At this point, with over seven hundred posts, thousands of photographs, almost a hundred videos, and five years on line as Scotttreks, it seems like a simple Dedication of the effort is due..
Many, if not all, literary works, art, music, drama and dance presentations have dedications, moments at the front of the effort that recognize significant influences on the person who has taken the time and effort to put things out there for others to enjoy, analyse, pan, or profit from.. Sometimes it is a wife, children, teachers and mentors who get the nod. Sometimes it is personal secretaries and editors who help ideas get to a place they can be loosed on the world, Sometimes dedications are to God, Muses, spirits and traditions
There are plenty of places and people to Dedicate Scotttreks too,but it seems right to thank my parents for giving me their name, their attention, their love and concern.
While they haven’t put the words in my mouth or on paper, haven’t suggested what I do with my life, they always wanted the best for us that we could make for ourselves.
This little blog, with places still to go and time left to go there, is dedicated to Julia Ann and James Lowell.
I like to think they are reading the blog, wherever they are, happy that I am happy writing it.
Halloween creeps closer as leaves start to fall, pumpkins appear in windows, hot air balloons arrive for the annual Balloon fest in Albuquerque, creepy spiders turn up in school cafeterias and jackets become more than optional.
It is a sparkling day and these three skeletons, in an Albuquerque North Valley front yard, don’t dress up, worry about hair style or designer clothes. They look content in their birthday suits without the excess weight, blemishes and imperfections that the rest of us have to carry wherever we go.
Next holiday season, I will set up my front yard like this too, but give my skeleton family a television to watch Netflix, game shows, soaps, or Dr. Phil.
In a few weeks this congregation will put on their Pilgrim outfits and be chasing turkeys around the yard with hatchets. A few weeks after that, they will be hanging Christmas lights in these front yard evergreens and singing carols by a manger,surrounded by animals and angels, Mary and Joseph, welcoming Baby Jesus to the planet nuthouse.
Bones keep popping up in Scotttreks, and, to be honest, we all need one day a year when creepy stuff camps in our front yard and ghosts and goblins have their say.
The last thought that hits me, between my ears,as I speed away in my car, is that if we had to wash each of our bones, our showers would take all day and family members would rightfully want to kill us.
R.I.P. is not bad advice, whether we are skeletons, or not.
They are in countries all over the world and you can get cash in countries where no one speaks English and all the writing looks like hieroglyphics. The ATM’s accept debit and credit cards, let you make deposits, check balances and transfer money across accounts.They are open twenty four seven and have small service fees. There is a phone number to call if something goes haywire but we all hope we don’t ever have to call because talking to customer service techs in India is dicey.
This simple, hand penned sign, by the ATM, is a plea for help. It was left leaning against a wall behind a trash barrel, so one guesses the writer got money and did take his Sister for a nice meal at the local Jack in the Box.
This sign promises your money will be spent on food rather than drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or other vices.
Whether we should trust what we read, because the writer asks us too, is a great leap of faith.
The only thing that seems questionable in this plea for help are the letters, ” No B.S. ”
I wouldn’t have written that, if it was my sign.
When someone tells me ” No, B.S..” there is usually plenty of it that follows.
Bazookas are old technology but World War 2 vets will tell you a thing or two about their effectiveness in the war they fought in.
This plastic army man, with his bazooka pointed at me,his helmet securely fastened, his feet planted and secured by a heavy application of scotch tape, looks at me with a stern no nonsense attitude.
Mounted atop the snack bar register, he is protecting the money, and, throws me back to grade school days when we kids actually played with these Army men, taped firecrackers to them and stood back as they were blown up with the striking of a match.
These days, Army men still wear uniforms and helmets, but they have put their bazookas in museums. Army men, these days, are likely to be killing people with their computers, sitting in a room thousands of miles from the battlefield.
This cash register is protected, and, at night, when employees have gone home, this army man goes to the refrigerator and helps himself to a beer.
Fighting makes one thirsty and there doesn’t seem any end to war.
The season of spooks and goblins, pumpkins and puritans is approaching.
Our local Home Depot has dedicated aisles and displays to Halloween and looking for utility wire and masonry nails to secure a few plants to my back yard block wall, so they will grow up straight and be out of the path to the back of my house, I am greeted by grisly figures and demons from the spirit world..
There are ghosts peering down at shoppers from higher shelves, opening their arms and long thin fingers to grab us as we walk underneath. There are green skeletons and little girl apparitions in white dresses that I wouldn’t want knocking at my door any time of day or night. All of the props in this holiday section are properly scary but not scary enough to make little kids cry. Most parents, these days, take their kids to school or church functions where it is safer than walking them house to house in neighborhoods where they don’t know their neighbors.. It is hard to figure how a Christian country, like ours used to be, could perpetuate Halloween on any scale.
Even more grisly than these blown up spectacles is what comes on the 24/7 news scream.
There is much to be scared of in this Devil’s playground but I don’t see much reason to celebrate Old Scratch.
Elevating him and his minions to holiday status to sell merchandise seems a bit short sighted and counter productive, but altogether human.
Saving us from ourselves was even too much for Jesus.
I’m lucky today. Home Depot has my utility wire and masonry nails.
When stores stop having what we depend on, we are really going to see evil spirits come out to play.
Smaller things have been boxed till all the brother’s come to Albuquerque and we go through old photos, personal and business letters, ancient sales receipts, copies of contracts completed, old coins, mementos from family trips and reunions, political pins, Time magazines and National Geographic’s, items of clothing that don’t fit any of us.,
Seeing these boxed items out of their original places is disconcerting.
What is more difficult than disposing of stuff is doing a final accounting with the memories they link too.
How we hold thousands and thousands of memories, between our ears, and still manage to function is very much a miracle.
We all have our memories but we can’t always easily give them away, trade them for a newer model, or sell them at the flea market.
This stuff comes with lots of memories, and when it is out of sight, we will move back to living instead of grieving.
As soon as we say we haven’t seen any deer, the last several hikes, we spot some.
This family unit nips leaves off branches, ears cocked, knowing we were here long before we spotted them. They are large animals with delicate faces, long thin legs that don’t seem they could support the deer’s big bodies, wide open, alert, eyes and ears
When American prairies were covered by huge buffalo herds, the Plains Indians would say prayers before riding into the sea of buffalo and bringing a few down for their basic needs. I say a little prayer for these deer this morning as the sun comes over the Sandia’s and the humming of I-40 freeway traffic grows louder through Tijeras Canyon. It is currently bow hunting season. in these mountains and the bucks are at risk.
I wish these guys and girls good luck and pray hunters this year are lousy shots.
I don’t know, for sure, but I think I see a big buck pointing a big telephoto lens at me, getting closeups for his own Facebook page..
Going through a hunting season as the target doesn’t seem rewarding but these guys and girls seem pretty nonchalant considering the price on their heads.
Hiking to see nature is always better when you see some nature.
At an annual celebration of the famed World War 2 correspondent, Ernie Pyle, at his home in Albuquerque, N.M., a docent tells the small group about the permanent closing of Pyle’s childhood home, in his birthplace,in Indiana. As the docent continues, he reminds his aging audience of the steady inexorable disappearance of American history, the necessity of knowing our collective past.
Ernie Pyle was a celebrated World War 2 correspondent, but, today, there are many Americans who don’t know much about World War 2 except what they see in the movies. They don’t know Ernie Pyle, or Julius Caesar, or Frederick Douglas. They believe the American Civil War was only about the abolishment of slavery and the United States Constitution is outdated and irrelevant, written by stuffy white men who owned slaves and wore white wigs..
Where does history go when it is behind us?
Does God put His memos, research papers,videos and photos on shelves in his personal library? Does he go back and review his plans and progress for the Universe, make changes in the roll out of his vision ? Does knowing history mean we can stop or modify what is happening to us while we are in the middle of its happening?
On this pleasant afternoon, we are taken on a guided tour of Ernie Pyle’s life and times, in a place he fixed bacon and eggs for breakfast and read his newspaper thrown on the front porch by a neighborhood boy on a bicycle.
His house feels like a home and I walk away suspecting that Ernie would offer me a cold drink of lemonade on a hot summer day and have some good jokes to soften the wounds of World War 2 as we both set at a little table on the front porch with empty vistas of the Rio Grande Bosque several miles away.
He came from humble roots but was placed in the middle of one of the worst wars in human history.
His writings and his home survive him, and remembering is something we can still do for him.
Ernie volunteered for the war but some would say reporting on everyday Joe’s from the front lines was his destiny.
The beauty of his writing is that it seems like it was written for everybody but him.
The UNM south golf course is a championship course.
It has ankle deep grass in the rough, tricky greens, deep traps, rolling fairways and a few doglegs that would make a dog blush. You wouldn’t want to walk this course unless you were a mountain goat and a masochistic one at that. The greens on all the holes have multiple breaks and the greens keeper always puts the pins where you would expect with someone who fights with the wife a lot.
On the back nine there is a short par four dog leg to the left that wraps around a little pond with a huge cottonwood between the edge of the left fairway and the pond. Long hitters can try to fly the cottonwood and drive the green while the rest of us mortals lay up to the right and have a wedge shot into a small tight green guarded by a big trap.
The pond is shaded by the cottonwoods and a gaggle of ducks live there. When we golfers drive our carts down the fairway, the ducks waddle out to meet us and sample treats we bring from home and have stored in our golf bags just for them..
Growing up with ” Donald Duck” makes ducks seem approachable though we know these guys have a dangerous bill that gets aggressive if the duck feels threatened. If the ” Donalds ” get really bothered they usually turn back to their lake and paddle out to the middle where they can safely weather people storms.
Today, we give them treats and they stay just out of arm and golf club reach. We all hit our approaches to the green but no one makes their birdie putt. Walking off the green, we can hear the ” Donald’s” quacking like television sports announcers.
Whether they are ” cute” or a ” Nuisance” lies in the eyes of the beholder but they make a tough day on the course a little less disheartening.
Even championship courses need diversions, even ones that waddle and quack.