger

Of people and places

I had never experienced

As I was of the reality

Of my existence

Thirty miles

From New York City

And the swirling mass

Of ‘society’



The highway that I knew

Was a sanctuary

It was bursting

With possibilities

As rich and savory

As the smell

Of the sagebrush

And the dreams

Of western life

That Zane Gray spoke of

In ‘The Land of the Purple Sage’

It was the wind in my hair

When I stood on the Great Divide

Just outside of Big Sky Montana

And watched the same young hawk

As he circled in the sky

As the one who visited Bob Seeger

When he ‘rolled away’

To his dreams


It was the highway that I knew

Which led me here

To the state

Of New Mexico

And the treasures

It has shared

And that same highway

Which taught me a

All the lessons

That a young girl

Needs to know

That the world is not

Such a terrible place

And that there are

Good people

Such as I dreamed

There must be

Whose lives
Are still connected

To the earth and the sky

And to whom friendship

And caring

Are far more important

Than material things


It was that highway

Which brought me here

And the same one

Which still passes

By my gate

That intersects

Not a city street

Or an interstate

Though the same

Be not so distant

But instead

Leads through the villages

Which have since

Become my own

And still peopled

By those persons

Whose values

Are the same

As the ones

I had dreamed of

That friendship

And family

Should always,

Come first

And tomorrow

Is soon enough

Because there is no hurry

For us to get there.


Ain’t Going Nowhere

Aint Going Nowhere pic

December 26, 2018

Nogal House

Indian Divide, New Mexico


Ain’t Going Nowhere


I was just sitting in the outhouse, watching the snow. I was thinking about how many people would be in a panic if their sixty year old mother was in my same spot, in the midst of this winter storm. If the generator is humming in the shed, there is no direct power to this property. That I have five gallons of gas to spare would be of no consequence. There is no central heat either, aside from the woodstove. The pile of firewood beside the stove, and the stack by the shed, would be of little comfort to most folks. The 15 pound bottle of propane that fires the old gas stove wouldn’t be very encouraging either, and they would fear for her life, if she wasn’t like me. Forget that the outhouse is clear across the yard; that would be the least of their worries.


As it is, my son is comfortable knowing there is no place else I would rather be. We have been texting each other as the storm moves in, and sharing our pleasure in watching it. Both of us have a good fire going, and our yards are turning white. “It’s beautiful outside!” he says, and I have to agree. The temperature has fallen two degrees in thirty minutes, and the thirty degree mark on the thermometer says the storm is here to stay. We are both happy for that! I have already emailed my employer, one hundred and fifty miles to the north and east of here, that I am staying put. There is a great comfort in that also. I needed the time off, and if I wavered on returning to hold down the fort, I am now set to stay here. They won’t be worried either, at least regarding my comforts. They know I am well prepared, even for the worst. I could be snowed in for a week without any deprivations, though I might get a little cabin fever.


All things considered, I am better off than most. There is a fire blazing in the woodstove, and I have power, even if the grid goes down. I have kerosene lamps for back up, though the gas will last the generator for days, even if I ran it continuously, which I never do. I only need the electricity to charge my computer and phone, or if I want the lights. I can live and read by the lanterns. I have the gas stove for convenience, but can cook anything I want on the woodstove. There has been bread and brisket both that came out of the coals on other holidays, and even now my bath water is hot, should I desire it. There is no running water either, but about fifty gallons of water is stashed back in the kitchen. More than half of it is potable, should I need it. That is enough to last me for a week, all told, baths and all, should it be required. I have braved the worst of storms here with the same, when most everyone else suffered. I had water, heat and lights, when they did not.


I ain’t going nowhere today, unless the weather breaks, and maybe not even then. The solitude is most welcome, and I miss this place terribly. The fact is, I have not been home for a winter storm in a year at least, and I am hoping for a good one. I need the respite, and it is a good time to gather my thoughts. If I have been away trying to pay all my debts, I have one to myself, which negates all the rest of them for the moment. My definition of success is being here, and the time draws close when I may get to choose. The deprivation of spirit is far greater than any challenge nature can present me, at least from my present roost. Bring on the storm, I ain’t going nowhere! And don’t worry about me, I’ll be plenty cozy.