Friday, February 13, 2015

Changes Will Be

With or without our approval changes will come into our lives. As humans we generally do not much like change. We buy houses, establish institutions, go to endless reunions, all to hold on to some stability. But our friends move, some die, houses burn down, pets cross the rainbow bridge before their time.

I named this blog when I began it, Sidetracked Charley, because I felt derailed, shoved and forgotten on some side track or lost in a nameless train yard in Elkins, West Virginia. There is a train station there which became famous for the hundreds of lost cars stockpiled there and forgotten. I used to wonder if they would miss a caboose. Then I would plot how I would get it across the country without anyone noticing. They had not noticed it was missing.

Sometimes I think where I live is like that Elkins, West Virginia train yard. We are not on our way to any specific destination so who will miss us if we do not show up. We know all the cars around us (except during tourist season) and this is more comfortable than being Chicago during the World's Fair. Historians are just beginning to delve into the numbers who went missing during that event. Nobody kept track of who came in and who left and who didn't.

We know when someone goes missing in Angel Fire. It could take us a while because there is no radio or TV station locally. Facebook is the news of the day and not everyone is connected to that directly. We seem great at finding lost dogs but could we find a missing element of our community? It isn't like we all have 9 to 5 jobs. Many are retired, many are seasonal workers, lots like myself are self entertaining as it were. Tourists might miss a lift operator that didn't show but they will not know his name.

We know the names. And it seems of late there are a lot. Just in the last couple of weeks there was Hoot, Bill and Carl. Pillars of the community nearing their sell by date. But in the last year there have been some unexpected gone missing from our numbers.

George Burns used to say he checked the obits first thing and if his name wasn't there he was okay. Now you log on to the computer and open FaceBook and go to Better than a Bulletin Board for Angel Fire. If you name isn't there you are good to go. Or they haven't found out you are missing yet.

FaceBook just developed the Legacy account. I appointed my sister my Legacy contact. I have yet to write my will again but I handled that part. Now I wonder if I can put my will on my Timeline. Give my sister the instruction to post it upon my death.

I still want that Caboose. Would be a great lawn ornament. Or crypt.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Not Really Winter

It really isn't winter. Not winter like the northeast US is having. Not winter like 2006 (but it was a once in 70 year winter). Not the winter it looked like it was going to be in November with 18 inches at one time. January thaw started in December and continues in spite of a small snow yesterday. It was the type of snow I like - here today and gone tomorrow. And more on the mountain than here in the valley. A pretty snow.

I confess to rather liking winter. Especially now with the big 4x4 pickup. All my annoying fair weather friends are gone. And with the caller ID I can avoid them calling from Florida to check on the weather. This year they are wasting their money. I have not been snowed in for real once. So I dedicated myself to getting out and about with the camera at least once a week or so. First it was Coyote Creek in search of ice. Found some ice.

But mainly just clear blue water. Should have bought the fly rod instead of the camera. Was definitely over dressed. And the extra gloves, hat and heavier coat stayed in the car. Winter is a time you never rely on the weather. May be clear when you leave and snowing when you get back. Not this winter it seems.

So I called my old friend in Albuquerque and set a time to meet in Santa Fe for lunch. We had not done that since she acquired the new boyfriend. Experience has shown it is good to wait a year or two before re-engaging a friendship after a man has entered the pictures. Too many women of my age have been trained to focus entirely on the penis. I was never good at that which is probably why my relationships fail and Mother was sure I could never keep a man. I seem to get bored of them before they are bored of me.

We shopped and chatted and ate at a great Italian Grill and talked some more. Giggled over all the old memories like the time we had met in Santa Fe where not a flake fell but she went south to 10 inches of the white stuff and I had to park the vehicle at the top of the hill and pull out the snowshoes in the back to walk through almost two feet of snow down to my house. It is one of those adventures which makes you keep the emergency winter stuff in the trunk and get home always before dark.

This drive home was later than it should be but the full moon rose as the sun was setting and it felt like spring and not winter. So this Monday I threw the winter stuff in the trunk but dressed lightly and headed south to Las Vegas, NM early enough to catch the morning light on the old buildings.

It was a beautiful spring day for the 9th of February. Imbolc was the 2nd. Supposedly the old midwinter pagan holiday begins stirrings of spring. I shed my light open jacket at some point. Even the maids at The Plaza had the windows open while they cleaned.

And on Tuesday I had the studio door open while I painted. Friday I think I am going to dust off the pickup and head for Watrous, NM via the back road. It is a ghost town (153 residents as of 2010 census and with a post office). I have not visited Old Fort Union yet. Suppose to be 53 degrees here in the mountains, probably in the 60's in Watrous. A picnic may be in order. Suppose to snow on Sunday. Will be home before then.