Wednesday, February 08, 2006

In the Mountains

For those of you who have asked, Jesse has called and reported in from CO. She called last night and was fairly talkative. She told me that they had found a used bookstore. She was pretty excited because she had found a Samuel Shellabarger book, "Lord Vanity" for "only two bucks!" She and her friends had also been to a candy store where they had met a lady from Europe and had lots of fun visiting with her. Then Jesse got on the phone with her dad and told him that she had been motorcycle riding with the Riggins boys. One of them had shown her his Cobra that he was "fixing up". Apparently, he poured gasoline in it to start it, and fire blew out of the headers. Jesse was impressed, but a little scared. She said she was trying to be cool, but found herself backing up until she tripped over something in the shop drawing attention to herself – yeah she’s cool. It is funny that she tells me the quiet, calm stuff, but tells her father the wild stuff. I see how it is. They will do their skiing at the end of the week in Monarch. I did get my motherly advice in before we got off the phone, " Beware the ski instructors!"

All of this talk of snow and winter reminds me of our life in Northern NM. Our big daily chore was to feed the horses. I say "our" because we home schooled, and the kids were always with me – a big help. A typical day meant bundling up against the snow and cold. Often we had to defrost the frost-free water hydrant in order to fill three 5-gallon containers with water for the horses. We would load them in the truck, scrape the snow and ice off the windshield, and drive about ten miles to our pasture. Sometimes we were able to break the ice on the pond, but not after it had frozen too thick to break. We usually put out hay or feed and filled the water troughs. It was a pretty sight to see the horses come running up in the snow with the mountains in the background, but what a pain in the butt. Life in OK is much easier on me and the horses.

I do miss the skiing and the mountains. On Mondays in NM we would go skiing. The public school kids had Mondays off so it was a good time to see friends. The school district called the days "energy saving days". We called them "ski days". We were able to ski whenever we wanted – great thing about home schooling. Sometimes when the snow was great and the weather was perfect, we just had to hit the slopes. For those of you who do not understand home schooling, do not think that my kids were uneducated or missed too much school while having fun. Both my kids were able to start their college early and finish early. My son received a masters in five years of college.

The other thing I miss about NM is my house. It had high ceilings with big beams (vigas and lattias). It had saltio tile flooring in the kitchen/living area. It had a wood burning stove. It had 5’x6’ windows facing east toward the mountain, south to let in lots of sun, and west overlooking the Rio Grande Valley. Someday soon I will have the house of my dreams again, and I love OK with its rolling hills, green grass, and water (normally). I may have to feed the horses here too, but I do not have to brave the snow and ice to do it.


Phil said...

Great writing, interesting read, as usual. Thanks!

Buck Pennington said...

Wow, BB, your life in NM sure sounds idyllic! But on the other hand, I know how isolated Red River actually is. RR is probably a lot like what they say about NYC...nice place to visit, etc.

Looking forward to more "tales of New Mexico!"

Bo said...

That may be true about RR. I don't think its the isolation, though, so much as the uniqueness. That's why vacations are so enjoyable there and why living there can sometimes be difficult. It is completely different from the "typical" American town, but maybe that just because of the importance of tourism.

Just an example, here in Oklahoma, nobody works on holidays like Christmas or Memorial Day. Just try going out to eat. There won't be anything open. Whereas, in Red River, Christmas and Memorial Day are some of the busiest days of the year. No local ever takes off on those days.

the friendly neighborhood piper said...

Mamalou, did you say "rolling grass...and w-w-water"? i'm confused...are you getting rain over there? I know it may not be the high aridness of NNM but, sorry lost my train of thought, Leah just wiped snot on my shoulder and spread it around with her finger (probably a future art student). Anyway, i second the motion for Jesse to beware the "ski instructor". Those red crosses sometimes indicate a little more "aid" than one needs. Just in case you were wondering, Bo put me on your trail, i was talking to him awhile ago about re-racking this beer we made, its gonna be good, i'll only charge you a nominal fee for your choice...i am apparently Leah's personal kleenex. We still need to get my wife on a horse.