Last weekend, with the end of the semester being so close that I could almost taste the freedom waiting on the other side of six hours of testing, a couple friends and I took ourselves out for the new Mad Max movie. Have you seen it? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of it. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for, spent a fair amount of time muttering, “good lord, this is stressful,” definitely threw my arms around one of my friends at least once, and I enjoyed it. On the way home, my art historian and librarian friend and I talked about how our skills would be of absolutely no use in the motor-head, dystopian desert world shown in Mad Max: Fury Road. I mean, they only need one guitarist and my basic guitar skills lean far more heavily towards acoustic folk than towards battle-inspiring metal. She said she’d probably end up as what the movie called a “breeder.” I figured that with my well-endowed mammary glands I’d end up living hooked up to pumps with the woman who produced the “mother’s milk” that grown men and women drink. These are obviously not jobs we want for ourselves. They would be grand wastes of our master’s degrees.
Here we are in the New Mexico desert, during that trip you all made to visit me over Christmas during my year in El Paso. It was unseasonably cold to the point that there was a little snow that was melting by this point. I’m the only one wearing a (very large) coat (donated to the place where I worked)–maybe I had adjusted to southern climes already. By the time I left the southwest I was wearing jeans and a long sleeved shirt when it was 70 out, though temps are different without humidity. What are your memories of that year that I was in Texas? Rachel and Krestia were married about 4 months previous. In this picture Martha is proudly wearing her engagement necklace from Bradley, given to her a few weeks earlier before they both returned from their semester together in New Zealand. Jewel is 16 years old and Esther is almost 13. Right?
I’ve been thinking about the border recently. Maybe because it is negative frazillion degrees here. Oh, fine. Not quite. It made it to 2 degrees today and the wind chill was only -19. But the internet tells me that it was 75 in El Paso today. I will cope with this snot-freezing, squeaky snow cold by thinking about the place where I learned what 105 feels like. Here are a just a few of the many things I learned in my year living on the border. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: The Border”→
Here I am, having recently completed my 37th year. From the perspective of the college students I direct and my younger cohort members, I can see that 37 sounds old, especially in its proximity to 40. Sometimes, like after two plus hours of contra dancing yesterday, I feel older. There is sadness sometimes that I don’t have some the things that many of the friends my age have–partner, children, steady job. Only sometimes, though. Much of the time, I feel great. My thirties is when I figured out (with the help of physical therapists) how to have a healthy, capable body. I am so glad for that. I have work that I enjoy and I’m working toward a degree that seems right. Most days I feel steadier–more accepting of me, with better knowledge of how to take care of myself and be real and present with whoever I’m with–than I did at 30 or even 35. I have great family and friends–with and without kids, partnered or not, working different kinds of jobs, and all thoughtful, intelligent, hard working, creative, supportive, funny, tolerant of my quirks. It’s a good life. I’m not sure what the future holds, especially after I finish school, but my 37th year was excellent and I’m trusting my 38th and beyond can be also.
Rach, thanks for coming for the annual Ethiopian birthday feast. It is so much nicer now that I don’t do all of the cooking. Remember the days of cooking all day for lots of people? Huzzah for Ethiopian restaurants and for the friends and family members who were able to make the drive to eat with me. Wish you could have all been there. I didn’t think to take any pictures of the festivities, but I did get some quality pictures of Miriam and I making faces together during the evening. I’ll mix them in as we go along.
Mom and I took a day trip up to Rachel and Krestia’s the weekend after Thanksgiving to spend some more time with them. I had an hour or so with them to meet Eve over breakfast on the weekend that they came down for my show, but that definitely wasn’t enough. It was a good, low-key trip, and a much-welcomed break the week after my show. Wish that the rest of you could have been there with us. Mom and I did some Christmas shopping on the way up and then we spent the afternoon with everyone, ate dinner there (Mom made soup that she took along), and had a little time afterwards before we headed back home. How nice that you are withing driving distance, sister. The day was nothing fancy, which was exactly perfect. There were books read, paper dolls played, a Christmas tree decorated, baby and 5-year-old snuggling, time talking with Rachel and Krestia and Krestia’s brother, helping with some chores around the house, that sort of thing. Here are a few pictures.
Life is full and busy these days, sisters. I’m past the graduate school honeymoon period. It is still ssoo good. It is also ssoo much work. Rehearsals have started for the fall musical, so I’m trying to figure out how to do my homework and be prepared for rehearsals 4 nights a week. More often than not I am successful. Am I sleeping, you ask? … … …
Ehem. So! Here are some bits from my life since I posted last. Well, at least from times I remembered to take pictures.
I’m trying raised beds this year, in hopes of making my clay-based garden bed usable. Man, is it work. Last week I got the wood down. I could write an entire post on just that, but the short version is a multitude of thanks sung to Ted and Julie for providing, cutting, and moving free lumber and for assistance with putting it in. This week, sisters, I’ve been shoveling shit. Well-composted, nutrient-rich horse shit mixed with hay and sawdust. I’m working on figuring out why I enjoyed it as much as I did. Continue reading “In praise of shoveling manure”→