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Friday, November 18, 2022

Last Days on the Road, Then – Gratefully – Arrival!

First morning at destination

I think today I will fill the birdbath with water and clear the window blinds of cobwebs. Yesterday my plan for this morning was to rush off to the laundromat, but I've decided rushing isn’t necessary. Here we are, Sunny Juliet and I, in our little Arizona cabin, surrounded by our own things, and Sunny seems as contented as I feel. In addition to all the toys we brought with us, she is rediscovering things left behind last year and has strewn her belongings all over the house, which doesn’t bother me one little bit.

So good to see you again!


Wednesday’s drive from dear little Santa Fe, New Mexico, to a Leland friend’s house in Old Mesilla, outside Las Cruces, was easy. I remembered (this is very important) to fill the gas tank before the long stretch of U.S. 54 to Alamagordo. 

...Because there's a lot of this kind of stuff along the way.

I stopped to poke around in Corona, as the Artist and I always had, and noted this time that Corona has all the basic necessities – school, grocery, post office, library, laundromat – besides all the pretty little stone houses and walls that I have photographed so many times before.


After Alamagordo and White Sands come the Organ Mountains and the San Augustin Pass, with stunning scenery for miles and miles and miles, and with every mile I recalled the first time the Artist and I drove this road and our continual exclamations at the beauty. “What a country!” the Artist would say, over and over. We were fortunate to be able to see so much of it together over the years. 


Our Leland friends’ winter house is on the far edge of Old Mesilla, west of Las Cruces, their neighborhood bounded by irrigation ditches that feed water to the cotton fields and pecan groves when there is enough water coming down the Rio Grande to divert to those fields and groves. The complicated system of ditches and sluice gates had me reflecting on just how old these irrigation technologies are in the Southwest, Mexico, and all through other arid regions of Latin America, where water is the political issue, as is pretty obvious even to an outlander when presented with a view of the Rio Grande River right now.



Kathy and I had a leisurely evening and morning, and then she took me to Coas Books in downtown Las Cruces, where we both made some serious purchases. And yes, this big bookstore had socks, too, Mr. Deutsch, but I didn’t buy socks this time. Just books!

Books from Coas

After that, it was back on the road for Sunny Juliet and me, the cabin in Dos Cabezas within easy striking distance now. But first – another bookstore stop called my name.

The Artist and I had stopped at Readers' Cove more than once on our travels west, so in addition to being a treasure of books, the shop was also, for me, stocked with memories, and it was a lovely pause again this year, well worth time spent. Priceless, in fact. Good to connect again with bookseller Margaret and to talk books with her, as well as to catch up on what’s happening these days in Deming. 

Books from Readers' Cove

But you already know how this episode ends. Arizona. Willcox. Dos Cabezas. The cabin with our familiar things. A beautiful Arizona sunrise on Friday morning. A good walk for me, a good run for little Sunny –

She seems right at home.

And look what I found!


Karen Casebeer said...

So happy to see you've arrived safely, Pamela! And Sunny seems right at home too. Enjoy!

Unknown said...

So enjoyed your visit to Readers' Cove yesterday! Lovely to meet Sunny too.

P. J. Grath said...

Now that I'm off the road, Karen, I am realizing how tired I am! Happy to reach our winter destination, both Sunny and I are.

Margaret! I loved our visit! And I am already(now that I finally finished A PLACE IN THE SUN, by Jane Barry) enjoying that Nancy Willard book, which fortunately you had facing out on the shelf to catch my eye. So, so glad I stopped in Deming!

Jeanie Furlan said...

Yes! RestREST! You and Sunny Juliet made it - a whopping trip - and I enjoyed following along! I tried to comment on two previous days of your blogs, and for some reason, the site wouldn’t allow me to ‘go there’. But here I am, as you end your journée, your odyssey or your trek, and I give you lots of credit facing new places and being reminded of the reruns, too. David was watchin’ from afar!
I DO remember the Santa Rosa theater, and your bookstore owner friend, Margaret. Speaking of books, Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s A Scots Quair….I can buy it only if I tell the bookstore to order the publisher to print a copy and then they’ll send it to me! I didn’t know that could happen since so many things are almost instantly available these days. We’re leaving Dec 1st for São Paulo, so I might have to wait until next April to delve into Ms. Chris Guthrie’s life! But I’m half way through The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, who is one of my favorite authors.
I’m SO happy you are in Willcox! Sigh of YES!

P. J. Grath said...

Well, Jeanie, I don't know if your two previous comments were circling the airport or what, but they came through this evening and are now "live" on the blog. Thank you!

Print-on-demand is going to get bigger all the time. The good part about it is paper won't be wasted printing thousands of copies that don't get sold or get returned -- in either case, often ending up pulped (a word that gives authors cold chills!). I'm only hoping the quality won't suffer. I've seen a lot of self-published POD books that were poorly bound. But time will tell, and presumably serious publishers will insist that their titles be well printed and bound.