Outlier?

I'm a Writer, Yes, I Am!

Yesterday I had a phone conversation with a guy from National Public Radio. It was in response to a long phone message I had left at their request — on Facebook they’d posted a bulletin saying they wanted to hear from people in rural areas to find out what we need. I called.

He had to look me up in order to contact me, and he found my email. He emailed to see if the email reached the woman in Monte Vista who had left the message and asked for my phone number. I sent it, then tried to reconstruct what I’d said in a rather impassioned phone message. I wrote down all I remembered (I don’t have strong aural learning skills even with my own words) and then found the sources that had informed my understanding of the problems in the San Luis Valley. I was ready.

I was surprised…

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Denver and Rio Grande Railroad

and THEN…

I'm a Writer, Yes, I Am!

In the middle nowhere on CO 149 is an old-school railroad crossing sign. You have to pay attention to see the narrow gauge tracks crossing the high meadow pasture.

What’s the story?

No one knows how human geography is going to pan out long term. The man who built the tracks had big dreams of a narrow gauge train over the mountains to Denver. I, personally, wish his dreams had come true, but instead we got the Cold War, and the Interstate Highway system. That man could not have known how it would eventually go with the automobile (or passenger planes), or that horses and trains were not going to be the foundation of human transportation forever. He could not have known that — in the future — a small mining town butted up against a cliff would not become a thriving metropolis, that its rich vein of ore would be…

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Discoveries

Thoughts after two years…

I'm a Writer, Yes, I Am!

I retired. I moved into a small town where I didn’t know anyone. There was — and still is — so much I didn’t/don’t know. For example, I bought a small economy car that gets good gas mileage, but I hardly ever drive. I was still living in the life of 100+ miles per week and $4/gallon. I could have bought a truck, but I didn’t know… The house I really wanted? I could have offered half what they were asking and gotten it. I didn’t know. I was used to the extremely competitive seller’s market I’d moved away from. I didn’t know that within two years I’d be walking two miles and more at a good clip or that the stairs in the house I really wanted wouldn’t be such a big deal. I didn’t know that I would frequently have company and need the numerous bedrooms and two baths…

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Light of the World

and then…the continuing saga of adjusting to a new life a year and a half in, I’m so glad I moved here!

I'm a Writer, Yes, I Am!

“How many lights do you want? Something like this is less expensive than one with more lights.”

What WAS he talking about? The window contractor stood with me in the spare bedroom in my San Diego house. The goal was to replace two wooden windows (that didn’t work well and had to be propped open) with two aluminum windows that could actually be opened safely. The original windows were from the 40s.

“Lights?”

“Each opening is a ‘light’. These windows have one light. We can put in windows with four lights. Strips of aluminum across so they look like French windows. They cost more but they look good.”

I opted for the cheaper ones. They were closer in appearance to the rest of the windows in the house, except the two we’d gotten for cheap at the swap meet and put in the kitchen. Besides, how is dividing ONE light…

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Dear Monte Vista,

A letter to my town ❤

I'm a Writer, Yes, I Am!

Daily Prompt Community Service Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues — is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.

One of my favorite books is Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth. In it is a town that’s disappeared because people in the town became so preoccupied with getting where they were going they didn’t look up and see the town any more. Pretty soon, the town was gone.

Since I moved to Monte Vista last fall, people I meet almost invariably ask, “Why did you move HERE?” as if it were a really crazy thing to do. I am getting tired (I mean physically) of explaining something I think is self-explanatory. If you’d ever lived in Southern California and struggled to make one end of the month meet the other year after year…

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Dandelions

Artist in Monte Vista! 🙂

I'm a Writer, Yes, I Am!

Dandelion

In the last couple of weeks I’ve emerged into Monte Vista’s human population. I joined a couple of artist groups. This means I’ll be putting some paintings in shows and in the gallery that’s going to be run by the brand new Valley Artist’s Coop. It will open in 10 days and I don’t have a lot of paintings left from California. I sold several in 2013, the last year I was entering shows and I gave some away when I moved. So, today I finished a painting and I have another on the easel and I’m looking around for other things (no shortage of amazing subject here, that’s for sure). Everyone is really nice and I’m happy that my first step has been as a painter.

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