Post Memorial Day Blues

So. Tomorrow is June. June! Already!!!!


Good lard, we just had the nice three-day weekend that was Memorial Day. We didn’t do much, which was just what we wanted. Here in the post-holiday week I’m still about a half tick off level regarding getting back to work.

I….I just can’t be bothered.

The sun is…OUT.

The grass is GREEN!

The ocean sings to me!

Why dear god why do I have to be a grown up and WORK?!?!?!?!


I did wear shorts to work yesterday. Nice shorts, fit for work type shorts, but still…shorts.

My one teeny bit of rebellion.

And now I shall begin to count the days until my next day off…which appears to be July 4th.

Until then, I remain…..

Misty Soot and Cinder Colored Memories

Yesterday I talked a bit about sort of growing up in “rough” circumstances. Today, over this memorial weekend, I find myself lost in a few memories.

Perusing the ABQjournal today, I came across an article titled “Cumbres & Toltec Railroad Ready to Roll This Weekend”.

And it brought a smile of memory to my face.

This is one of those “good” times from childhood, one of those places I can go and touch in my mind when things get tough. When I need a place to escape.

My dad, type A until his body couldn’t support it anymore, did love to take his family out on trips. He loved to go camping, road trips, up in the mountains, and to go see cool things that appealed to his engineering sensibilities.

One of the many trips we went on was to ride the Cumbres &Toltec Railroad. I don’t have a lot of memories from childhood, but tatters show up here and there.

One clear memory I have is being in Chama. We’d driven up there the day before, found some campground somewhere (this part is fuzzy). Dad set up our Apache Pop Up Trailer (that link shows a photo of one *exactly* like the one we had, tho ours was in better condition), the kind with the hand crank, and we spent the night. (I always had to sleep with my sister (bah!) on one end, my folks on the other, my brother in the table-converts-to-a-bed in the middle)

Then of course, we had to get up at the buttcrack of dawn to go catch the train. Dad would roust us out with his old fashioned values which included that sleeping in was a sin.

I recall drinking warm Carnation Instant Breakfast from a Styrofoam cup while we stood around in the freezing cold outside the ticket office in Chama, tickets in hand ready to take the ride.

I checked the schedule page and the earliest train now leaves at 10:00am, but I’m pretty sure we took off way earlier than that. We did the Chama to Antonito and back route.

It was one of those grumblies in the morning, but once we got going on the narrow gauge rail, I was INTO it. Great quote from a Jetsetters Magazine article “Aspen leaves dance in the glittering afternoon sunlight and the train makes a rhythmic, confident, ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk sound, as if to say, I’m a train that knows what I’m doing.” Perfect description.

This ancient train chugging up a hill. Beautiful scenery all around, mountains, trees, green. I’d lean my head out the glassless window to take it all in and get a face full of soot for my trouble.

As the rails curve and turn up the climb, you can look back at the caboose or forward and see the engine chugging along.

About halfway through, I begged my mom for money for snacks and purchased some awful junk foodie treat. Beef jerky and Funyuns I believe.

We arrived in Antonito, Colorado grimy but happy. Antonito itself is little more than a touristy place high in the mountains. We shopped while my dad and brother explored. I’m sure my lifelong love of tchochkies overtook me and I spent hard earned allowance on items imprinted with names and places. I know that I did but couldn’t tell you what. The clearest memories are the morning, the cold, and being on the train. All the rest is a haze.

But I do remember it was one of those trips where my family acted like a family. We all enjoyed each other’s company. My parents aired out their three children, exposed them to the outdoors and gave them something to learn about.

And a happy memory, one that makes me smile. It’s what I’ll choose to hold onto this Memorial Day weekend.

***Many thanks to Jetsetters Magazine for providing me photos and memories. Many of the shots linked on this page look pretty much like the ones still stuck in a photo album that I took with my Kodak Flip Flash Camera.

Update: I pulled out the old photo album with the FlipFlash photos….August 1978 *coff*. That’s when this went down…nearly twenty *coff* years ago…..*coff*

Fascinating stuff

Reported today in the ABQjournal, article entitled “Lean to the Left? It May Be Mommy’s Fault”. From the text of the article, it’s not just mommy but mommy AND daddy who are to blame for baby’s voting behavior.

This is one of those articles I’d love to clip and send to my dear, sadly deceased, incredibly conservative dad who was often baffled by his left leaning youngest. I guess I’m not entirely liberal. There are some issues about which I’m incredibly conservative, others I’m about as far to the left as you can get. All told, if I had to take a stab at putting my political leanings neatly into a box, I’d self-report I was “liberal”.

And I certainly fit the bounds of the study detailed in the article. I had sort of a rough upbringing. Nothing more crazy than a lot of folks dealt with. My parents were still married, so I didn’t have divorce in the background, but things were tough and true to the study, I came out of the thing fairly liberal.

I think the study is interesting if a little shortsighted. I’m sure that the issue of conservative vs liberal is a lot more complex than just one contributing factor.

It doesn’t take into account things like….up to about my mid 20’s, I was quite conservative. Hell, I even voted for Bush Sr. Twice.

In my late 20’s a lot changed. The first time I voted anything other than Republican I felt….naughty. Like I was a bad child and letting my folks down….

Now I just feel like I’ll vote for whoever in the hell from whichever the hell party seems like less of a weiner, which is getting a lot harder to tell these days…..

But the study is interesting, if entertaining.

Meanwhile, off to begin enjoying my Memorial Day weekend. Wishing all a happy, safe and fun long weekend!

Paging my mother…..

Dear ol’ Mom.

Ten years ago I moved to the Bay Area. In fact, almost ten years exactly. It was Memorial Day 1997.

When I told my mom I was moving, like most good moms, she was *none* too pleased that her youngest was heading to far flung places. And like the good New Mexican woman that she is, she spat the word “California” as if it tasted bad.

Mom is a natural born worrier. Her dad was a worrier. She’s a worrier. I *might* have to own up to a bit of the worry myself, but not to that level. I’m a rank amateur in the field of worry compared to her.

So of course, two things just *killed* her about me moving to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bridges and Earthquakes.

“Why would you move somewhere so dangerous,” she asked, tartly and with conviction.

I reminded her that New Mexico has tornados.

She was not swayed.

“Look what happened when that bridge collapsed!” she reasoned.

I reminded her that New Mexico has flooding.

She was not amused.

“I can’t understand why anyone would want to live where there are so many people!” she shouted.

I reminded here that where she lived in Belen, they had Bosque fires every year.

She glared at me.

Should I send her this link to this blog in the ABQjournal entitled “The Big One”?

Seems a 3.3 earthquake hit Soccoro.

As a now veteran of the Bay Area, I can say that a 3.3 is a “teacup rattler” and not much more.

“A Socorro city councilor told 770 KKOB Radio this morning that it was enough to knock him out of bed”

I highly doubt that. I was in a 3.5. It rattled the front door in its frame like someone was struggling to get in, and gave me a good jiggle, but my heinie stayed firmly planted on the couch. The good councilor must sleep on the edge of the bed…that’s all I’ve got to say.

So shall I remind Moms that they have earthquakes in New Mexico, too? Or is it still too close to Mom’s Day to “go there”???



I am under the weather today.

I feel puny.

When I said as much to a coworker today, she responded by saying, “But you look great.”

Uh. Ok.

Which caused me to remember some observations I had made a few weeks back while at my local HMO waiting to see my doc for a routine checkup.

Why is it human nature that when we feel bad, we dress bad?

Now I’m not saying you need to wear your Dior and pearls to see your surgeon, but I am saying, why have we let soiled sweat pants and slippers become an acceptable norm?

I put on pants, a clean shirt, brushed my hair, dabbed at some makeup and came to work (because I *had* to, tho I really should have stayed home…..)

And now they are looking at me dubiously because I “look too good to be sick”.


I think I’ll go lick that lady’s keyboard when she’s not looking. See how SHE feels…or better yet, how she looks when she’s fighting the guff that’s going around.