Santa Fe in Collage

I will write a travel blog about Santa Fe when I return to my computer but for now, enjoy the pictures.

You might be able to guess that photography is a passion of mine. These weren’t taken with my camera but with my iPhone 13.

Santa Fe is an incredibly artistic town and can boast two records — oldest capital city in the US and highest capital city in the US at 7000 feet elevation. My day trip included two museums, the famous plaza, several art galleries, a park, and a large church from the 1800s.

Spicy! Red chiles hanging everywhere (yes, that’s how they spell it)
Architecture. Iconic Santa Fe.
Modern museums.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
Native American art

The Rude Generation

Written on the plane from Sacramento to Denver.

I was traveling recently by plane and noticed most people are friendly, nice, and polite. Although I have gray hair and sometimes I’m not as spry as my younger years, I don’t expect anyone to treat me any different. I do expect a little consideration though. Have you noticed that some people just seem to have an air of entitlement? And have you noticed that they seem to be the people of a younger generation?

When I was a teacher, I had a lesson about once a week that I called social skills. I would create lesson plans for my middle school students that reminded me of those etiquette books of old. Most of these lessons were foreign ideas to many of these generation Z students. I covered things like polite phone usage, how to pass someone in the hallway, and even safe social media usage. Of course, we’d make the lessons more fun with examples of the way not to do things and the kids loved acting those out best, laughing and giggling the whole time we were play-acting.

I was really appalled this week on a flight to Denver. I tried really hard to ignore a 30-40-something who was yapping on her phone the whole time in the seat next to me as the plane prepared for flight. Rude, I thought to myself but I put one finger over my right ear and continued reading my book. But then, when the flight attendant started her little talk that we’re all supposed to listen to and she was still jabbering away, I felt the need to tap her arm and put my finger to my mouth in a “shhhhh” gesture.

Of course, she got mad at me and said she was going to report me and I said, “go ahead” but she didn’t. I just don’t even think she realized she was doing anything wrong. And I can guarantee you that everyone sitting around me was as annoyed as I was. But the people that have these behaviors don’t get it. And maybe you can’t teach people at that age how to be thoughtful and polite of their fellow passengers.

That makes me sad. I don’t want to live in a world of sociopaths and go-getters, and Gordon Gecko types from Wall Street. Maybe I’m sheltered too much in the retirement community I live in. Maybe I have rose colored glasses and the real world isn’t the way I would wish. But I surely hope not and I will keep visualizing a world and society where every individual is respected and being polite is the norm.

Visiting Sacramento

Last year this time, I had to go back home to help with my dad’s things and to attend his memorial service. This year, in a much different place emotionally, I returned to celebrate my dad’s 92 birthday in heaven.

I also was getting a little homesick and it’s so nice to be able to connect again with family and friends. Lots of visiting and a little sightseeing.

My mom is an avid gardener so she asked if I could drive her around William Land Park, a 200 acre park in Sacramento that features the city zoo, a children’s amusement venue, a golf course and an amphitheater.

One of the free exhibits is the WPA Rock Garden. A one acre sight that is mostly the contribution of a master gardener named Daisy Mah. Wander through the paths as you explore the abundance of plants, bees, butterflies, and even the occasional lizard. I visited in April which seems like it might be peak blooming season.

Lots of color in April
A selfie in the garden

My mom asked if I could take her to Green Acres, a large, popular nursery in Sacramento. I had fun wandering around while she bought some more vegetables for her garden. In the houseplants section, they have some interesting decorative displays and I couldn’t resist photographing.

A little magical village

The outside area of Green Acres is just as interesting.

Sacramento is known as the city of trees and, even though I don’t like cities, it was healing to walk among the plants. I really enjoy photography also and I got a chance to document some wonderful landscaping in the heart of the city.

Have You Ever Started Your Own Writing Group?

I’ve belonged to writing groups over the years, both online and in person. This year, I’m toying with the idea of starting a small group at the mobile home park where I moved last fall. It’s been hard joining things for the last couple of years for several reasons. Starting mid-2018, I was home-free and traveling in my motor home across the states. I never stayed in one place very long but I did stay in touch online with several writing groups.

Then I started re-assessing my nomad ways in March 2020 when we didn’t know what, across the country, would be open or available for RV parking. I was still living in my RV but I found a place I was able to stay for nine months. During 2020, I got on the waiting list for some long-term retirement type RV parks and was able to move to one in a new state a year ago. Now that most everyone here is vaccinated, we’re beginning to go back to the social activities of pre-COVID and I’m getting to know my neighbors and make friends.

On-line writing groups and critique forums can be useful but I was really starting to miss the in-person back and forth that can take place when you get together with others who share your hobby. From what I’ve been able to gather, there are at least four people that live here that would be interested in participating and that’s a good start.

In my ideal group, we would get together about two times a month. We would share a small excerpt on anything we are currently working on and receive feedback. We would also have one topic at each meeting that we would like to explore more and whoever has experience can share. These topics would include things like self-publishing, how to find an editor, designing covers, the best software for writing, and more.

Sometimes, throwing out a writing prompt and letting everyone work on it for fifteen minutes or so and then sharing is fun too. This can get the creative juices flowing when that particular project you’re working on seems stuck.

What I don’t like about writing groups is someone who feels they have to read whole chapters to the group at a time, taking up way too much of the meeting time. Or someone who just wants to share personal stories without letting up, thereby boring all other attendees. It seems there’s always one person like that in groups I’ve attended in the past but I think if the group leader sets the right tone at the beginning, those inconveniences can be avoided.

The scariest thing about in-person groups is sharing very personal writing pieces with people you see everyday or socialize with in other capacities. I feel like I might be editing myself a little bit and watching the TMI around my neighbors. The good thing is that I have plenty of writing pieces that aren’t too personal and still entertaining. That’s a good place to start until I feel more comfortable with the group.

Next task, pick a good name, pick a date to start, and then let the residents know and see what happens. What are your experiences with starting a writing group?