Favorite Places

Tent Rocks National Monument 8

Tent Rocks National Monument – ever hear of it? It’s an out of the way spot between Albuquerque and Santa Fe full of beautiful and unusual rock formations. I’ve been there before and I’m planning to go again. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a favorite place for me full of happy memories. Don’t you love getting out of town?

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Autograph

She told a story about a flirty, teasing autograph she received from the author of a book. It brought back memories of my favorite autograph. It was from a singer at a jazz concert. She signed her CD cover with “You were great last night.” I thought that was . . .

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It’s Amazing

Have you ever driven across the state of Texas? It takes two days. A good bit of the time you’re driving past scrubby desert or green fields dotted with cows or goats. Old fashioned water windmills, oil pump jacks, and miles of tall wind turbine windmills share the horizon. Yet you can watch a television show live from the BBC while rolling along at 75 miles an hour across Texas. It’s amazing.

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A Curated Life

Years ago someone said to me, “We all have our own cross to bear.” That made so much sense to me and has always been a guiding principle in my life. The other day I saw someone tweet that people were struggling with all the things they weren’t tweeting. Same thought, but it makes me aware of how we curate our lives these days. We present only parts of ourselves on Facebook or Twitter and hide the rest. We’re so public but at the same time, we’re so private. We’re still bearing our crosses, even in a world some consider completely without privacy.

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Stars

I remember as a younger person staring at the stars for hours. I learned to find the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper, Orion, The Pleiades, Gemini and many more. To really see stars, you have to go outside the city. The mountains of New Mexico are a good star watching spot. Best night of star watching I ever had was on the way to Lincoln, NM. We pulled off the road and laid on the fenders and just looked. Ghost Ranch in NM is another good spot. The Milky Way is so close and so bright you can almost feel it.

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Kick Some Ass

When I had surgery my grandson gave me a get well card. All it said was kick some ass. It was an inspiring message and I tried to be a kick ass patient during my recovery. I think it worked. Kicking ass isn’t just about being an action star in a violent movie. It’s about being a leader, a voice, an organizer and and example. Go kick some ass.

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My Favorite Candy

Last night I ate a Mozartkugel, a Austrian/German confection I’d never heard of before. Someone brought it to book club for the discussion of “The Afterlife of Stars.” It set me to thinking about favorite candy that I’ve loved. Chocolate has always been the favorite, changing over the years from gooey sweetness like Mounds bars to the darkest of dark chocolates I love now. Now I happily down the 85% cocoa bars that I would have found bitter as a younger person.

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Holiday Food

It’s funny how many kinds of holiday food I loved in my childhood haven’t made it to the table in the present. I know why – my children didn’t like the same things, so I didn’t fix them. I long for mincemeat pie and cinnamon apples, pea salad and stuffed celery. The one thing we can all agree on, ripe olives, disappear so fast you’d think they were zapped by a ray gun. Food is part of the holiday experience, but having family around is more important to me.

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Talk to Me

When my babies were tiny I wished they would talk to me so I’d know what they were crying about. When they were teens I wished they would talk to me so I could help them through the perils of high school. Now they are grown and they talk to me about all the other things that adults talk about: overwork, horrifying political events, worries over their kids, being stretched to the limit. I didn’t manage to raise them to have a better life than mine, which makes me sad.

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Mashed Potatoes

I don’t know how that particular recipe for mashed potatoes became the centerpiece of holiday meals. It’s been that way for several years. Everyone loves those potatoes and looks forward to them more than the pie or any other goodies at holidays. I could say it is the  cream cheese and sour cream that get beaten into the mix, but it’s more than that. It’s about something special just for family. The . . .

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