Monday, February 20, 2012

Little Dog Clothes

I wake up in the morning
wearing little dog clothes
little dog above me, keeping my head warm
little dog below me, keeping my feet warm
little dog before me
and little dog behind me

it wasn't always this way
I don't even like little dogs

but someone had to save them 
from under car wheels
and cages of doom
and loveless situations

now they repay me
by telling me when someone stops at the gate
or when the coyotes pass by in the night
or when my hair needs rearranging as I sleep
and by giving me little dog clothes to wear

starting my day with a chuckle
and ending it with laughter

little dog clothes
little dog love

Dweezil and Little Pete

Monday, February 13, 2012

Centennial Parade, Las Cruces, January 2012

New Mexico became the 47th state in 1912, and all this year centennial celebrations will be taking place. You can read more about events all over the state at this website.

We kicked off the celebration in January here in Las Cruces with an amazing parade. Each decade in our century of statehood was represented, and it seemed as though almost everyone took part. 

 I loved seeing the school children dancing, singing, chanting, and marching by, school by school, decade by decade.

Parts of the state, including the land where my adobe house now sits, belonged at one time to old Mexico.

There were wonderful vintage cars throughout the parade. They keep so well in our dry desert climate, and are carefully restored and tended by their owners. We see them in special events all year long.

The parade made it clear that "multiculturalism" has always been a part of New Mexico's history. We tend to say that our population is made up of Native Americans, Hispanics, and Anglos. However, as we learned at a recent history lecture, many other cultures have an important place in the state's history. I hope to write a post soon about those cultures, as well as some of the other things that we learned from the history classes we attended. 

I loved looking at the faces of the people in the parade and those watching. 

Read more about the parade: Centennial Parade Las Cruces

See a video:

See some more photos on flickr:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Maggie and the Blessings

The Blessings Book, by lamplight.
It doesn't have a single word written in it.

If there is one thing that I have learned in my many decades of life, it is that any given group of women will have some amazing stories to tell, and my knitting group is no exception. You might not guess it to look at us as we knit, purl, and chat through the morning; but we have a former policewoman and several who have traveled the world and are fluent in several languages. There is a lot of brain power in that room; a lot of skill, experience, and knowledge; and a lot of amazing wisdom. I never go to "knitting" without coming away with some treasure to store away in my mind or my heart.

Maggie is one of the women there. I would like to know her better, because every time we have talked I have found out a little more about her adventurous life. She is somewhere in her seventies now, although I would never have guessed that without her mentioning the fact. She is vibrant, funny, fun, and always ready to try something new.

She is not afraid to tackle big projects. Her home, bought several years back, is the product of her skill, abilities, and willingness to learn new skills. She has rebuilt the entire kitchen, installed new floors, built new storage cabinets in the living room, and painted walls in wonderful colors and with witty murals, all of which connect in some way with New Mexico's culture or past.

Maggie recently finished up the big house project, and invited the knitting group to meet there over the Christmas holidays. As we munched and chatted and strolled from room to room, admiring Maggie's work, she asked for a moment's attention. Now, Maggie is not one for speeches, and I don't want you to be picturing anything like that. She merely stepped from guest to guest, with a basket full of little notebooks. She had written the word "Blessings" on each one. "Please choose the one you like best," she smiled.

And then she gave us her Christmas gift of great wisdom. "These are Blessing Books," she said. "You can set them on your bedside table and, before going to sleep, write down something that you are thankful for. This isn't particularly a religious thing, but just a way of remembering that we are all so, so lucky." Later, she admitted that we might end up using the little notebooks for grocery lists or knitting patterns, but she just wanted to pass on this idea that she had heard and appreciated.

My little Blessing Book sits right beside my bed, just under the lamp. It doesn't have a single thing written in it. However, I never see it, morning or night, without thinking of all the ways I am lucky and blessed: For my family, both near and far, lost and found; my friends, both old and new; the mountains I look up to each morning; the skies that are so immense here; our beautiful weather (I am providing no link to current weather, lest you all move here and crowd us out); my animal friends (yes, Dweezil, that means you!); all the amazing places we can visit; the incredible books I can read every day; the knitting projects that increase my skill and stretch my abilities; my knitting group, an amazing group of women; and Maggie, who with a few words gave me an increased sense of awareness that I am indeed lucky. So lucky.