June 28, 2011


I grew up in a town where flooding was a real possibility.
I knew the terms "flood stage" and "sandbagging crews" from an early age.
I remember the flood of 1965; because our rowboat was tied to our porch
and the water created our front and side yards.

Now I live in a state where fire is a real possibility.
I'm learning the terms
"fire edge"
"air tanker"
"controlled burn"
"hotshot crew"
"red-flag day"
"let-burn policy"

and the term which gives fire an evil personality:
"fire behavior"

(Fire fighting terms)

The Los Alamos "Las Conchas" fire is approximately a 60 mile drive from Santa Fe,
(and about 45 miles as a raven flies or smoke blows).
The good news is that evacuees are being directed toward Santa Fe.
The bad news is those evacuees only had 24-48 hours to leave their homes.

Albuquerque Journal

after looking at the dramatic photos I realized:


What Would I Take?

All living breathing things:
family and pets with sufficient food and water.
Photos and documents
impossible or difficult to replace.
Electronics: computer, cameras, phones and chargers.
Hard to replace books.
Generational keepsakes/jewelry.

I would hope to have time to photograph all belongings "staying behind"
for insurance purposes.

I would try to only take what was necessary, and try to offer space in our cars to others.

And I would hope that none of it was necessary.

I hope I never find out WWIT.

And I send out silent prayers as I watch the smoke blow by.

June 25, 2011

It Is Good To Know

2011 Gay Pride Parade in Santa Fe

Happy to see so many happy
AT the parade today
IN the parade today;
families, teenagers,
politicians, church members,
seniors, cowboys and cowgirls...
Smiling, waving and enjoying the weather
in glorious Santa Fe.

"Es Mejor Saber"
"It Is Good To Know"

It is good to know:
I live in a city that accepts others
I live in a city where I am a minority ("white")
I live in a city where all generations come together
I live in a city with a "Rodeo" and a '"Gay Rodeo" in the same week
I live in a city where people in love hold hands
I live in a city where everyone; all colors, all religions, all beliefs - laugh
I live in a city that is relaxed
I live in a city that loves "The Arts"

I live in a city where people want to visit me.

I live in a city I love.

I live in country
where some people continue to be persecuted
and where documentaries are still made
and stories are still told
of young people murdered for their beliefs.

"Two Spirits"

Tells the story of a young, native boy
from the southwest,
who struggled with two identities
and died trying to believe in himself.

During Gay Pride Week
please know
many in your circle of friends and co-workers and relatives
may be struggling with an identity
and trying to live their lives
in the only way they feel free.

It is good to know:
Rainbows are a good thing.

June 19, 2011


Thirtieth High School Class Reunion registration check mailed. "Check"
Purchased airline ticket across four states/high season $400+. "Check"
Initiated "social network" connections with high school friends. "Check"
Considered diet and decided good food is more important. "Check"
Called friend to crash on her couch during reunion - she agrees. "Check"
Contact initiated with friends from MORE than 30 years ago. "Check"
Throwing an "Elementary School Reunion" for 32 classmates. "Check"
Reserved "Pizza Joint" for Elementary School Classmates. "Check"
Planning Memorial for 4 Elementary School friends we've lost. "Check"
Expensive "outfits" for reunions? I like Goodwill better. "Check"
"Mom,can I borrow your car?" "OK, but fill up the tank!" "Check"
Going home again?
Listening to 80's music again?
Seeing old friends again?

June 15, 2011

Beautiful and Unusual

Airport carpet; Phoenix.

Beautiful and unusual sights:
Phoenix Airport carpet that brought a smile when I saw it,
unusual (at least to my mid-western and south-western eyes)
flowers blooming all around San Diego,
and guerrilla art; a life-sized mosaic "Surfing Guadalupe"
mounted on a wall under an overpass
"under the cover" of broad daylight during a midweek afternoon
in June
in Encinitas, California.

I just love to travel and see the beautiful and unusual stuff out there!

June 01, 2011

Thank You Joe

I Love Horses.
Horse Crazy since about age three
and fascinated by horse books
plastic Breyer horses
playing imaginary horses with my friends, Lisa and Kathy;
three little girls running through the yards and neighborhoods...

... with cowgirls on mustangs jumping cactus somewhere out in the old west
or strong horses carrying packs across windswept snow-covered mountains
or draft horses with heavy carts on cobbled roads in 17th Century England
or regal Arabian stallions running across foreign deserts
(with horses of every size, color and breed;
Pintos, Palominos, Appaloosas, Shetland Ponies, Wild Mustangs, Morgans -
the list was everlasting),

and running free

My room was filled with horse books, 12-inch tall Breyer horses,
horse statues, horse bookends, horse posters, horse-covered clothing...

And when I was nine;
Joe, a friend from my tiny elementary school
(who had always known of my "horse-craziness")
moved with his parents and four brothers
from a tiny house in our tiny town
to a lovely farm
big enough for all those boys to grow and play and thrive.

Telling his parents and mine,
"now Martha can get a horse and keep it here".

When I turned ten; my parents brought a big wonderful Appaloosa
to the McBurney farm.
Shadow had a new home and a little owner.

Joe and I
were probably more like brother and sister;
and over the years
I would come to the farm twice a day
to brush and curry and spoil and ride
my big gentle horse,
Joe would stand on the other side of the stall,
and practice feeding carrots to Shadow
and talk about his day
or tease (but in a nice way),
and was always careful not to scare or startle the horse.

He helped load hay into the hayloft in the fall
and sometimes would help to muck the sloppy stalls in the spring.

We went to the same tiny elementary school and the "big city" high school,
and would wave as we passed by each other
along their long driveway at the end of the day;
he was probably headed to work or playing basketball with friends,
I was on my way to see my horse.

He went to college and moved out of town,
and I continued to go to the farm
every day to see my horse
and enjoyed chatting with his mom and dad and brothers.

I went to that farm for more than 25 years,
(Joe's dad had NO idea how long a horse could hang around a farm!)
And sometimes I would house-sit for Joe's parents
and sometimes they would babysit my horse.

A friend of my named John
bought a horse and kept his horse with mine;
and the two horses became friends
and John and I became husband and wife.

I don't think I ever thanked Joe
for offering his parent's farm.

And a few years ago he died of cancer.

It is belated, but no less heartfelt:
Thank You Joe.