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OCTOBER 07 NOVEMBER 07
JOURNAL ENTRIES: Dec. 29 Dec. 25 Dec.21 Dec.19 Dec 15 Dec.11 Dec. 10 Dec 8 Dec 7
Dec.31, 2007 / Jan. 1, 2008
It has been a busy year. Or as Bokonon says, busy, busy, busy.
The good part is we are alive and healthy, have a little money and a lot of friends and family. In short, we have much to be thankful about. That is always good.
Ruth has had a Cold/Flu thing so has been low key for a couple of days. We decided to stay home for New Year's Eve. In the early afternoon, our good pal Jet popped in with a bottle of bubbly and bars of chocolate. We sat around and talked and made plans for our mutual futures, like hitting the big time and traveling the world and having a damn lot of fun. Sounds like a good idea.
Jet reminded me that the sculptures she bought from me are doing well and being stoically blissful on her wall. She was going to buy only the male figure until I told her they were a couple...what kind of couple I am not sure but it is Santa Fe so most things go...
So as the last entry for 2007, a few shots of our big house party of three.
1. Ruth tells her story. 2. jet tells her story. 3. Three story tellers. 4. Ruth feels good. 5. Jet feels good. 6. 8:30 PM the party is over.
I am tempted to quote something from the writings of the fictitious Bokonon in Vonnegut's CATS CRADLE...somewhere he defines the confusion and cynicism this fickle life demonstrates every day...teenagers eaten by tigers at Zoos, Pakistan killing its martyrs, and any news cast any day of the year...but really nothings makes dumb luck un-dumb... we are all in this game of chance and some of us continue to exist despite our dangerous meanderings, while others careful and slow as molasses are plucked off the conveyor belt of space/time...
What happened in the last 36 hours is two of the nicest people one has the fortune to know were burned to death in their bed in the early morning time. No one saw their house on fire. A friend came to visit them in the morning to discover the entire house leveled to the ground. Five hours later the Madrid grapevine got to Ruth and I as we were in Albuquerque. Ruth had just got the bad news from her accountant that she would owe a lot of money in taxes. Then we heard our friends were dead. Tax no longer was important.
We saw the news this morning on local TV. Our friends were briefly mentioned. Two names that are strangers to most the world. Last night a circle of a dozen or more friends sat together at our local bar, all of us quiet and saddened. We would no longer see tall six foot five Cowboy Greg and short five foot flat Ann dance their wonderful dance in front of the band.
Two beautiful and complicated orphans are in another world. Peace to them. Peace to you.
Nothing has changed in respect of feeling good about death. As the cliché goes, Life Goes On.
I went down to the meadow and cleared wood in river bend. I had a sort of vision about building an earth kiln.
More of that latter perhaps...
But on the return from the meadow I knew I had not only life but three perfectly good old wrecks who are my pride and joy.
What is sand to some is in your eyes to others.
1. I can't believe I am so ugly.
2. But I got a cute dog and trucks and double your lucks.
3. So being ugly ain't bad when you got three good trucks.
4. With their combined mileage I'm a millionaire.
CHRISTMAS DAY 1977- 2007
Thirty years ago I was living on the Isle of Arran, which is in the Clyde estuary about 40 mile west of Glasgow. On a clear day I could see the lights of Campbell Town where Paul McCartney lived.
Before John Lennon was shot I wrote to Paul and said something like, "....since we are almost neighbors, do you think you could introduce me to John?" Naturally Paul never answered. I guess I hurt his feelings that I did not ask to meet him...
Also, nearly 30 years ago, I was about to become a father. Here 30 years later I am still a father but the surroundings have changed considerably. One thing consistent, I was very happy back on the Isle of Arran, and to my great good fortune I am happy now in the Cerrillos/Madrid valley. There were a lot of gaps in-between where happiness eluded me.
This morning I gave Ruth a symbolic gift of happiness.
Where ever you are, Who ever you are, I wish you much happiness and health.
1. My back yard on the Isle of Arran, with the lighthouse on Pladda near the the shore and Ailsa Craig on the distant horizon.
2. The little Angel babe who came into my life 30 years ago.
3. A gift to Ruth who is my gift.
5. Her new office with Happiness Shelf.
6. Things on the Walls.
7. The Hallway Gallery.
8. What is left of three and one-half acres of my inheritance.
9. Window looking out on the twelve and one-half acres that the pipe brought me in a roundabout Bokonon kind of journey.
10. The wonderful moon who has followed ever faithful.
Only a few hours ahead of a snowstorm, with the help of friends the roof was raised.
1. The weather forecast said snow was coming--had to get the roof up.
2. Good Friend and neighbor Glen Neff Helped save the day.
3. In a little over three hours we got the rafters up.
4. Manny and me got KID NATION walls in place.
5. Meanwhile who gives a Cat's Ass?
6. Only five minutes after finishing for the day, the snow began to blow in.
7. After last winters three foot dump, everyone was nervous.
8. The new extension was covered so that was good.
9. At the moment and probably for several weeks yet though it looks like a building site.
10. But at least now I can work under a roof to get Ruth's walk-in closet finished.
And so here is today and where ever and who ever you are...
From The Workers Party of Redneckastan
It Comes From The Bottom Of Our Hearts
To Give Seasons Greetings
The world rolls around and around and around. What's new?
Ruth has been having a series of Murphy's Law things that go boom in the dark phenomena. There is nothing I can do but say, "I know, I know it does not feel good, but try to calm down." It is always comforting to get useless advice.
Meanwhile as I say the world rolls on. I have hired the little kid next door, who now actually looks pretty much a grown man, to help me put up the colossal shack I am building onto our shack.
In the evenings we have been going to seasonal parties with old friends and meeting some new ones.
Ruth's little house in T or C is now almost a reality in that the owner accepted Ruth's offer.
But then that is also one of Ruth's problems. She needs to get her taxes done, but the accountants mother-in -law died so he has departed to the east coast.
Ruth hates not having a constant flow of things to juggle, so she decorates a new office in the house and dreams of getting the house near Elephant Butte she can flip for a handsome profit.
I carry on wondering how I am going to piece together all of the objects I salvaged from KID NATION and put them into a house that does not look like a shack...hmmmmm...
1. Taking the last of the trailer paneling off.
2. Moon shot.
3. Wee Manny who now is a man with a gun.
4. Glen Neff masquerading as Santa.
5. Evening at Glen and Eliane's house.
6. The dinner party with new friends.
7. Ruth's new office.
8. Ruth's little house in T or C.
9. Flip house at Elephant Butte.
We returned from 4 days down in the warmer south, for the purpose of a couple of things--primarily Ruth looking for a long term investment in real estate and secondly just to hang out and relax. We accomplished both of those items in several ways.
1. Elephant Butte is a small community just north of Truth or Consequences, NM. http://www.newmexico.org/place/loc/cities/page/DB-place/place/1405.html
2. It really is the desert.
3. Our accommodation at Syd Bryan's Pelican Spa ( http://www.pelican-spa.com/ ).
4. Syd decorates all of his properties with his personal art collections.
5. An interesting chair with years of stories.
6. The entrance to the baths.
7. One of the colorful buildings of T'r'C.
8. Pigeon art.
9. Pigeon plaid.
10. The little house Ruth is in the process of dealing...
Sometime today, Ruth and I are going to go down to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. It is Ruth's idea that she wants to look for a "fixer-upper" house for a long term investment. The rumor is That T'rC is a place to watch for future expansion...that being because Virgin Airlines is building the worlds first spaceport ( http://www.spaceportamerica.com/home.html )only a few miles down the road. Hmmm...perhaps money will follow idiots who want to spend $20,000 for a few minutes in the upper stratospheres...who knows?
Anyway, our little vacation will be a couple days off our routines here and a chance to hangout doing pretty much of nothing for a moment or so.
Of course I will take my computer if for nothing else to keep in touch with email...possibly get on with translations of New Zen Cowboy Tales etc. etc..
6:04 PM I don't know why exactly I am feeling kind of lonely...not because I am by myself, because I'm not. Ruth is here and she makes me happy...but it is more just that I miss all of the people, all my friends who are spread across this whole big wide world, and I can't reach out and touch them now, and say , "Wow, it is is so fucking good to see you!"
I was writing. Once in a while the urge to be literary still happens.
At this point short stories are appealing so I keep adding pieces to NEW ZEN COWBOY TALES (tambien en espanol). The latest being A GUN IN THE THROAT.
Biographical proximity is basically the difference between the short stories and my longer works. The novels come out of my experiences but veer sharply into fiction and my personal fantasies...
Other than that, yesterday Christmas lights had to be repaired in Madrid, which was done by Reckless Rick (1.) ...no way I was going to climb up those poles.
Later I met Santa and we adjourned to the bar for a nip(2.)
1. Winter in New Mexico can be like anywhere else, bleak and gray.
2. But there is always something going on up in the clouds, color slips in...
3.Some evenings you look up and just can't believe the quality of light.
4.The Los Cerrillos hills just across the river never fail to change.
5. This what makes New Mexico special
In case you have wondered where the blog has been for a week or so...it is the old story of computer problems, virus, registry, worn out chips, etc. etc.
The first obstacles over--my old laptop with a new brain and anti-virus programs installed.
So far December has been busy and fruitful.
As usual, below are photos of recent events with numbered explanations.
1. Christmas lights finally up and shining in Madrid-- representing over a month of work by Ruth and me--meaning only the strands over the road and 30 or so cut-out figures repainted.
2. The first big snow in the Sangre de Christo mountains above Santa Fe.
3. Another view of the mountains.
4. The auction building in La Cienaga
5.Ruth bought a lot of tools, antiques and what-zuts and we needed the trailer bought at the last auction in Springer.
6. Ruth finally sold her house and bought us an old Toyota 4X4 with only 199,000 + miles on it.
7. The 4X4 parked among my fleet of beat old vehicles. I had an idea of towing them in a long line and drive down to Guatemala where they would all be relatively new...then I sobered up.
8. The aftermath of the fire last month. The one good thing about it is now we have a fire barrier.
9. I put the picket fence up I scrounged from KID NATION to keep the neighborhood brats out...fat chance but at least now they have to hop over it if they want to start another fire.
10. And here is the very slow progress of Ruth's new walk-in closet and they last element of the single-wide mobile home it used to be.