Monday, August 11, 2014

Almost Heaven, Española

I have been singing that John Denver song, Country Roads, all week. I live on one, and it has washed out several times but my husband, Mike, has been the Awesome Road Warrior and gotten it fixed so Dezbah can get to an interview, I can have writing group here, and that is where my head has been. It's only been two months since I caught up with myself on this blog.  I have been lap swimming about three to four days a week and I write lovely blog entries as I swim, but don't have paper in the deep end.

"Paper in the Deep End,"  (Book title?)   Anyhow, I want to tell you about Española again.  Today as an example. Española i's like that nursery rhyme my parents always said about me: 

   "There was a little girl, who had a little curl,

     right in the middle of her forehead.  
     When she was good she was very, very good. 
     When she was bad she was horrid."

Bad, we know.  Bad is heroin, alcohol, meth, a slap in the face or a gun. I know people who will not go there, not just Santa Feans, but some who live in my hood.  I have a line in an old poem I wrote, "You've got to get in and get out before eleven, before the weekend with its steady chug." I think all the bad and sad people sleep in.

Española was exceptional today.  After weeding my garden, dead heading the California poppies (Dead Heading?  Book title?), and sparring with my husband in the friendliest way, plus not to forget brewing hummingbird juice, I went to the Farmer's Market.  It was booking.  My friend Sabra Moore is market manager, helped by the divine Norma and her beau, Everett (maybe, not sure of his name).

The old guys are standing in a circle with guitar, bass, voice, just wailing away in Spanish.  You could be in la Paz, Baja Mexico, where the cab drivers have more soul than poets here. They have played every week for a five dollar token Sabra gives them, all the market can spare.

 There were just enough people I know and love that I could get in and out in about twenty minutes. I got five peaches, six ears of corn, a pint of honey, seven squash blossoms, a pint of blackberries, four Japanese eggplant for about $25.00  The honey and the berries and the peaches alone cost about $20.

The ambiance, I can't even begin to tell you.  Sabra and I hugged and got tangled up, my glasses grabbed her white braid.

Then I went to the outdoor pool and found out we have until my Aug 23rd birthday to swim.  The water was the Mediterranean after a squall, a dusting of rain, the temperature of heaven.  I swam 13 laps. I talked to another grandma.  I missed my kids, wished they were there, but took the half hour for myself. I was, as my friend Kathleen McCloud designated, one of those you deserve it people.

Desirae, the head life guard and pool manager,  then told me the good news, an extra week of swimming.  There was enough money for chemicals to keep the pool open. That is my birthday gift. I can't recall when I enjoyed every lap, no, most every stroke, as much.  I was in pool bliss, my country club, a far way from the privileged Westmorland Country Club of my youth, and I felt more at home here then I ever did then and there.

I stopped at my daughter's.  In the two months I haven't blogged, my daughter and her son moved in next door into our little rental.  I was keen to get home and make stuffed squash blossoms but wanted to say hi.  She said she'd feed me.  There on the table were fried blossoms with a side of goat cheese.  I ate four, left the rest for Mike.  It's how we have been since she moved in.  A charmed summer.

Saturday, at a nearby wedding, I wore a dress hitched up by safety pins on the side.  I scrambled to find a few more pins before I left. I was sure to locate and pocket some pins so I wouldn't  lose the dress style when dancing.

I arrived at the wedding and Corina, my beautiful eldest, was the first person I saw.  She said hi, her smile containing all the Hungarian beauty of My Aunt Ethel and the optimistic mother I had. She said her skirt was falling down.  She needed a safety pin.  I reached into my pocket.