All these spring showers result in lots of flowers–wild flowers and iris.
After nearly none last year, it hit suddenly and dramatically last night: cold, intense, beautiful.
Golden glow lays over the land
Praying mantis walks up the window
Storm clouds gently glide through azure
Later, I graded papers and watched part of John McCain’s funeral, some of which almost brought me to tears. I often disagreed with him but never did I question his passionate love of country, his courage, his willingness to buck the norm, to defy convention when he thought it was the right thing to do. I think he and I shared certain values on which this country is based even if the country as a whole rarely lives up to them. These include the conviction that all people are equal, that everyone deserves justice, and each person carries the right to find his or her own share of happiness without judgment and condemnation from others who may think differently.
Later, while working on the latest book I am writing, I found handwritten recipes written by my grandmother, my mother’s mother, Nellie Narcissus Duke (Kaiser),whose father came here from Switzerland as a child. One, for dumplings, remains readable. The other written in pencil on the front and back of thin paper is fragile. It is for Strawberry Shortcake. If Grandmother Duke ever made dumplings, I do not remember it. Mother did–chicken and dumplings. I wonder if she used this recipe. I do remember conversations about the shortcake because Dad did not like strawberry shortcake even though he liked strawberries. I took photos of these two recipes written decades ago in my grandmother’s handwriting.
I walk into the department store,
plan to pay a bill, order a griddle for the new stove,
see a bald headed 30 something with a big, brown beard.
He is not what I get.
A younger man walks up, “Can I help you?”
Explaining what I want, I look.
Caramel skin, five inches taller than I,
obsidian ringlets falling, not long,
cut short to a form a big ball, a glossy poof.
He’s not too thin, not too chubby.
Straight nose, not too long, not too short.
Arched eyebrows, oval face.
He’s drool worthy.
It’s ridiculous. I’m old enough to be his grandmother,
Do we ever get too old to look, to appreciate?
One of the highest wine growing regions in the world exists in northern Argentina in the Calchaqui Valley. This lovely hotel where we spent the night reminded me of New Mexico.
The hotel garden.
The ceiling above the walkway.
The walkway from the garden to the front of the hotel. Spanish colonial architecture and design seem much the same everywhere.
Cafayate is small and lovely. Like every other city, it too has a square with a church on one side. We went there instead of Mendoza, the city most people in the US associate with Argentinian wine, because Hugo, Gaston’s dad, prefers the wine from there over that from Mendoza.
The church on the square in Cafayate.
Many trees were in bloom there. Gaston’s mom and I collected some seeds from this one and I have two plants growing in pots at my house.
More colonial architecture.
Although most of this valley is filled with vineyards from one mountain range to the other, I did see fields as well.
Behind the hotel where we parked the truck, the guy was raising fighting cocks. I never had the chance to take of photo of them.
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we needed to the oldest winery in the valley.
months of nothing
six inches below normal
suddenly late afternoon
three waterfalls off canyon cliff
birds sing evensongs
and now this
Raging wind gone still
Mockingbird carols to Sunset
Dusk whispers to Night
In spite of only one inch of rain since last autumn, many flowers persist: sundrops, black foot daisies, chocolate flowers, wine cups, primrose, desert (Mexican) birds of paradise, red yucca, salvia, catmint, native grasses, milkweed. I took these photos after feeding the horses this morning.
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