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.

Final Good-Byes

I have had to say good-bye in two places the last two months that were a big part of my life. One good-bye was at my son’s residence he’s been at the last 4 years and a cause for celebration as he and his wife move for new jobs and one was for my father’s memorial send-off and the end of a huge light in my life.

If you’re like me, you hate to say good-bye, even if it’s for a short time. From high school on, I lived in Northern California for all but five years. So when I decided to leave California upon retirement, even though I got many well wishes, family and friends were sad and insisted I visit often.

During this time my son and his wife were stationed in Oklahoma so upon retirement, I set out with my motor home for more extended visits to this midwest state. In my travels from 2018 to 2021, I was able to spend quite a bit of time with them even though I hated being in such a large, crowded place as Oklahoma City.

My daughter-in-law got a new post in early 2021 and my son was left alone for several months to pack up and sell the home, take care of their dog (my grand-son), and follow her to their new assignments in Alaska. Well, I knew that it would be a lot harder to visit them in Alaska as I travel with two pets so I spent the last month with him and helped with movers and doggy babysitting. I was so glad to be able to spend this time with him before their move 3,700 miles away from my home base in New Mexico.

I won’t be back to Oklahoma now. There’s no reason for me to be there. I have many fond memories and tons of photos and I have closed that chapter in my life. My son and I said our good-byes and he set off in the car with their dog for Anchorage and I set off in my motor home for Northern California.

I had traveled back to Sacramento in the motorhome and had flown back once to this part of the country but I knew in my heart that this April trip would be my last trip to California. It had been my home base for 45 years and now I was making my final trip. In January 2021, my 90 year old father passed away from cancer. No one knew he was sick and it was very quick. I had planned to fly out a few times in 2020 and kept postponing thinking that the virus situation would get better soon. Of course, it never did.

There were three people that I spent my time with in the three weeks I was there. I spent a lot of time with my stepmom, who was married to my dad for over 30 years. We had to go through stuff and there was a lot of stuff. My dad and I had a lot of mannerisms in common, including over-planning when taking a trip, but keeping things for years and years was not one I shared with him. There were boxes of things I couldn’t say no to because I missed him so much. He had kept papers and photos going back almost his entire 90 years and even further with historical documents tracing ancestry. I’m not sure what I will do with this stuff, packed into the corners of my motor home, when I return to New Mexico but I wasn’t ready to let go yet.

I spent a few partial days with a friend I’ve known for over 15 years when we lived next to each other and worked for the same school district. Now my life has changed a lot and I think we both knew that I wouldn’t be back to that part of the country. I invited her to come and visit but she has a farm with many animals to care for so it’s not really a possibility.

I spent a little time with my sister and visited her art gallery in a neighboring foothill town. My sister and I are close but we keep in touch over Facebook and text messages mostly. I also invited her to come visit and she said she definitely would consider it. As an artist, I know she would enjoy exploring interesting places in New Mexico. She has obligations currently though and might not even be able to travel for many years.

My father had a military internment at the Veteran’s National Cemetery on April 27 and I was so glad I went. I was glad I was able to support my stepmom and her three grown children, who thought of my dad as a surrogate father. I saw and briefly spoke to my brother whom I haven’t seen or spoken to in over 20 years. Might be the last time. I hated that I couldn’t say good-bye to my dad in person but I felt a little closure at the military service.

A week later, I was packing up the motor home. I was very homesick and anxious to leave and yet I knew in my heart that I would be seeing these people for the last time and that was hard. My stepmom was so sad to see me go and she knew that she probably wouldn’t see me in person again. I also invited her to come see me and stay with me for awhile but she’s not able to travel and her three children are in her area and can take care of her.

People say you are starting a new chapter in your life but right now, it doesn’t feel like that. It just feels like a lot of things have been taken away that I won’t get back. I remember the exhilaration and a little trepidation when I crossed the California border into Arizona for the first time after selling my house. In another two days, I will be crossing that border again, probably for the last time. The finality does leave me a little sad.