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Rumilluminations March, 2022
By: Esther Powell
Posted on: Tue, March 01 2022 - 2:06 pm

March 31, 2022
Silver City, NM

Just hit the last day of another art show at the McCrae (McRay?) Gallery on the WNMU campus. This time it was a faculty show, some of which was stunning in its ambition and beauty. There is another twenty minutes of this show, so you can see it if you hurry.

There will be a student show that opens this coming Thursday. Looking forward to that!

Now I just have to remember to go. The campus was unexpectedly lively today. Maybe the students are returning!



March 30, 2022
Silver City, NM

Another round of hay fever is here - maybe not as bad as it might be without the recent rain. Why I am getting it in the Spring now is a mystery. I am really uneasy that there may be no let-up in the summer since that is when I usually show symptoms. In recent years I have not had allergy symptoms much at all.

Hard to believe New Mexico used to be a place for people with respiratory inflictions to recuperate. Now I guess people have to retreat to Baja California.

I am not tempted to return to the Midwest, though. At least here it is dry. I’m wondering if the monoculture farming in the Midwest (whole fields of corn or soybeans or sorghum or wheat taking up every available square foot, leaving little space for the accursed ragweed that used to be my prime summer suspect for sneeze-inducing substances) is the reason I haven’t had so much trouble there, but who knows?

At any rate, I am thinking mask-wearing might serve a dual purpose definitely to my advantage - especially since Europe is experiencing another COVID resurgence!




March 27, 2022
Silver City, NM

For a few days I was in Albuquerque and learned some more about it, visiting a coffee shop oriented towards bicyclists riding the trails nearby. The folks who run it also grow food which they use in the meals they serve and have enough produce to offer boxes of produce in the fall.

Mostly, though, I ran errands and hung out with family. One day when I actually had time to write the Internet service was down for much of the day.

True confessions, though - I have been game-playing for at least an hour or two a day. Good for my mind! Dementia preventative! (maybe...)

I did learn something today, though. If you are trying to mend a knitted article, be sure to wash it when you think you are finished! The stress and stretching involved in a thorough although gentle wash will expose more problem areas and broken stitches that will prevent bigger holes the next time you wear them. Ha, ha, advice for the last century! I realize I am an anachronism.

Trees are blooming like crazy here, and I saw a couple of ducks in the San Vicente Creek this morning. At the same time, I wonder if the air is dryer here even than the air in Albuquerque. I never had hair so fly-away and full of static electricity.



March 22, 2022
Flagstaff, Arizona

Yesterday was all about the Grand Canyon! It was busy, but not as busy as I expected/feared.

The South Rim - so different from what we experienced forty years ago!

We had several hours and walked a good deal, but now there are shuttle buses to get you farther. It reminded me of a big city in ways, as did Rocky Mountain National Park with its shuttles. Ugh. This is a fact of life these days, alas.

Besides the views, the wonderful views, my favorite thing was the Hopi House, with kachina paintings on the walls of the stairwells and pottery and rugs and more for sale.

With small children along we went on no strenuous hikes, just saw the sights.

It was still glorious.






March 20, 2022
Flagstaff, New Mexico

Wow, looks like I had a real vacation even before I left for vacation! Part of my paralysis was anxiety about being able to get here - back onto my website.

You see, my Kindle can no longer be my go-to tablet for writing here because the FCC (I think) changed the rules about bandwidth, just shunting aside my poor old Kindle from the Internet. Kind of like what has happened with me and the working world. Ah, well.

Luckily my partner and my daughter bought me an IPad a couple of years back. When my Kindle battery appeared to go kaput a few months ago my son made it possible for me to get onto my website on this device. (I had tried with the administration page address, but that did not do the trick - do not ask me why.)

It seems to me that The Internet is not the Internet at all, but a Multinet that not only entraps all who come near, but remains not completely universally accessible to all.

Oh well, as I have often acknowledged in the past, I am one of the lucky ones. If I were not so lazy and easily discouraged I could have been writing a week ago. I just thought I could not get back here because when I tried to get my page, all I got was blank white.

What was the problem? Slow Internet and impatient me.

But enough explanation and self-castigation! We are (my son’s family and I) on vacation! We arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona and that very same night visited the Lowell Observatory. Yes! The  Lowell Observatory that you have encountered reading about scientific discoveries about outer space. In years past I have had the opportunity to see the rings around Saturn, and have never forgotten it. The other night I saw the three stars in the belt of Orion, my favorite constellation, and a little cluster of stars below. We also got to see a binary star. This one only had two stars, but I learned that even five stars revolving around each other are, for ease of usage, called binary.

Yesterday we went to Bearizona and got to see bears, porcupines, turkeys, little red foxes, a timber wolf, white Buffalo and American bison, deer, bighorn sheep, and more. For a price you can get a little dead fish to feed to the otters, if you are there at the right time. Watching them cavort and swim and squabble was probably the highlight of our visit there.

Of course, the incredible mountains and other geographical features to be seen all around are a constant source of amazement to those who do not live here.

I hear rumors we are heading to the Grand Canyon one of these days. Wow! That is something I did not anticipate when I flew out of Silver City!



March 10, 2022
Silver City, NM

Today at Walgreens I heard some people talking about the shingles vaccine. I inquired about it and lo, one man was getting it today. I walked over to the pharmacists' window and found out that they had the vaccine in supply. (A few weeks ago they had not.)

I stuck around this morning and got stuck myself. That's a load off my mind.

Flowering trees are starting to bloom here including what I think is flowering quince in bud. Time will tell. Meanwhile the spring winds continue to kick up but allergens seem to be lessening. If allergy season is only two weeks I guess we will survive. Also people have said this year and last have been especially bad, so maybe there won't be as much of a problem as in the past. Today I crossed paths with a man who was pushing an exquisite stained-glass object down the street on a dolly. I'm not sure whether it was a folded screen or a three-dimensional lamp, but it sure looked good!

If anyone is interested, I think he was heading with it towards the Artists' Guild Gallery.

I love Silver City.



March 8, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

I have met a lot of people walking around town lately - a veritable cornucopia of wonderful characters, but today a friend of mine and I actually drove into and quickly through the town of Gila, where at least on our cellphones there was no service whatsoever!

My friend wanted to check out the Casitas de Gila, which is supposed to be a great place to see a good variety of birds. We didn't even get out of the car, but we got an idea of the lay of the land. Lots of interesting geological features, anyway!

When I took birdwatching in the Midwest decades ago class met at 6:00 a.m., so I'm not surprised we didn't see much from the car a little after noon. In fact I saw more birds in town. Ravens - the usual - who are supposed to be able to recognize individuals. I wish I could return the favor, but I can't.

I walked by a couple dozen sparrows hanging out at the Hub. Absolutely bold and brazen they are, confident of plenty of food. Yesterday I heard a short but beautiful snatch of song. The only bird I saw was a Bendire's thrasher, but Thrashers are known for knowing lots of songs.

More birding at a later date, I hope.




March 7, 2022
Silver City, NM

Silver City, are you trying to make a liar of me? Were the two cars I have seen boldly running the stop sign on my corner (both white) within the last twenty-four hours figments of my imagination? From one direction for sure the corner is blind. Going through it at twenty mikes an hour is a bad mistake.

So, pedestrians, look twice!

The weather looks nice but, oh, what a bitter wind! Come well supplied with winter wear.

Luckily the juniper fever hazards seem to have subsided a little, hopefully for the year.

Planning to do a little bird watching with a friend this week. Hope the winds die down!





March 4, 2022
Silver City, NM

Fractious flamboyance flags flirtatious fillies.
Cramping calves call clamoring for cups.
Plentiful people-pleasers practice piano painfully
While wondering wistful well-wishers wipe whitewashed walls.
Desperation disputes downright demagoguery during dismal demonstrations.

Who says nothing is so boring as a succession of fair days? Imagination incubates inspiration intending interest-inspiring illusions.

Nonsense never-ending!



March 3, 2022
Silver City, NM

Cloudy today on and off in Silver City - definitely not as glorious as yesterday. The dawn, though, was interesting and colorful in a way that it is not on clear days, when it seems crystal clear and serene.

I hear rumors that some of the annual festivals are going to be allowed this year. That's kind of exciting!

You never know, though. Possible coronavirus variations are as numerous as feathers after a pillow fight. I hear rumors that some folks have had to be airlifted for treatment in other cities in an emergency because too many hospital beds are still taken up with Covid. patients.


March 2, 2022
Silver City, NM

People seem to be relocating en masse to Silver City. I wonder in how many small cities this is happening these days. Is this phenomenon occurring here because Silver City is so cool (or today, warm!) or are many many towns experiencing an influx of new residents?

It would make a good research project. I will poke around a little myself, but I suspect it might be a potential book beyond my current aspirations.



March 1, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

I cannot believe that I got my wallet back because its return took the good will and cooperation of several people. The first person to find it took the cash and scattered the contents, which made the actions of the next person who ran across it all the more heroic. He gathered the assorted cards, scraps of paper, etc., finding one with a phone number which he called.

At some point soon after, when I got home and lamented to a friend about my loss, she got onto a local Facebook group and asked for help for me. I haven't been frequenting Facebook much, but other people mentioned the option to me. My friend, however, just took the initiative and did it. Then she drove me to the trailhead so I could retrace my steps. That cut a good half hour from the walk for me (who had considered the first hike a very good and adequate exercise for the day, thank you!)

The person the finder called did not remember me, but took the trouble to look on Facebook, where he saw my friend's notice, and my wallet's rescuer called my friend, who called me. I got it back close to 24 hours after losing it thanks to a pretty heroic effort on the part of this town's kind citizens, I think - especially as my driver's license is from Indiana! I'm relieved it didn't get mailed there.

So, thank you all, including the administrators of the site on Facebook and citizens I met who commiserated with me!

My love affair with Silver City endures - between sneezes.

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