Friday, February 18, 2011

from Albuquerque

If ever there was good luck, I have it in this: my best pals from law school days (when I was a student), all three of them, have settled in the south (in the case of one, only for the winter). Arizona, Florida, and now also New Mexico.

When we have our annual reunion, typically in February, we toss around ideas as to whose house we should visit. Madison never makes the short list. We don’t even pretend.

And so I’m in Albuquerque for the week-end. Two nights only, but my work schedule is such that it’s all I can spit out in the middle of the semester.

I’ve never been to Albuquerque before. I vaguely remember driving through some bit of New Mexico on a family road trip when I was eight, but we hardly paused. We were in a hurry to get back to New York, having spent too long in Las Vegas. (No, no, my parents did not get hooked on slot machines. My dad says some speed demon ran a light and rammed right into us, and in the early sixties it seems that the person who spoke with greatest conviction prevailed. In any case, the car needed a new front and we had to wait for it.)

But even without having ever seen any of it, I have often said that if I ever moved south, I’d probably consider New Mexico. I spoke in hypotheticals as I am certain I will never move away from Wisconsin, but still, in my imagination, New Mexico has the great combination of a decent climate and exquisite light, especially in the cold season.

My friend tells me that Albuquerque has 300 days of sunshine annually and that we should get a good share this week-end as they’ve had a great number of the nonsunny ones already. I don’t pay attention to those statistics anymore. I’ve been in too many places where they say that THEY have 300 sunny days and I’ve concluded that this means nothing at all, except maybe that someone who counts such things is rounding up to the nearest hundred.

But in fact, it is a tiny bit sunny now. And oh, so very lovely!


a detour to Los Poblanos

among chickens and goats

a walk along the Rio Grande

Light in Albuquerque: at sunset, the hills turn red.