Front coming in and tonight’s walk looked like an Ingmar Bergman film, even with the inartfully named Fendler bladderpods coloring the way, but I refuse to be gloomy.

Coop and I got in a little exercise in and around our meditative rest stops. Cooper sniffs the air. I take pictures. At least, we stretched our legs.

Had to go Bernalillo today for an eye checkup and (successful) book search at Under Charlie’s Covers and drove down to the Range for pie and coffee after. The place seemed busy for 2 in the afternoon. Monica, the counter person, guessed it was probably people passing through for the Gathering of the Nations pow-wow — over 700 tribes and several thousand dancers — this weekend at the Pit in Albuquerque. She said her Jicarilla Apache aunties danced at the pow-wows into their 80s. It is a big deal. A lot of people come.

And just when I get grouchy about having to go to town, I am reminded how much I like New Mexico’s diversity.

At the Vision Store, I ran into a lady whose family has lived along Las Huertas Creek for hundreds of years. I have lived nearby for 24 years and still feel like a guest. We recalled meeting at a Christmas party at the home of another neighbor, now gone. At that same party in Placitas, I discovered that I lived down the road from the hosts as a teenager, way out Tano Road, north of Santa Fe. The husband had been a Manhattan Project engineer at Los Alamos and they lived and raised their kids outside of Santa Fe before retirement along the banks of Las Huertas Creek, 70 or so miles to the south.

Meanwhile, I noticed on the way into the Range that someone has removed the kokopelli figures from the tile mural outside the front door.

Typical New Mexico, I think: land grant heirs, nuclear engineers and sacrosanctity of Native American religion.

Meanwhile, I try to stay objective on my walks, even when it’s gray. But I gotta admit that a cheery text message from sister Hope in Montana as Cooper and I set out helped lift my spirits.

I’m still trying to figure out how to shoot in low light with my little pocket camera. This is what it looked like — minus the graininess — by the time we got home.



I am counting on my Albuquerque Journal photographer friends to take good pictures at the pow-wow, as they always do. I have never gone. The thought of all that drumming in a sunken basketball arena packed with 17,000 people scares me away. It might be only slightly less noisy than a Lobo basketball game, but I haven’t been to one of those since 1982 (Georgetown — Patrick Ewing).

Still, I remind myself that it’s probably short-sighted to take in the Gathering of the Nations from the counter of the Range.




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