Wednesday, June 13, 2018

THE HILLS ARE AFLAME!

As yet, we're not in danger.  The downtown part of Durango is in the valley still some distance south from where the fire is now burning,  and we live somewhat to the north of downtown -- right in the populated area of residential Durango.   So!  If the fire even THINKS of coming close to the residences -- I think the fire-fighting scene will escalate rapidly.  Which is saying something -- because the fire-fighting scene is already very impressive with the number of planes dropping water, and the "boots-on-the-ground" guys we cannot even see from the distance we keep.

Alas, it is the beautiful evergreen forests that are becoming flaming torches, with white clouds of smoke billowing outwards...

We've been driving up the valley (which runs north-south) -- to the north of town nearly every early evening to watch the flaming hillside, as the fire progresses.   Tonight, we're taking a break.   But hey,  IT IS HUGE, with flames and smoke billowing upwards.  The fire has been moving steadily SOUTHwards, right along the line of hills on the WEST side of the valley, and of course, it is also burning downwards on those hillsides towards the valley floor.  Such a flare-up when yet another living tree (evergreens) is ignited. 

We do not yet feel threatened.

Here's a website for an up-to-date report.  I presume they keep it current:

https://www.google.com/search?q=durango+wildfire+update&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-

Saturday, June 2, 2018

WORDS TO USE MORE OFTEN / Silliness expounded Upon

SILLINESS EXPOUNDED UPON 
An exchange taken off my Facebook page so I can laugh at it again:

WORDS TO USE MORE OFTEN

lovely             plump            fetching        
proper             efficacy            enormity
beautiful            omit                discombobulate
swell                loath                intrude       
absurd            abominable        cleave           
flawless            balderdash            beam
unique            peckish            eminent
precious            skedaddle            accuracy
hullaballoo            thrall                delightful
scrumptious        winsome            breathtaking
dandy            mayhap            worthy
squabble            evolve            solitude
secure            purpose            enthralled           
contemplate        behalf            sorrowful
audacity            thankful            taught
lousy                gruesome            resplendent
embrace            residency            dictate
likely                tangible            present
pompous            superfluous        regardless
inflection            great (in size)        mimic
sleepy            gumption            realm

================================================
SARA RANSOM:
Well, I have used all of these words at some time or another -- yes, including discombobulate! In fact, revisiting them, they are common words to my mind... I loath to contemplate the audacity of being in a squabble with a pompous being who is totally enthralled with his own resplendent presence. Wonderful words!!!! HEY, EVERYBODY! LET'S HAVE A CHAIN OF RESPONSES USING THESE WORDS! C'MON, IT'LL BE FUN.


SARA RANSOM:  I'm W-A-I-T-I-N-G !!


SARA RANSOM:  I'm quite discombobulated by the LACK of hullaballoo.


Guillermo Argueta-Bernal: Well as a resplendent eminent worthy speaker of the English language who delights in the scrumptious sounds of words like balderdash, gumption and squabble I take up your swell challenge beautiful and fetching , Sara!


SARA RANSOM:  Mayhap this challenge will evolve into an audacious, mayhap even pompous, display of absurd, yet flawlessly delightful and unique... balderdash!


Di-Donna Niesman: Sara Ransom What is this hullabaloo? Please, don't be peckish, as some of us are sleepy and slow to evolve a proper and unique response to your worthy dictate.


Sara Ransom: Guillermo Argueta-Bernal Indeed you ARE a resplendent eminent speaker of the English language! How you DO delight in the scrumptious sounds of the words!

Sara Ransom: Di-Donna Niesman -- Truly, I am sorry to have intruded upon your precious solitude. Mayhap, if you are feeling peckish, you could partake of some scrumptious delight, and thence discover thereby the energy to further embrace the lovely absurdity of this enthralling verbal...um... balderdash.


Di-Donna Niesman: Sara Ransom Would that I could mimic such a swell response with worthy accuracy. I can only contemplate the audacity the reply would require. Hence, I shall skedaddle.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Snowless Mid-Winter Explore...



     So...  a basically snowless mid-winter!  So much for x/c forays.
     Instead, I enjoy laid back daze now filled with:  hanging out with friends,  and...      well, of course there's Facebook (I do love being able to keep in cyber-touch), and...
YES! workouts in the local rec. center just a short distance from home...   
     But oh HEY!!!!  An integral part of my days:
   
     The wild red-rock formations:  
     At least once-a-week, and with any luck,  twice-a-week, Robert and I enjoy hiking adventures in the wonderful hilly, rocky, beckoning wild country that surrounds Durango,  and running the river when it's not too wild.  
     We were up hiking in the wilds again just yesterday, clamboring among wild red rock formations (some so anthropomorphic you want to name them)...  The dog we took along would BOUND both up and down that wild terrain, wagging his tail impatiently as we casually explored nooks, crannies, and vast views.  Such exquisite beauty....

     As for our river:
     We used to run the wild rapids each in our OWN boat back in our agile wild days. Wow!  Got that!!!  That is enough.... 'tho if Robert were to ask me to run them in our two-person boat, I'd say YES!  ...but maybe a tad later in the season when they're not so wild.
      Swimming IN the rapids, watching your boat and paddles float rapidly FAR downstream from you as you aim your struggles for ANY shore... WAS fun... back then.         Nowadays, when I'm on my own, I actually paddle calmly UPstream where there are no other boats:  a beautiful winding river through patches of trees, surrounds of farmland, and vistas of the nearby high hills and mountains.  Often, I pass by deer grazing peacefully,  and on occasion, YES!  a bear watching me idly from shore.
     When I feel like it,  I turn the boat around and gently cruise back downstream.  I take out before the rapids begin.  I love the peaceful solitude now.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

SPEAKING OF THE SEA...

Speaking of the sea, and our reason for going down there --  the surf ....    Well, the surf took a vacation itself!  There were NO boogie-board waves over to the side,  and because the surfer's surf was slight, I didn't feel it fair to join them...   Other years, as the waves kept rolling in one after another, I was welcome to join the surfers --  and given my turn in the line-up for the Big Surf !   

But... this year?  I didn't really feel drawn into the water at all!   Oh, I did go out there –once-- and immersed myself for a short time and then waded back to shore.....
But hey!  what made that little pilgrimage into the water so very poignant was the little loving dog who had been keeping company with me!  Oh, yes!  This little dog had decided to hang out with me full-time while his master was way out there in the Big Surf.  Indeed, I was thereby HIS responsibility!!!

So.... as you might imagine,  that sweet dog got all kinds of upset with me for going out there into water far too deep for him,  and getting myself all mixed up in the rushing whitewater  (long since crashed, and just a gentle push to shore, really --  just waist deep  at the deepest)....  
 
You must realize, that this is a small dachshund doglet, and he just could NOT save me if something were to go wrong!!!  BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK!  ...   OH!  ...and when I (FINALLY!) made it back to shore, oh, did he SCOLD me, running around my feet and still barking at me, as I headed up to "our table"....BARK! BARK! BARK!

SO, I let that be.   He was there every day, so...  I just didn't bother going out again.  There is beauty in being laid back amid the sight and sound of surf, with a sweet loving companion (yeah, the doggie! -- and various other folk, all open and friendly)....   And yeah, I was at a table with full view of the line-up, and of the rides and crashes of the various surfers...  as well as the rest of the ocean, and sky, and beach, and passers-by along the shore, and in time, the colors of the setting sun...

Friday, October 7, 2016

Married!


Such a "big deal".....  

We were in some tax office (October 4 2016), here in Durango, filling out boring forms when the clerk noted that we always file jointly.  In the end, we agreed to be marked as married.  We signed some forms that, therefore, had the "married" box checked.  That was it.  Married by the Federal Government.

So!! our Wedding date is October 4th, 2016. 
(Hmmm.. JUST noticed (on 1/31/2018) that our wedding date is also:  TEN-FOUR.  Googled that and got this: 
A code used by CB owners possibly since the dawn of amateur radio, the code 10-4 simply means "Message received".

A brief history of our initial courtship, beginning way back in:

1992:
THE COURTSHIP BEGINS
(1)  I had been hired to teach an extended class in the "Art of Storytelling" to a summer's class of adults up at the Fort Lewis College campus, in 1992.  This was the first time I'd even HEARD of Durango.

(2) I had barely arrived in Durango, and I knew NO-one.  I was lookin' for stuff to do when not teaching -- and there was this one night when I wandered into a dance hall (not even a bar -- just a dance hall) featuring folk/circle dancing like Antioch used to feature.  Pretty hokey...
and yes they DID the Hokey-Pokey.
     
(3) ROBERT, a local lad born & raised in Durango, also showed up.  His mother had very recently succumbed after a long battle with cancer.  This was his first night out, to regain the spirit of Living.  Robert and I did NOT even meet eyes at this folk dance scene, BUT!!!  when we talked about it, we both admitted that we each had taken strong note of the other, viz:

(4) MY TAKE:   When I saw him walk in, I noticed how open, and non-judgmental he was -- quietly surveying the crowd in this funky old 1940s dance hall -- and how he simply joined in with the circle dances, warm-hearted and friendly.  Said I to myself, "Now THAT is a good man.  If there are men like this in Durango, I'll be okay here..." but I also decided he was too young for me, and so made no attempt to connect.  In fact, I found that folk dancing scene was just TOO hokey, and took off for the local bar featuring 60's music, down the street a ways.

(5) HIS TAKE:  Oh hey!  Robert noticed me as well, and he said to himself, "That is the woman I'm going to marry."  REALLY!  We did NOT meet eyes in that funky dance hall -- we just each "recognized" the other.
(6) THE CONNECT:  I arrived at the bar, down the street, where was a '60s rock band...  Not dancing, but rockin' out right there at the table.  Not long afterwards, Robert showed up -- he was literally looking for me.  Durango is a small town, and there was really no other place I could have gone to.
    He leaned over the table, past the strangers also sharing the big round table,  and with the warmest smile, said, "Would you like to dance?"
     I burst into a big grin (THIS  was THAT GUY with the warm open-hearted eyes).  Immediately, I tried to get out from the round table.  I was on the far side by a wall.... but the strangers sharing that round table utterly ignored me....
     Therefore, being a graceful, shy type, I simply climbed up onto the table top and WALKED OVER THE TOP towards Robert.
     Not surprisingly, the table TIPPED ("Grab your beers!!) and I fell right into his arms.  We danced every dance til the place closed. 
     Then we courted, driving back and forth between Taos and Durango -- two years filled with many types of outdoor adventures, camping trips et al. 

1994:
THE PROPOSAL:  And then...  well, they say, "You know you're a redneck if he proposes to you over the phone...."  ....which is what Robert did. 
     Robert (on the phone):  "Would you like to move up here?"  (translation:  "Will you marry me?")
     Me (on the phone):  "That means I bring all my stuff, and I never leave.  Are you ready for that?"  (rough translation:  "Oh yes!  Yes!!  Oh, I love you so much, YES!)

     SO!  That proposal was 22 years ago.

October 4, 2016 ("marriage" in that tax office)
October 5, 2016 ("reception" at a favorite restaurant)

     About the Reception:  Most coincidentally, it just so happens that (already in the works with no connection to our "wedding" in the tax office on Oct. 4)  is a wonderful gathering of friends at a favorite restaurant -- tomorrow night (Oct. 5). 
     Yup -- we'll secretly (maybe I'll mention it, maybe not) celebrate our marriage with friends tomorrow night (October 5) at our beloved "Himalayan Restaurant."
      What the hey!
                                               
Love to y'all,
     Sara (no, not changing my last name)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pueblo Dance Shenanigans -- a glimpse

A  GLIMPSE  INTO  PUEBLO  DANCE  SHENANIGANS...

      We also visited two different tribal pueblos to view their dances, both open to the public. Judy is close friends with a number of the women in both pueblos.
      No photographing is allowed at all... so here is a brief word-picture:
      First we hear the powerful drumbeats which fill the air and open the heart, and we, the many observers, stand nearby taking it all in.  Soon after, we can see the dancers entering the courtyard area -- colorfully painted faces, colorful clothing, hauntingly beautiful singing, rhythmic footsteps.  The dancers are fully focused on their dance, their deep chanting touches the heart, as they all move in procession throughout the pueblo grounds. 
      We all follow at a respectful distance, standing around the edges.
      And ahhhh!  One dance in particular....  
      Yes, at one of the pueblos, there was a very playful twist.  We had been following a dancing "herd of deer" when -- as if in utter disruption -- once-were-enemy "Apache," colorfully marked with warpaint, appeared on the scene! 
      They snuck up alongside the "deer"...  
      Then, suddenly, they began hooting war-cries!  With their tiny bows they shot toy arrows into the air over the heads of the dancers -- and the rain of arrows fell all around, wafting harmlessly to the ground.  
      This went on for some playful time...  and then, to our delight, the dance SUDDENLY erupted in a sort of "Sadie Hawkins" scramble!!! 
      At the sound of one gunshot -- all the dancers took off running like hell to avoid being captured by local unmarried tribes-women.  Delightful pandemonium indeed!  After all, if they are caught, they are then taken to that woman's home, and HELD there, captive,  until the dancer's family comes up with payment to free them -- foodstuffs, maybe other trades, (not money). 
      Much laughter!