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April Fool 2022
By: Esther Powell
Posted on: Wed, April 06 2022 - 3:33 pm

April 30, 2022
Silver City, NM

The name of the great bicycle race is the Tour de Gila. Today there are a dozen or so different categories doing laps, so I see some of the race every time I try to go anywhere. It’s an exciting change of pace - Lots of people milling about.

Even the wind is not too high today.

I’m psyching myself up for the gardening season. Hope the month of April has been good to you!

April 29, 2022
Silver City, NM

Ate at Chaos yesterday with a friend. Loved the name, but I was a little uncertain of what to expect there, How trippy would it be? I had heard it was good there so we went to see. It was good, and actually pretty healthy, too. They had an assortment of sandwiches and one soup left. It was kind of surprising, but tasty enough.

Everyone who is a frequenter of Diane’s Restaurant is waiting more or less impatiently for it to open again. I never ate there yet, but I can hardly wait!

April 28, 2022
Silver City, NM

Yesterday morning the Gila Bicycle Race began. I was downtown and heard some strange siren work - a few unusual spurts of noise. I found out why when I heard one again behind me. There were the cyclists, a few blocks directly behind me, heading west. I heard that had to make a 91 mile trip today. Wow! The longest bike ride I ever took was forty miles, although a ten mile ride mostly uphill is harder.

The more forbidding marathon for me is dealing with corporate U.S. Today I was on the phone  with an insurance company for forty-five minutes. When I asked to speak with the first agent’s “superior” as instructed by my provider’s office, my end result was the same as if I had caved and filed a grievance (or appeal) in the first place. I suspect it was just another employee at the same level. They have no power at all, just at best a sympathetic ear.

I do not envy people who work for corporations.

April 27, 2022
Silver City, NM

Today has been busy if not hectic. While I was working out at the gym (after rising at five and hauling my week’s worth to the laundromat and back) I got a phone call from my dentist’s office that my insurance company will not pay for the most recent work charged because the tooth was already pulled. I already paid my share - $850.

The dentist’s office does not have time to stay on hold for twenty minutes at a time, so she suggested I call.

Oh, I will! - but not today.

Feels no a little aggrieved and very agravated, I came down to the ditch - my usual path to the Visitor Center.

Instant Paradise!  I cannot describe the effect on me - and maybe on you, too.

You will just have to come yourself and see.

April 26, 2022
Silver City, NM

Walking through the Big Ditch today, I was ravished by the tenderness and brightness of the new green Spring leaves. Still! I’m trying not to think about how they will be after a long dry dusty summer.

I have bought a pass to work out at the University gym. It is a really beautiful facility, spacious and not at all crowded. I’m trying to get back into better shape not only for my body, but also for my poor mind, which seems to get confused altogether too often lately.

I rationalize the expense by figuring it is preventive ensurence. I can’t afford it, but I can afford medical bills and medicine even less.

It’s not very busy, it seems, maybe because it is the month of finals. We shall see.

April 24, 2022
Silver City, IN

Another of the campus goings-on over the weekend was a race called the Great Race, which is a shopping cart race - not they are necessarily recognizable as such. Evidently this race has been going on in the region for decades. Young folks run it these days, although I am told that older generations used to participate in various categories.

I was visiting a friend, so I thought I had missed it, but almost immediately after leaving her company I ran across the path of the race approaching the “mud pit” reportedly one of the most interesting parts of the race.

Interesting it was. When a contestant rides into a muddy water-filled hole courtesy of his teammates, creating a very big splash, another crew makes ready to jump into the water to push him up the other side. There is an ambulance lurking not far away, so presumably injury is not an impossibility.

Well, there is no fun like watching someone else get muddy while staying high and dry yourself. Team Valhalla was the one that gave me the most information about the race, so of course I had to root for them.

I am ashamed to admit I didn’t watch the finish line, so I have no idea who won, but I think no one really cared, including the contestants. Just a fun diversion to enjoy on a fine Spring day.

April 23, 2022
Silver City, NM

Today I decided to skip Farmers Market. I have enough food and do not need temptations. Walking down Bullard Street I saw an awesome old car in perfect condition. I am not into cars at all, but I have seen old restored autos in shows in Madison, Indiana, and this was like nothing I have ever seen. It had metal sun visors on the outside above the windshield. It had a swamp cooler mounted on one side! Amazing.

The man who had restored it said it belonged to his grandfather. After his grandfather died his grandmother gave it to him, knowing he would perform a loving restoration.

And wow, did he! I asked about the name Toncho mounted on a frame in front, and he said it was his childhood nickname. It was a 1937 Studebaker and sure looked deluxe to me.

He was entering it into a car show on campus, so later I went to campus to the car show. There were other unusual entries, including a wooden pick-up and an ultra-fancy highly decorated low rider. Good thing there were multiple categories competing.

The awesome Studebaker was not the only surprise of the day. I will write about another tomorrow.

April 22, 2022
Silver City, NM

This morning I washed the bathroom floor and discombobulated the resident spider, who took a while to get scared and back off. After I was done cleaning (with dishwashing liquid) the spider came back out while the floor was still wet, acting exactly like a property owner whose land had been devastated by floods! It walked to and fro on the wet floor. Then it stopped and raised its front legs, clawing at the air, as if it was imploring God or possibly creating some new silk.  Even when I wiped very close to it - threateningly! - it did not back off. Finally I gave up. I did not want to kill it but now I  am a little nervous about the possibility of it becoming too comfortable so far from its previous territory.

We will see what happens; I will keep you posted, if I can, about Spidey’s next adventure!

April 21, 2022
Silver City, NM

The other day I passed a painted wall I don’t remember seeing before. It was painted with Egyptian style images. That’s a change.

I had the COVID shot yesterday - my second booster. Today I ache a lot! I was sorer than usual before I had it anyway, so I don’t know how much of this to blame on the vaccine. I don’t particularly want to move, but the outdoors keeps calling - plus I have to go away from home to get online. It’s a glorious day, so that’s fine with me.

April 18, 2022
Silver City, NM

Mosaics abound in Silver City. There is a beautiful owl mosaic on the Cooper Street side of the public library which is featured on the library cards. The wall around the library is ornamented with them, as is the Visitor Center. There is a mosaic along the San Vicente river walk describing the violence of the floods that washed away Main Street over a century ago.

I have already described the kids playground laden with mosaics and the mosaics on 12th Street.

Today on my walk I was lucky enough to catch a wall which feature bottles as part of its structure. The colored glass catches the morning light and smolders spectacularly.

There are no mosaics on the Boston Hill trails, but the rocks are just as show-off in their own way. There are crystal structures along the trail and rumors of amethyst. The holes dug for mining could be natural caves for all I know, and I would not be surprised. There are natural bridges and canyons, natural or maybe not.

Either way they are beautiful and intriguing.

Not too many folks were on the trails this morning. I guess people are recovering from Easter celebrations or headed back to start a new workweek.


April 17, 2022
Silver City, NM

Happy Easter, for what that is worth, coming from me. Happy Eggday! This is one Easter for which you do not have to cover up your Easter finery to stay warm, your Easter bonnet needs no earmuffs, and the appropriate spring coat is no coat at all - at least here in Silver City.

The ants have found a new hill to climb on - me. Sad... I have no picnic crumbs to give them. Lucky they are not red ants; no painful defensive or revenge biting. In fact, I do not believe I have seen a red ant colony here. Ever since my first painful bite in Albuquerque over fifty years ago I keep an unconscious eye out for them.

An attractive guy my friend and I ran into down by the river commented that God gave us another gorgeous day. Somebody always has to proselytize, but hey, it is Easter.

Personally, I like to think of Spring busting out all over in wild, abandoned attempts at fertility rather than Christian imagery of death and weekends in hell, but I did tell a friend about an episode I read the other day that was one of the most brutal things I have ever read. Maybe the horror of the story about the death of Jesus just has to come busting out of this former Christian also. Too bad!

Just now, though, someone called me from a distance and told me that as long as he is alive I will not end up in a nursing home.

How sweet is that?!

Happy Easter, indeed!

April 16, 2022
Silver City, NM

Today the Farmers Market had a special treat for the shoppers. There was a circle of a dozen musicians playing for shoppers! Charming.

Not a whole lot of produce yet but there are all kinds of interesting things for sale; in addition to eggs and fresh foods early on there are quite a few vendors who sell canned vegetables, pickles, jellies, healthy meats, and one woman sells homemade caramel! Treats abound.

April 15, 2022
Silver City, NM

Kind of fun to cook for an appreciative recipient these days (me). Sure, I am not exactly gaining weight but I feel good. There is a gym not far from my home where I applied for a job as a receptionist. May not get the job, but I think I will join.

Ironic - spending money instead of bringing it in, but that’s okay. I need to work out to keep in better shape - a future investment in better health.

The weather here continues to be awesome. Hope you also are having a fine Spring!

April 14, 2022
Silver City, NM

We are already having to deal with an artificial intelligence - the Internet. Try talking to it (even via keyboard) as you would talk to a human. It does not have a clue.

It is like dealing with an animal: you have to learn its language to be able to communicate and have it perform the way you want it to. With the Internet you have to do the same thing. At least animals can give some emotional reward. The Internet gives goods and services.

Just as I personally have no desire to domesticate an animal I have no desire to learn the language of the Internet. Oh, I have learned plenty - but it has been years since I have done it voluntarily. It has been more a matter of being under duress. Sometimes I have to.

Ugh. Yes, I am aware that I am vilifying or at least whining about the tool I am using, and I appreciate the tool. I am just saying, I am under no illusion that in this instance the Internet is any more than a mail service sent to no one who does not choose to pick it up.

I have a problem with being required to use it to access essential services, and unfortunately, that seems to be more and more the case.

People like me, though, are dying off. Humans who have been required to learn the language of the Internet are probably already the norm.

It is a learned skill; no wonder so many people have dogs.

April 13, 2022
Silver City, NM

I am told it is unseasonably cold here in Silver City this week. I would not know. It is chilly, which makes it perfect for trying to remove dead lilacs from the front of the house. I did learn today at the laundromat, that the youth arrested for the shooting murder of another youth in this town lives about a block away from me.

Now, that induces a chill!

That I learned at the laundromat, along with the welcome news that Walgreens recycles pill bottles. Yay! Don’t have to throw them away.

I learn something every week at Laundryland!

April 12, 2022
Silver City, NM

Today is windy. Never discount the power of wind to disorient. There is a reason beyond cold that wind proves a challenge to mountain climbers.

When I first noticed this I was admittedly no Spring chicken (nor squab, either heh heh.) I was probably in my late forties. The kids and I were at El Moro, climbing up and walking on the top of it, when a wind sprang up. All of a sudden I was much more uncertain of my footing on the uneven rock beneath me.

I’d never experienced that before. Come to think of it, I started being more uneasy of heights at about the same time, so maybe the feeling had more to do with age than I was willing to admit.

Still, the phenomenon is real. Wind can blow you off course.

Of course, now that I am in my mid-seventies, my condition is even worse.  I would prefer you not sigh too heavily when standing near me. Or sneeze. Why, my own sneezes are about enough to knock me off my feet!

April 11, 2022
Silver City, NM

For the last several days and those to come, the weather forecast for Silver City has been cloudy.

Do not believe it! Every day has been sunny and gorgeous.

Oh, if I look at the sky I can imagine there is, perhaps, a very faint haze. There might be a wispy or even puffy wonder in sky. But cloudy? Nah. Not even partly cloudy. As my sister observed: Of course! After all, this is New Mexico!

For someone born here, maybe even one cloud on the horizon makes for a cloudy day.

April 10, 2022
Silver City, NM

This morning when leaving the house I saw a Palm Sunday procession coming up the street to the Episcopal Church. The procession even had a little live burro!

For some reason the weather report for these few days says cloudy. No clouds to speak of yet. The weather has been glorious!

A friend of mine said What is in a name? and gave the argument of Shakespeare. I agree - theoretically. But in the real world things operate so differently. The guy who turned a highly successful local McDonald stand into a national franchise said the name was highly important to its success. Just the name.

And who could think Trump would have come as far as he has if his name had been Drip?

Words resound and reverberate in our heads, and that is where their meaning lies.

I wonder if Putin has a literal meaning in Russian, or the mysterious magic of McDonald.

April 9, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

Yesterday I was reading The Economist and saw an article about people who were getting DNA tests on their dogs. That sounds like fun. I am sure it is. I hope, however, they match their expenses for DNA tests on their pets with donations to government entities for DNA testing of rape kits.

I told one person that and she said she did not want to know that much about her neighbors. (!!!)

Okay - the last I read about Detroit they had hundreds of rape kits languishing in storage because they had no funds to process them. How about giving your matching funds to a large city near you? You might save a lot of suffering. 

To change the subject - today I saw a little spider very much like my old “pet” lurking in the same bathroom corner it used to hang in. When I did my usual morning ablutions it ducked into the wall. Maybe the big spider was not a murderer after all. Maybe I am the only spider-killer around.

Maybe my spider enlisted the bigger spider to help with the increased harvest of summer.

Oh, well. The politics of humans are beyond my understanding, let alone the inter-species relations of animals. I choose to believe that the spider I killed was Putin invading the Ukraine of my bathroom.

April 8, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

A short while after I moved into my studio apartment here in Silver, a spider took up residence in a corner of my bathroom. It was quite small, hard and black and shiny, and did not look spherical (like a black widow) so I let it stay - as long as it behaved.

It would sit on its little web and ignore me, as far as I could tell. Once in a while, if I cleaned or made a big noise it would scurry into one of the many gaps between the woodwork and the wall and not return for hours or days, but usually it was there. Just there.

Eventually I wondered if it had attained the status of a pet. Sure, I did not pet it and I did not take care of it, but still I was not unhappy it was part of the household. I figured it would help keep the numbers of the teeny little insects down.

My only fear was that it would have scores of babies, but I never saw any sign of it.

Then last week when I looked down into that corner, there was a big, blackish hairy spider in the same exact location my reserved little pet had been!

For a horrible second I thought this was my spider grown monstrous, but then I realized that could not be. This one was a different species, closer in appearance to a wolf spider, and twenty times bigger.

For a few seconds I contemplated tolerating my new tenant, but could I bear the thought of that hairy beast not two feet from my bare bottom when I used the toilet?

I could not. What if he was a jumper?

I ran for the fly-swatter. Back in the bathroom I went instantly on the attack. I am sorry, I am sorry I imagine I said repeatedly, but my resolve was hardened by the consideration that the brute had probably eaten its predecessor. He had opened the door, as my former partner would say.

The large spider, who looked as if it should have been in a garden, tried to escape but I was too quick for it. I got it. At least I think I did. Its remains were unrecognizable.

That was last week. I have not seen either spider since.

Maybe the big spider could have dealt with some of the bigger insects which are bound to invade with the summer, but oh well. I will have to cope with those unwelcome guests myself.

April 6, 2022
Silver City, NewMexico

I started to write about something, then suddenly lost the text. I do not know what I did wrong, but this time I will just keep it short:

Contrast Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones with Oedipus Rex. Do you think possibly Tom Jones is Britain’s answer to Oedipus Rex? The idea makes me want to reread Fielding’s novel and see in what other respects he might be an iconoclast.

It is worth reading again anyway.

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