Had some lovely Egyptian licorice tea earlier this morning, listening to "Long Time Comin' " by Bruce Springsteen on iTunes now. Some things have been a long time coming, some still are a long time coming with no resolution in sight--and this includes a purported shortage on one of the orders I sent to my new department store. They are refusing to pay for four pieces from my first order because they say they weren't in the box... As each piece "missing" was one of a pair, and all four pairs were packed in the same box, and that box had the same contents, size and weight of two other boxes in the shipment that weren't short... it doesn't take a math genius to see they made a mistake. But math genius or no, in every corporate setting you deal with the lowest common denominator, i.e., not the sharpest crayon in the box.
But enough kvetching. I harken back this morning to my lovely sojourn on David and Sara's 100 acre New Mexico ranch outside of Magdalena. As previously reported, ACRE sucked every spark of life from my soul and my marrow. I arrived in NM a veritable husk of a woman. Sadly I only got to spend one night there, but I was sufficiently rejuvenated by that night to be able to forge on home the following day in a 16 ft rental truck loaded with hot glass equipment (and glass).
Sara and David feted and feasted me--and David's green chili and cheese apple crisp after Sara's dilled salmon on rice were feasting indeed. I stocked for the road with David's homemade bread in the form of nut butter (peanut in one, almond in the other, yum), banana and honey sandwiches and fresh, cool well water.
Being from the west myself, I envy them their locale, their isolation, their population paucity, and their climate. I love the can-do spirit of the westerner, completely lacking in the notion of entitlement. And then there's the natural beauty. Maybe my mother is right and we should move to Albuquerque (she's convinced Dave and I only move to places that begin with 'A'--Aurora, Austin, Atlanta...). Then again, that would have been a better decision BEFORE moving all the hot shop equipment out here.
Sara and David's home is a 100 year-old ranch house nestled between a couple of mountains (one of them shown above), and it was built by Mark Twain's cousin in 1910. It is a beautiful, single-story, small, rambling, stone house that I nonetheless managed to get lost in twice during my stay--and that was after they kindly provided me with a flashlight to help me find my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night!
In addition to the main house, there are several outbuildings made from wood or adobe that contain the contents of every packrat's dream. David and I are much alike--as witnessed by the fact that one of the things I brought back in the truck is an old home-made lapidary saw that looks like a gas barbecue and was full of old rat nestings. It was a treasure to David at one time, now it's a treasure to me--though I have no idea what I'm going to use it for. But it's a cool tool. I must need it (and have a place for it).
The load-up was assisted by several of their friends--including one man with a "cherry picker" winch lift thingie that was used to get the heaviest pieces (the glass furnace, one of the cases of glass, and the big wet-belt sander) up and into the truck. The rest was loaded in by hand--thankfully most of it not by me as I have all the unloading left to do this Friday--and took no time at all. I took pictures of the crew and some of the loading, I wish I could remember everyone's names, but I was just too exhausted to process.
Before (and even after) my trip, several people asked me why I just didn't have everything shipped out from NM instead of driving it. But half the fun of the process was going through Sara and David's years of accumulated tools and materials and admiring that which they wanted to keep and squirreling into the truck that which they could give up.
After I left Sara and David's place a little after noon on Thursday, I drove to Socorro (between Magadalena and Albuquerque) and stopped at the local WalMArt for some fresh fruit, an iPod adapter for the the truck (so I could listen to my audiobook on the way home) and a small Garmin GPS. What a great purchase that was! Instead of continuing on up to Albuquerque, the GPS sent me south and then off east on a two-lane highway through the stark New Mexico countryside and on to Brownsville and Abilene Texas. The route saved me several hours and a few hundred miles and ensured that getting home Friday was possible.
I took a couple of pictures from the moving truck, this one of the road shows the heavy rush-hour traffic I had to navigate on Thursday afternoon. The road looked the same behind me as it did in front. Wow.
I also got to go through Roswell, but sadly, I had no time to stop and hunt for stored aliens. I did, however, see this sign as I was going through town. Maybe next time I take a trip to NM I'll go with D and the J and we can stop in to do some research.
Now back to glass. Tomorrow: The hot shop!