Tag Archives: new mexico

Monday Musings

Today it snowed out of the blue. When I went to work in the morning it was cold, but sunny. Somewhere before sundown the wind started whipping up. Off to the north, the clouds grew dark, though those to the south remained white and fluffy, with patches of blue still visible between.

As the sun began to set the light grew golden. The wind tossed brown leaves around like boats on a choppy sea. That’s when the snow began–corn snow, pellet snow, vermiculite snow, depending on what part of the US you come from. The part I came from had no snow except for one day when I was in sixth grade and they closed the school. Before the next day it was gone.

I wish I had taken a picture of that sky–the gold sky, shimmering beneath brooding dark. It looked like magic, all thick and sparkling, as though walking out the door I would wind up in Bonnydoon. It looked apocalyptic, as though some terrible something had blotted out the sun. My boss said, back home, her original home in Minnesota, that sky would mean tornadoes. Perhaps it really was the work that kept her late, but perhaps she was just reluctant to leave the shop without a cellar to run to.

At the end of my shift I found the sidewalks and doorways filled with snow and my car covered from head to toe, while the streets were uncovered, damp and dark as the sky. I pulled my trusty scraper/brush combo from the trunk of my hatchback and cleared the windshields, letting the engine warm as I did.

I drove slow all the way home. I could see the ice beginning to crystalize on the pavement and knew my tires where pushing bald.

Today’s prepping wins:

  • Having an extra set of gloves in the car to wear when I couldn’t find my good ones
  • Having that multi-use scraper in the trunk so I didn’t have to beg or borrow from the woman one store down
  • Having an extra scarf and other warm clothes in the car, just in case

Today’s prepping fails:

  • Losing my good gloves in the first place
  • Not buying new tires before the snow hit
  • Ignoring for weeks the recall notice on my car because I haven’t had time to get over to the dealership (or even figure out where the dealership is) to get it taken care of

Sometimes the snow sneaks up on you, but given that our first light dusting hit over a week ago, it was well past time to get the car, and especially the tires checked out. As for the wins? Sometimes procrastination is a good thing and I’m happy to have wasted the trunk space for the last 7 months so I could have what I needed today.

The Apocalypse Garden

Once upon a time, there was a girl who grew up in earthquake country. Despite the fact that her family home was built on bedrock, she grew up just knowing that, any day, the big one could hit and take  everything away.

Now, maybe it was that. Or maybe it was the stories that her father read to her each night, filled with wild rides, and one ring to rule them all, and other battles of good vs. evil. But whatever the reason, she grew up obsessed with tales of the apocalypse.

And as she got older, she learned to store extra food, and how to turn off the water and gas, and stay indoors during lightning storms. In late 1999, she bought extra water and boxes of Duraflame logs in preparation for Y2K. And when she bought a house of her own, she made sure it was seismically up to code.

This house of hers had a huge garden and a second-story window that looked out over the ocean. And when it came time to plant, she didn’t choose flowers. Instead she created an apocalypse garden, where each tree and bush and seed would grow to serve more than one purpose–herbs for cooking and to attract pollinators, cherries for fruit and one day wood, winter and summer squash for food and to shade the delicate roots and stems of newly planted apple and plum. But her favorite was the black bamboo grown in barrels along the back fence. The shoots could be eaten, the stalks could be used to build, and the grove blocked a neighbor’s ugly yard.

That house belongs to some someone else now, and the girl has traded her ocean for the wide skies of New Mexico, but she still carries that garden within her. And in this increasingly uncertain world, those books that inspired her feel less like fiction or fantasy and more like a map for the road ahead.