Sunday, November 21, 2010

So, what's new?

Packing and loading is what's new, plus a lot of other things. It's been a while. Sandy has been the superintendent of packing, and she's gotten us well ahead of the game. There's still a few odds and ends to tend to, but we were pretty ready when we picked up the truck in Durango yesterday and brought if back for three neighbors to help load yesterday afternoon. I should really say they loaded the truck, because I wasn't much help. Thank goodness for three strong backs, with one of them having a pretty good idea how to load a truck! We intend to finish off the project this afternoon ... there's a real possibility that not everything will go in the 26-foot truck, leaving us with a decision what to leave and where to put it, so the house can be rented (he says hopefully). We'll probably have to come back up, rent a U-Haul trailer and move the rest of the stuff down. That'll work out well in one way; we'll have had a chance to gnaw away at the first load before we bring down the rest. I have visions of a large pile of boxes in the garage for a while!

While Sandy was slaving away at packing, I went off to Washington, D.C., for the annual meeting of the general committee of Friends Committee on National Legislation. Most of the time was spent inside one hotel in 14-hour days of meetings.

I did walk up Massachusetts Avenue one evening to have a quiet supper. On the way, I was reminded of how interesting DC can be, beyond the famous attractions ... little plaques and statues and shops and offices, etc. It's also an architectural hodge-podge, with strange juxtapositions of building styles. The quaint old structure in the bottom picture is one such, and then I noticed the sign ... it's an "I Am" sanctuary. I first met the I Am folks in San Antonio in 1959, when I was in the Army at Ft. Sam Houston. I was curious and met one of the folks ... they are the consequence of an experience in 1930, when a mining engineer met the ascended master, Saint Germain, on the slopes of Mount Shasta (

Anyway, life went on and I didn't encounter them again till the Harmonic Convergence at Chaco Canyon in 1987, which an I Am leader from southern California attended. She wore a long white robe, drove a huge white Mercedes sedan (not commonplace at Chaco!) and was accompanied by a big white standard poodle.

And now I run across them again in DC! Seems like they enter my life every couple of decades. Let's see, the next encounter will be when I'm in my 90s!

Back to business. We honored our departing executive secretary, Joe Volk, who served us for 20 years, and greeting Diane Randall, who will be growing into his shoes.

Sunday afternoon we had a workshop on lobbying (our issue this year was the New START treaty, which looks dicey right now as far as Senate ratification) and Monday we went to the offices of our elected Congress persons. I walked the 2.5 miles from the Washington Plaza Hotel to Capitol Hill both days and enjoyed seeing Massachusetts Avenue up-close.

One of the incongruous sights, for me, was the "For Sale" sign on this tiny little dump, squeezed between two multi-storied buildings. It can't be more than 20 feet wide ... what in the world could you build in that space that would be cost-effective?!

Monday morning, on my way from the Cannon House Office Building to the Hart Senate Office Building, I ran across a rally in its formative stages. So, I stuck around to watch democracy in action! It was organized by Americans For Prosperity and there were about 100 participants, who had come from near and far to give the deficit and tax message to Congress. I thought it interesting that, while the recent election was supposedly about "jobs, jobs, jobs," none of the signs were about that subject. It also seemed unusual to see a hundred people in DC that included only one dark-skinned participant ... they didn't "look like America."

While many of my neighbors in the group were talking about hoping Michele Bachmann would come and address the group (she didn't arrive while I was there), they did get to hear from Sen. Jim DeMint (pictured) and Rep. Mike Pence and several newly-elected Representatives. DeMint said "no earmarks" and Pence said "no compromise."

One thing I found offensive ... the little girl perched on her daddy's shoulders to the right of and behind DeMint, holding a sign that says "Obama's bad" and on the sign is a picture of Obama with red horns pencilled on the top of his head. Enlisting one's little kids in demonizing the President is beyond the pale for me! tv

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Mexico Traveler

In traveling the highway between Mancos and Silver City, this is the second time we have seen a man with a packhorse. I don't believe it was the same twosome on both sightings. It is a rather lonesome road between the two towns but some picturesque scenery and an occasional surprise such as horses and riders and wild animals such as the group of wild pigs we saw crossing the highway. So ugly they are cute! My only regret was that they are fast, and ran before I could get my camera turned on. It's always and interesting ride! sf

Moving, moving, moving ...

Gee, it's wonderful to be retired ... and free of commitments! Saturday evening we went to the Millwood for dinner, and decided to go see our "new" house and check on utilities, etc.

So, Sunday morning early Sandy and Scooby Doo and Tom got in the "Radish" and headed south! Eight and a half hours later, a little butt-sore but having enjoyed a lovely trip down, we got to Silver City. Scooby Doo learned to use the doggy-door and the outdoor pen and thoroughly explored the house.

It was nice to see roses were still blooming in the yard, and the third one up, with the green door in the background, actually opened the next morning. What a nice greeting! The next pic up is the entry way at dawn Monday, and the top picture is the view out of that doorway at sunset Monday evening.

Scooby Doo and I talk a walk a block west and back on Monday morning; I was impressed with how quiet the area is! I've gotten used to the road noise here, but it was really peaceful there.

There were three stair-step deer in the yard, and we saw piñon jays and towhees come to the feeders after we put seed in them.

We got to the WNMU pool and had a nice swim Monday afternoon. It's bigger than the one at the Cortez Rec Ctr., but without the walking track, exercise room, resistance current, etc. We'll miss the Rec Center, but the pool will be good. In the evening, we had a gut-busting supper at the Buckhorn Saloon in Piños Altos, but did not stay for the Open Mic music; the bar was already filled.

We got an early start back on Tuesday. North on US 180, up in the evergreen forest, we came upon a herd of 10-12 javelinas alongside the road. Well, they were gone in several directions after the first bark from Wonder Dog! Anyway, those were the first we've seen (anywhere, ever, including Silver City). I was kind of surprised to see them up in the forest; I think they were more desert denizens.

Anyway, it was a good trip and I'm glad we made it. It was nice to spend two nights in our new home!

And tomorrow I need to be up about 4 a.m. so I can be at the La Plata County Airport in time to be on a 6:25 a.m. flight to, ultimately, Washington, D.C., for the annual meeting of Friends National Committee on Legislation. Just hoping DC isn't as cold, wet and dreary as it was last year! In any case, I think I've got myself packed in the easiest way to get through security, notwithstanding the fact that a metal knee gets special attention anyway! Back Tuesday to help Sandy finish packing ... and then we load up and drive south! tv

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Packing, packing, packing!

Sandy knows how to organize packing and has it well under control! The place is starting to look empty ... except where the piles of boxes are.

We did take a break Thursday night to go to the historic Mancos Opera House for Michael Martin Murphey's concert. As you can see, there was a good turnout. We've heard him four times now, and I think this was his best concert.

We decided over supper to take another break and go to Silver City tomorrow. Why not? We're retired ... and free of all those club and organization commitments that we've had to plan around before. So, we'll go check on our "new" place, wake up in it, introduce the dog to it, unpack a few things we've already got at that end, etc. Never did such spontaneous things before I met my Sweetheart! tv

Monday, November 1, 2010

Times of change

Had an afternoon tour of Mesa Verde today ... 21 folks from England on a train-themed tour. A little unusual in that it was late in the day (that's the bus arriving to pick me up at about 2:45 p.m.) and I got to be with the group from the time they arrived at the park until they left the park.

I first started giving guided tours at Mesa Verde. It was June 1966 ... 44 1/2 years ago. I've "told the story" in other places since then, but it felt good to have Mesa Verde be the site of the last tour I'll probably ever give, and this was it.

'Twas a cool but sunny, very clear late autumn afternoon and the sites were beautiful! The Cliff Palace shot was taken at about 5 p.m. and we're only about six weeks shy of the winter solstice, so it was illuminated almost as fully as it ever gets.

Back to packing tomorrow! tv