indepenDANCE

July 4, 2009

It feels more like an Independance Day to us. We're happy-dancin' all over the place, feeling our freedom and the newness of this life experiment we've just started. We keep wondering how we pulled this off. How are we getting away with this? It's just too cool to be true, but here we are, at the dance, and happy to be here.

I remember a night years ago, when I was about fourteen. I was at a school dance that was guarded at every door by some grumpy parent chaperone, so we couldn't go outside. I had no reason to go outside, but since I wasn't allowed to, I wanted to, almost desperately. I lurked by the back door until the chaperone turned her back, and then I blasted through, triumphant and free. Then the door closed and locked behind me. I couldn't get back in. I instantly started feeling lost and stupid. What was I thinking? I didn't want to be out there by myself, but there I was, left to shuffle around waiting for the dance to end, my friends to come out, and my ride to pick me up. I've wondered these past months if leaving Taos would feel like leaving that dance, like a great escape with no meaning or purpose. The last couple of days there were tricky, and I really wondered if we were doing the right thing. As it turns out, at least so far, it's not the same at all. We didn't escape anything. We were not being held against our will. The only thing that stopped us from leaving Taos the last few years was the limits we set on ourselves. Once we saw those for what they were, all the doors opened, and now we can dance through them in any direction, any time we please. It sure took me a long time to learn that lesson...

After Ojo, our next stop was Uncle Gene's, in Deming, NM. After a long, hot day of driving, we arrived safely around dinner time, got ourselves level and settled for the night in his driveway, and headed straight for the cold beer. That helped a lot. I cooked for the boys and we sat on the porch watching a distant thunder storm until bedtime. Gene (who is actually my sister's husband's uncle, but we've adopted him as our own) lives in a beautiful little spot with his dog Jessie. He built his house with his own two hands a few years ago. It's a wonderful place that just keeps getting better every time we visit.





After a good sleep, and a drenching desert morning rain, we ate our bowls of cereal in the yard as we watched the quail come around for their morning treats, and then headed out for another day of driving. Next stop, Flagstaff, Arizona.

It was another long day, with the DTW (Driving Time Wall) looming in the distance. I know it seems odd for me to be on this road trip when I really don't love the driving part of it all that much. I'm working on it. I enjoyed the new scenery, and kept the tunes rolling to keep us both entertained (yesterday it was Roy Orbison, Bob Marley, Eagles, and the soundtrack from that great Leonard Cohen film that came out a couple of years ago). Pretty early in the day, I gave myself permission to rip out hours and hours of crochet work that was driving me crazy. Remember that afghan I started a while back? It just wasn't working for me. Much too tedious following a graph and keeping track of every little stitch. Ick. It was about a third finished, but I ripped it all out and started over. It's going to be one giant granny square. Simple, beautiful, effortless... kind of like Life is, on our best days.

We're in a KOA in Flagstaff until tomorrow. It's jam-packed with happy families, cooking hot dogs over open fires and waving little flags for the 4th. We're missing the 4th of July Parade in Arroyo Seco this year, but I'm sure we'll find some good entertainment here. And Taos is still tagging along on our back bumper. We pulled into the park last night, which is marked with little street signs. To get to our site, we took a left at "Taos" street. Perfect. Everything's perfect.

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