Florida to New Mexico in a snapshot;
First day: Tallahassee, Old style, dog loving La Quinta. Second story, the outside room confused the dogs. Of course they didn’t like it, it was a catwalk! He ate oysters, cheese grits, and she had Fried green tomatoes.
Next day: Hattiesburg Mississippi, site of important Civil Rights events the summer of 1964. Almost 50 years ago hatred lived here. He found Crescent City Grill so I could have a great salad in a place where the greens are still green, and of course… more oysters. It was not a great room. I found myself eye to eye with a monster in the bathroom, another in the night, and a third in the morning. All that time sitting under palm trees in Florida and never a big bug, but in Mississippi, they came to us.
On our way to Shrevesport LA we saw a road worker in striped pants laying in the road surrounded by his armed Sheriff guards. The scene brought a chill to the bone.
Day three: Mesquite TX; a part of Dallas, 40 BBQ places in a small radius! We found a great one, ate BBQ ribs and baked potatoes with snippets of Jurassic Park 3. Gnawing on bones and watching that carnage didn’t quite feel Kosher to me. We finished up with Patrick Stewart waltzing through the “Christmas Carol.” Is there anyone; actor or cartoon that hasn’t had at that fable?
It was a three hour trip out of Dallas via flooded highways and local streets. There were Fire engines and ambulances on the roads, racing to reach the results of poor judgement. I discovered a new driving trick for torrential rain; turn on your flashers. The drivers feel mortal for a moment and slow down.
We came out of the storm in Abilene. For hundreds of flat, cotton growing miles, we marveled at the skies. Not much happening on the ground in West Texas, but the skies are amazing.
Which brings us to Hobbs, NM tonight. So many miles! Good local food from land and sea; a tonic for the body. For the soul, an ongoing story called Dangerous Old Woman from my hero Dr. Clarissa Estes. The radio in 5 states played the same 6 Christmas songs, all spouting “be of good cheer” and, “we’ll all be together.” No wonder so many people struggle in this season with all this enforced cheeriness.
We watched the 2013 winter solstice sunset from the Hobbs LaQ hot tub. I have been thinking about last year’s solstice. I walked the Labyrinth at a church in Santa Fe. Three times into the center and back out until I went home at midnight. A labyrinth is a trip into your psyche, a trail into your own unconscious. It was memorable because the intentions resolved there, played out in the coming months.
Tomorrow- through Roswell up the backside of Manzanos to I 40, through the canyon formerly our daily commute, and on to the “Breaking Bad” lands of Albuquerque. There are little and big hearts to tumble into this Christmastime in New Mexico.
For so many people this is a very hard time. For all of us, our world is a changed place from last solstice; last Christmas. It’s a time to be happy, to be sad, to take in what has changed and honor it, honor what is here and be happy.
Two Christmases ago, my father was dying. Last Christmas, I decorated for Christmas with my Mom. We adorned her apartment with her favorite pinecone lights and set out our childhood angels. It was wonderful. I hadn’t been with her at this time of year for a long time. She died two months later, those lights are in our storage waiting for the time they will be joyfully put out again. This year I will take it all in, because I know next year will be different. Love what you have today.
Thanks for reading, thanks for being part of our adventure, our lives and our shared human heart. Blessings on us all!!