Taking stock – that’s what I did with some of the time I took off from the blog these past couple of weeks (which passed by REALLY QUICKLY). July 30 held particular significance and not just because it was the day before my kid’s 19th birthday. This year it marked exactly one year since we rolled into the state of New Mexico to stay.
Wow! We can’t believe it either. At times it’s been tumultuous, there’s no denying that. The holidays, they were tough without family and friends. The kid crashing her car – no injuries other than to pride! – means that just like in high school, Tom’s stuck driving her back and forth to work till she saves for a new vehicle.
Big picture, though, the move’s been most everything we wanted.
Certainly, the weather’s wonderful: lots of sun, lots less winter (compared to New England). One day last January, we hiked in the snow on the east side of the Sandia Mountains then drove the 45 minutes to home where it was 55 degrees. No need for a stinkin’ snowblower here!
RUG HOOKING (this is a hooking blog):
Who would’ve guessed that there’s such an active guild of hookers out here in Albuquerque? I’ve made some great friends this past year, even one, Melinda, who moved from New Hampshire about the same time I moved from Massachusetts. Now the two of us try to get a hooking afternoon in each week. Better yet, she and her husband are New England Patriots fans just like us. Tom and I are no longer alone in a sea of blue and orange Bronco fans.
As High on Hooking, I’ve managed to start selling pieces and been involved in not one, but two shows. The Adobe Wool Arts (ATHA) guild volunteered me as our representative to Albuquerque’s Fiber Arts Council which is currently planning next May’s Fiber Arts Fiesta. Then back in January, three of us headed down to Tuscon in Arizona for a hook-in with the Old Pueblo Rug Hookers. It was 80 degrees there! In January! I even managed a little sunburn!
While we didn’t down-size like we planned (hey, with no cellar or attic, we realized we needed an extra room for the treadmill and bike), we found a great house close to the Rio Grande. That means the dog and I can head out to walk the scenic trails of the Bosque (the forest) whenever we wish. In summer this is best done in the early morning hours.) So far we’ve come across a snake, hawks and hummingbirds, lots of bunnies and geckos, two coyotes, and, just last week, a porcupine.
I turned 52 this summer. Moving here signaled the start of the next half of my life. (You think I’m optimistic, but one of my grandmothers died as an active 93-year-old, and the other is still very much alive.) One reason we moved here — besides the BIG sky, the art scene, and there being less people — was for the outdoor lifestyle. We like to hike. Unfortunately, a couple of months before we left the east coast, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I won’t lie, it’s been a pain in my ass, amongst other places, but especially for my knees. That’s limited our hiking some. But I’m on a new med; here’s hoping it works without too many side effects (the scary kinds they recite to us in all the TV ads). And that the damn hot flashes stop soon. (I am 52.)
Luckily, though, while my fingers have swollen some, they’ve suffered little pain. Maybe all the hooking keeps everything lubed up. Thank goodness. I know that most of you feel like I do: hooking is therapy. Without it, life would, to put it bluntly, suck.
Life here in Albuquerque definitely does NOT suck. There are all kinds of new experiences:
- Wineries and old ruins and Indian pueblos and Petroglyph National Monument that puts volcanoes practically in our backyard!
- Hot air balloons that float right over our house and sometimes land on the street right behind it!
- Gardening in the desert – we’re not in Massachusetts any more where missing a day of watering isn’t be much of a problem. Worse, we pay for water here! But we’re learning all about drought-tolerant plants.
- Meeting all kinds of fiber artists like weaver Donna Loraine Contractor.
- Cool nature stuff like Tent Rocks.
- Attending rattlesnake aversion training with the dog. And a live rattlesnake!
- Chiles, chiles, chiles!
- Navajo woven rugs. Rugs hooked out of t-shirts by Guatemalan women and sold at Santa Fe’s International Folk Art Market.
- Santa Fe and all it has to offer just an hour up the road.
- Museums like the one dedicated to Georgia O’Keefe.
- Mass Ascension at Balloon Fiesta!
- New Mexico’s food scene rocks!
I could go on, but I won’t right now. There’s too much to do. Rugs don’t hook themselves. Plus, we have company coming early September through mid-October. I can play Julie McCoy to the relatives.
How’s your summer been going?