Have you ever stood in front of a row of grapes? The crisp lines marching up hills? The leaves lovely in autumn? Have you ever sipped a glass of wine in a vineyard and thought of the journey from planting to harvesting to magic in a glass?
Something about it fascinates me. I am a one-glass-of-wine a day kind of girl, but I appreciate that glass of transport. I have taken some amazing sommelier classes that helped me see, smell, and swirl my way to unlocking the mysteries of one of the oldest drinks in the world. The rings at the edge of the glass speak of vine age. The color foretells wine age and varietal The smell whispers terroir and place and of oak barrels or steel. The taste goes on about the farmers, the roses at the end of the rows, of the farms nearby, of the toil and prayers and careful blending, and the people who made it.
I’ve long dreamed of a vineyard. I have read more books than I can recall on the subject. I know we should try to run our rows north to south so they gather as much sun as they like. I know they like difficult soil. I know they need a longer growing season. The very soil that is so difficult to grow crops in here is the very same that grapes would love. Spreading their long roots into the limestone earth gathering nutrients and flavors of our home.
We have explored many a vineyard with different friends through Napa Valley and Sonoma, through Temecula, and New Mexico. And down the road to local wineries with fine and different varietals and blends and unique Colorado flavors.
We think and we ask questions of other wine makers, of vineyard owners, of Mother Earth. Could we sustain a vineyard here? Would it be too much work for me? Would it cost too much in water? Eight gallons of water per week required. We scarcely get rain. A local winery will buy all of our grapes. But you know me, could I make good wine from my own grapes? Would the start-up cost be exorbitant?
Life is an adventure. If you have a dream, just go for it!
I am sitting in a coffee shop on the Plaza enjoying a delicious brew in a corner booth overlooking the frost covered buildings and the vast sky that promises warmer weather today.
I read a study that compared the frequencies of people and places and how we thrive best when matched with our own similar frequency level regarding people and lands. According to the study, if you were to close your eyes and someone placed a stone from a place that you love in one hand and a stone from a place you do not like, you would notice the difference. This place matches my frequency. Whether crossing the Santa Fe Plaza or eating red chile in Socorro or driving though farm land or artist towns, this is my place. One day…
I adore the architecture and the history here. The traditional adobe with straw sticking through its ancient walls. The oldest house in the United States is here and was built in 1598. Down a small street next to San Miguel church (circa 1636) is the house and free museum. I loved seeing the tortilla press (not too different than mine) and the stone used for grinding corn into meal (a bit different than my Vitamix) and the other items of the era.
There is a distinctive look to New Mexico. It is all about the details here. Punched tin, kivas, adobe, bright trim, murals, and vigas create textures, history, and art in the architecture and design here.
We brought our granddaughter’s stuffed animal with us and have been capturing moments with it to the delight of Maryjane.
Now I have seen the fake stuffed animal heads mounted on boards. They are cheeky and kind of funny from a vegetarian perspective. In fact, I have long had a stuffed moose head we named Moosletoe hanging in our living room. One is funny; more than that might be over the top. However, when I saw this rooster head I started giggling so much that the cashier started giggling, than Doug joined in, and the contagious laughter prompted his coming home with me. He is hilarious. Perhaps he will inspire my rooster, Bob, to behave himself.
Amazing how ten days flies when on vacation. Thanks for coming along with me, we’ll see you back at the farm!
We walked the beach on that last day. We alternately dreamed of our future farm in California and the kisses we would receive from Maryjane when we got home. The air was heady with fresh soil and sea and the birds actively flew overhead. My skin feels so good in the humidity. I can breathe better too. My breath caught though as I recognized a form in the sand behind a rock. An infant seal clubbed, his spirit and his head missing, decomposing into the soft layers of sand that cradled its small body. Mankind’s darkness found everywhere. Glimpses of ugliness scattered vaguely in all the light. But thank goodness for the light.
We had an amazing time with our beloved friends. We miss them terribly as the years lapse between visits. We traversed the back roads and highways, from beach to farm to mountain to sunsets, tasting, drinking wine or waters with lemon from Marigold the Lemon tree who resides sweetly on their fourth floor balcony. Nourishment in every moment.
We came home to one of our cats, Zuzu’s Petals, missing. Like losing a penny down the drain. She is most immersely lost in this wilderness of apartment hell.
And as I sat on that beach in the sand looking out into the widest expanse of water that just graced the sky, and listened to the birds dancing on the rocks, and watched my husband recline and read, I noted the waves as they tumbled forth near my feet and then pulled back into the vastness. Up and stretched in turquoise waves, then exhaled. Came forth, pulled back. I watched the ocean breathe for hours. She gave, she pulled back, she grew in ferocity, she rested, she was beautiful in all her simplicity of ebb and flow. She wrote out a poem, a script of life, a beautiful tale.
A road trip is always a fun adventure and we were happy to be headed out on one!
The scenery was beautiful as we drove two hours from Aurora to Wyoming. The beautiful red dirt, ornate rock formations, and green grassy hills set against the mountains were heavenly.
Laramie was there before we knew it. One night at the Best Western was reserved. We quickly dropped our things off in our rooms and headed back to the car!
First stop was Roxie’s for lunch. They had a terrific menu, and though a little pricey, the food was great. Our server was from Elizabeth, knew our daughter, Shyanne, and grew up next door to Shyanne’s boyfriend, Jake. It was definitely a small world moment!
We walked around downtown and admired the buildings from the western 1800’s and turn of the century.
I wonder if I will ever stop shopping for wood cook stoves. I wonder if we will ever get a homestead again.
We stopped in this lovely apothecary. I love that everywhere we go more and more apothecaries are coming up.
Next stop was the Laramie Plains Museum.
A residence for a small family, then a boarding school for girls, this mansion is an impressive collection of period furnishings and décor.
These wide pianos were throughout the house.
One can tell that music was a big part of entertainment back them.
I bet they threw some lively parties!
So much pride and detail went into building and design. These old houses and museums that Doug and I visit are masterpieces in art. The quickly built, same as the next houses of today will never come close to the loveliness of even the most simple home from these time periods.
I wonder if Bill Nye, the science guy, named himself after the real Bill Nye?
This style was in both museums we visited yesterday. The wall paper design ends a foot from the ceiling, a similar pattern is carried to the ceiling, and a slightly contrasting paper covers the ceiling.
This was our lovely guide, Skylar. She is a middle school honor student that volunteers her time to lead folks through this beautiful place.
Built in shelves and hutches always catch my eye!
Another wood cook stove….
The sink is original to the house. One could do a lot of dishes or wash a baby comfortably in this sink!
30 pounds of butter, anyone? I have seen butter churns but not one in a barrel form. I thought this piece was very interesting.
The refrigerator was a built in hutch with a screened bottom. Ice was placed below the hutch and it kept everything in the cupboard cold. Here, Skylar models the lined flour bins that held a hundred pounds or more of flour!
This staircase is like the one in Santa Fe that was built without nails or supports. It is a gorgeous staircase and one that we had to come down dramatically.
A collection of dresses from the 1950’s boarding school era. I wore my grandmother’s pink dress to prom that looked very similar to the green one!
The desk is the oldest piece in the house. It is from the 1700’s.
This shower cost the equivalent of $10,000 but was only used twice due to the very poor water pressure!
Upstairs held a collection of this and that. Old remedies, a barber chair, large paintings, and more history…
These paintings inspire me to paint.
The borders on them are painted.
Skylar then took us outdoors to see a very old schoolhouse that was moved to the property.
Then I am afraid we went behind bars…
We went and toured the Territorial Prison where the likes of Butch Cassidy spent time.
This was the law enforcer’s office.
The large kitchen that fed the inmates was light and beautiful.
Minnie’s story struck me as quite sad. A young woman and her husband were ambushed and framed for murder by their neighbor who wanted their land. She spent five years in prison, and her husband was there for ten years. All because of a horrible neighbor!
This young man’s story struck me as well for how young he looks. He was twenty-one and was caught forging a check. Was his family hungry? Was he an outlaw? He was released after three years.
The prison was restored but the ghosts of the past still wander the halls.
Outside our car awaited…
But we couldn’t find our horses.
It was then that Doug and Rodney joined up with a local gang.
We ended the action filled day with karaoke and went to bed rather late!