Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Misty Mountain Memories Tickle My Senses

Last Friday, Trisha, Emily and I ate out at Big Mamou-great Cajun food! Em is a rather shy young woman who giggles easily, while Trisha and I are old hands at hanging out, telling stories and laughing over a good meal and a drink. It rained when we arrived, then the sun blasted out. We giggled a lot and had a great time. I like nothing more than enjoying a good meal and drinks with good friends!

After enjoying a mojito, a bowl of gumbo with cornbread and a hot spicily dressed salad, I was ready to go for the ride Trisha suggested in her new car with a moon roof. She drove, I navigated and Em took pictures, giggling to herself in the back seat. The first goal was to share a siting of the Woman in White, who I have never seen when anyone was with me. A figment? A spirit? A sprite? True to form, she didn't show for us. Em was ready with her camera, just in case.

On Ashfield Road, the mist was rising and the clouds were flirting with the last rays of sun. (this picture is of a sunny evening!) The road wound through the fluffing, oozing greenness. Trisha remembered to open the moon roof and the windows stopped fogging up. We were inundated with the moist humusy air. A hot humid night in mid to late summer is the most interestingly scented place! The ferns and weeds on the side of the road, the swamps, the horsey smell of the farm of the percherons, mold, flowers~loamy fertile odors.

We saw deer in the meadows, squirrels and a tiny bunny hopping into the roadside growth. Trisha flipped her hand at a soft green meadow and said, "Now, wouldn't you think there'd be a few deer or a bear~maybe a couple of moose~cavorting over there?" More giggles all around. (Trisha still fondly remembers Yogi Bear and Boo Boo cavorting in Jellystone Park, though the Flintstones were her favorites! I would roll my eyes and go up to my room and read.) But we saw no more cavorting animals till we came to a small herd of Galloway cattle. Lovely black cows and bulls with a wide white stripe around the middle. The calves were especially adorable. I told them about the Guinea pig I had just taken care of with the same coloring. He was so cute and quick!

When we got back to town to go our separate ways, the sky had turned pink and the heavy misty air had a peachy glow. Getting out of the cool car was a shock, as it was still in the high 80's with humidity in the 90's. Hopping into my quickly cooled car, I drove west following the darkening sky home, giant moths swooping in the headlights.

This highly humid heatwave has lasted since July 3rd without a break.  No AC at home, but I can't drive around forever! Coming into my warm humid house the scents are not so pleasant. There is the vinegar smell of the fountain by the door. Vinegar, you say? It keeps the mosquito larvae at bay and won't harm the cats. The kitchen drain is rather nasty smelling, but the peaches smell ripe and delicious. Then there is a slight cat odor, though I've been meticulously cleaning it of late. Moving into my office, there is the moldy smell that I can't hide. Even the new wool rug is outgassing some ghastly chemical scent. The only comfortable spot in the house is in the recliner with two hepa-filtered air cleaners pointing my way. I have even been sleeping there! One advantage to sleeping in the recliner: in the morning my wrinkles are greatly reduced by not smooshing them into a pillow~seriously!

August 3rd I'm going to Colorado and New Mexico with my brother Jim and his daughter Diana. I can't wait to show them my favorite places. I lived out there for 20 years, 1974-94. That dry, semi-arid climate still calls to me. After you find a good moisturizer and your nostrils adapt, you realize you don't have those damp, swampy smells. It's always cooler in the shade in the dry air. The mountains and the desert cool off every night and offer sweetly scented breezes. The fresh air has the crispiness of a fresh cut watermelon. The scent of sagebrush wafts through the air. Pines and spruces have their way with your senses. Campfires smoke with the perfume of Pinon pine and Juniper. The freezing water of a babbling creek makes all your hairs stand up with the essence of cucumbers! Nibble on the tender light green tips of pine needles and your breath is suddenly fresh. Crush the leaves of sagebrush into your sleeping bag or rub them on your pulse points-who needs air fresheners and perfumes? Focus on the leaves of a quaking aspen~look up and watch the stars~they are a mile or two closer there!

I like to stock up on Pinon incense and sage smudge sticks while I'm in New Mexico. I bring the campfire back to my New England home. As I light it, it slowly fills the rooms with the sweet perfume of New Mexico evenings. I play Carlos Nakai on the stereo and dream myself back to the high desert. If the windchimes dance in the evening breeze, I'm so there! They say New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment. I've been totally enchanted there, that's for sure.

I fondly recall standing in the middle of a sweet sage covered plain watching the clouds march by in formation. The whole sky is mine~nothing blocks my view. Maybe it was a dream? My heart has another home in Taos, New Mexico.


  1. Lovely photos... I'm assuming that the Big Mamou is in Mamou... I have a friend that lives there...and he has a daughter named Emily. I even had a CD of the Mamou Playboys... Small world.

  2. What a timely post this is, as after last week I'm considering applying to the Institute of Ayurveda in New Mexico for October 2011...but am terrified! I've never even been to New Mexico! But you make it sound truly magical, and that And I would definitely not miss the moldy, musty, stinky smell of an old house in New England during a humid July, lol.

  3. Sherry, what a great and wonderfull tour you had with friends.thanks for taking us with you, and the photoes are fantastic especially the sky, oh my -beautifull.
    I wish you a wonderfull trip with your family, ,I`m sure you will be back home, with lots of wonderfull experiences.
    Hugs, Dorthe

  4. Hi Sherry, cajun food sounds yummo! And time spent with friends is always great. Your upcoming trip sounds fantastic. We are counting down the days until we head back to Kuwait. Although I am not looking forward to the heat, dust and humidity there -- we are all happy to be going back to our own place, our own beds and routines. There's no place like "home" wherever it may be. Wishing you all the best. Tammy

  5. Awesome pictures! I have never been down that way, but it looks enticing! Kit

  6. I didn't read this in time to wish you a wonderful trip but my good trip vibes are heading out to you in New Mexico. I've never been there. I would love to go. My dad (and mom) was stationed in Albequerque (SP?) before I was born. I hope your heat wave is gone by the time you get back.

  7. Wonderful, tasty, full of scents post! I love the smell of greasewood after a rain and burning smudge sticks does bring the desert inside...Give me a good authentic Hurricane and red beans and rice and I'm happy!

  8. Awesome drive! Thanks for taking me with you- or so I felt it. I could breathe it all in and giggle in the back seat with Em. What a refreshing blog you have!

  9. Hi Sherry, just checking in to see how you are doing. Best wishes, Tammy


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